What To Look For Before Hiring Court Reporter Services

Certified legal video specialists

In the 1980s and 1990s, futurists were predicting that the court reporter services industry would disappear completely in the digital age. They believed that digital technologies would make court reporter services obsolete. Instead, this industry is actually growing; the employment of court reporters is expected to increase 10% between 2012 and 2022.
There are a number of reasons for this, but as the country’s population has grown, as the prison population has grown, as the number of divorces has grown, as immigration courts have grown, and as the number of extra-legal arbitration organizations has grown, so too has the need for court reporters.
In fact, more than 70% of the nation’s court reporters and stenographers are now employed outside of the court! That also means that many people find themselves hiring court reporter services for the first time, and they have no idea where to start. If that applies to you, then what should you look for when hiring court reporting agencies?
The number one thing to look for?
Experience. When you’re choosing a court reporting firm you want to look for a service with many years of experience. And not only should the firm itself have experience, but the stenographers employed there should have many years of experience as well.
Second, you’ll want to hire NCRA court reporters. The National Court Reporters Association is the largest association in the industry, and it has incredibly strict standards for membership. In order to become a NCRA court reporter you must prove you have a minimum speed of 225 words per minute!
You should also understand the difference between traditional typists and stenographers. Today, many court reporters use a spoken word stenograph machine, which transcribes as they speak aloud the words spoken in the courtroom. If you have a preference, or if you want to learn more, make sure you ask the agency in question for more information.
Finally, if you are looking to hire professional court reporters to work outside the courtroom, you’ll want to make sure that particular agency has experience in your area. Some court reporter services still work exclusively in the public sector, while others will have more experience relevant to your needs.

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