Today, law firms have hundreds of online companies to choose from for transcription work. But not all are familiar with the legal field. In a world where accuracy might be the difference between winning and losing a case, E-Typist shares how law firms can find the right fit for their practice.
It’s a fact. Not all transcription companies are created equal. With different specialty areas, rates, and turnaround promises, simply seeking administrative relief can bring its own challenges.
The stakes in choosing the right transcription service are particularly high for attorneys, paralegals and office managers because law is a complex field. The terminology is unfamiliar to most, the processes confusing to nonprofessionals, and the information sensitive. Entrusting a transcription company to create essential documents that will inevitably build a case, accurately and quickly, is no small thing.
But law firms can find the perfect transcription service – they just need to know what to look for. Here are six of the biggest tips to consider.
Choose a company that specializes in legal transcription.
If this seems like an obvious first step – it’s because it is. But understand transcription companies come in all shapes and sizes, with different industry focuses and specialties. Larger online outfits will even claim to do it all equally well.
The key is to sift through the marketing and find those firms that specialize in legal transcription. Do their typists have legal secretary experience? Will they be undaunted by legal terminology for faster speed and accuracy to meet deadlines? Will they appreciate that confidentiality of client information is of the utmost importance? Will they understand the necessity of verbatim transcription – capturing the words and sounds of police interviews and more in detail?
There are many questions to consider, but finding a company that specializes in legal transcription will answer most at the onset.
Choose a company with a high standard for security and confidentiality.
Not every field needs to prioritize security and confidentiality as law firms do. But it’s essential to select a transcription company with strict data protection, protocols and encrypted servers to safeguard client information.
Make sure the transcription company employs US-based typists.
Companies that outsource their typists from around the world or operate outside of the U.S. come with the benefit of price. But with legal transcription, a natural command of the English language and grammar is indispensable.
Many Americans, for instance, take for granted our ability to understand regional accents and dialects. But discerning between speaking styles, cadences and tone is essential for accuracy in legal transcription. The same is true for idioms in everyday speech. Non-native speakers are likely to be confused by common turns-of-phrase such as “giving someone a hand” or “cutting to the chase.”
Above all, contracting a non-US-based company means they will be less familiar with U.S. law and standards, such as HIPAA compliance.
Ensure that the transcription company uses human typists for accuracy.
For all its advances, automated transcription is woefully inaccurate. Computers simply cannot sort through background noise as well as humans. They struggle to discern mumbling, fast-talking, soft speaking, and tonality. Machines miss punctuation, changing the meaning of sentences. The resulting transcription is… well, messy.
Understand the transcription company’s turnaround-time assurances.
In the legal field, the time something is needed was probably yesterday. It’s a fast-paced, demanding field, and legal professionals must produce quickly. Attorneys should contract a transcription company to match this style.
It’s important to prioritize transcription companies that return transcribed documents within 24 hours. The company should also have trusted options for same-day delivery in case of a rush.
Always look for testimonials.
Reviews show that the transcription company is established and proven. Look for testimonials from office administrators and real-life attorneys who have had success with the service.
What makes a transcription company the right fit for one business may not be the same for another. But at the end of the day, the qualities that make your law firm successful should mirror the transcription company you choose.