Court Reporting degree
Court reporters have a high level of responsibility. Career training equips students to deal with the challenges of the profession; coursework includes in-depth examinations of legal procedures, legal terminology, the English language, listening and speaking practices, and courtroom etiquette and established custom.
The use of Computer Aided Transcription (CAT) is one of the first skills taught to court reporting students. Successful students will also develop a high typing speed; during most court reporting degree programs, typing speed is recorded daily and students move on to the next level of difficulty as their ability demonstrates.
Court Reporting Jobs
A court reporter is exposed to a variety of legal proceedings. The nature of the courtroom activity depends upon the jurisdiction of the court in which he or she is working. After a few years, a court reporter may wish to train for a career as a paralegal or attorney. Court reporters often find that their work experience has prepared them for various kinds of legal work.
Court reporters may work in a variety of physical environments, such as an attorney's office, a convention, or a courtroom. As a freelancer, he or she may work from home. Most court reporters work a regular 40-hour week, though freelance or self-employed court reporters may have a more flexible or odd schedule that could include weekend, evening, or on-call hours.
Court Reporting Job Duties
Official court reporters are employed by the government, on a regular salary, and generally report to a single judge. Freelance reporters work as independent contractors, either on their own or with court reporting firms, and will go where they are needed at any given time. Hay Management Consultants conducted a survey and identified four different levels of court reporting:
- The entry-level reporter, who takes and transcribes the court record, under supervision
- Has a state or national certificate
- The experienced reporter, who can help court officials compile information during trial
- The seasoned reporter, who uses the information s/he records to assist court officials during trial
The different functions of a court reporter fall into several categories. The Hay study also composed a list of job duties that court reporters might be asked to perform:
- Precise, real-time captioning in courtrooms outfitted with computer monitors
- Use of computer technology to code and cross-reference the court record
- Training and supervision in the use of computers and software for entering and accessing information
- Providing support to judge and attorneys regarding clerical procedures
- Hiring and instructing support staff and volunteers in appropriate methods for office tasks and reviewing court transcripts
- Purchasing equipment and supplies as needed
- Keeping a steady and exact inventory of courtroom supplies
- Monitoring transcript traffic
- Keeping an accurate financial log