Fewer people dictate these days. This is because many of us are pretty good typists, having grown up with computers and other devices. 

But here’s a little-known fact: You can actually talk faster than you can type.

Even with the fastest phalanges, your speech will always be a faster mode of communication than text. That’s why dictation has long been the gold standard for attorneys in producing letters, memos, briefs and everything in between.

Why Dictate When You Can Type?

Dictation is the process of speaking into a device (or to a person), with the intent of having your words transcribed for you.

Because dictating is so much faster than typing, it is a key process for profitable law firms focused on billable hours.

Consider for a moment that the average person speaks about 150 words per minute, a speed more than twice as fast as most professional typists.

With little effort, you can dictate documents at a blistering pace, while saving additional time on formatting as well as finding and saving files (among other paper-pushing activities). Most importantly, this saved time allows you to focus on your clients and cases.

Dictation is a Skill

Odds are, you didn’t learn how to dictate in law school. While it’s a relatively simple process that many seasoned attorneys can do effortlessly, it does take a little time to get adjusted. Before you start talking into your smartphone, here are a few tips:

1. Think about what you need and communicate.

It might seem like this goes without saying, but before you begin chatting away, take a moment to form your thoughts.

Are you dictating a letter? It probably makes sense to start with the address block. You can actually specify all this to your typist before you begin, including things like who to CC.

Remember that your words don’t need to come out perfectly. But getting focused on your main points is important – organize your thoughts before you begin.

2. Use templates.

Perhaps one of the biggest time saving factors with dictation is eliminating the need to format.

E-Typist, for instance, can store your templates for memos, briefs and letters, producing documents that are ready to go.


3. Check your pace and enunciate.

Talking into a device at first can make you uneasy, so anticipate that you’ll be speaking a little faster than normal. And while that’s fine (there’s no need to talk slowly), it’s important to speak clearly for your typist. The goal is to speak as your normally would, conversationally. This will ensure the best accuracy when your audio is transcribed.

4. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself.

Mistakes are a natural part of speaking. And if you make a mistake while you’re dictating… you can just re-dictate!

5. Dictate in the appropriate environment.

Background noise and chatter is a quality killer when it comes to audio (and makes it harder to stay focused on your dictation). Make sure you find a quiet place to collect your thoughts and speak.


Ready to get started? E-Typist’s dedicated Dictation Service is designed for busy attorneys with 24-hour turnaround, affordability and digital uploads.