One of the most frequently emailed questions I receive from prospective scoping students is about the demand for scopists. Why would court reporters outsource something they could do themselves?
I’ve been scoping for more than 35 years, so I know full well there’s a demand or I’d be living under a bridge by now.
Okay, kidding, but you get my point. I’ve amassed over 60,000 hours of scoping experience in those 35 years, and I haven’t stopped yet. But I get this question so often, I decided that instead of just telling you myself why court reporters hire scopists, I would ask court reporters!
I didn’t ask just any court reporters out on the street, though — these are my actual clients.
(And in case you don’t believe me, I got mugshots of a couple of ’em… the ones who were brave enough to send one in, anyway!)
I asked my clients the following questions:
1) Why do you use a scopist? How does a scopist help you? What value do they add to your life?
2) How often do you use a scopist?
3) What makes a great scopist? a not so great one?
Here is what they said…
I use a scopist for every job. Lets me have a life. Gives me a break. Money well spent.
1. I use a scopist to cut down on my time sitting behind a desk and to get the job out faster. I can be taking another job while that one is being edited. I only need to proof it and then it is ready to go to the client. The most value is it frees up more of my time to do other things, be it work or personal. Healthwise, it cuts way down on sitting and typing, so that saves my body from the extra stress and hopefully prolongs my work life.
2. I use a scopist on almost every job I take unless it is 25 pages or less, where I can just get it out the same day, or if the scopist doesn’t have time to meet my deadline because of other commitments.
3. What makes a great scopist? Accuracy is number one, followed by dependability and turnaround time.
1) I use a scopist because I have too many transcript orders to complete in a timely fashion; I can move on to another project and know that progress is being made on the first project. The value is less time at the computer keyboard.
2) I use a scopist about 8 to 10 times a year, maybe.
3) A great scopist is someone that reads every word of the transcript, knows how to punctuate, knows how to spell, realizes when something needs to be researched, can listen to the audio when needed, doesn’t make a lot of changes to format or style. So when I receive the transcript back from a scopist, I expect all mistranslates, nontranslates, questionable names or words to be either resolved or pointed out for resolution.
A not-so-great scopist leaves scan-stops unresolved, doesn’t fill in names of witnesses or parties when needed, and doesn’t read the entire transcript for content and readability.
These are things that are noticed right away when you get a transcript back from a scopist.
I have the best scopist EVER!!! I thank God for her. We’re a great team. Couldn’t do my job without her.
1. She saves me loads of time. She edits, looks up words, writes me notes. She’s pretty funny! All I have to do is proofread.
2. I use one every time I have a daily. I wouldn’t accept a daily job without my scopist backing me up.
3. Great scopist is one who takes as much pride in her work as you do in yours. Job should be almost ready to send out; just proofing needed. Bad scopist… One who doesn’t care about her job as much as you do yours. Job comes back with too much stuff to edit and look up yourself. Too many corrections have to be made after you got job back.
4. Scopists are invaluable. Good ones are hard to find. If you find a great one, keep her happy!