What a Court Transcript Proofreader Does
If you have ever watched any legal procedural show, you may have noticed someone in the courtroom typing away and being instructed on when to “strike things from the record.” This person is a stenographer, and they speak their own language. When they get back to their office, they have to translate the stenographer language into a transcript of the court proceedings. All of this work is very time sensitive, and it matters if there are mistakes, any errors can lead to further litigation.
However legal transcripts aren’t only generated from courtrooms; they are also created from depositions that may take place at a law firm. The need for the error-free transcript remains the same. The litigation of the law hinges on the details. Accuracy and cleanly written transcripts are hugely important in the practice of law. For this reason, many law firms may even require that the transcriptionist/stenographer get their transcripts proofread.
Which is why there is a demand for court transcript proofreaders. It is the proofreader’s job to review the transcript for proper punctuation, spelling, and phrasing. It is usually not the proofreader’s job to make the changes, just to mark the edits that need to be made.
Why Proofread Court Transcripts?
If you love details and have an eagle eye for errors, this could be the perfect job for you. Unlike freelance writing where you need to be knowledgeable on a topic to be able to pitch ideas, the only pitching you have to do as a proofreader is yourself as the right person for the job. It doesn’t require you to know a lot about legal topics, is affordable to get started and allows you lots of freedom on when and where you work. Besides that, court transcript proofreaders are in demand and receive higher rates than general proofreaders.
It Requires a Single Skill Set
Though court transcript proofreading requires you to proofread legal transcripts, the rules of proofreading are basically the same. You’re primarily looking for proper punctuation and spelling. You’ll be focused less on grammar since transcripts are a reflection of the spoken word, and people don’t always speak with what would be proper grammar on the page. You do have to learn the formatting, but that isn't that hard.
While you may be proofreading court transcripts on different legal topics, the skills needed to proofread each of them don't vary much. Proofreading is fantastic for people that don’t want to always be coming up with different ideas for posts to write. Freelance writers have to be knowledgeable about several topics with the ability to pitch ideas, so if that isn’t your thing, proofreading court transcripts could be just what you need to start making money from home.
Work When You Want as a Freelance Court Transcript Proofreader
While the turnaround time requested may be just 2-3 days, as long as you meet the deadline you can work when you want. What makes this better than freelance writing is that it is easier to start and stop the work. Since you are proofreading, you can mark where you left off and get started without having to worry about the previous work on the document. Writing, on the other hand, requires to you finish a thought before taking a break. Then to get started again you usually have to review what you’ve already written before continuing the work.
The ease of starting and stopping makes this perfect for stay at home moms, whose days are full of constant interruptions, be it the phone, a sibling fight, work around the house. There is always something coming up so being able to work in even the smallest increments of time is a life saver.
The Start Up Costs are Minimal
Most court transcript proofreaders work from a tablet with Proofread Anywhere recommending an iPad and the iAnnotate App, the App only costing $9.99. You may already have the iPad or some other tablet, if not you can get a refurbished iPad for around $200.
Given that proofreaders are able to charge anywhere from $0.35 – $0.65 per page you could earn back the start-up costs of the iPad and App with a just a few days of work depending on your speed and accuracy.
You Choose How Much You Make
The more you work, the more you make. Court transcript proofreaders are typically paid per page. While your rates may increase some over time, the increase in pay comes from getting better at what you do.
The more proofreading you do, the faster you will get at proofreading. The faster you are, the higher your hourly rate. You’ll start making more in the same amount of time or even be able to cut back how much you work.
You Can Work From Anywhere
Since the tablet is mobile, so is your ability to work. Once you have the document loaded into the App, you don't need the internet to use the App to proofread and mark up the transcript. Work from a doctor’s waiting room, the airport, the long line at the DMV, or even while you wait for your child or significant other to finish getting ready.
So how does this sound? Does it fit with your skill set? Might it work with your schedule? Have you proofread before? Check out this free proofreading course to see what you think.
Or do you just have thoughts or questions? We are waiting to respond!