Everything You Need to Know About Legal Transcriptions

Legal transcription is the process of converting legal audio files into easy-to-understand and fast-to-scan text documents. Legal specialists need audio court hearings, client meetings, legal briefs, depositions, legal proceedings, interrogations, witness testimonies, and legal correspondence transcribed. That’s what legal transcriptionists do. Transcriptionists are competent, professional, and highly capable of accurately converting audio files into text documents.

The Ins and Outs of Transcribing Legal Recordings

Legal transcriptionists listen to video or audio recordings of court proceedings and then write down what they hear. Legal transcribers are often called upon when reviewing or preparing evidence for court cases. Transcriptionists understand that their clients need accurate text documents from every legal audio recording. They deliver grammatically correct transcripts while not neglecting the value of non-verbal communication and background noise. A legal transcriptionist must know how to add relevant filler words, stutters, and false starts in legal proceedings. Whether you’re a legal transcriptionist or a client who wants their legal materials transcribed, here is everything you should know.

Never Correct Grammar in Legal Transcription

Every word in a legal audio or video file carries significant content and value. Omitting or correcting words that are grammatically incorrect will render the transcript different from the official audio/video recording. Words and slang in legal audio files carry a message that can be used as evidence during court cases. Transcriptionists must never change these instances, as that will result in an inaccurate transcript.

Legal transcribers are taught to emphasize writing every word as the speaker says it. They must never at any moment misinterpret or change the meanings of the word to make the documents feel more friendly or readable. For that reason, look for a multitalented and experienced legal transcriptionist to avoid substandard transcripts. The legal transcription experts seek to create a document with the exact spoken content found in the source video or audio. 

Filler Words Should be Left as They Are

During court proceedings, interviews, or witness examinations, parties may use words termed as fillers, including “hmm,” “um,” and more. These filler words will seem unnecessary and unimportant to unqualified transcriptionists, so they will omit them. However, one cannot ignore the message these filler words carry, and skipping or changing them could affect the validity of the final transcript.

The most-qualified legal transcriptionists have exceptional linguistic skills and understand all legal terms. An expert in the field will know how to reflect all fumbles or crutch words from an audio file in the verbatim transcript. Experienced and equipped knowledge-wise to transcribe all legal materials, the transcriber will give a clear and vivid replica of the audio file in the final transcript. Expect every word, filler or not, to appear accurately in the resulting document.

False Starts Must be Transcribed

False starts are common, especially when interviewing or examining witnesses. Lawyers may also make false starts when proving a point before a court of law. A false start or stutter may not carry any crucial message in a normal circumstance. However, in the legal field, they hold quite an important statement that, if ignored, could affect the legitimacy of a lawsuit.

When transcribing legal audio or video files, industry-leading transcribers won’t neglect these crucial points. They’ll capture everything a speaker says word-for-word correctly to ensure a valid final legal text.

Non-Verbal Communication and Background Noise Matter

A non-legal transcriber won’t understand the message background noise and non-verbal communication carry. They’ll likely ignore them as irrelevant, but an attorney and veteran transcriber will know the value of these vital contents. Legal transcription demands that you observe sounds and facial or body expressions when transcribing a document.

You have to take note of coughs, sneezes, waves, cries, nods, laughs, and all other non-verbal communication. Note every action and noise and put it into writing to give the final legal transcripts the value and emphasis they should have.


Whether you’re a legal specialist, transcriber, or a newbie thinking of entering the field, you must know the game’s rules. Neglecting these four legal transcription requirements is tantamount to obstructing justice and could affect the final judgment in every case. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with all terms and legalities around legal transcription before converting any recordings into text format.

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