5 guidelines for hiring a Professional Court Reporter for your Agency
As the President of Elite Reporting Agency, I am responsible to hire freelance court reporters to cover assignments for the agency’s clientele. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of key things to look for when considering a professional court reporter for a court reporting position at the firm.
- Has this individual obtained any state or national certifications? For example, do they have their Registered Professional Reporter or Certified Realtime Reporter certification from the National Court Reporters Association or a comparable certificate from the state or states where they previously performed court reporting? Other certifications through NCRA would include Registered Merit Reporter, Registered Diplomate Reporter, and Certified Realtime Captioner.
- How long have they worked as a court reporter and with what agency or agencies were they working with? Do they have references that you can contact?
- What types of court reporting work have they performed? As an example, were they assigned to court, hearings, arbitrations, depositions, or CART? Were they performing realtime and/or providing rough drafts to clients? This will give you an idea of their level of comfort and ability to handle the work they may be scheduled.
- Are they willing to provide a transcript of their work product? This is by far the best indicator of the reporter’s ability to turn out a final transcript that is accurate and professional in formatting and punctuation.
- Do they project an air of professionalism in their speech, dress, and demeanor? Court reporters work closely with attorneys, paralegals, and court staff. It is imperative they convey confidence to clients with their words, actions, demeanor, and appearance.
Hiring is complicated. Just because the transcript is accurate doesn’t mean the client will be satisfied. In addition, the legal profession expects and demands a court reporter that is competent, professional, on-time, pleasant to work with, and can provide what the client requests at the time requested, if not sooner. The ideas listed above create a solid framework for any agency to follow when hiring a professional court reporter. Happy hiring!