Court Reporter Job Description
A court reporter is a person whose job is to transcribe spoken or recorded speech of legal proceedings into text. A court reporter creates an exact verbatim account of everything spoken in a court proceeding. Court reporters are also known as stenotype reporters, stenomask reporters, shorthand reporters, law reporters, verbatim reporters, or voice writers.
What does a Court Reporter do?
Court reporters may do some or all of the following:
- attend court sessions, speeches or meetings
- listen carefully to court proceedings, conversations or speeches
- operate and maintain stenotype machines, steno masks, or digital recorders
- produce a verbatim report of court proceedings, trials, or meetings according to standardized formats
- review the written report and correct mistakes
- read back the verbatim report during court trials and proceedings
Where does a Court Reporter work?
Court reporters may work normal office hours or long irregular hours. They work in offices and courtrooms. They may also report on freelance basis, working as freelance reporters at political conferences, arbitration hearings or other formal events. Freelance reporters usually work more flexible hours.
The job of court reporters may be difficult, tedious, and stressful due to the amount of words required to be captured per minute to produce an accurate and efficient transcript.
What is Required to Become a Court Reporter?
There are no standard educational requirements to become a court reporter, but a degree in court reporting or a similar discipline is helpful.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Court reporters need to have:
- self confidence
- manual dexterity
- excellent hearing skills
- typing and computer skills
- good communication skills (both written and oral)
- the ability to write fast
- the ability to speak and listen at the same time
- the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
- the ability to be comfortable sitting for long periods
- knowledge of legal terminology
- knowledge of legal procedures
- knowledge of English grammar and phonetics
- knowledge of a variety of equipment such as personal computers, transcription machines, audio equipments and printers
Should I be a Court Reporter?
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- Court Clerk
- Office Clerk
- Legal Secretary
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