Court Reporter: Nature of Work

Because of the growing demand for court reporters, many are aspiring to become one. And because you are reading this, perhaps you are even one of them. Before you enroll yourself in a stenotype or real-time reporting program, it would be worth your time to fully understand what comes with the job of becoming a court reporter. This way, you will know if this is the kind of career path you want to take.

A court reporter conjures images of recording legal proceedings in a courtroom setting. And indeed that is what a lot of reporters do. They make verbatim transcripts of every word that was said in a trial, ensuring that who uttered what and the complete recording of what was said is accurately transcribed.

However, courtrooms are not the only places where court reporters work in. They can also be found in corporate board rooms, the U.S. Congress, government agencies and virtually in any other setting where the spoken word must be recorded for future references. With the growing popularity of webcasting and the Internet, many court reporters also work from home, capturing everything that goes on in sales meetings, press conferences and seminars and transmit all information to everyone online in real-time. Another breed of court reporters called broadcast captioners specialize in placing captions on television programs for individuals with hearing impairments. Broadcast captioners are usually employed with television networks, cable stations, news agencies and emergency broadcast systems. Court reporters with CART or Communication Access Real- time Translation provides more personalized services to those who are hard of hearing.

Aside from recordings, what other responsibilities come with the job of a court reporter? For stenographic or voice-writing reporters, it is their duty to create and maintain a computer dictionary that translates their keystroke codes or voice files into written text. After each proceeding has been documented, they are also responsible for editing the computer-generated translation for grammar corrections. Court reporters must also ensure that they give copies of the transcripts to those who need them to all the parties and institutions involved in the proceeding. They should store all these recordings in an easily retrievable form.

In addition to the above-mentioned responsibilities, court reporters may also be asked to organize and search for information and previous records. They may also be called upon to make suggestions regarding administrative and procedural issues in the courtroom .

Court reporters must ensure that all names, places and other details of the proceedings are accurate. They also need to be able to sit and concentrate for hours, depending on how long the trial or meeting is going to be. These can cause various physical stresses such as carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist and eye problems and back pains. Freelance court reporters have more flexibility when it comes to working their own hours although those who are affiliated with a private or government agency enjoy a more stable future with a comprehensive benefits and retirement package.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Court Reporter, then the first step is the Court Reporter Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Border Patrol hiring process.

For more information, go to our page for the Court Reporter Exam Study Guide


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