Court reporting is one of those few jobs that you can do on a freelance basis, and as such, you can be more flexible in the jobs that you take so that you have more time for your family. But what exactly is court reporting? Read below to know.
The very first court reporters were stenograph-pounding typists in the courtroom in the late 19th century. The idea behind court reporting is to have a record of everything that happens in the courtroom - every byte of conversation and every order handed down by the judge. High quality firms like NaegeliUSA.com are the go-to for this type of work.
These days, court reporting has moved out of the court rooms and to events where legal documentation is needed, like lectures, although there are still court-hired court reporters that attend hearings.
Do you want to have a career in court reporting? The first thing you should do is to inquire about the different pieces of training available that are recognized the United States Court Reporters Association. Training can either be provided by community colleges or specialty institutions that only offer specific training in legal documentation. We don't know how much training costs exactly, however, we do know that you have a choice between pure brick-and-mortar classes, online classes, or a combination of both.
The type of class you take does not matter, what matters is that you work hard at training. While court reporting does not require a lot of brainpower, it does require excellent typing skills at the level of over 200 words per minute, a speed which is practically impossible for the average person with a typing speed of 70 words per minute.
Once you are enrolled in a training course, you will be required to get a stenographer. It's an expensive machine that costs upwards of $1,000. However, you can get secondhand items at specialty websites that sell stenograph exclusively.
How much money court reporters make? You can make upwards of $50,000 to something close to $100,000. If that is not a lot of money, we do not know what is. To get that kind of money, though, you need to network with a lot of people because there are no companies that hire court reporters full-time, well, except perhaps for the justice department with their court rooms. Outside the courtroom, the jobs of court reporters are purely on a freelance basis.
If you are looking for a rewarding career that you can get started with quickly, then you might want to consider court reporting. You don't need a four-year degree to start a court reporting career, and you can usually get started with your career in just two years. You do need certain personality traits to be successful as a court reporter. Read on to learn what they are.
As a court reporter, you are going to be spending long hours sitting still and transcribing everything that goes on around you. This means that you have to be able to concentrate on what is being said by multiple speakers without having your mind wander.
You also need to be a speedy typist because you have to keep up with what is being said. Thankfully, during your court reporting classes, you will learn a special type of shorthand called stenography that will allow you to capture the words. By the time you graduate, you will be able to capture dialogue at 225 words per minute which are what you will need to be able to do to get a job.
It is very important that you have excellent grammar skills. You have to have a strong command of the English language to be a good court reporter. You need an excellent vocabulary because you have to be able to recognize words when they are being spoken. You also need to know some basic legal terminology so you can recognize those words faster.
You have to be able to spell because you need to record the words accurately. You also have to be a very fast typist. There are other skills you are going to need as well. It is very important that you be able to show up to work on time and you have to be extremely punctual. Court cases start on time, and you can't ever be late since you are in charge of doing all the recording. Being punctual is crucial.
You also have to maintain a professional attitude, and you need a calm personality because the courtroom can get heated and you don't want to lose your cool which means you lose your concentration. You need to stay calm no matter what the circumstances are. Confidence is another trait you need if you want to do well as a court reporter.
If you find yourself in need of court reporting services, then you need to know how to choose the right reporters. There are some points that you need to consider when looking at the reporter.
The first point you need to look at when hiring a reporter is that they have a CSR license. The CSR license will tell you that the reporter is a professional and that they have completed the qualifications necessary to complete the task. If the reporter is not willing to provide evidence of their license, then you should look elsewhere.
Consider A Reputable Service
The best way to find a good reporter is to hire a good court reporting service. To determine if a service is reputable you need to look at their customer reviews. You should also look at recommendations from people that you know because they will only recommend a good service. When looking at the customer reviews, you should look at the punctuality of the service and the professionalism of the reporters.
Do They Offer A Variety Of Service
It is important that the reporter that you choose should be able to offer a variety of services. Over and above the court reporting they should be able to provide services for corporate meetings, hearings, interviews and board meetings. They should also offer a transcript repository service and digitization of the transcripts that they make.
A very important point that you need to consider is whether the court reporter will be able to travel to your premises or if you need to travel to their offices. If you have to travel to the reporter's offices, then you could have a problem with depositions. However, if the reporter can travel to your premises, you need to ensure that they are going to be punctual.
Get A Sample Of Transcripts
Before you hire a court reporter, you need to ask for a sample of their transcripts. It is important that the transcript is easy to read and that you will be able to use it as is. If you need to make changes to the transcript afterward, you should look for a different reporter.
There are some points that you need to consider when looking for a court reporter. The most important are that they had a CSR license and completed the correct qualifications.
Dennis M. Irving