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Straight Talk on Working as a Court Reporter

If you are interested in courtroom proceedings and are looking for a job that is flexible, pays well, and is interesting, becoming a court reporting professional might be for you. Working as a court transcription professional will allow all of the excitement of a prominent career in law without all of the schooling and training that is typically required for other legal professions.

Court reporting professionals usually take word for word reports of speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings, and other events when written accounts of spoken words are needed for correspondence, records, or legal proof. They are responsible for guaranteeing a complete, accurate, and secure legal record. In addition, many court reporters assist judges and attorneys in researching and organizing information that is used in the courtroom as well as assisting in the courtroom and in procedural administration. Court reporters may also provide closed captioning and translating services to the deaf or hard of hearing.

Court reporters record all statements made in official proceedings using a stenotype machine, which allows them to press multiple keys at a time to record combinations of letters representing sounds, words, or phrases. The symbols are recorded on computer disks which are then translated and displayed as text in a process called computer-aided transcription (CAT). In all cases, precision is vital because there is only one person creating an official transcript. Often times appeal in the court room are dependent on a court reporter’s written transcripts.

Stenographers are responsible for many duties before and after transcribing events. They must create and sustain the computer dictionary that they use to translate stenographic keystrokes into written text. After documenting proceedings, court reporting professionals must edit their translation for proper grammar, precise identification of proper names and places, and to ensure the record or testimony is accurate. It is important that a court reporter develop a system of easy storage and retrieval of their records. If requested, court reporters must provide information from the transcripts they take to courts, attorneys, judges, other parties and the public.

While a lot of court reporting professional record official proceedings in the courtroom, many of them work outside the courtroom as well. They can work as webcasters or internet information reporters. They can also work in attorney’s offices or for government agencies.

Other court reporters work for television broadcasting networks providing captioning to be viewed on the TV screen. Court reporters that specialize in captioning live television programming for people with hearing loss are commonly known as stenocaptioners. In an emergency situation, such as a hurricane or a tornado, peoples’ safety may depend on the information provided in the form of captioning.

A career as a court reporting professional is ever changing and allows plenty of room to advance. It is estimated that the need for court reporters will continue to grow over the coming years so the job market is substantially better than it is for other fields. There is jobs available from coast to coast so if this sounds like the career for you the likelihood of finding work is very high.

So just what is a court stenographer? Learn more about a career as a court reporter from: