Everyone has seen those people that are typing really fast to keep up with the things that are being said in a court room. They are doing something called court reporting and their job is to operate a stenotype, which is a special typewriter that is used for this specific job.
There are many technological advances that have made court reporting a lot easier but the use of a stenotype is still regular in most courtrooms. Court reporting might evolve with new gadgets but the career itself is still very much alive and essential as part of the legal process inside a court room. The need to keep a log of everything that is said and debated in a legal dispute is and will always be something very important. The court reporting process serves as the official record to anything that is said inside the courtrooms, so it’s important to understand just how much value this job has for any legal process.
Why Court Reporters Are Still Necessary
You might get more accuracy with the help of technology but the need to have an actual human typing these conversations down is still and will most likely be required for a very long time to come. You can have all the technology in the world but until they don’t come up with artificial intelligence that matches the human brain, there will be no substitute to a person for this job and all the variables it involves. The minimum typing speeds required to become a professional court reporter are at least 200 to 225 words per minute. The stenotype machine doesn’t include all the letters of the alphabet and several combinations of buttons make up for the missing letters.
There are court reporting schools that specialize in teaching people all the required knowledge to become a certified court reporter. Learning proper stenography can take at least 2 years of training. The career of court reporting and stenography goes beyond the courtrooms with jobs also on television and general captioning available for people with degrees on court reporting. There is a very high demand for caption work and this is because many TV networks are being required to have the option of captioning on their channels for those with hearing impairments.
Other jobs include administrative assistant, medical transcriptionist, data entry and information processing, paralegals and legal assistant. All those jobs are always in high demand and could become full time careers for anyone involved in stenography, so there are plenty of ways to make a living if you are trained in court reporting and you want to branch out to something else.
Court reporters are now earning very competitive salaries. If someone is interested in a job in the legal profession but not necessarily as a lawyer, the option of becoming a court reporter is definitely one of the most viable and rewarding in the field. You need to have great hearing and be able to precisely type down all details involved in a conversation. Accuracy has to be your priority in every job too. Some court reporters are allowed to electronically record the entire process to be typed down later, but for most cases the reporter has to be writing everything as it happens in real time and this is why formal training is important. You need to master spelling, grammar and punctuation in order to be successful at this career.
Now that you are aware of all the things that are involved in becoming a court reporter and how this career is still very much alive regardless of technological advances, you can make an informed decision about the options you have for career choices if you decide study court reporting.