A Career in Court Reporting Is Both Financially and Personally Rewarding
The legal system is filled with numerous exciting careers, from attorneys to judges. One legal career that is growing in popularity is a career in court reporting. A court reporter plays an important role in the legal system. This job is to record an accurate word for word transcript of legal proceeding to ensure there is a truthful and legal record. It not only includes recording trial testimony verbatim, but also other areas of the legal process such as discovery sessions, depositions, and other conversations that requires a legally binding record. The reporter will also help judges and attorney located specific records when needed for legal purposes. Other areas where they are used include: hearing impaired translation services and providing civil trial recordings.
The Main Duties
Reporters will normally perform the following functions: recording testimony verbatim, transcribing recordings, checking notes to ensure they are accurate, correct recording errors such as grammar and spelling, when requested they will read testimony recorded in court or another setting, creating a hard copy text, providing hard copies to appropriate parties, and creating a final legal binding transcript.
How To Become One
To be this type of professional, you will need to have excellent typing skills that include good grammar and spelling, and you should have a typing speed of at least 200 or more words a minute. There are a number of schools where one can become one. The courses can vary depending on the particular area. For instance, to be a voice writer, it takes less than a year and to be a stenotypist, it takes about 33 months. Once graduated from a recognized reporting school, one will have the experience and education to enter the court reporting field. To increase the chances of getting a good court reporting job, one can take the Registered Professional Reporter exam which is offered by the National Court Reporters Association. It is voluntary, but well worth taking as it will tell employers that you are a trained professional.
The Equipment Used
These kinds of professionals are trained to use a variety of equipment and devices. For instance, they will use a stenotype machine that records word-for-word testimony. Multiple keys on the machine are entered and represent specific sounds, phrases, and words. The symbols are then translated by the court reporter. There is also a computer that is connected to a stenotype machine that allows everyone in the room to see what is being typed. The computer will translate the symbols into text. Another device is a hand held mask with a microphone. The reporter speaks into it ensuring that no other sounds in the room are recorded.
If you have a passion for the law and are confident and a good listener, a career as a court reporter is worth considering. With emerging technology, court reporters will be in even greater demand as they will be needed to operate technological devices and ensure accurate and legal testimony is being properly recorded.