A scopist


Scopists edit the transcripts created by court reporters to make them readable professional legal documents. They listen or read to the reports given to them to apply punctuation, missing words, format, and improve the document’s accuracy.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to scopist:

freelance scopist

Working conditions

Scopists are typically self-employed and work remotely from their home or office. Many court reporters work as freelancers, which means they can work with multiple scopists to manage their workload.

Minimum qualifications

While there are no specific educational requirements to become a scopist, having a strong foundation in English, grammar, and punctuation is essential. Most scopists have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some have completed post-secondary education in a related field, such as court reporting, paralegal studies, or English.

Scopists must receive specialized training to learn the skills required for the job. Some court reporting schools offer scopist training programs covering legal terminology, punctuation, proofreading, and editing. Online courses and training programs are also available, and some scopists may receive on-the-job training from experienced professionals.

Scopists must have experience in proofreading, editing, and formatting transcripts. They should be familiar with legal terminology and have a strong understanding of court procedures. Many scopists begin their careers by working as proofreaders or transcriptionists to gain experience in the field.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Scopist is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Scopist career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to scopist.

court reporter
case administrator
legal administrative assistant
legal assistant
court administrative officer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of scopist. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of scopist with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

lawyer linguist
court administrator
legal consultant
copy editor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of scopist.

  • Transcription methods: The methods to quickly transcribe spoken language into text, such as stenography.
  • Spelling: The rules concerning the way words are spelled.
  • Legal terminology: The special terms and phrases used in the field of law.
  • Grammar: The set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.
  • Stenography: Capture of spoken words in its entirety, especially meanings and relevant details into written form.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of scopist.

  • Type error-free documents: Type documents and written content in general avoiding any grammatical or spelling errors. Type documents in a fast pace without compromising the quality of the outcome.
  • Type texts from audio sources: Listen, understand and type content from audio sources into written format. Keep the overall idea and understanding of the message together with relevant details. Type and listen to audios simultaneously.
  • Use free typing techniques: Know, use and write documents, texts and content in general without looking at the keyboard. Use techniques to write documents in such fashion.
  • Study court hearings: Read and interpret court hearings in order to format and process the outcome information of these events.
  • Observe confidentiality: Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.
  • Apply grammar and spelling rules: Apply the rules of spelling and grammar and ensure consistency throughout texts.
  • Provide written content: Communicate information in written form via digital or print media according to the target group’s needs. Structure the content according to specifications and standards. Apply grammar and spelling rules.
  • Use dictionaries: Use glossaries and dictionaries to search for the meaning, the spelling, and synonyms of words.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of scopist. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Legal case management: The procedures of a legal case from opening to closing, such as the documentation that needs to be prepared and handled, the people involved in different stages of the case, and the requirements that need to be met before the case can be closed.
  • Court procedures: The regulations in place during the investigation of a court case and during a court hearing, and of how these events occur.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of scopist. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Compile legal documents: Compile and collect legal documents from a specific case in order to aid an investigation or for a court hearing, in a manner compliant with legal regulations and ensuring records are properly maintained.
  • Use stenotype machines: Recognize the set of keys in stenotype machines and understand the phonetics of words and syllables represented in these kinds of machines to allow high typing.
  • Digitise documents: Load analog documents by converting them into a digital format using specialised hardware and software.
  • Write meeting reports: Write complete reports based on minutes taken during a meeting in order to communicate the important points which were discussed, and the decisions which were made, to the appropriate people.
  • Develop documentation in accordance with legal requirements: Create professionally written content describing products, applications, components, functions or services in compliance with legal requirements and internal or external standards.
  • Perform office routine activities: Program, prepare, and perform activities required to be performed everyday in offices such as mailing, receiving supplies, updating managers and employees, and keeping operations running smoothly.
  • Use shorthand: Apply shorthand as a method to capture spoken words into written form. Use shorthands in written texts to reflect acronyms and relevant information required to be expressed in such fashion.
  • Record court procedures: Record all the information necessary for proper record maintenance during court hearings, such as the people present, the case, the evidence presented, the sentence made, and other important matters which were brought up during the hearing.
  • Use shorthand computer program: Employ shorthand computer softwares in order to write and translate shorthands and put them into traditional legible transcripts.
  • Manage data for legal matters: Collect, organise and prepare data for analysis and review during investigation, regulatory filings and other legal processes.
  • Ensure proper document management: Guarantee that the tracking and recording standards and rules for document management are followed, such as ensuring that changes are identified, that documents remain readable and that obsoleted documents are not used.

ISCO group and title

3343 – Administrative and executive secretaries

  1. Scopist – ESCO
  2. How to Become a Scopist? – Court Reporter
Last updated on March 26, 2023

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