The most recent LegalTech conference included several vendors who offer digital transcription services. What follows is not a technology review but my impression of how the software might help a law department.
In essence, a corporate lawyer can dictate into an inexpensive machine, which produces a standardized digital file. The file can be e-mailed anywhere in the world, transcribed, and e-mailed back. They allow a lawyer to dictate to a digital handheld recorder, to a laptop, or over the phone. At least one system sends an e-mail notification to the transcription person that a dictated file is ready, some even with priority designations. Moreover, some systems integrate with the document management system of the law department.
The vendors I ran across include bigHand, Verdatum, and Crescendo Systems.
In a variation, QuikSek allows a lawyer to call a telephone number, dictate the material, and receive it by e-mail or fax. All of these capabilities put to an end to the use, mis-use and abuse of those annoying micro-cassettes.