When looking at career options it is important to think about the long term viability of the position as well as the employment opportunities. Transcription has been around for thousands of years if you think about it in it's simplest forms, dictation and copying from one medium to another. Before the printing press, each copy of a book or paper had to be created by hand. Before recorders, someone taking down another's thoughts had to write them out by hand. Shorthand was created for this purpose as we talk faster than we can write. Most people speak around 300 words per minute, but the average typist can barely type 70 words per minute! Using shorthand helped this, and the transcriber was born. Now the question is, will they last? Here are a few reasons we think you should consider legal transcription as a career.
Over 1 Million Attorneys
At last count there were over 1 million attorneys in the United States. When most people think of attorneys they think of trials, but most attorneys are not trial attorneys and their cases never go to trial. However, most attorneys do use depositions in their work, they take notes, they write legal briefs, most of which are transcribed by someone else.
Crime Will Continue Forever
This is an unfortunate fact, but one that assures legal transcribers that there will always be hearings, depositions and other transcript work. Even civil cases such as divorce and child custody cases use depositions and hearings where transcripts are ordered.
Schools Are Graduating Fewer Court Reporters
The number of schools that are offering court reporting programs have dropped from over a 100 in the 1990's to less than 40 today. This sounds like it could be bad for transcribers, but we are actually seeing an increased need for them instead. In the past, most court reporters typed their own transcripts. Today, with fewer schools producing court reporters, court systems and attorneys are turning to digital court reporting and sending the work to legal transcribers.
Transcription Skills Can be Used Elsewhere
Once you have learned legal transcription you can use these skills in other arenas such as the expanding online classes where professors create videos for lectures and then have them transcribed. Town meetings, training sessions, conferences, online videos and more can be transcribed with the same skill set.