Changing Course: Careers that Transition into being a Legal Transcriber

Transcription jobs were at the cornerstone of “work-from-home” culture in the United States preCovid-19. Now, with many states opening up, with the legal system getting back on its feet, and a surge in digital court reporters, there has never been more of a need for well-trained and certified legal transcribers. Due to this rise in demand, companies are recruiting people with a variety of different experiences and interests. 

A successful legal transcriber could have interests in literature, journalism, English, law, or many other fields which can provide a great jumping point for their new career. Let’s take a look at a few:

English and literature fields such as copywriter, proofreader, or novelist. 

Those who have a deep understanding of the English language, specially focused on spelling, grammar and punctuation, are ideal candidates for becoming a legal transcriber. Many of these individuals have flexible work hours or work on a per-project basis, allowing them to fill these gaps with other work. Instead of supplementing their passion with low-paying jobs, they earn good money in a professional career that also offers the flexibility they need. Plus, with the high utilization of digitally recorded proceedings that are taken down, these professionals can have access to as much work as they want into the future. 

Media-related careers like journalist, script writer, producer, or newspaper editor.

A key aspect of legal transcription is understanding how people speak and how those words get translated to the page.  Making a transcript from an audio recording is the inverse process of writing a script for someone to say or read.  Those working in this field often have a high level of attention to detail, which is important when transcribing legal proceedings.  Similar to media research, spellings and confirmation of details are important to an accurate transcript. 

Data entry and coding jobs like medical coding, database administrator, or accounting clerk. 

Those who already have a strong foundation in typing are ideally suited for this profession. Although a legal transcriber will not be doing repetitive data entry, they will see a benefit from their computer-savvy and typing skills when producing a transcript. Depending on the industry the person has worked in previously, they may be familiar with terms used in the legal profession. This is especially true for those working in the medical field. Legal transcribers need to be ready for long days of typing at the computer from home or an office. 

Legal professionals like legal assistants, paralegals and office administrators

Experience in the legal industry is not required but very helpful. Those who have either gone to school for or worked in the legal profession have a leg up on understanding the legal process. Knowing what a deposition, hearingNotice, and objection mean will make learning the profession a bit easier. But, unlike other legal careers, being a legal transcriber provides you the flexibility to set your schedule and work when it is suitable for you. 

If you do not have a background in one of the areas mentioned in this article, do not fear!  Our courses train you on everything you need to know in order to be a legal transcriber and pass AAERT‘s Certified Legal Transcriber exam.  Learn more about our AAERT-approved training programs at

benjamin jaffe Manager of Digital Training and Development BlueLedge

Benjamin Jaffe is the Manager of Digital Training and Development for BlueLedge

Return to Ledger | A Legal Blog