What is a Court Reporter?
A court reporter, also known as a “stenographer,” is a highly trained professional who provides an integral and necessary service to our legal system.
As dedicated custodians of the record, court reporters rely on a highly refined set of skills to accomplish the task of capturing the spoken word in realtime with the use of a Stenotype machine, a special shorthand keyboard. An advanced court reporter can offer realtime services in which they provide instantaneous conversion of the spoken word from their steno machine which is then displayed on a TV, computer, or smart device, in real time. This also allows their clients immediate access to the transcript.
In general, a court reporter must:
- Achieve a shorthand speed of minimally 225 wpm
- Be proficient in English, grammar, spelling, and punctuation
- Have an excellent understanding of legal and business ethics
- Have an exceptional understanding of legal principles and medical terminology
- Possess a high level of professionalism
Why Become a Court Reporter?
A career in court reporting and captioning is not only rewarding, it is in demand now more than ever in our industry, with thousands of exciting and lucrative job opportunities around the world.
A few notable perks:
- You can become a court reporter in just two years
- Court reporting offers employment security and can pay a six-figure income
- Court reporters and captioners have the opportunity to work in interesting and exciting venues such as courtrooms, schools, sports stadiums, television studios, high-profile events, and more
- Set your own schedule and choose where and how often you want to work
- You can travel the world as a freelance court reporter
- Court reporting is like learning speed texting and a new language all in one
- Find great reward in your career by transcribing live events for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Where Do Court Reporters Work?
Court reporters are typically hired for legal proceedings, including depositions, arbitrations, trials, hearings and shareholder meetings. Captioners are typically hired for purposes of providing closed-captioning for the deaf or hard-of-hearing. Additionally, court reporters and captioners have the opportunity to work in interesting and exciting venues such as court rooms, schools, sports stadiums, televisions studios, high-profile events, and more!
How do I become a court reporter?
Students interested in a career in court reporting should consider enrolling in an “Intro to Steno” course through either Project Steno or the NCRA’s “A to Z™” program prior to applying to a court reporting program. “Intro to Steno” courses are FREE to all applicants, take 6 – 8 weeks to complete, and give you a hands-on introduction to the profession to see if this career is right for you.
Additionally, Project Steno and the NCRA offer scholarships and grants to students who complete an “Intro to Steno” course AND attend a school approved by their program. Schools that are Project Steno and/or NCRA-approved are identified on the Court Reporting School page and include programs throughout the US and Canada.
For more information, please contact [email protected].