Professional court reporting is one of the professions that people think they know everything about ? but in fact, there are plenty of facts that people fail to realize about this job. For one thing, court reporting is a surprisingly secure field, with 10% growth expected between 2012 and 2022. For another, becoming a court reporter is a more involved process than you might imagine. Nonetheless, the rewards you can reap from this job ? both in terms of salary and security ? are significant. If you?re unsure about where your career might lead after school, professional court reporting is certainly something to consider, for many reasons. But what does the job entail?
1. Choosing An Association
For one thing, professional court reporting is usually divided up into three associations in the United States. These include the National Court Reporters Association, the National Verbatim Reporters Association, and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers. Depending on what association you choose, you will be certified by their specific requirements. They can help you find a certification program, provide knowledge and protection, and in some cases even help you find work in your area! You can?t become a court reporter without an association backing you, so choose wisely!
2. Committing To A Program
Yes, becoming a court reporter does involve going back to school, in a sense. On average, a court reporting programs takes about 33.3 months to complete in total. These programs will teach you how to use things like stenotype machines, and teach you about the ins and outs of court reporting services. Of course, working for a court reporting agency doesn?t simply entail recording through the written word. Some courts want a legal videographer on hand, especially in the case of depositions. Legal videography involves recording legal proceedings through video, ensuring that nothing can be missed through human error. To make yourself a more well-rounded court reporter, you may want to choose a program that offers lessons on video court reporting.
3. Getting Certified
The fact is that the exact requirements for being certified depend on which association you?re working towards joining. The NCRA, for example, requires you to be able to record 225 per minute. This is the minimum speed for this association. Some certification programs require you to be able to transcribe 200 jury charge words per minute, and others require 180 literary words per minute with 95% accuracy. Once you?re certified, you?ll be able to jump into the world of court reporting!
Your future as a court reporter may not be as straightforward as you think, with 70% of the nation?s 50,00+ court reporters working outside of the court. You could find yourself employed by a law firm, or even the government! Either way, you?ll be happy to have a steady, but interesting job ? and you?ll never be bored!