If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the changes going on in the transcription industry, you’re not alone. The stenographic shortage has been challenging, and there’s a natural hesitance that comes with embracing new technologies.
However, industry professionals who want to be relevant in 2030 can no longer ignore the digital transformation that is occurring in the market.
The Need for Legal Transcription Will Continue Increasing
As indicated by a new intelligence report by Future Market Insights (FMI), legal transcription is already a significant market, accounting for $3B USD in 2018. “The market value is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of ~6%” and “the demand for legal transcription services from legal attorneys is likely to increase at the CAGR of ~8%” during the next decade.
As technology expands, we have more media and forms of communication, meaning there is much more content to transcribe: phone calls, personal videos, social media videos, surveillance camera footage, investigation recordings and voice-activated virtual assistant recordings, to name a few.
Technology also makes it easier to get a higher quantity of content transcribed at a faster pace, and often at a better price, without compromising quality or security.
Turning to Digital Legal Transcription
As the report points out, “the deployment of legal transcription over the cloud is a significant trend,” which “is expected to contribute to significant growth” over the next 10 years. The industry is projected to increasingly turn to digital solutions.
“Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics are gradually entering into legal tech platforms, and legal transcription is no exception… Automated speech recognition (ASR) has held a grip of law firms to transcribe speech and other information in real-time. Use of AI-driven, digital voice, and video capture technology and services for legal transcription helps streamline documentation processing and boost efficiency,” stated FMI.
Tech also boosts accuracy and provides faster turnaround times. In an industry where a mistake in one sentence can change somebody’s entire life, the ability to transcribe audio quickly, accurately, differentiate between voices with ease (thanks to ASR) and understand technical legal terms (thanks to machine learning), is key.
Due to AI, turnaround times will continue to be faster than traditional methods, helping agencies serve more clients, prepare more cases, provide clients with justice faster, and save taxpayer money. It comes as little surprise that all 50 states have already approved digital court reporting.
In making the switch to digital transcription, security tends to also be a common concern. Yet with the right technology and cybersecurity, professionals shouldn’t fear. “Keeping a track of conversation to legally document the progress of cases becomes difficult with conventional methods, the transition to e-documentation is considered a real option,” explained FMI. Today’s cybersecurity solutions are clearly more powerful than putting a lock on a drawer filled with important paper materials.
Understand Your Clients: The Real Reasons Behind the Transition to Digital Legal Transcription
The market is changing as a response to the needs and expectations of clients. While accuracy, efficiency and security are the most obvious reasons to transition into digital, the report revealed additional items to consider.
The Demand for Legal Automation, Personalization and Lower Costs
As all industries evolve with technology to provide more efficient, yet personalized experiences, customers “continue to demand personalized legal advice at reasonable prices. Legal transcription market players are thus hard-pressed to automate their process and offer cost-effective services,” reported FMI. Law firms that serve businesses are often required to review larger amounts of content than consumer-facing law firms, and are expected to understand data across jurisdictions, which makes the need to transition into digital even more significant.
Law Firms Want More Time With Clients & Less Paperwork
Law firms want to increase their available time for clients and provide more human-to-human interaction. Reducing time spent on bureaucracy involving transcription, or reducing wait time for transcriptions, with key tech will leave them with more time for strategic client casework.
Law Firms Want More Budget Predictability and Transparency
Legal “customers are demanding more predictability and pricing transparency when it comes to legal transcription services spending,” FMI reported.
There’s a limited availability of stenographers and human challenges, such as unavailability due to sickness or the need to listen to a recording over and over again to understand an unclear word or differentiate between voices. Digital tools make it much easier to provide budget predictability and transparency.
Transitioning into Digital & Hiring Based on Social Responsibility
While the FMI report did not tap into this issue, transitioning into digital legal transcription is another step toward going paperless in an industry that relies heavily on documents. In 2015, 90% of US consumers surveyed said they were willing to switch providers to a company that advocates for a cause.
With a growing awareness of climate change, being proactive about going paperless is one of the easiest ways law firms can differentiate themselves. Agencies that transition into digital and provide paperless legal transcription can help them do that.
How To Effectively Transition to Digital Legal Transcription
Transitioning into digital shouldn’t be overwhelming. Check out our resources for how-to guides, ways to overcome common concerns that might come up, and advice on how much budget to set aside.