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Transcribing is one of the most popular ways to make money online, but did you know that there are sub-niches within the transcription industry? One of those niches is legal transcription, which involves transcribing court proceedings, depositions, and other audio files that are used within the legal system.
Transcribe Anywhere’s Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice is a comprehensive course that aims to turn you into a specialized transcriptionist that can make a solid, full-time living from home.
This Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice review digs into the course to find out if it lives up to its claims.
Introduction to Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice
Janet Shaughnessy is a professional transcriptionist and creator of two primary transcription courses, Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice, and General Transcription Theory & Practice. She specifically designed her Legal Transcription course to be fully comprehensive so that it is not just a source of information, but a complete education on legal transcription.
Legal transcription is a more specialized area of transcribing and one that is in high demand. Attorneys, insurance companies, and research institutions all have need for legal transcriptionists, but it’s a job that requires special training and skills. This course aims to provide just that.
- Free introductory course to help you determine if the full course is right for you
- Self-paced, easy-to-follow lessons
- More than 80 pages of legal terms and phrases in printable format
- Lots of practice audio that prepares you for real work as a legal transcriptionist
- Templates for various transcription documents
- Videos on how to find prospects via LinkedIn
- Videos of MS Word shortcuts for transcriptionists
- Fantastic support
- Teaches a marketable skill that can enable you to work part-time or full-time
- Lifetime access to the course including all updates
- Some additional start-up costs are involved as you need to purchase special equipment for transcribing
- Some students felt that the course could be more helpful if it had the marketing aspects required for a freelance transcription business
- Prospect sourcing seems geared towards working for companies (this is only a con for people who want to be freelancers)
- No refund policy
- Not ideal for non-U.S. citizens as it is based on the U.S legal system
Legal Transcription: General Theory & Practice Course Overview
Legal transcription can be a very lucrative way to make a living from home, but it isn’t for everyone. Janet is clear about this to prospective students and insists that you must meet three qualifications in order to succeed as a legal transcriptionist:
- You must work hard and understand that transcription isn’t a “get rich overnight” scheme
- You must be ready to pay your dues by practicing and learning the necessary skills
- You must be willing to ask for help (which is made easy to do through the course’s fantastic support system)
Depending on how quickly you learn and how often you practice, it might take longer than the time it takes you to complete the course before you become successful.
Who Is This Course For?
This course is for anyone who is interested in learning a marketable skill that will enable them to work from home, and is willing to put in the time and effort to learn that skill well. It’s particularly helpful for those who are totally new to transcription as there are lots of lessons and practice audio for beginners.
Even those who have some experience with transcription may benefit from the course in order to specialize in legal transcription to earn a higher income or to get certification that carries some weight on a resume.
The course isn’t for those who are looking to get rich overnight, or get rich at all for that matter; Janet is very transparent about the fact that you can make a solid living transcribing from home, but you’re not going to get rich from it.
In other words, this course is for people who are serious about learning a new skill and are willing to do what it takes to build a business from the ground up. The course provides the blueprint, but only the student can build the business. (This is true of any good business course!)
In addition to the lessons that incorporate text and videos to teach legal transcription, the course also includes lots of practice audio and links to helpful materials.
There are also over 25 practice diction files at 9 different levels to help students brush up on their skills before taking the exam.
Other resources include:
- Writing and style guides
- Document templates
- Legal resources
- Medical resources
Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice Course Outline
The course contains 14 in-depth modules. You can find the full course syllabus here.
In a nutshell, the modules cover the following aspects of becoming a legal transcriptionist:
- Tools of the Trade including an overview of the equipment you’ll need and typing speed drills
- English and Latin legal terminology
- MS Word for transcriptionists, including shortcut keys and modern usage notes
- Basic legal correspondence and practice dictation
- An overview of the legal process and court procedures
- Court forms and templates used in judicial proceedings
- Guidelines and practice for transcribing depositions
- Links to every single state for court reporters
- LinkedIn videos showing how to use the platform as a transcriptionist
- Overview and practice of transcribing various law enforcement transcripts
- Overview and practice of transcribing legal association meetings and conferences
- Producing legal documents with time stamps
- Final exam
- Business development strategy including how much to charge for your services, building a website, where to find work, and opportunities for expanding your services.
As you can see, the bulk of the course is very heavily focused on developing your skillset, and there is one module at the end about how to build a business as a contract transcriptionist. While the business development module is helpful and enough for many students to build a business from scratch, some students may wish for some additional training in the marketing aspect of becoming a virtual transcriptionist.
That said, there is some marketing and advertising training to be found, including how to source prospects on LinkedIn and other social media outlets. This is enough for most students to get their business off the ground.
You will learn the skills you need to do the job. There are past graduates of the course who eventually needed to outsource to other legal transcriptionists, and they themselves seek graduates of the course to hire!
Past students also confirm that Janet continues to implement new teaching tools and make the course better. For example, at one time the course consisted of audio and video, but Janet has since added written material to refer to as well.
There is a Facebook group where students of the course can ask questions or seek out help from the moderators, who are very quick to respond. Students are also welcome to email for support, and past graduates say they are fast to respond.
The past graduates we spoke with gushed that the support provided by Janet and her team is fantastic and that the Facebook group is a strong value-add to the course.
The course itself also includes lots of links to external resources that are helpful as well.
Educational Qualifications & Skills Required
Transcription isn’t for everyone but there are some skills and abilities that signal you would make a great transcriptionist:
- Work ethic: You must be willing to put in the time to learn the skills needed to be a good transcriptionist
- Focused: You need to be able to sit for long periods of time and stay focused on the audio you’re transcribing
- An eye for detail: You need to be able to catch small mistakes and produce highly accurate documents
- Typing Skills: You must be a fast typist or be willing to practice increasing your typing speed
- Organized: You need to have top-notch organizational skills
- Well-versed in the English language: You must have excellent English, spelling and grammar skills
- Reliable: You need to be dependable with excellent communication skills
- Positive Attitude: You will need to be able to take constructive criticism; learning legal transcription does have a bit of a learning curve and you’ll need to learn from your mistakes!
- Listening Skills: You’ll need to have a keen ear as the job entails making transcripts of audio files
This is one business where investing in some equipment is required, including a pair of high-quality headphones and a foot pedal. The course does provide guidance on choosing the best equipment for your needs.
Other than that, you will need a comfortable workspace where you can sit for extended periods of time to work.
Legal Transcription: General Theory & Practice full course is currently available to purchase for a one-time tuition fee of $697 USD with lifetime access. There are also 2 “pay-as-you-go” options:
- Level 1: Learn – Learning the basics with the first four modules of the course. (30 Day Access): $197
- Level 2: Practice – Access modules 1-9 for 60 days: $497 (or $300 to upgrade from level 1)
- Level 3: Build & Market – The full course with all modules and lifetime access: $697 (or $500 upgrade from Level 1; $200 upgrade from Level 2)
The course does NOT offer a refund policy of any kind. However, there is a “100% thorough” guarantee, which means that if you feel there is something missing from the course that would help you succeed, they will add it to the course. So if you do take the course and feel it is lacking in an area, you can send a request to Janet to have content added.
That said, you can take the free introductory course which should give you a good idea as to if you like Janet as an instructor and you think legal transcription is a good fit for you.
Also, you don’t spend any extra money on the finance option as is common for courses with multi-payment options. In my opinion, those two things make up for the no-refund policy, as you can get a taste of the course with the first payment option without going all-in.
The course is incredibly comprehensive and provides you with all the tools you need to develop the skills of a legal transcriptionist, even if you have no prior experience in transcription. Like any quality training, you will get results if you put in the work. It may take time to develop the skills, but this training will guide you each step of the way.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to thoroughly learn the skills you need to succeed without having to pay for expensive college classes.
Verdict: It’s a legitimate course that can facilitate an anywhere and anytime career!
Interested in learning more about Transcribe Anywhere and the legal transcription course? You can take Janet’s free introductory course, or you can check out our interview with Janet about transcription basics.
Janet has also written an ebook called The Truth About Transcription, which helps to separate fact from fiction about the transcribing industry so that you can make a more informed decision on whether or not to pursue it as a career or side-hustle.
Last but not least, you can find our review on Transcribe Anywhere’s original course, General Transcription: Theory & Practice.
If you’re more interested in general transcription, Janet also has a free introductory course as well as a full paid program for general transcription that you can check out below!:
Do you have any questions about this Legal Transcription: Theory and Practice review? Let us know in the comments and we will do our best to help! If we don’t know the answer, we are happy to reach out to the course creator to find out as well.