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Legal Practice

How lawyers can improve their dictation skills

How Lawyers can improve their dictation skills

INTRODUCTION

Speech recognition software is not a new entry in the market but is continuing to get wider attention and users currently. The technique is used by many professionals, especially those in the legal sector to ease up the task. The amount of typing and paperwork required by a lawyer is numerous. More and number of lawyers are doing the task of typing the documents themselves than going to a typewriter, i.e. the traditional way. This has become possible through dictation software. Dictation eases up the task like 5000 words in an hour.

This software of dictation is highly beneficial to ease up the task, as dictating is always easier than typing by own self. The only lacunae are it is not well developed yet, and one should have good dictation skills. In this article, some ways in which a lawyer can improve upon dictation skills will be discussed.  Dictating small documents is comparatively easier than the type of complex documents. If you are willing to dictate something which is more complex like contracts or pleading, it will require a greater deal of effort and preparation. Often dictation skills are underrated and young lawyers are ignorant about them because they do not realize their importance and usage..

WHAT ARE DICTATION SKILLS?

Dictation is a skill where you dictate, and the software types the same for you. There are various software taking the market in this context that works with voice productivity technologies, and machine learning. There are apps like the dragon dictate app, Mountain Lion, etc. these apps are beneficial because things can be done in an easy way, and you will not have to stick to the keyboard. The software is even cheaper than assistants, recorders, etc. Dictation skills, if learned properly, can give leverage over the dictation skills. It will reduce the time and ease the saving of documents. it will ease up the typing of documents.

It is very important to understand what a speech recognition app is capable of doing and then get the tasks done. You know how to speak, you have to learn it, you just have to learn a few necessities like where to pause, how to dictate, how to give commands, how to insert emojis, special characters, how to not fumble, etc.

The type of dictation will sometimes differ from the software you are using for the purpose. For example, some software addresses smileys as well while dictation of emails, like “smiley gets the 😊 emoji, etc.

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SOME WAYS TO IMPROVE DICTATION SKILLS FOR THE LAWYERS

  • A little planning and having a framework before starting the dictation can be a little beneficial.
  • Primarily, you need to speak slowly, very finely, and clearly. Exactly the way they expect others to speak when we are trying to understand something.
  • Dictate in sequences like file, addresses, and the subject line because they come first in any document and thus need to be dictated with patience and clarity, when it comes to names and other nouns, etc.
  • Be ready to give smart commands and be vocal about the punctuations. The software will not automatically add punctuation marks, so speak out all such commands like a “comma,” “newline,” etc. Why is punctuation important? because it helps to understand the meaning well, it gives a structure to the writing, it helps to avoid unnecessary confusion and then understand the draft better.
  • Think and speak, how will this help? If you think and speak, you can formulate the next sentence simultaneously, without taking long continuous pauses and fumbling. Because the more you fumble, the more difficult it becomes to understand what the reader is trying to say.
  • The software does not understand the language of “err,” “hmm,” “ugh.” So, while fumbling a person creates such sounds that may not be differentiated and may be typed by the software. Take pauses smartly, for not to miss pointers and get time for thinking and give time to the processor to understand and type it.  There is a pause button in the processor kindly make use of it.
  • Make sure the environment where you prefer to dictate is a silent one, and not super noisy because this will be a problem for the software will not be able to understand clearly the words and phrases. The background should be calm and silent. It should not be windy because then it becomes difficult to recognize the voice.
  • Make sure the sentences you dictate are not extremely long. Short sentences and phrases are easy to understand and easy to dictate, as well. For example: “I am going out for lunch. I may visit the Udupi along with friends.” This is much easier to understand than “I am going out for lunch along with my friends to this new south Indian restaurant Udupi.” Short sentences are always welcome
  • Learn to pronounce similar sounding words correctly, like M and N, B and D, etc. this will ease up the process of dictation.
  • Enabling the transition between the drafting to dictation might be difficult because there is a constant urge to edit the documents during the drafting process. which may prove interruptive but there should be control over the same.
  • Finishing off should be really straightforward with an appropriate sign-off clause.

CONCLUSION

There exists no such thing as perfect speech recognition. To learn a new skill in the required way, there is one way that is given in efforts and practice. That will certainly make you an expert in the process. With the right tools and processes, it always becomes more easy and profitable. Efficiency is the key and can be attainted be it any place.  digital dictation technologies can be used more over traditional dictation skills. Dictation skills should be a part of legal learning skills and should be taught in every law school.  Small errors will go away automatically with practice. Lawyers will always come up with new technologies and new ways to use those technologies for the advantage of the lawyers, so one needs to race with time and technology, Happy dictation!

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by supriya dash

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