Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Can Lawyers Benefit From Instant Speech Transcription App?

A new AI tool on the market has the potential to really help some lawyers out. It won't revolutionize the practice of law, but it might just please those lawyers that have been waiting for a good app to do real time voice-to-text transcription. Unfortunately for those lawyers, for the time being, the new AI powered app still lacks all the functionality you'd want, but it may still be worth checking out.

The app, named Otter, is currently free and does a reasonable job of accurately transcribing in real time. Of course, like any transcription app, some words will be missed, but for the most part, it did a good job in my own limited testing (which even included asking it to transcribe non-sense, and non-English, words-which it didn't do very well with). However, the current iteration of the Otter app limits users to interactions within the app only, and limits how much text can be copied to the clipboard from the app for exporting to another app or email.

How to Use Speech-to-Text

For many lawyers, how to use speech-to-text transcription might not be immediately apparent. For example, if your adversaries pleading is not available in a format where you can easily cut and paste from, using speech-to-text can help you easily transcribe from analog to digital simply by reading what you want to include out loud. Additionally, you can use speech-to-text to draft letters, emails, instructions, and so much more, while commuting, or otherwise have your hands occupied.

One of the best uses for real-time speech-to-text transcription is for depositions. Often this service will be offered by a court reporting service, but will cost a rather hefty premium and require running particular software. With an app like Otter, you can simply run it during your depo and have a transcript immediately available for you to refer to. One thing Otter gets right (especially for depositions) is making sure that the transcription is immediately searchable.

Another good use for speech-to-text transcription is for meetings. When meeting with a new client for the first time, letting a speech-to-text transcription app run in the background means you can spend more time connecting and less time taking notes.

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