How to Become a Certified Court Reporter

National court reporter

Anyone who has ever been involved in the legal system understands how complex the entire system is. There are many laws and many regulations when it comes to a trial. There are minimum requirements when it comes to selecting a jury. There is also a complex process in place for selecting judges. These regulations are all necessary to ensure that every single person has a fair right to trial. They have the right to have their case heard in front of a jury and a judge, who will decide their sentence and whether or not they are innocent or guilty. An additional important part of this process is court reporting. Because of the logistics that are involved and the importance of the outcome, all court systems require that all events and conversations are documented. This ensures that everyone is treated fairly and that any question of unfairness can be double checked.

The court reporter is responsible for documenting every single conversation said by anyone in the court room. They record everything word for word, ensuring that the exact meaning of the saying is documented. This can protect people and it documents the sentencing of the defendant. A lot goes into the training and the skillset of the court reporter, because their job is so important. For example, the minimum speed needed to become certified by the NCRA is 225 words per minute. A certified court reporter will find more jobs, as most court systems trust those court reporters who are certified and a member of a court reporter association.

Court reporting is a unique job because it is independent, contractual type work. You do not work around other court reporters, instead often being the only court reporter in the room. Being a court reporter is an important job and once a specific court house has a dependable and qualified court reporter, they are likely to use their services again in the future. This is important to the success of the court reporter, as most court reporters work on a contract basis, meaning they are not employed by a specific court house on an hourly basis. More than 70% of the nation?s 50,000 plus court reporters work outside the court.

Someone who wants to become a court reporter should firstly work on the necessary skills of court reporting, including their typing speed, their typing accuracy and even general knowledge of the legal system can be helpful. Once these basic skills are developed, it can be beneficial to attend a court report school. These types of educational programs provide interested court reporters with advanced typing skills, additional legal knowledge and the basic ins and outs of becoming a court reporter. Students should be prepared to spend as many as 15 hours each week transcribing the spoken word in order to develop these skills. Additionally, they will provide information and offer membership to a court reporter association. A court reporter association can assist the individual with access to open court reporting jobs. They can also offer a type of protection or insurance to current court reporters. Joining a court reporter association is an important and beneficial part of the court reporting process.

There are a lot of regulations and rules set in order to ensure that every person receives a fair trial. It is just a part of how our legal system is set up. To ensure that every single person receives a fair trial, a court reporter documents everything said and done during the trial. A lot of skills are involved with court reporting and someone who is interested in becoming a court reporter can attend a court reporting school to foster these skills. Joining a court reporting association can also be a valuable tool when starting out, to help find additional court reporting jobs.

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