Legal Transcription Training Programs and Education Requirements

A legal transcriptionist transcribes and edits spoken or recorded proceedings involving classified testimony, subpoenas, depositions and legal notes. Legal transcription services are used primarily by law firms, although banks, corporate legal departments, insurance companies and government agencies might also employ legal transcriptionists. Preparation for a career in legal transcription involves educational courses and on-the-job training.

View 9 Popular Schools »

Training Requirements and Recommendations

In some cases, a high school diploma and some experience in an office or legal setting might be sufficient for one to earn an entry-level position in legal transcription. However, taking at least a few courses in legal transcription, legal terminology and law can increase one's chances of employment. Some employers require completion of a 1- or 2-year program in legal transcription. Those working in corporate or insurance legal transcription might have to learn corporate policies and procedures, while those in law firms focus more on legal documentation and law procedures.

Formal Education

No formal degree in legal transcription currently exists. Those seeking a career in legal transcription generally opt for a legal transcription or legal assistant diploma or certificate. They might also pursue a 2-year legal secretarial or legal office administration degree. Certificate and degree programs in court reporting or stenography also provide courses in transcription, shorthand, computerized transcription, legal terminology and legal documentation.

Certificate or Diploma Programs

Some community and technical colleges offer a 1-year diploma or certificate program for legal transcriptionists. In these programs, students develop computer, communications and business skills. In addition to legal transcription courses, the curriculum typically addresses such topics as keyboarding, legal procedures, courts, criminal law, legal research and legal terminology.

Aspiring legal transcriptionists can also choose to enter a diploma or certificate program designed for legal assistants. Some of these programs offer courses in legal transcription, law and legal terminology.

Associate's Degree Programs

An associate's degree for legal office administrators or legal secretaries can prepare students to become legal transcriptionists. These programs generally include introductory and advanced courses in legal transcription and transcription techniques, legal word processing and legal terminology. Other courses include business law, business communications, legal office procedures and legal records management.

Job Experience

Experience as an administrative assistant or secretary is helpful for those seeking a career in legal transcription. A background in typing, dictation or word processing might be required by some employers since legal transcriptionists are expected to type 65-75 words per minute with a high degree of accuracy. Some employers might prefer up to one years' experience in a related field, such as medical transcription.

Licenses and Certifications

While there are no required licenses or certifications for legal transcriptionists, some working in this field might choose to obtain voluntary certification. The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) offers the Certified Electronic Court Transcriber (CET) credential for court reporters and legal transcriptionists working in courtrooms (www.aaert.org). One can choose the basic CET certification for analog transcription systems or the CET**D credential for those using digital systems.

Those who perform legal transcription duties as legal secretaries also can choose to become certified. The National Association for Legal Secretaries (NALS) offers the Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) certification (www.nals.org). Completion of a legal course, a NALS training course or one years' experience as a legal secretary is needed to take the exam for this certification.

Additional Professional Development

Books about legal transcription and terminology used in legal transcription can be purchased at online and retail booksellers. Some titles include a CD-ROM containing practice exercises. Online courses in legal transcription are offered by a small number of colleges and technical institutes.

Show me popular schools

Related to Legal Transcription Training

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Legal Transcription Certification and Degree Program Info

Legal transcriptionists use dictation devices to record court hearings and other legal proceedings for law firms and legal...

Overview of Court Transcription Courses

Transcription classes are offered through certificate and associate's degree programs in court reporting. These programs also...

Online Schools with a Certificate in Transcription: How to Choose

A number of schools offer online certificate programs for aspiring transcriptionists, most commonly in the fields of medical...

Legal Receptionist Training Program Information

A legal receptionist can find career options in a government agency, state office, brokerage firm or a law office. To prepare...

Legal Nurse Certification and Training Program Information

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • School locations:
    • Georgia (3 campuses)
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    • Pennsylvania (2)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice Brooklyn Center
    • Associate
        • Associate - Criminal Justice Brooklyn Center

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (2 campuses)
    • California (4)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1)
    • Florida (1)
    • Georgia (1)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Illinois (1)
    • New Mexico (1)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Pennsylvania (1)
    • Puerto Rico (1)
    • Tennessee (3)
    • Texas (4)
    • Virginia (3)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • A minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Submit high school transcript(s)
    • Submit college transcript(s) (if applicable)
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in Criminal Justice

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Mississippi include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
      • Legal Research and Professional Studies
      • Legal Support Services
        • Court Reporting
        • Legal Assistant or Paralegal

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics