Legal Transcription Careers
A sluggish economy profoundly affects jobs so resourceful people look for alternative career opportunities. As we keep saying, medical and legal careers are good options. In this release, we are going to discuss legal careers. We provide paralegal, transcription and legal assistant, all good opportunities. The topic is about legal transcription, a great choice for those who are committed to work at home. Work is readily available in transcription from the Internet (and of course local area attorneys’ offices). It can be done either part-time or full-time.
Legal transcriptionists (LTs) work directly for attorneys, insurance companies, federal and state government or they may contract with transcription service owners. They produce documents transcribed from audio recordings. Recordings are usually downloaded from a server and then transcribed using MS Word or WordPerfect. They are then transmitted to the attorney or other entity. Pay varies by required turnaround time, difficulty of work, and whether one is working for a service or directly for other clients. Two dollars or more per typed page is the average rate.
Unlike medical transcription, legal transcription (LT) terminology is not difficult to learn. Most courses include 5-10 hours of dictation practice. And, fortunately, lawyers tend to speak clearly as they fully understand the ramifications of errata in legal documents. Hearings are a little more complicated. What kind of information is transcribed? Contracts, letters, pleadings, complaints, court hearings, administrative reviews, disability determination findings, insurance investigations, etc., are typical. A good training program must provide a good sample of various kinds of dictation. English grammar and typing skills are definitely required.
The only downside is that production typing is sometimes hard on the wrists, back and neck, and the eyes, sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours at a time. With the use of proper ergonomics in a home office will really alleviate stress on wrists, back, eyes, and neck. A good ergonomic keyboard, large high resolution monitor, and adjustable high-quality office chair are recommended.
The investment to learn legal transcription is reasonable. Training costs at most schools are less than $1500.00 (Meditec’s program is $1364.00). Meditec’s program includes the foot pedal and transcription software (starts and stops dictation). It is advisable to have a few good legal references on hand such as Black’s Law Dictionary, a good English dictionary, legal spellchecking software, and a good English style guide like The Gregg Manual. A prerequisite is proficiency in using word processors and understanding computer software generally (Windows, and FTP protocols that allow up- and downloading files, and Email).
Legal transcriptionists must have an eagle eye for detail. In addition to transcribing they may also find work doing proofreading for court reporters. Court reporters produce documents that require further proofing and editing. The proofreader goes through the reporter’s document looking for typos and editing punctuation. Proofreaders earn about $0.40 per page. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind that a good editor can proof about 40 pages or more per hour. A good court reporter won’t have more than 3 errors or so per page and some pages don’t contain errors at all, but still need to be proofed at the per unit price.
Remember too that In a slow economy, the legal and medical fields tend to hold up economically since the need for medical care and the litigation processes do not diminish. A huge benefit to working as a legal transcriptionist is that you are not dependent on your local economy for work. You can live in Florida and work for a service in New York because it is all done online. Of course, area clients are also a good possibility.
Independent Contracting (IC)
Working at home (remotely) in various jobs, such as medical and legal transcription, coding and billing, requires establishing agreements/contracts relating to the work and pay involved. What are the ramifications? No matter what the work involves, you have to understand how to protect yourself and your assets. What does being an independent contractor entail and what should you be cognizant of along the way.
First, an independent contractor is self-employed and utilizes a contract agreement to provide goods or services to a client/customer. Frequently asked questions and guidelines are noted to help you understand contracting.
Q1. Who do independent contractors and consultants typically work for?
A. ICs work for virtually any industry or service, e.g., information technology, patient care, web development, consumer products, and manufacturing, to name a few. Businesses both large and small often utilize the services of an IC for a variety of jobs. Remote employment has become more typical and ICs are set up to do the work accordingly.
Q2. How do independent contractors receive payment?
A. Typically, most companies will disclose exactly what they expect and the terms and conditions in a written agreement. A written contract is needed. The agreement should specify how the IC is to be paid and what the timeframe for the deliverables and the payment will be. All of the terms should be clearly defined, incorporated and signed before work commences. If the organization you plan to work for does not provide a contract, templates are readily available online or through business specialties. Examples are provided in our course material (HomeBizBook) available with any of the courses we offer.
Q3. What, if any, risks and responsibilities are involved with working as an independent contractor?
A. There are some risks and responsibilities associated with self-employment, including being personally responsible for tax obligations, health insurance, managing billing and collections; and maintaining current and necessary licensing and insurance. Also consider the legal responsibilities and the exposure associated with job performance and how and when payment is due and what the penalties may be for failure to perform by either party.
Q4. Are independent contractors protected by any employment laws?
A. While this varies by state, independent contractors and self-employed consultants typically are not protected by employment laws, making written agreements even more vital. Regulatory statutes such as workers’ compensation, would not necessarily apply to independent contractors. The same is true on policy/law relating to discrimination or harassment (equal opportunity law).
Q5. If a client is not satisfied with the quality of performance, product or service, what are the ramifications?
A. As the contractor or consultant, you are usually responsible for satisfying specific performance expectations, which should be set in your agreement. The agreement should outline in as much detail as possible how dissatisfaction or a problem will be rectified. For instance, if it’s a product, will you allow returns for a refund, or for a service-related job, will you modify until it is correct?
Q6. What if a client asks me to sign an agreement immediately?
A. Any reputable organization should give you time to consider the agreement before asking you to sign it. If they don’t allow you adequate time to think it over or consult with others that may be a red flag. Before signing a contract, a good rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours to review the opportunity and determine if it’s in line with your working goals, (as well as time to discuss with a trusted professional).
Summary: Contractual agreements are essential to maintaining mutually beneficial business relationships, especially for independent contractors and consultants. In today’s business climate, they are not only useful tools, but can also protect your business and your personal assets.
There are several types of contracts to be aware of, many of which are bundled together within contract template software packages. Potential types are: Consulting Service Agreements, Employment Contracts, Network Installation and Maintenance, Staffing and Placement, Independent Contractor/Subcontractor, etc.
*Some of the information in this article from James Cochran, Contract Edge, a provider of contract template software .
Spellex Spellchecking Software
As a Meditec instructor in both the healthcare and legal programs, I am always on the lookout for great products to make my job easier, and to recommend to students.
I recently had the opportunity to evaluate the Spellex spellchecking software. I reviewed the Perfect Defense bundle which includes the legal/medical/pharmaceutical package. I needed a spellchecker that could handle both medical and legal work. I found many legal spellcheckers and medical spellcheckers were available. However, when you install them as separate programs, they may conflict and as a result, may not work well. I needed a program that had both high-end medical and legal spellchecking capability without any conflicts. I found the solution in the Spellex Perfect Defense bundle. I just love it!
It’s true you can buy from different vendors various specialty-specific spellcheckers. I’ve used several in the medical field for many years. What I like about Spellex is that it is in one program, is easy to install, and simple to use. I have found it to be a very fine product. I can heartily recommend it to others. See for yourself: Spellex. http://www.spellex.com Review by Dawn Moreno, Instructor
My name is Mary B. Due to the economic downfall I was laid off from work and decided to change careers to become a medical transcriptionist and work from home. After many hours of research I decided Meditec was for me. The benefit of having the Jumpstart internship added into the course was the deciding factor for why I chose Meditec. I signed up, received all the necessary tools within a week, and excitedly began the course. I enjoyed each session so much I found it hard to quit and wanted to keep going and learn what the next session was about. The course is well written, very easy to understand, and actually a fun and exciting course to take. Meditec allows 12 months to complete the course and I completed it in less than 6 months and aced the final exams. I’m now looking forward to starting the internship program and becoming a work at home medical transcriptionist. Thank you Meditec! If anyone is interested in taking a medical transcriptionist course, I highly recommend Meditec. If I can ace the finals in less than 6 months, I know you can too.
Instructor Response: Mary, we are all so proud of your success in the program. I know you’ll do well in the internship. Best wishes to your for a successful career as a work at home medical transcriptionist. Dawn Moreno, Instructor
TIP OF THE DAY
Skin Blemishes? Honey remedy for skin blemishes….. Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.
Fast Taco Salad
2 pounds ground beef
2 Taco seasoning packets
2 bags shredded lettuce
2 large cans drained diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, or even a large jar of salsa
Taco shells 18
Tostitos Lime Chips
2 cups shredded cheese
Cook ground beef and drain. Add in Taco seasoning packets (and water, if required) and simmer. To prepare salads: On a plate break in half 2 taco shells and set on plate. Add meat mixture. Add lettuce. Add tomatoes. Add cheese. Add taco sauce. Crush a handful of lime chips on top. Top w/ sour cream and serve.
Funny Stuff – Words & Phrases – What’s a “Wake”?
Have to go back to 1500s in England: Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and so they were prepared for burial. They were “laid out” on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if the person would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake. Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Because never in a million years would I have figured it out. Jari D
Don’t Forget Student Referrals
How would you like to help a friend and earn $100 in the process?
With our unique referral program, the person you refer gets 10% off ANY of our training programs and you receive $100 when they enroll. Refer as many people as you like, there is no limit on the reward dollars you can earn.
Read all about it: http://www.meditec.com/student-referral-program/
Positive Thoughts For May
Spring is the time of renewal, growth, and change. The season changes from cold to warm. Rains come to make way for plants and flowers to grow and flourish. Tune into Mother Nature and use this time to renew your life, grow, and change. Is there something that you want to do that you have been putting off? Is there a positive change that you’d like to make in your life that you’ve been procrastinating about? If so, this is the time of year to consider taking positive action toward you goals. Renew. Grow. Change. Good words for the Spring of 2011!
And last, the monthly specials feature…
MAY’s MONTHLY SPECIAL
Our Legal Transcription Course is a great way to get into the legal workforce. Great work at home opportunities.
Special Price is $1159 (list is $1364) so save over $205! [And you may finance the course at the special price with our in-house payment plan for up to 24 months].
As an added BONUS, when you order the May Special and pay in full, you will also receive a FREE iPod shuffle.
Go to: http://www.meditec.com/specials/