Law is a vast field with many different kinds of careers all working in cohesion toward a common goal. While family attorneys and city judges are well-known elements of the legal system, yet others will use skills such as sketching, writing and recording to help with legal proceedings. Video court reporting is one such field that requires an understanding of law as well as journalistic integrity and familiarity with the written word. People who are interested in court reporting should continue reading below as I explain how this field works in the U.S., the responsibilities of a court reporter and how you can become one.
Court Reporting In The U.S.
Where there are court hearings, there are certified court reporters. It’s estimated there are 21,000 court reporters in the U.S. working as of 2012, with the employment figures expecting to increase by 10% in the next eight to ten years. In the United States there are three national court reporting associations — the NCRA, the NVRA and the AAERT.
The Responsibility Of A Professional Court Reporter
Court reporters have the responsibility of writing and maintaining documents of proceedings in the court. They transcribe recorded, spoken and, at times, already written speech into a modern document that will be used for future court hearings. They are also known as stenographers and need a minimum of 225 words per minute to be certified by the NCRA (the National Court Reporters Association). It’s estimated that 70% of the United States’ court reporters work outside of the court.
Becoming A Court Reporter
If you are interested in becoming a stenographer then you need to fulfill multiple specifications to be considered for either a degree or a certification. Each certification program has different requirements, though commonalities include a typing proficiency, accuracy test and comprehension screening. Students should expect to spend at least 15 hours per week practicing their transcribing skills and honing them to the allotted standard. Whether you want to become a stenographer or work in video court reporting, there are multiple resources available for you to use.