Requirements to be a Court Reporters
The importance of court reporters in Wisconsin should not be underestimated. Take a recent case for example. A Wisconsin man was convicted of killing his parents in 2011 after subsequently pleading guilty to the crime. In 2013 the man appealed his conviction, claiming that police lacked a search warrant when they found the bodies of his slain parents. The Wisconsin Appeals Court denied his appeal after simply reviewing the court record, including the court report without the need for an additional costly trial.
Because court reporters in Wisconsin deal with such sensitive information, and make records that could be used in high stakes cases, including murder cases, they must be highly focused individuals who pay close attention to detail. Also, because certain information in a court procedure may be proprietary, classified, or otherwise guarded, a Wisconsin court reporter must maintain the strictest confidentiality.
In order to work as a freelance court reporter in the state of Wisconsin there is no certification requirements, only the need to get the right education. However, to work as an employee of the Wisconsin court system, there are applicable certification requirements.
In order to become a court reporter in the state of Wisconsin you must:
Becoming a court reporter in Wisconsin assures an exciting career that offers job security, good pay, and a real challenge. Court reporters in Wisconsin are used in two ways:
- By the court system to document court proceedings
- Away from court in private practice to record legal proceedings such as depositions
Step 1. Graduate from a NCRA or NVRA Accredited School
The only way to qualify to become a court reporter in Wisconsin is to enroll in a one of the court reporting schools in the state that offer programs necessary to develop the skills needed to perform the job. Choose a court reporter program that has been accredited by either the National Court Reporters Association or the National Verbatim Reporters Association.
These court reporter schools offer programs that include courses in:
- Legal and Medical Terminology
- Machine Shorthand Theory
- Grammar and Punctuation
- Courtroom Procedures
- Transcript Preparation
It is a good idea to get additional certifications in order to continue to increase your skill set. It is important to note that both the NCRA and the NVRA offer three levels of certification, with the base-level certification needed to gain employment with the court system. However, in Wisconsin’s competitive job market, higher certifications may help make the difference in landing a job.
Explore Other Education Options Related to Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
Here you’ll find schools that offer certificate and degree programs well suited to a career in legal assisting, law office management and the paralegal profession.