While freelance court reporters may work from home without a team in the next cubicle, they do need people to help them deliver accurate transcripts to clients. That includes having a scopist who translates stenotype into English and edits spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formats into a legible transcript that is sent to the client, most of the time attorney(s), for review. Once changes, if any, are made, the court reporter provides the final transcript and attachments as requested.
What are the qualities of a scopist?
Because you’re part of a team, a scopist must be able to work well with others and accept feedback. Their work is the beginning of the creation of a final transcript so it is important they create a document that can be delivered in a timely and accurate fashion to the court reporter.
While a court reporter needs to go to school and receive certification, a scopist does not need certification, only training to read steno notes, use CAT (computer-aided transcription) software, and format a transcript.
If you’re thinking about becoming a scopist, consider how much you love language, and your level of knowledge of grammar and punctuation. You’re essentially an editor for transcripts, like an editor is for writers of articles and books.
What are the benefits of being a scopist?
Benefits of being a scopist include making your own schedule and working from home. While that sounds appealing, there’s a fair amount of networking and establishing of business relationships in order to have the workflow to make a living as a scopist. That can be done in-person attending industry events as well as online using sites like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals.
What are the challenges of being a scopist?
As a scopist, you work on tight deadlines and must be accurate. That’s not exactly a job for someone who is easily distracted or gets overwhelmed about deadlines. Setting boundaries with friends and family who assume you are available at any time because you work at home is probably the biggest challenge of being a scopist. When your sister-in-law calls to see if you want to go to lunch, “because you work at home so you must be available and need a break,” you might have to explain that you’re focused and on deadline.
Other challenges include setting up your own systems like calendar, accounting, and marketing. You’re running a business from your home and in order to be successful, you’ve got to treat it like a business.
For more information about scopists and court reporters, contact Ruffing Consulting, your Wilson, North Carolina experts.