Back in 2005 when I started working at a legal transcription company, I was amused at why lawyers dictate their correspondences and reports to be typed up by us, transcriptionists.
My first thought was: can’t they simply type their emails up themselves? I mean, most of the emails, memos and letters were not even a page long.
What I couldn’t fathom at that time was, it’s not a matter of writing an email or two a day for lawyers. Lawyers send at least 10-20 emails a day; another, maybe, 20 memos and a few reports each day.
If they were to type themselves they’d easily spend half the day typing, which is not a very efficient way to spend your time as a lawyer.
Instead, in their wisdom, they spend 30 mins to 1 hour dictating their correspondences. These dictations are then typed and delivered to them by transcribers. Thus, lawyers are able to spend more time on other critical tasks.
Another benefit of dictation transcription is that, consistency of language and spelling is maintained by transcribers typing their dictations. Hence, in all of their correspondences their ‘brand’ is maintained consistently.
The act of dictating letters and emails is a very efficient way of managing your correspondences specifically and your professional life in general.
Now with years of experience as a transcriber, I’m aware that it’s not only lawyers who dictate their correspondences. Other professionals like doctors, real estate surveyors, CEOs, too, dictate their letters, emails and reports. These are then sent to transcribers to be typed up. Even audit firms like KPMG uses the services of transcribers to get their dictations transcribed.
Personally, transcribing dictation is a favorite of mine. Dictations are, by default, a one-person recording therefore they’re much easier to transcribe than say, focus group recordings.
Dictation transcriptions are usually done in “clean read” style of transcription. This means that letters and emails are transcribed in formal writing style as opposed to verbatim. Care is taken to follow the templates provided by clients.
If you’re a professional who dictates your correspondences, how useful is transcription to you? Feel free to chime in!