Why would someone want to become a court transcript proofreader? What responsibilities do they have? How do these proofreaders help the legal system to function? What are the advantages of becoming a court transcript proofreader?
In this post, we'll take a look first at what court transcript proofreaders do, then explore five reasons why you might want to become a court transcript proofreader.
Have you ever watched a legal procedural show and noticed someone typing at a small machine? Sometimes the judge will dramatically instruct them to “strike that from the record.”
Court reporters use stenography machines to report the trial proceedings. Later, they translate the stenotype language into a record called a transcript. This work is very time sensitive, and needs to be error-free. Mistakes can lead to further litigation. When you become a court transcript proofreader, your job will be to go through the transcripts and note any errors. This work allows the court reporter to focus on being in the courtroom rather than proofreading.
In addition to courtroom processes, legal transcripts can also generated from depositions that take place elsewhere. Accuracy and cleanly written transcripts are hugely important in the practice of law, wherever the record originated. For this reason, many law firms may even require that the transcriptionist/stenographer have their transcripts proofread.
This is why there is a demand for court transcript proofreaders to review the transcript for proper punctuation, spelling, and phrasing. Court transcript proofreaders usually don't make the changes. Their job is simply to mark the edits that need to be made.
Why Become a Court Transcript Proofreader?
If you love details and have an eagle eye for punctuation and spelling errors, you might want to become a court transcript proofreader. You don't need to know a lot about legal topics to do this work. It's an affordable career to start. It also 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. So if you're already a general proofreader, legal transcript proofreader is an additional, upgraded service you can offer.
1. You Only Need a Single Skill Set to Become a Court Transcript Proofreader
Though court transcript proofreading requires you to work with legal documents, the rules of proofreading are basically the same for any project. You’re primarily looking for proper punctuation and spelling. You won't be as focused on grammar. Transcripts are a reflection of the spoken word, and people don't always speak with grammatical correctness.
So, while it's not for everybody, if you're skilled at punctuation and spelling, plus able to ignore any grammatical issues with the spoken words in a document, you might make an excellent transcript proofreader. While you may be working with transcripts on different legal topics when you become a court transcript proofreader, the skills needed don't vary much from project to project. So if you're skilled at spotting errors and can learn the formatting, proofreading court transcripts may be a great way to start making money from home.
You will need to learn how to properly format your work, and a course like Proofread Anywhere can prepare you with the knowledge you need. The learning may be challenging, but if your talents are a good match and dedicate yourself to the course, you will be ready to serve clients when you graduate.
2. Work When You Want
While the turnaround time requested may be just 2-3 days, as long as you meet the deadline you can work when it fits your life. With proofreading, you can easily mark where you left off in a document. When you're ready to get back to work, you can just pick up where you left off.
The ease of starting and stopping makes this perfect for stay-at-home moms whose days are full of interruptions. If you're dealing with car pooling, the phone, a sibling fight, and work around the house, you can still do this work. There aren't many work-from-home opportunites you can do even a few minutes at a time. If you become a court transcript proofreader, you can!
3. The Start Up Costs are Minimal to Become a Court Transcript Proofreader
Most court transcript proofreaders work from a tablet with Proofread Anywhere recommending an iPad and the $9.99 iAnnotate App. You may already have an iPad. If not, you can get a refurbished iPad for under $300.
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.
4. 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. 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.
5. If You Become a Court Transcript Proofreader, You Can Work From Anywhere
Since your work tablet is mobile, so is your ability to work. Once you have your assigned document loaded into the iAnnotate App, you don't even need the internet to proofread and mark up the transcript. That means you can work from a doctor’s waiting room, the airport, the long line at the DMV, or even while you wait to pick up your kids from school.
Conclusion: Ready to Become a Court Transcript Proofreader?
Court transcript proofreaders need a very specific set of skills. If you have these and the proper training, there are some great reasons to become a court transcript proofreader.
Would you like to become a court transcript proofreader? Does this work fit well with your skill set? Might it be a good match for your family's schedule? Have you proofread before? Check out this free proofreading course to see what you think. Still have questions? We are waiting to respond!