Starting a Career in Court Reporting

A career in court reporting is one of the most versatile and unique positions available today. Even with the highly-focused skills required for the job, few careers can match the diverse opportunities a court reporting career can present.

The Varied Jobs of Court Reporters

Whether you prefer the method of machine shorthand or voice writing, the objective of a court reporter is the same: To capture the spoken word and reproduce it verbatim in an accurate, legible format.

As the job title would suggest, some people with stenography skills spend their days with a judge in court taking down hearings and trials. However, there are many court reporters who work their entire careers and never set foot inside a courtroom.

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The Job of a Court Reporter

A court reporter or legal transcriber is a person whose responsibility is to transcribe spoken speech into written form. Broadly speaking, there are three career options for those who decide to become court reporters; those are courtroom reporters, freelance reporters, and caption providers.

This article aims to provide you with an insight into what the career of a stenographer is like and an overview of the relevant education and training requirements required to enter this career.

What is Court Reporting?

A court reporter is a person who deals with transcribing oral texts, those can be meetings, speeches, legal proceedings, court testimony, etc. Usually, the rate of transcribing may exceed 230 words per minute and it is reporter’s responsibility to make sure that everything is recorded accurately and precisely as that information is often critical for the legal proceedings and administrative activities for which it supports.

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Court Reporting as a Career

Court reporters play an important role in courtrooms everywhere. Their job is to make word-for-word transcripts of all dialogs that transpire when a court is in session.

These transcripts are used to preserve the conversations that take place for legal record. Court reporting can be a stressful job because of the amount of information that must be recorded accurately. But someone experienced in the field can handle this with ease.

The most important aspect of being a court reporter is the ability to listen. The majority of a reporter’s time will be spent listening to what is being said. It is important to have a clear understanding because the second part of the job is transcription.

This makes it important for court reporters to be able to write with proper grammar. Finally, the reporter must be able to observe and record the emotions of those who are speaking.

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Court Reporter – Have a GED? You Make Six Figures Without a College Degree

Many Americans are overloaded with student debt. They often are questioning the value of having a college degree. Consider the alternative that’s described in this post, and study for a top-paying profession that’s crying out for employees and comes with relatively little costs.

If you don’t have a high school diploma but you are willing to learn and get the GED diploma, and then learn shorthand code and get familiar with court reporting job, you could have a really good future.

Getting a GED might seem challenging but it’s not that complicated. There are many (free) resources. Read more about Online GED on Bestgedclasses.org website here, they have the largest collection of GED practice tests and GED video lessons. Just bookmark their page and you can be prepared for the GED within 4 weeks.

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Technology has changed Court Reporting

Court reporters are seen in every courtroom in the country. They have been recording court proceedings for the public record for decades and are the official keepers of the record … the accurate record.

Court reporters must accurately document conversations, word-for-word, that are exact, precise and legally binding.  Not only do they act as stenographers and make exact transcripts that are easy to read for court cases, but they also organize those records so they can easily be retrieved by attorneys, clients, and judges.

They are extremely important during an appeal process and provide substantial benefits to the hearing impaired, giving them an opportunity to review proceedings in writing that they may not have understood when they were in the courtroom.

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Useful Apps for Paralegals

Criminal Justice Schools prepare students for a career in the paralegal field. A paralegal is a busy individual for whom timing and precision are essential elements of success.

Success depends on being able to deliver accurate work products on time according to a very specific schedule and to always be in the right place at the right time. To make sure this happens, paralegals rely on different tools and techniques to keep the gears turning smoothly. Take a look at this video that explains what a paralegal is and does:

Now that mobile devices – and their accompanying apps – are becoming more prominent in the workplace, more professionals are taking advantage of the technology to make work easier. Below we take a look at five apps paralegals can use to make work a little less stressful.

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A Good Career Choice – Online Paralegal Courses

Anyone interested in becoming a paralegal has many options of which college, university, or business school to attend. Some schools require students to complete part of their studies in the classroom, but there are many others who allow those enrolled in the program to do all of their studies online.

There are certificate programs, usually designed for those who are already working in a law office who want to learn the basics about laws to add to their experience, or for candidates who have already earned an Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree.

In addition, other choices exist for the paralegal candidate. There are Associate’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, and Master’s Degrees in Paralegal Studies as well. Degree programs focus on Paralegal Studies, but they also include other general college courses.

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The Stenograph – How Does It Work?

Have you ever wondered what that thing is that court reporters are always using?

The Stenograph


Well, that thing is called a stenographic machine, or ‘stenograph’. This type of machines is also used to produce captions for TV broadcasts, live streaming transcripts at meetings and at schools, and for office stenography in general. Stenographs are working a bit like portable word processors, but they have a modified keyboard with 22 buttons instead of a standard keyboard.

Modern stenographs include two rows of consonant keys on each side, placed underneath a ‘number bar’, and in front are four keys for the vowels A, O, E, and U.

Now how do stenographers work? Court stenographers may be typing entire words if they strike more keys at the same time. The left keys are for spelling the beginning letter of a syllable, and the right-hand keys are for the last letter. The stenographer presses all relevant keys at the same time, and the stenographic machine will come up with an alphabet soup that is unintelligible for persons who are not trained to read machine shorthand.

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Court Reporter Job Benefits

In the U.S., stenography is usually the method used for court reporting. A stenographer is using a stenograph, a stenotype machine, a word processing machine that has a 22-button keyboard especially developed for this purpose. A stenographer spells words in a phonetical way and a well-trained stenographer will record at least 200 words a minute, which is actually a minimum requirement for professional stenographers.

Court reporting is a well-respected profession and offers rewarding career opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that come with this exciting profession:

Job Security

Every year, there are around 5,500 job openings in the U.S. alone, and this trend will continue for some time to come. Graduates of a Court reporting program are holding much more than just a diploma, a piece of paper stating that they successfully completed an academic program. They also will be sure to land a great job!

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Court Reporter Career

The judicial system in America is relying on court reporters. They are the professionals that are maintaining the integrity when it comes to judicial processes.

They are the guardians of official records in everything from courtroom proceedings to pre-trial depositions. State regulations may differ slightly, but in this article, you’ll find the general requirements for becoming a court reporter.

Court Reporter Licensing

Court reporters (frequently referred to as shorthand reporters or stenographers) are professionals that ensure that every spoken word and gesture is recorded in a court proceeding. They are responsible for producing accurate transcripts.

They are often labeled “guardians of the records” and they need to be reliable, responsible, and impartial. They need to have enjoyed the proper educated and their training and certification make that they will perform their job and duties responsibly.

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