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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Court reporting/transcription

    Hi all

    I'm curious as to whether anyone has done any court reporting/transcription and/or can give me insight into this line of work. Training, career prospects, flexibility etc.

    If this is something I decide to seriously pursue in future I think I will definitely check in with a previous employer for information. I worked on audio transcripts for the courts for a little while and found it very interesting. I was editing/cleaning up transcripts, but I did a small amount of transcribing too and my employers said I seemed like a natural. It's also quite an interesting environment.

    I hear it can pay well and be flexible and ultimately I would like to be able to work part-time (even if just 4 days a week instead of 5.) So it could be of interest partly because of that.

    I live in the UK and am likely to stay here so any insights from the UK would be especially good. Canada or Europe generally is also of interest. I'm not likely to ever live in the US (though, never say never!) but am also happy to hear American insights.

    (Not expecting a major response as this is a specialized area - but if you have something useful-ish to say please chime in!!)
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  2. #2
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    I have a friend who does this for a company in israel (that does US contracts)

    What are your questions? I can give them to her when I see her tonight.

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    I have a friend who does this for a company in israel (that does US contracts)

    What are your questions? I can give them to her when I see her tonight.
    Ooh, cool! Thank you. That's very nice of you/her. But you know, no stress about her answering them.

    I'd be especially interested in:

    -What type of training/qualifications/experience are required? I have a BA in English, various types of freelance writing experience, and have worked in publishing for several years (editing, proofreading, admin, a bit of production/print, etc.) I also have a very fast wpm speed - about 90 wpm with few errors. When I worked on editing transcripts, it was for a company who also provided a lot of transcriptionists to the courts. It was only working on audio transcripts.
    -Is this a career field where there is a lot of demand?
    -Does it tend to be fairly flexible, ie. opportunities to work either full or part-time?
    -Especially if working part-time, does it pay decently? (although it could be quite different in Israel or US to the UK.)
    -Do people work specifically on audio transcripts (ie. transcribing from an audio recording), or live in court, or both, or...?
    -Anything else that might be of interest.

    Thanks a million - I'd be interested in any input.
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  4. #4
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    I've looked into this. Lemme dig up the website:

    http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Court-reporters.htm

    It's for the US but it's good information. A two-year degree is typically required but it can be done online. From what I understand, there's going to be a very high demand for CCTV. HTH!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Anyone who can type as fast as everyone speaks is..that's impressive.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
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  6. #6
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatar7 View Post
    Anyone who can type as fast as everyone speaks is..that's impressive.
    You don't have to do that anymore. It's recorded and the digital audio file is played on a transcriptionist's computer, with a foot pedal to start/stop/rewind/fast-forward. (You should be a reasonably fast typist...but no, you don't have to "keep up" with the speech.)

    I do independent contract transcription work from my home (which is what I should be doing right now rather than posting on these boards). Are you interested in only court reporting, or might you be interested in other types of audio transcription? I haven't done actual court proceedings, but there's plenty of that stuff available. So far I've done a variety one-on-one interviews, for hearings or research. Right now I'm working on some pharmaceutical market research interviews (company reps talking with doctors about what products they use, how they decide on a treatment, etc.)

    The transcribing itself is usually IC work, so it's very flexible and you can decide how much work you want. Pay varies a lot and depends on your own productivity, since it's paid by page, line, word or audio time, not by hours you put in.

  7. #7
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Coolness! This is all good info. @Xenon, thanks for the PM too. When I did the editing/cleaning up audio transcripts thing, I used that foot pedal thingy too (haha, you can probably tell this was a while ago and I'm a bit out of that loop.)

    Thanks all for the input, people. When I have a bit more time I'll look into some of this more.
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  8. #8
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    my cousin's wife is a court reporter... she LOVES it she's been doing it for around 15 years and says that the technology has changed, but you still have to be a good listener and preferably a speed reader to do it right
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  9. #9
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    Don't mean to be negative, but job openings in transcription are few and far between. I once considered entering the field myself. On top of that, whatever few openings there are don't promise a great salary.

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