Are you looking for a certified court reporter or court reporting service? Or perhaps you need the services of a legal videographer to record a deposition? If so, you might be interested in knowing some information about court reporter requirements and other important details.
There were 21,200 court reporters in the United States as of 2012. Currently there are over 50,000 court reporters, over 70% of whom work outside the court. From the period of 2012-to-2022, employment opportunities for court reporters are expected to increase 10%.
If you would like to know more about court reporting specialists, including court videographers, you may be interested in contacting one or more of the three national court reporting associations:
- The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
- The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA)
- The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook indicates that some states may require court reporters to be state-licensed and certified by a professional organization such as those listed above.
The NCRA, for example, represents 20,000 stenographers. This association requires their stenographers to be able to record a minimum of 225 words a minute for certification purposes.
While the requirements may vary among certification programs, they tend to adhere to the following words per minute:
- 225 testimony words
- 200 jury charge words
- 180 literary words
While testimony words per minute may be a basic requirement, some certification programs may require the jury charge and literary word minimums in addition to the basic requirements. It is also important to note that court reporters need to have a 95% accuracy rate.
According to the BLS, prospective court reporters may be able to find a court reporting program at a community college or technical institute. Many of these types of schools offer postsecondary certificate programs.
On average, the time to complete both the court reporting education program and the certification process is 33.3 months. The duration of a program and the certification process will depend on several factors. In addition to school requirements, another factor is the student’s ability to attain and/or exceed the minimum speeds and accuracy required.
According to the BLS, the services of court reporters may be utilized in the following situations:
- Other types of legal proceedings
- Television captioning
The BLS also indicates that court reporters may provide real-time translation to assist the deaf and hard-of-hearing during these types of events or situations:
- Public events
- Business meetings
A court reporting service may supply court reporters to a variety of venues. In addition to working on an as-needed basis or as an independent contractor, the BLS indicates that independent court reporters, as well as court reporting services, may work in the following environments:
- State or local government offices
- Law firms
Travel is usually involved, according to the BLS. While some of this may be minimal, such as traveling to-and-from different courthouses or offices, some court reporters may work remotely. Remote court reporters may work from their home or a central office utilizing Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART).
When you contact a court reporting service to discuss your requirements, they can provide you with additional information that you may need.