Any fan of television crime shows has seen those moments when the camera shot includes a glimpse of the court reporter efficiently typing away on a strange-looking keyboard called a stenograph machine. But is court reporting an actual job that’s still in demand, or is that merely the stuff of fiction?
What is Court Reporting?
Not only is court reporting an actual job, but it’s also an exciting career option for people who’d like to be part of the judicial process. Court reporters hold an important and respected position as impartial guardians of the record. They create an official transcript that helps provide accountability to the trial process. If a litigant appeals their case, the word-by-word transcript serves as an accurate record of what they said during the case.
The duties of a court reporter include:
Capturing spoken dialogue with a stenograph machine or other special equipment
Reviewing notes to make certain names and technical terminology are correct
Reading back portions of the transcript when asked
- Identifying speakers to capture which speaker is speaking for the record
Asking speakers to clarify statements that are inaudible
Providing certified transcripts of the Official Transcripts to the appropriate parties
Providing immediate rough drafts of proceedings to counsel and/or parties
Providing real-time stream so parties and judges may read while listening.
Where do Court Reporters Work?
Not all the work of a court reporter is done in the courtroom. Attorneys can request the services of a reporter to depose witnesses in depositions preparation for a trial. Other legal environments, such as legislatures, meetings, and hearings, also require the services of a reporter.
There is more flexibility in a career in court reporting than many people imagine. Occasionally, court reporters are asked to travel to other locations like a public event, legal proceedings in a foreign country, or meeting site. The National Court Reporter Organization reports that over 70 percent of court reporters in the United States work outside of the courtroom. Many court reporters enjoy the freedom and independence of working as a freelancer.
Remote court reporting is an option that provides safety and flexibility for clients and reporters. Companies like iDepo Hawaii, LLC provide remote deposition services that include any necessary training or even equipment testing for counsel or witnesses.
What is the Job Outlook for Court Reporting?
Job growth in the field of court reporting is projected to grow 9 percent in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s much faster than the average growth for all other occupations. Court official reporters have a base salary of around $72,000, but transcript income is then added on top of the base salary. This could push their salary into the 6 figures.
For even more career options, many court reporters also study to become real-time CART reporters who provide captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. Training to be a scopist—a professional transcript editor—can provide even more career opportunities.
How do I become a Court Reporter?
Training and certification are required to work as a court reporter. The National Court Reporters Association has information on how and where candidates can take certification tests as well as the prerequisites for testing.
Certification for Hawaii certified court reporters is passing the RPR, Registered Professional Reporter license, and then a written test must be passed in order to become certified in Hawaii.
Do You Need a Court Reporter?
iDepo Hawaii LLC makes it easy to find and schedule a professional court reporter. Visit our website and complete one simple form, we will handle the rest. iDepo provides legal support services throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the Mainland.