The Many Challenges of Law Transcription

by | Published on Sep 25, 2012 | Law Transcription

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Law transcription is much more than just listening to an audio file and putting down the words spoken. Such transcription involves the documentation of interviews, recorded statements, recorded police reports, audio surveillance, and so on. Legal transcripts must be highly accurate, delivered on time and remain confidential. They help law enforcement agencies, attorneys, prosecutors and judges to determine innocence and guilt.

  • Producing an accurate legal transcript takes a lot of time. The transcriber has to listen carefully to the audio to provide a faithful interpretation of what’s being said.
  • When the volume of files to be transcribed is high, maintaining accuracy is difficult.
  • Recorded speech may not always be legible, especially when there is more than one speaker. Moreover, if the recording is disturbed by external noises, transcribing it would be very difficult. Sometimes, hidden microphones are used to elicit important information from the speaker, affecting the quality of the audio to a great extent.
  • The transcriber has to take account of features such as voice quality, intonation, rhythm and even non-verbal expressions such as sighs. These may be relevant to determining the legitimacy of what’s being said, and ultimately, the verdict itself.

Considering all these requirements, busy law enforcement agencies prefer to outsource their transcription tasks rather than undertake the job in-house. The transcription of legal audio files requires good equipment, excellent listening skills and an understanding of the recorded event. An established legal transcription company would have a team of specially trained legal transcriptionists that can offer all this and more. Their skills would include excellent ability to work with a legal dictionary and thesaurus, advanced knowledge of legal terminology, spellings and abbreviations of legal terms, and awareness about various types of legal cases. A reliable service provider can meet all law transcription requirements with due regard for accuracy, confidentiality, turnaround time, and security.

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