Do Freelance Legal Transcription Services Really Work?

by | Published on Apr 22, 2016 | Legal Transcription

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Legal Transcription Services

It isn’t hard to find vendors online offering legal transcription services. The competitiveness of the legal industry has led to law firms outsourcing tasks such as transcription extensively. While much of this outsourcing is handed over to professional transcription companies with many transcribers working under them, freelance transcribers are also hired by firms and attorneys. But it could be a risky proposition unless you could identify that the freelance transcriber is an experienced and efficient one and has the tools in place to ensure reliable and confidential service.

Anyone Can Advertise Transcription Solutions

This is important, considering that technological advancements have made just about anyone capable of buying a domain name and advertising themselves as a transcriber. The question is whether the advertising transcriber runs a group of experienced transcribers, editors and other staff or is just a single individual working from home. The former arrangement is more favorable and less risky in terms of not only efficiency and accuracy of the transcription, but also the vital confidentiality of the information dealt with, which is something you cannot compromise upon. When an individual transcriber is the only one at work, he or she needs to be a tech geek as well so that they can deal with the threats from hackers. They also need to have the software solutions in place to ensure security.

Thing is, anyone can put up a professional-looking website, claim amazingly low pricing and ultra-quick turnaround times. They can also put up convincing testimonials from people or companies who don’t exist.

Exploring the Website and Asking Questions

A bit of exploration into the website, though, could provide some idea of whether this really is as professional or as real a transcription provider as it claims to be. Is there any evidence of specific levels of expertise or qualification of the transcriber or transcribers? The best thing to do would be to look for the Contact Us section of the site and ask some technical questions about the service they offer. The replies should give you an idea.

Issues with Quality Control

One of the concerns regarding hiring an individual freelancer is the fact that the transcriber, editor and reviewer are all the same individual. With truly professional transcription services, you have separate transcribers and quality control professionals that can help ensure greater accuracy of the transcribed files. When the same individual checks their own work, errors cannot be easily spotted, be they grammatical errors or mistakes in terminology.

Professional legal transcription services ensure at least three levels of quality control by legal experts before the file is returned to you. It ensures peace of mind for you, and you can truly focus on your case. The transcription market is flooded with vendors, many of whom are freelancers handling the task individually though they certainly wouldn’t be giving such an impression. Such vendors would also be offering competitive pricing, and it is a temptation to enlist low cost options but you need to ensure compromises have not been made in quality and security as is usually the case with low cost services.

So does individual freelance legal transcription really work? For one, it is hard to ensure quality before signing up unless the transcriber is known to you. And you wouldn’t have the time or resources for a trial-and-error experimentation. It would serve you better to outsource to a professional legal transcription company with experience, technology and specially trained staff working for it. But make sure you have done your homework in thoroughly investigating the service provider before signing up.

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