Scoping – How to Make $30,000 to $50,000 a Year Editing Legal Transcripts

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how to become a scopist

Scoping is editing court reporters’ transcripts. The court reporting industry calls it editing.

Editing legal transcripts or scoping is one of the fastest growing online jobs in the USA. And according to Linda Evenson, it is one of the hottest at-home jobs in the country.

People are looking for great online jobs that complement their skills and help them make money from home.

Approximately 34% of the workforce in the US was engaged in online jobs in 2017 and that number is expected to increase to 43% by 2020.

Here are some of the reasons why scoping is a popular work from home job:

  • Scopists can work from home or from anywhere.
  • Scopists can work from home on their computer. They don’t have to attend court proceedings.
  • Scoping pays well.
  • Scoping allows you to work your own hours and have a flexible schedule.
  • Scoping is in high demand and there is a steady stream of scoping work. Court reporters are swamped with work and are looking for scopists to reduce their workload.

What is scoping?

Here’s how the process works:

  1. Court reporters record spoken legal proceedings (such as depositions, court cases and hearings) using a stenotype machine.
  2. Court reporters send the audio files and the transcripts (rough notes) to scopists through the Internet. Some court reporters do the scoping themselves but many court reporters outsource scoping to home-based scopists.
  3. Scopists use Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT) software to translate the court reporters’ transcripts from stenotype notes into written text. They edit the transcripts to match the audio as accurately as possible. They correct punctuation, grammar, spelling and formatting, and flag anything the reporter needs to check. Their edited transcript needs to be as close to the final document as possible.
  4. After finishing the work, scopists send the files back to the court reporter. Either the court reporter or a proofreader will do a final edit before sending it to the attorneys.

Want to learn more about scoping?

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Scoping is different from legal transcription

Transcriptionists listen to recordings, use transcription software to listen to the recordings and type what they hear with a word processing program to turn the content of the recording into a typed document.

Scopists use Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT) software to read the court reporter’s stenotype transcripts, transform them into written text and thoroughly edit the transcript.

How much can you make as a scopist?

How much you’ll make will depend on your skills, speed, amount of time you work and how many clients you’re working with. $30,000 to $35,000 is typical income for scopists but some scopists make up to $50,000 and more. Of course, your first year will be slower and you’ll make less as you’ll need to build your skills, speed, contacts and clients. You’ll speed will gradually increase and the more you scope, the faster you’ll get.

Scopists are paid by the page, so the more efficiently you can edit, the more money we can make. Scoping typically pays more than twice as much per page than proofreading. Scoping pays around $1/per page vs 40 cents per page for proofreading.

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Skills Needed

Scoping is not for everyone but can be a great career for the right person. Scoping is suitable for people who have good language and spelling skills and like working on a computer. As for any home business, you must be self-motivated and organized.

How do you become a scopist?

You’ll need a computer, a high-speed internet connection, a few reference books and CAT software.

Getting excellent training is the first step to becoming a professional scopist. A scoping training course should teach you everything you need to know to start scoping. And there is no better place to do get that training than the Internet Scoping School. Check out the free scoping intro course from ISS.

The Internet Scoping School (ISS) was established in 1999 by Linda Evenson, a professional scopist of 37 years. Linda has taught scoping for nearly 20 years and has a proven track record of producing successful and competent scopists. ISS comes highly recommended by the National Court Reporters Association and students who have taken their courses.

Linda says: “I have found court reporters to be very accepting of new scopists, provided they are well trained, do a good job, meet their deadlines, and take good care of their clients. “

The work opportunities for scopists are endless. Head over to ISS today and launch your scoping career on the right foot.

Not sure if scoping is right for you?

to learn more about scoping

To get answers to your questions about scoping I highly recommend subscribing to the FREE SCOPING MINI-COURSE from ISS. The free mini-course will answer your questions and help you find out if scoping is the right work-from-home career for you. Click here to subscribe to the free Scoping mini-course.

Interested in legal transcription?

Explore a career in legal transcription

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