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Court Reporting Can Be a Rewarding Career

Adrianna Noton

The legal system offers many stimulating and rewarding careers. Court reporting is one. The demand for good people in this role has increased with technological advancement. The need for qualified people who are accurate, fast and reliable has escalated.

A court reporter is required to transcribe word for word testimony of legal proceedings in a courtroom as well as meetings and conversations needed for legal evidence. A variety of circumstances may call for this person's services. They may find themselves in civil and criminal trials, or business meetings, or assisting judges and attorneys with deposition or arbitration. They are in great demand.

Many skills are needed to be successful in this occupation. Recording accuracy and speed is important. Good court reporters should not make spelling mistakes or leave out testimony. They need to have a typing speed of at least 200 words a minute. Thanks to new technology the pressure of the need for 100 percent accuracy has been alleviated.

Exceptional listening and concentration skills are also a requirement. A court reporter can be asked to read back extracts of the proceedings of a hearing or meeting. Therefore a clear and articulate speaking voice is necessary. Staying power is a good quality to have as proceedings can go on for lengthy periods of time.

There are many accredited schools which offer relevant courses for people interested in following this career path. The holder of a diploma will always have the advantage when it comes to securing employment. Many of these schools offer different degree programs for the different types of job in this field. The course length varies from one year to eighteen months depending on which particular job you wish to specialize in.

A voice writer can complete the study program in under a year. He or she needs to speak coherently. Voice writing involves speaking into a mask with a microphone. The mask prevents the microphone from picking up other interfering sounds in the room.

A steno typist learns to press certain keys at the same time which produce different sounds, phrases or words. The machine records and translates the symbols for the legal record. The stenography course usually takes about 18 months to complete.

Other reporters may specialize in something called communications access real-time translation. They will use a computer connected to a steno type machine. As the symbols are typed on the machine, the computer transcribes them into text. This enables one to read what is being typed immediately. Electronic reporters learn their skills while doing the job. They do not need to partake in a full time study program.

The judicial system is fundamental in any society to protect its citizens and uphold their rights. Young people often tend to think that only choice available is to study to become a lawyer. They often overlook the option of a career in court reporting. The reporters provide a valuable service to the legal system. Look closely at the different options available to you and you will find that you may be on the path to a satisfying and rewarding career.

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