Do legal topics interest you? Do you want the flexibility of working from home, consider yourself good with language, and like a good challenge? Does the idea of a college-level income, without the college-level cost, appeal to you? If so, a career as a scopist might be the perfect choice for you. Our Internet Scoping School review can help you decide whether or not to consider this comprehensive scopist training program.
Maybe you’ve heard of scoping but aren’t quite sure what it is. Or maybe you’ve never heard of it at all. You’re definitely not alone. It’s the work-from-home career most have never heard of!
As one ISS graduate explains, “It is a scopist’s job to go over a transcript with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is translated correctly, punctuated properly, and formatted appropriately.”
Quality scopists are in high demand, and the ISS graduates we've spoken to have all the work they want (and sometimes need to turn work down!).
So what exactly is scoping?
Scopists edit legal transcripts for court reporters. During legal proceedings, court reporters type what they hear on a steno writer and use computer software to transcribe these steno notes.
The scopist receives this transcript and audio from the court reporter. Then they edit the transcript to exactly match the audio. Simple as that may sound, there are a number of skills required to return a professionally edited legal transcript.
That's where Internet Scoping School comes in. This program includes everything you need to know to become a successful scopist, even without any prior knowledge of legal transcript editing. Read on for our in-depth Internet Scoping school review.
Introduction to Internet Scoping School
Linda Evenson created Internet Scoping School (ISS) in 1998 after she saw a need for a good, thorough training program for scopists. As she describes the situation, “Court reporters were drowning in work and needed help,” but “there just weren’t enough good scopists to go around.”
Internet Scoping School provides comprehensive, self-paced training covering a wide range of topics related to scoping. From the basics to more advanced concepts and skills, it's all here. Over the years, the course has been updated and expanded, but the core remains the same.
In the fall of 2016, Internet Scoping School launched a new website. It is very user-friendly and loaded with information about the training program and the career. Now, you will not only benefit from Linda’s 40+ years of scoping experience through web-based training modules, but you also have lifetime access to a supportive network via a private Facebook group for students and graduates of the course.
Internet Scoping School Course in a Nutshell
- The course teaches you everything you need to know to build a successful scoping business, including how to market your business and red flags to watch out for as you’re running your business
- You don’t need a legal background to take the course; however, if you have a substantial knowledge-base in the field, there is an option to “test out” of some of the modules
- You can work on the course at your own pace
- ISS is made up of easy-to-navigate modules, which are broken down into manageable lessons
- The course provides lots of practice – you learning by doing what you first read about
- This course provides a high-level of support through the ability to email questions directly to the course creator, through access to a private Facebook group and via Anydesk where your instructor can access your computer and help you understand concepts within the training
- There is a free introductory course so you can see what scoping is all about before you make an investment
- The Scoping Fundamentals (initial) module can be purchased separately to learn the basics of scoping and see if it’s the right fit for you before investing in the whole course
- The course is reasonably priced considering everything the course covers, and it offers a way to make a college-level income without the college-level costs
- It has flexible payment options
- You can take on the amount of work you want, and you can scale back or increase as needed over time
- Scoping is a highly network-based career; if a scopist does high-quality work, they are likely to get referrals for more
- Lifetime access to course materials, updates, and support
- This course is recommended by the National Court Reporters Association
- It‘s not for everyone; you need to have excellent punctuation, word use, and vocabulary
- It requires self-motivation to complete the course and get results
- ISS is not a “quick-fix;” it will take hard work to get your “scoping legs” and keep your business going
- It will take time to build up your client base
- Increasing speed as a scopist takes time, so it may take a while to build a substantial income from scoping
Internet Scoping School Overview
Internet Scoping School is an intensive online course that teaches the skills needed to build a professional career as a scopist. If you don't have any previous knowledge of court reporting, scoping, or the legal field, you will start with Scoping Fundamentals rather than the full course. This module is designed to give you the basics you'll need to know before you start your official scoping training. This module can be purchased separately from the main course. Once you have successfully completed it, you'll be able to purchase the remaining modules of Internet Scoping School.
These modules include the specialized information you need to know to competently perform the job of a scopist, from training in relevant software and skills to additional tips for running a successful scoping business. Each module is broken down into short, mostly task-based lessons.
Internet Scoping School is designed to fully equip you to take on your first client as soon as you complete the course. Each lesson ends with a self-graded quiz, and each module concludes with a final exam, hand graded partially or completely by Linda Evenson.
Your final task is to edit a transcript according to a reporter’s preferences, just as you will do with your real-life scoping clients. This will give you the confidence and experience you'll need to seek out your first clients.
Who Internet Scoping School is for
This course is for individuals who want to have a professional work-from-home business and are willing to invest in longer-term training. It’s great for moms who want the option to be home with sick kids or to attend field trips and appointments, individuals ready to retire from a cubicle or a commute, or someone with health concerns that would make working a standard workday difficult. If you want to work on your own schedule, taking on as little or as much work as you choose, scoping can be an ideal career for you.
That being said, there are some traits a successful scopist needs to have.
It is important that you:
- Have excellent word skills
- Are self-motivated
- Are willing to work hard
- Want a “desk job,” but without the boss or commute
- Don’t mind working solo
- Have good time management skills so that you can meet your clients' deadlines
ISS training and resources
Linda has created a comprehensive course that covers the skills you need to be a scopist. You will also learn how to market your business and additional, practical business tips. Through the course, Linda freely shares her knowledge from 35 years of working as a scopist.
The course either begins with Scoping Fundamentals, if you need introductory lessons on scoping and common word usage mistakes. This module ends with a test.
After completing Scoping Fundamentals, you will understand what a court reporter does and how steno works. You'll be familiar with transcripts, formatting, vocabulary specific to the field, common errors, and more. You will also have a good idea whether you the foundational skills needed to be a scopist, and if you're likely to enjoy this career.
Following successful completion of Scoping Fundamentals, the seven remaining sections of Internet Scoping School dig deeper to present all the knowledge you'll need to build your scoping business. ISS uses training videos, downloadable workbooks, answer keys, and worksheets, along with interactive quizzes, practice transcripts, an online support forum, and bonus reference ebooks.
The remaining modules are:
- Advanced Punctuation
- Medical Terminology
- Transcript Production
- Case CATalyst 4+ Software Training
- Practice Files
- The Successful Professional Scopist
Some of the topics for the remaining seven modules include:
- punctuation rules scopists need to know
- how to read raw steno in transcripts
- understanding common briefs
- medical terminology, including Latin and Greek root words
- how to apply a reporter’s preferences and produce high-quality transcripts
- in-depth software training
- actual transcripts written by court reporters to practice on
- how to run a successful scoping business (relationships, ethics, time management, marketing, taxes, etc.)
ISS has launched a new unit entitled “Legal Terminology.” It will be the first unit in a new section called “Working with Official Reporters.”
In 2022, another unit will be added. “Court Procedures” will cover the different documents and procedures that are used in court, but not in freelance (deposition) transcripts. As the syllabus explains, “This unit will be targeted at scopists who work with official reporters in actual courtroom settings, since there are important differences between those proceedings and depositions.”
Additional resources to be purchased by the student are Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters and A Court Reporter’s Guide to Medical Terminology. Case CATalyst 4+ Software is also needed but doesn’t have to be purchased before enrolling in the course. ISS students receive a discount on this software.
The Internet Scoping School syllabus provides detailed information about each module and the course objectives. You can also check out Linda’s free training or the public Facebook group for more information about scoping.
Information is presented through a variety of media, including:
● Training Videos
● Downloadable (printable) workbooks, answer keys, and worksheets
● Interactive quizzes
● Practice transcripts
● Online support forum
● Bonus reference eBooks
Support provided by ISS
Students receive lifetime access to unlimited email support. Linda prides herself on answering students’ questions. In her opinion, access to her time and expertise is an important part of what Internet Scoping School tuition pays for. This is also something many of the ISS graduates we spoke with mentioned as one of the most positive aspects of the program.
Students also have lifetime access to a private Facebook group. Here, students and graduates of Internet Scoping School share information, resources, and even job referrals. They are also ready to support one another on through the harder times, and celebrate each other's wins.
Technical support is available as needed, and past graduates reported that technical issues are resolved in a timely manner.
Better still, Internet Scoping School uses AnyDesk as part of your course support. Once you've booked an appointment, your instructor can access your computer and help you understand concepts within the training. They can also be on the phone while sharing computer screens to provide you with one-on-one assistance. As you can imagine, this feature is extremely helpful to students who are struggling with difficult scoping concepts!
Since you have lifetime access to the course material, your scoping education never ends! As things change or develop in the world of scoping, you will know about them, because Linda updates the course and keeps members of the online community up-to-date.
Educational qualifications and skills needed
There are no pre-requisite educational qualifications to enroll in ISS. Those without any prior industry knowledge or experience begin with Scoping Fundamentals. Once that is successfully completed, the remaining Internet Scoping School modules will help you learn everything you need to know.
However, there are some basic skills you'll need to be successful:
- Excellent punctuation, word use, and vocabulary are essential
- An understanding of technology
- The ability to work independently
- Computer and high-speed internet
- Word Processing Program such as Word or Google docs
- Ability to download Case CATalyst 4+ Software
- Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters
- A Court Reporter’s Guide to Medical Terminology
Price options for Internet Scoping School
The Scoping Fundamentals Module for students without prior experience costs $197. Upon successful completion of this module, the cost is applied to the price of the full course.
If you have basic knowledge of the industry, you can pay for the whole course as follows:
A la carte prices on the modules are also available, but that is not the preferred method, as it will cost you more overall. It is only a good option if you already have a wide knowledge base in the industry. For those with substantial industry knowledge, test-outs are available along with the possibility of taking an abbreviated version of the course.
Questions on ISS Pricing?
Visit the pricing page at ISS for more detailed explanations of the various pricing options.
My Final Opinion
This course is the real deal for creating a professional, work-from-home career, for the right individual. For those who were considering of taking on debt to earn a college degree, it is an excellent alternative. It will take an investment of time and money, and it will require a big commitment to finish the coursework, which really is intensive and thorough.
But ISS appears to cover all the bases. When students successfully complete this course, they will be equipped to do the work and the marketing necessary to both find and keep clients.
My team's research for this Internet Scoping School review shows that ISS is more comprehensive than you will find with other online scoping courses, including some at much higher prices! Plus, you will benefit further from the online community, AnyDesk support, and Linda's four decades of scoping experience. Add in the fact that Internet Scoping School is recommended by the National Court Reporters Association, and the value of being a graduate of this program is clear.
Keep in mind, though, that students will not be successful if they are not self-motivated. To succeed at scoping, you will have to be proactive about finding clients, especially in the beginning. Also, it takes time to build up your income, because how much you make per hour will depend on your speed, and increasing your speed is a learning process. You won’t want to count on making a substantial income right off the bat.
However, if you follow through with the course and establish a base of clients that are happy with your work, you’ll have a referral-based business with the potential for a very nice work-from-home income. If you’re interested in pursuing scoping further, the free mini-course is a great place to start.
Verdict: It provides a legitimate anywhere anytime career.
Want More Info?
For more information, check out this interview with course creator, Linda Evenson. You’ll get a first-hand look into the world of scoping, learn how scoping might be a rewarding career that fits your busy life, and a glimpse of her sparkling personality.
You can also check out our group interview with 3 scopist graduates of ISS who provide a glimpse of what it’s like to be a scopist! Plus, we have a more recent, in-depth interview with ISS graduate Chelsea Stock (and more graduate interviews in the works and coming soon).
Last but not least, you can visit the Internet Scoping school website and check out their blog, which features informative content written by both Linda and her students!
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about our Internet Scoping School review, and comments are encouraged. If you have anything to share about scoping, I’d love to hear it. Let’s get a discussion going!