If you answer yes to many of these questions, you should learn more about scoping:
- Do you like to watch crime TV?
- Are you a reader or crossword puzzle fan?
- Do you love working with words?
- Do you dream of having the flexibility to work from home?
- Do you consider yourself good with language, and usually up for a good challenge?
- Does the idea of a college-level income, without the college-level cost, appeal to you?
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. If so, you’re definitely not alone. After all, scoping is the work-from-home career most have never heard of!
As a matter of fact, Linda Evenson, creator of Internet Scoping School (ISS), hadn't heard of scoping until she was expecting her first child. As she tells it: “I heard a friend of a friend was working from home, typing for court reporters. I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and wanted to work from home too. So I called up Kay and asked her about what she was doing.”
When we checked in with one ISS graduate for our Internet Scoping School review, she explained, “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.”
In case you're wondering, 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 who transcribe court hearings, trials, and depositions. During legal proceedings, court reporters type what they hear on a steno writer and use computer software to transcribe these steno notes.
After completing the job, the court reporter hands the transcript and audio off to their scopist, who knows how to edit an official transcript. The scopist then edits the transcript to exactly match the audio. As simple as that may sound, you'll need a number of skills to return a professionally edited legal transcript. Among these are being proficient with legal transcription software, understanding legal transcript formats, legal terminology, and more.
As you might have guessed, 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. So, if becoming a court transcript editor sounds fascinating to you, 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.” And so Internet Scoping School was born.
Internet Scoping School (ISS) 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.
Then, 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 can benefit from Linda’s 40+ years of scoping experience through web-based training modules. In addition, you'll have lifetime access to a supportive network via a private Facebook group for students and graduates of the course.
Linda Evenson explains: I, as the instructor, have many more years of experience than any other teacher. That does count for something as I have worked with many reporters and been in situations that people with less experience haven't. Unlike the other instructors, I have given something back to the profession by giving seminars at state and national conventions, writing a column for the Journal of Court Reporting, and been otherwise involved in the profession.
Internet Scoping School Course in a Nutshell
- You can work on the course at your own pace
- Internet Scoping School has flexible payment options
- ISS is made up of easy-to-navigate modules which are broken down into manageable lessons
- Lifetime access to course materials, updates, and support
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
- The course provides lots of practice – you learn by doing what you first read about
- 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
- 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
- You can purchase Scoping Fundamentals (initial) module separately. You'll 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 it covers, and you can make a college-level income without the college-level costs
- You can take on the amount of work you want, and you can scale back or increase as needed over time
- Scoping is very much a network-based career; if a scopist does high-quality work, s/he is likely to get referrals for more
- This course is recommended by the National Court Reporters Association
- It‘s not for everyone; you need to have an aptitude for English and enjoy working with words
- 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. You will not only learn how to edit legal documents, but also the skills and best practices to run a successful scoping business.
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. Scoping Fundamentals 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 how to set up and develop a thriving career as a scopist. 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. In fact, each lesson ends with a self-graded quiz, and every module concludes with a final exam, hand graded partially or completely by Linda Evenson.
Once you've completed all lessons, your final task is to edit a transcript according to a reporter’s preferences. This is just what you will do when you have real-life scoping clients. By completing this process, you will gain the confidence and experience you'll need to seek out those first clients.
Who Internet Scoping School is for
So, who is ISS for? It's for individuals who want to have a professional work-from-home business and are willing to invest in longer-term training. For example, it's a great option for moms who want the option to be home with kids or to attend field trips and appointments. It's also ideal for individuals ready to retire from a cubicle or a commute, or those with health concerns that would make working a standard workday difficult. In other words, 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” 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. What's more, Linda freely shares her knowledge from 42+ years of working as a scopist throughout the course.
Internet Scoping School begins with Scoping Fundamentals. These are introductory lessons on scoping and common word usage mistakes. This module ends with a test.
Once you complete Scoping Fundamentals, you will understand what a court reporter does and where a scopist fits into the process of producing a transcript. 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 nine remaining sections of Internet Scoping School dig deeper to present all the knowledge you'll need to be a successful scopist. To accomplish this, 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
- Legal Terminology
- The Business of Scoping
- The Successful Professional Scopist
Some of the topics for these modules include:
- in-depth software training
- how to read raw steno in transcripts
- understanding common steno briefs
- punctuation rules scopists need to know
- actual transcripts written by court reporters to practice on
- medical terminology, including Latin and Greek root words
- how to set up bookkeeping, information for taxes, preference forms, etc.
- how to apply a reporter’s preferences and produce high-quality transcripts
- how to run a successful scoping business (relationships, ethics, time management, marketing, etc.)
Additional resources to be purchased by the student are Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation by Marie Wakeman Wells, and A Court Reporter’s Guide to Medical Terminology, available for purchase at ncra.org. The newest version of Case CATalyst software is also needed but doesn’t have to be purchased before enrolling in the course. ISS students receive a discount on this software.
Ready to learn more? 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.
Additionally, information is presented through a variety of media, including:
- Training Videos
- Interactive quizzes
- Practice transcripts
- Online support forum
- Bonus reference eBooks
- Downloadable (printable) workbooks, answer keys, and worksheets
Support provided by ISS
Students receive lifetime access to unlimited email support. In fact, Linda prides herself on answering students’ questions promptly. In her opinion, access to her time and expertise is an important part of what Internet Scoping School tuition pays for. While we were preparing our Internet Scoping School review, this access was also mentioned by many of the graduates we spoke with as one of the most positive aspects of the program.
Plus, ISS students have lifetime access to a private Facebook group. In this group, students and graduates of Internet Scoping School share information, resources, and even job referrals. They are also ready to support one another through frustration and disappointment 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 its 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
To enroll in Internet Scoping School, applicants should have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. 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:
- Basic computer knowledge
- The ability to work independently
- An aptitude with English and enjoyment of working with words
You'll also need to have the following resources available:
- Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation
- Computer and high-speed internet
- Ability to download Case CATalyst 4+ Software
- A Court Reporter’s Guide to Medical Terminology
- Word Processing Program such as Word or Google docs
Price options for Internet Scoping School
The Scoping Fundamentals Module for students without prior experience costs $197. Once you successfully complete of this module, the cost is applied to the price of the full course, which is $3195. This also includes a one-hour one-on-one mentoring session with Lisa Hall Head, a seasoned RealTeam® scopist, member of the CATalyst All Stars, and owner of Triple Threat Scoping Job Board, and a recent addition to the administrative staff of ISS. There are also multiple payment options, so you can learn scoping in a way that's friendly to your budget. Here's the breakdown:
As mentioned above, if you have basic knowledge of the industry, you can skip Scoping Fundamentals. In that case, you'll 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. In fact, this is only a good option if you already have experience in the industry and just want specific training to add to your knowledge. For those with substantial industry knowledge, test-outs are also 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.
Internet Scoping School Review: 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 taking on a great deal of 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. If you're willing to do the work, you will learn how to be a legal document editor. You will not only know how to edit a transcript, but how to run your scoping business. Even better, you'll be ready to go when you graduate.
ISS appears to cover all the bases. When you successfully complete this course, you 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 by far the most comprehensive online scoping course. Plus, you will benefit further from the online community, AnyDesk support, and Linda's more than four decades of scoping experience. Plus, the National Court Reporters Association recommends Internet Scoping School, which adds even more to the value of being a graduate of this program.
You Determine Your Success With ISS
Keep in mind, though, that only self-motivated students will be successful. 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 because your hourly wage 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 learning more about scoping, the free mini-course is a great place to start.
My Internet Scoping School Review 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 your questions about our Internet Scoping School review. I also encourage comments. If you have anything to share about scoping, I’d love to hear it. Let’s get a discussion going!