In 2012 the total number of court reporters in the U.S. was over 21,000. Of that number many work in the professional court reporting role of stenographer, rapidly typing every word that is spoken during proceedings and trials. However, as technology has advanced, so too has court reporting. Over the past decade or so legal videography has become more and more popular and prevalent in the legal system.
In order to become certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), 1 of the 3 nationally recognized associations, you must type 225 words per minute. That’s quite a clip to work at consistently and accurately. For the right person though it is achievable and can make for exciting work. Every day offers new characters and issues that can keep things interesting. Anyone interested in becoming a stenographer should expect to study for at least 15 hours per week transcribing and developing these skills.
The newer form of court reporting involves cameras and a little bit of editing. These professionals learn how to shoot and edit footage both in and out of the actual courtroom. In fact, today about 70% of court reporters don’t see the inside of a courtroom on a regular basis. In many ways things like remote depositions make the legal system more functional. You no longer have to fly in a witness or legal expert from across the country to testify. A legal videographer can get it all done locally and send it to the necessary parties involved.
The advancements in the field have certainly helped the growth of the profession as a whole. The outlook for court reporting jobs is good as the field is expected to grow almost 10% by the year 2022. Many of these new jobs will be on the legal videography side as the courts and judicial system continue to learn and evolve to better suit the needs of the people. The ability to be even more accurate with video makes this form appealing as well. These specific jobs require different skills for different people and open the door for more people to find a place as a court reporter either in the traditional sense or in legal videography.