What You Need to Know About Education for Court Reporters
One of the most underrated professions within court rooms is court reporting. Court reporters carry out several functions within our legal system that are essential to keep things running smoothly, and yet they mostly fade to the background.
Court reporting, in essence, is transcribing everything happening in a court room as it happens. But most of the time, this is not the only service provided by a court reporter by a long shot. They may also translate cases, gather information for attorneys, and help attorneys with other essential tasks. They may also gather cases for appellate courts. They are integral to the justice system for these reasons.
To become a court reporter, there are education programs needed as well as a certification. Generally, programs for court reporters span a year and a half. Requirements vary from program to program, but generally students are required to be able to capture 225 testimony words per minute, 200 jury charge words per minute and 180 literary words per minute. They must do all of this with a 95% accuracy rate. They should also be prepared to spend about 15 hours or more every week during their education transcribing spoken word. This will develop skills as well as improve accuracy.
Once these requirements are met, you go on to be certified by a court reporting agency. The NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) also has a speed requirement of 225 words per minute to be certified.
The great thing is, if you’re looking to get a court reporting education, now is the perfect time. Many states — California, especially — are in desperate need of young court reporters. The majority of those currently in the industry are older and starting to look into retirement, so you should start education soon! Court reporting services are always needed, so you’ll be in a job with great security.