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What Does a Career in Court Reporting Entail?

What Does a Career in Court Reporting Entail?

If you have ever watched a court thriller, you have seen that person that sits in a corner typing away. Considering how entertaining some of the court moments can get, you must have wondered how the stenographers keep their faces straight and concentrate only on their typing while the rest of the courtroom laughs raucously.

A court reporter, also known as a stenographer, has a very sensitive task. They must ensure that they capture the proceedings accurately. Their work is to transcribe speech into a written manuscript. They use shorthand or equipment used in voice writing to provide official documentation of the court proceedings.

If you need the services of a court reporter, you can look up a court reporter firm which can avail one for you.

Court reporting companies

These companies for the most part serve the following:

  • Private law firms
  • Local government agencies
  • State agencies
  • Federal government agencies
  • The courts
  • Trade associations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Meeting planners

So, what does a court reporter do?

A court stenographer’s duties are many. You must be very alert to make a career out of court reporting.

The following are the duties that a court reporter is expected to perform:

  • Attend court hearings and proceedings
  • Be present at depositions and any occasion that warrants transcribing
  • Accurately capture speech with voice writing equipment
  • Read back what they have captured if the judge asks them to
  • Ask for clarifications if someone is inaudible so that they may be accurate in their report
  • Go through their notes to verify names of witnesses and any technical lingua used
  • Get transcripts ready for the records and avail copies of the same to the courts and all the parties involved in the case
  • Transcribe dialogue for the benefit of the hearing impaired
  • Translate in real-time for classes and other forums where those that are hard of hearing are included

A court reporter’s role in the courtroom is critical. The judges and all the parties involved depend on them to provide word transcripts of the court proceedings. Outside of the court, they are expected to provide written records of dialogues, speeches or meetings.

Alertness is vital for this job. If you have a flighty disposition such that you are easily distracted, this may not be the job for you.

Fast fingers

How fast can you type? Actually, the question should be, can you type furiously? You must be able to type exceedingly fast to qualify for the position of a court reporter. Not only must you be able to type at supersonic speeds; you must also be accurate while you are at it.

In addition, you must be able to listen to information as you go and you must capture it accurately. While you are that, you must transcribe the information that you capture into a 20 to 25-key machine which has characters that could be Lithuanian for all anyone can make them out to be. This, as you can imagine, is no mean feat.

If you want to work in a court reporter firm, you might want to work on your concentration and do some serious finger exercises to bring out a spurt of speed as well as to ensure your fingers do not go on lockdown as they fly across the keyboard.










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