Legal Transcriptionist

This course prepares you to enter the in-demand field of legal transcription. As litigation continues to rise nationwide and the technology used to capture testimony evolves, there is a tremendous need for legal transcribers. Most legal transcriptionists work from home, which presents a substantial opportunity for those looking to work remotely in a career with a secure future. Legal transcriptionists generally work remotely on contract or staff for court reporting agencies or court systems.


6 Months / 80 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

University of the District of Columbia

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Learning method

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Course code: GES2095

What you will learn

  • How to create an accurate legal transcript
    • Transcript formatting, focusing on federal court systems
    • Parts of speech, proper legal punctuation, and spelling
    • Legal, medical, and industry terminology
  • Professionalism, ethics, and confidentiality
  • Fundamentals of the United States legal system

How you will benefit

  • Develop the skills you need to become a successful legal transcriptionist who can work from home
  • Be in a position to sit for and pass the AAERT's (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers) Certified Electronic Transcriber (CET) exam
  • AAERT certification vastly improves your marketability when applying for work at freelance agencies or court systems, some of which require the certification by law or because of government contracts

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 80 course hours
  1. Transcriptionist Software Setup
  2. Professionalism and the Legal System
    1. Professionalism and Decorum
    2. Ethics
    3. Ethical Issues
    4. Maintain Confidentiality
    5. Transcription Equipment
  3. The Legal System
    1. Court System
    2. Laws
    3. Life Cycle of a Case
    4. Proceedings
    5. Types of Court Reporters
  4. English Language
    1. Parts of Speech
    2. Confusing Words
    3. Spelling Rules
    4. International English
  5. Terminology
    1. Historic Terminology
    2. Legal Terminology
    3. Medical Terminology
    4. Business Terminology
  6. Grammar and Punctuation
    1. Capitalization
    2. Numbers
    3. Introduction to Punctuation
    4. Sentence Punctuation
    5. More Punctuation and Formatting
  7. Building the Transcript
    1. Annotations from Reporter
    2. Transcript Formatting
    3. Proofreading Assignments
    4. Researching
    5. Transcription Assignments
  8. Transcription Assignments & Working Environment
    1. Working Environment
    2. Transcription Assignments
  9. Transcription Assignments & Course Wrap Up
    1. Transcription Assignments
    2. Certification
    3. Final

Merritt Gilbert

Merritt Gilbert is a legal professional with over 10 years of industry experience. She is a Certified Electronic Reporter and holds a Certificate of Voice Writing. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University.

Natalie Hartsfield

Natalie Hartsfield is a court reporter with more than 10 years of experience in the legal field. She has taught court reporting since 2007. Natalie holds an Occupational Associate Degree in Court Reporting from Stenotype Institute.


To complete this course, you will need the following:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Basic computer skills, for example:
    • Create folders/directories and save files
    • Find files saved on a computer and upload them to a webpage
    • Use a web browser and search the Internet
    • Familiarity with a word processing program
    • Ability to use videoconferencing software, like Zoom
  • Eligible for notary public commissions in your state


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course must be taken on a PC. Macs are not compatible.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 7 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome is preferred. Mozilla Firefox and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Word: Preferably Microsoft Word 2016, 2019, and Office 365.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Free Express Scribe software. You will be provided with download instructions upon enrollment.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins, except for the Express Scribe software.
  • Reliable Internet


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The supplies required for this course are included in enrollment. The following will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • AltoEdge USB foot pedal
  • Transcriber Headphones

Yes. You will be prepared to sit for the CET (Certified Electronic Transcriber) exam through AAERT (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers).

Preparing for an AAERT Certification Exam

In order to sit for the exam(s), testers must:

  1. be eligible for a notary public commission AND
  2. have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.

For a greater likelihood of passing the exam, the following is recommended (not required) for testers:

  1. have one year of experience as a reporter or transcriber; OR
  2. have completed a course of study in court reporting.

The legal industry relies on legal transcriptionists to transcribe audio recordings of depositions, hearings, trials, and other legal proceedings. They will transcribe, format, proof, and certify official transcripts.

According to, the annual salary for a legal transcriptionist in the United States is $34,544 a year. Many transcriptionists work as independent contractors, so pay is dependent on how much a transcriptionist works.

To become a legal transcriptionist, you will need a high school diploma and entry-level experience in an office or legal setting. Formal legal transcription training expands your employment opportunities and can be substituted for experience for an entry-level position.

Yes, many legal transcriptionists are independent contractors that work from home and contract their services to attorneys and legal employers. Some legal transcriptionists have a full-time position as legal secretaries, paralegals, or law clerks and offer transcription services part-time.

Notaries review and validate signatures made on documents, as well as swear-in witnesses to testify under oath. Learn how to become a notary here.

This career requires excellent English written and verbal skills, professionalism, visual and tactile acuity, and being comfortable with technology.

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by a team of industry experts. You will also receive support from the student advising team.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.