Practice makes perfect and legal writing is one area where this adage has an especially significant meaning. Unlike standard business communication, legal writing is used to present a balanced analysis of an issue and convince others about its validity. Legal transcription services help lawyers convert audio/video recordings of various proceedings into text format. There are different types of legal documents such as pleadings, correspondence, motions, legal memorandums, interrogations, agreements and discovery. When producing documents for presentation in court or convey information to clients, legal professionals must conform to a standard format, while ensuring error-free content. Today, there are a wide range of digital writing tools that help them do just that.
Software Tools to Ease and Improve Legal Writing
- Grammarly: Grammarly is a powerful, free online and web-based grammar checker that can improve writing of everything from general emails and demand letters to memorandums, writs of supersedeas, and more. This app offers proofreading suggestions and checks spelling, punctuation, style, and readability. As the tool has browser extension capabilities for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, its services are available when you’re using Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, and other platforms. In addition to grammar resources, this tool comes with a dictionary and thesaurus resources and plagiarism checker. When you paste your content into the app’s document, it will help you set your goals based on audience, formality, domain, tone, and intent. The tool will make suggestions and you can accept those you agree with. Grammarly also offers a paid option to have critical documents reviewed by a live, human proofreader.
- BriefCatch: BriefCatch is a robust, easy-to-use legal editing tool that can detect common mistakes and identify advocacy opportunities. This Microsoft Word Add-in option offers editing suggestions that can be done in real time. It can correct legal typos and clean up citations. Other capabilities include formatting citations, expert advice, and frequent upgrades. It uses the latest in natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence and mines data from top-notch legal documents and opinions to fine-tune its editing rules and create BriefCatch scores. BriefCatch allows you to gain insights into your writing strengths and wording patterns.
- Google Docs: Google Docs is a free online word processing software that allows teams to collaborate simultaneously on documents in real-time from any location. Google Docs saves your work automatically and stores them securely in the cloud. Though this tool is not specifically designed for legal professionals, you can enhance it usability by combining it with Grammarly.
- PerfectIT: This mass-market tool works best when paired with American Legal Style It is designed for lawyers, by lawyers. It can scan your writing and easily detect legal mistakes. PerfectIT includes 13,000 legal-specific checks and only lawyers and trained legal editors would know to look for. By leveraging top guidance on legal writing, it allows legal professionals to quickly apply the rules, style, guidelines, and writing techniques to create clear, uncomplicated, and consistent legal documents. PerfectIT and American Legal Style simplify the editing and proofreading process and save lawyers’ valuable time.
- Scrivner: This tool is a great option for writing briefs as well as for legal research. A lengthy article, judicial opinion, or brief you are planning to review can be broken down into its constituent sections and reviewed on the screen. This tool allows lawyers to organize and create complex documents. It uses a”tree-based approach” that simplifies navigation. It enables the reader to manage the presentation and flow of information, making it easier to absorb and process. This navigation feature allows you to present the information visually, making it a great option for visual learners. Scrivner comes with several annotation tools such as project notes, document notes, comments, footnotes, and labels that allow you to revisit the text later and find important information.
- Hemingway Editor: This app uses color-coded highlighters to alert users about: sentences in the passive voice, needlessly long or complex words, complex sentences, and sentences that are”very” hard to read. It assigns a grade based on readability. The app’s website states that it aims make your writing”bold and clear.” Hemingway Editor has both a paid and a free version.
- Microsoft Word’s Readability Statistics: Several factors impact clarity of a document: average sentence length, the extent of passive-voice usage, overall readability, and reading grade level. Word’s readability statistics evaluate all of these factors. The words-per-sentence calculation is especially helpful for lawyers who are advised to keep sentence length as short as possible (20 words or fewer). Likewise, as lawyers are advised to stick to the active voice, the percentage-of-passive-sentences calculation is also very pertinent.
- Cliché Finder: With Cliché Finder, you can check your writing for words, phrases, and expressions that trite, stale, or overused. Just cut and paste your text into the tool and it will highlight clichés so that you can replace them with more precise content.
When you’re trying to convey information to judges, other lawyers, and clients, you need to ensure clear and concise content that leave little room for doubt, questions, and confusion.
Here are some tips to improve your basic writing skills:
- Focus on your purpose
- Create content to target your audience
- Do your research well
- Pay attention to document structure
- Ensure clarity
- Minimize use of jargon
- Edit and proofread
- Rely on feedback and constructive criticism
Whether it’s inter-office memoranda and letters to clients, creating documents for presentation to a court or administrative agency on behalf of a client, or drafting legal documents such as contracts and wills, there are legal writing tools out there that can help improve your writing. When it comes to creating typed versions of recorded audio and video content, choose a competent legal transcription service.
Audio and video are easy to consume forms of content, which makes them powerful digital tools for all types of businesses. Supported by media transcription services, businesses are using social media, audio aids, audiograms, podcasts, emails and more to get the word out about their products and services. To ensure accurate video transcription, it is important to know the steps involved in converting media files into text.
Video Transcription Options
There are several options to transcribe video:
- Video to text software – if you are doing it yourself, the best option would be to install special transcription software on your computer. These desktop tools transcribe speech to text automatically without an internet connection. MacSpeechScribe, Express Scribe, and Transcriber are popular desktop software.
- Online transcription programs: Free online transcription programs like Otter.ai., Trint, Sonix, Rewatch and Descript automatically transcribe your audio files for you. All you have to do is upload your video on the program of your choice and follow the instructions. Transcripts generated using these programs tend to have errors and have to be proofread.
- Video transcription services: Professional transcription companies can convert recorded material from speech to text quickly and accurately. Established companies provide the best transcription services at affordable rates.
How to Transcribe Video Recordings
If you are doing your own transcription, follow these steps to transcribe audio or video recordings quickly and accurately:
- Determine the type of transcript you need: Based on the purpose, figure out if you need full verbatim transcription or intelligent verbatim transcription. For instance, a word for word rendering is often necessary for legal transcripts while a clean transcript without ums,” “likes,” and false starts would be sufficient if the file is just for quick reference. Detailed notes are another option which will provide quick and easy access to the necessary information without having to parse large chunks of text. Choose the right transcription option based on who will be using the transcript.
- Improve the audio recording, if required: When professional transcriptionists receive video recordings that lack audio quality, they will fine-tune audio quality using an audio editing program. These programs come with a noise removal tool designed to reduce background noise, boost volume, and filter out frequencies below a certain level.
- Listen to the recording: Before transcribing an interview or podcast, listen to the whole recording. Play small sections and identify context. This will improve clarity, help designate the speakers, and better understand conversation flow. Mark terms you don’t understand so that you can check them out later. If it’s an interview, note the date and time when it took place.
- Prepare a draft: Preparing a first draft is an integral part of any kind of writing. When transcribing audio, type out a first draft without worrying too much about accuracy or capturing every word. You can use abbreviations or shortcuts to speed up the process. Revisions and corrections can be made when you finalize the transcript.
- Make the corrections: Once you have a readable transcript, edit and polish the content. The best way to do this is to read the draft while listening to the audio. This will help you identify missing words, and correct typos, phrases and sentences. Expand abbreviations and ensure speaker identification. If it’s verbatim transcription, include each and every word and don’t paraphrase.
- Transcribe speaker labels using auto-correct: Speaker labels identify the speaker in the audio. The speaker’s name, role, or other identifying attribute may be used as the label. The built-in autocorrect function on your word processing program can be used to automatically insert speaker labels via keyboard shortcuts.
- Insert timestamps: Inserting the time in minutes and seconds into a transcript at regular intervals enables users to identify the precise point in the audio or video where the given text was spoken. They can then playback specific parts as needed. Transcription software comes with a feature that makes it easy to insert timecodes for captions or subtitles in the transcript.
- Format the transcript: There are different transcript file formats such as plain text format, time-stamped format (timestamps at regular intervals or at speaker or paragraph intervals), HTML file, etc. Choose the format that meets your needs. The final transcript should have a title, numbered pages, and separate paragraphs. Focus on readability. Use brackets to indicate nonverbal communication (sighing), and use (pause) and (inaudible) when there are gaps in dialog and words that are difficult to understand.
Transcribing audio and video files in batches will help you to concentrate better and ensure accuracy. Using transcription software can make your task easier and help you complete it faster. But accuracy can be compromised if the audio is not clear and you would have to spend time on proofreading and editing. If you have a lot of files that you need transcribed quickly and accurately, reach out to a reliable provider of digital transcription services.
When it comes to content that resonates with users, video is clearly the winner. According to the Cisco Video Networking Index, video traffic will grow fourfold from 2017 through 2022. Live streaming is a popular option among consumers for Q&As and product demonstrations, and businesses are leveraging live video to boost engagement with their brand. Video transcription services support search engine optimization (SEO) and play a key role in helping you get the word out to a wider audience.
Why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Important for Video
SEO involves using certain techniques to help businesses gain online visibility. SEO specialists carefully monitor Google algorithm updates and help businesses optimize their content, including video, to rank as highly as possible on search engine result pages (SERPs). With the rising importance of video content over the past decade, SEO for video has become more crucial than ever. In 2020, 96% of consumers increased their online video consumption and up to 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business, according to a Hubspot study. Social media marketing has reached new levels with go-to video platforms like YouTube, TikTok, FaceBook and Instagram.
The benefits of using video to promote your business are:
- Is a powerful way to tell a story and get your message across to a wide audience, including all age groups.
- Can convey large amounts of information in a short period of time.
- Effective way to capture attention of mobile users as video content can be easily viewed on mobile devices. With more and more people shopping and researching products on tablets and smartphones, publishing video content to target mobile device users has become extremely significant.
Video content will likely remain relevant for years to come. But simply creating and posting videos cannot enhance your online presence. Relevant and well-targeted video content with an effective SEO strategy is essential to get higher rankings and boost your marketing campaign. Media transcription services play an important role in using video content for SEO.
SEO Benefits of Video Transcripts
As SEO companies will tell you, getting a website to show up on Google’s first page involves a lot of hard work. Video makes their job easier. Video SEO involves several techniques to rank well in search results for the right keywords and phrases. These tactics include doing research to find keywords that are ranking currently for your niche, creating content to target your audience, using the keywords in the video’s title and meta description, adding timestamps, ensuring an engaging thumbnail, inserting a strong CTA, and adding a transcript.
Transcripts are a text version of the video and posted along with it. Reports indicate that video transcription offers proven SEO benefits. A study by showed that, on average, web pages with transcripts earned 16% more revenue than those that did not have transcripts. Including captions and transcripts in your video content can help it rank higher, convey more information effectively, and attract a global audience. Here are 8 ways video transcription boosts SEO:
- Increases search traffic: Transcripts make video content more searchable. Search engines cannot watch videos and index them, but they can read and index transcripts and captions embedded in them. With transcripts, video platforms and search engines can crawl the complete file and index it.
- Drives engagement with the content: Some people may be interest in specific content in a video. Providing transcripts and captions along with the media content will allow them to find what they need easily compared to having to rely on the audio alone. If the text version is missing, visitors may look elsewhere for what the need.
- Allows people who are deaf and blind to access the content: Descriptive transcripts make video content accessible to people who are both deaf and blind. Transcripts are also important to people who process text information better than audio and visual/pictorial information, and people who don’t have access to the entire video and use screen readers due to vision impairments. With interactive transcripts that highlight text phrases as they are spoken, users can select the text and go to that point in the video. Up to 97% of students who participated in a study by MIT OpenCourseWare reported that interactive transcripts enhanced their learning experience. Improved access to your video content means improved SEO.
- Enables search for specific words: Transcripts allow users to scan and search for key phrases or words that have been used in the video. Keywords extracted from transcripts can be used for video sitemap tags, YouTube tags, and guide on-page SEO.
- Makes content accessible to a global audience speakers: With captions and transcripts, your video content becomes accessible to an audience across the world that does not speak English fluently, but are interested in the topic. They can translate the content and use it as required. When people understand the video content, it increases their shareability.
- Flexibility: With transcripts, viewers can watch video any place in sound-sensitive environments. Even if they are in a place where audio is unavailable or in a crowded train or street, transcripts and captions will convey the message. With transcripts, users can watch videos on mute in environments in quiet places such as a library or office. Video transcription allows you to connect with users who cannot engage with just video on its own.
- Lowers bounce rate: As transcripts increase engagement with your video and encourage visitors to stay longer on your website, this will reduce bounce rates. In this context, it is also important that your video content matches visitors’ search queries, or else they will leave without watching it.
- Generates link-building opportunities: SEO strategies include both internal and external link-building. Video transcripts provide support both. Transcripts help internal link-building by allowing you to link to other related content on your website. For instance, a plastic surgery video can be used to link to a page discussing the technology used to perform it. Transcripts can be used to create blogs on the topic that are optimized for SEO and allow visitors to move from one topic to another through the text. Coming to external links, a Moz study found that users linked most to content with videos, images, and lists. Transcripts make content more compelling and easy to share.
Transcripts offer an easy way to extend the reach of your video content. Doing it right is important for SEO success. Reach out to general transcription company providing video transcription services to ensure an accurate documentation of the content. Ensure relevant, keyword-rich content which will help your optimization efforts and your viewers to find what they need when they refer to the transcript. Repurposing transcripts into blog posts, including social media posts, can also go a long way to enhancing their potential to drive SEO.
The transcript of a podcast makes a significant impact on how people will perceive your podcast. Furthermore, a well-written transcript can boost your SEO rankings and help you get more listeners. Transcribing podcast has become easier with the help of voice recognition software and other technological tools. However, outsourcing transcription of podcast to a reliable audio transcription service is the best solution as they provide timely and accurate transcripts. They work round the clock to ensure that they deliver your transcripts on time so that you can have them ready for your listeners. Outsourcing transcription gives you access to professional transcriptionists who are well-trained and experienced.
A good quality transcript will help your audience relive the experience you shared on your podcasts. However, transcribing podcasts is not an easy task and most people do not have the time or skills to do it on their own. Therefore, outsourcing podcast transcription is a wise decision if you want accurate transcripts of your podcasts. Here are some of the benefits of outsourcing podcast transcription:
- Helps to meet deadlines for publishing podcasts: When you invest time and money into creating a podcast, you are not going to record just one or two episodes. To acquire traction with listeners, podcast episodes must be released on a regular basis. As technology advances, podcast transcriptions have become more accessible. Podcast transcription is just as difficult as producing a high-quality podcast from editing clips to fine tuning. It is highly time-consuming. Consider outsourcing your podcast transcription as it helps to meet your podcast publishing deadlines without losing the quality of your production. Most assignments can be completed in as little as 24 hours with reliable transcription services, and ensure that you never miss a deadline.
- Ensures the accuracy of transcription: Outsourcing podcast transcription will give you access to a team of professionals who are entirely focused on providing accurate and timely transcription. You are more likely to get sidetracked by other duties and make mistakes if you are hurrying to finish a podcast transcription before your deadline. When it comes to accurately transcribing crucial information, this can be costly. Unlike artificial intelligence transcription technology, transcriptionists will structure and format your podcast transcription to your specifications.
- To produce show notes: Show notes are often the most time-consuming task. Podcast show notes are a key component of your show’s discoverability and accessibility, so pay attention to them. However, producing compelling, SEO-friendly show notes is challenging. By outsourcing podcast transcription, you can get unique show notes as you’ll need them for each new episode. Many full-service production companies include thorough show notes in their packages; but, if you’re on a budget, resort to affordable transcription companies that specialize in this service.
- Save money: If you have employees or subcontractors and are looking for a way to create podcast transcriptions, you might want to consider employing dedicated staff to handle the administrative work. Hiring in-house, on the other hand, might be a huge financial burden for your company, as well as a risk if you’re new to the podcasting platform. You may also not have room on your plate for additional responsibilities, and may be unable to assign additional work to your current employees or subcontractors. You can outsource the podcast transcribing workload to avoid rising overhead costs and paying another wage.
- Benefit from customized solutions: Outsourcing podcast transcription to a reliable vendor enables you to benefit from a tailored solution that is just right for you. Transcription services aid in the conversion of files in any format, including dss, mp3, wav, mov, mp4, aiff, mpeg4, wma, and ra. Simply provide them the files to be transcribed in their original format, and they will do the rest.
Transcribing podcasts makes the text searchable, resulting in increased visitors to your website. It would help your podcast to be found by someone looking for something comparable to the transcribed podcast. Moreover, keywords from video or audio are not picked up by search engines, but from transcripts. It also aids in reaching a larger audience, particularly those who have difficulty in hearing. Even though there are numerous audios and movies available on the internet, some individuals still like to read, and podcast transcription allows them to do so.
Podcast transcription seems like a simple task, but it can be time-consuming and complicated if you don’t have the right tools. If you are creating a podcast for your business, you need to focus on the quality of your content, not on the process of transcribing it. Outsourcing this task to a reliable audio transcription service will allow you to get back to producing high-quality content that engages your audience.
Meetings play a key role in business management and communication. Organizations make important decisions during a meeting. Meeting minutes are written records of key points and decisions that are made during the meeting. To create effective minutes of meeting, it is critical to understand what to and what not to include. Taking minutes of a meeting with a large number of participants may be difficult. Reliable companies providing meeting transcription services can convert the audio to text and help you create an effective report of the meeting, including the minutes.
When taking minutes of a meeting, make sure to include the key points that are crucial for decision-making and avoid the things that are not necessary.