The big question: Can I proofread legal transcripts if I live outside the United States?
It’ll depend on the court reporter, but I do have program grads living in the UK, Canada, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, and even the Philippines who’ve had success finding clients and are now working — you really only run into possible issues with time zones and payments, not ability.
NOTE: If your native language is not English, you will have issues getting clients. If you’re unable to adapt to the rules of American English from your dialect, you will have issues getting clients.
Will being a different time zone be a problem?
Time zone differences can also be a great friend, though, as being 5–9 hours ahead of your clients could also work to their advantage. If they send you stuff at night while you’re asleep, you can start working on it while they’re still asleep! Payment agreements should always be made upfront, and platforms like PayPal work best for proofreaders in the UK/Canada.
How can I get paid if I live outside the US?
PayPal does charge the client a small fee to send to foreign accounts, I think, and I’ve learned that Skrill is a great option for accepting payments internationally. For personal transactions, it’s only a 1% fee to send, and you could simply discount your services 1% to cover your clients’ costs if they have any issue, but most do not, especially if you’re good and dependable.
From Skrill’s website:
At Skrill we are committed to keep our fees permanently low and totally transparent.
- Sending money costs 1% of the amount sent but is capped at a maximum of $10
- Paying at a shop or transferring funds with any merchant is free
- Receiving money is free of charge
- Uploading funds into your Skrill account is usually free, but some options involve a small charge
Occasionally you’ll run into reporters who only want to send checks, but those are becoming few and far between, as online payment is so much faster these days.
Ability and availability are paramount for court reporters… if you suck or can’t take their jobs when they need you, THAT will be the reason why they don’t use you, not where you hang your hat.