A court reporter is a person that is used in the court room as a transcriptional for all of the live chatter going on between the lawyers, the judge, and everyone else speaking in the room. In plain English, they type everything that is said out loud in a court room so that jurors, the judge, and everyone else has the text for reference later on. The records department, the media, and all of the others that will need to see these documents will be very appreciative of the court reporter.
The Job Description
The obvious part of the job description is that a court reporter documents all of the court proceedings that are deemed necessary by the court. You will also find that most judges will require these reporters to help them get organized before trial and sometimes they will be asked to get information from the records department as well. The deaf and hard of hearing will also need translation or closed captioning, which is also to be dealt with by the reporter.
What is Transcribing?
There are many ways that a court reporter might decide they are going to transcribe the proceedings, which basically means how they are going to document it.
-The stenographic method is the one that most reporters on TV will use when they are in a court room. Basically the steno-graph is hooked up to a computer and the typing is being passed over to the computer.
-Electronic reporting is the next method that can also be used. In this scenario, the reporter will be monitoring the audio equipment that was set to record the proceedings closely. They will then have to make a transcription out of the audio later on to submit to records and the court.
-The last method is a voice writer. Voice writer’s are those that where masks with a microphone inside of them. They repeat just about everything that they hear into that microphone. Then once they are done they have to make the transcription to submit.
The Court Reporter Job – More Than Just Typing
Many people are under the impression that a court reporter types, and that is it. When in reality, they need to be highly organized as well. They have to go back through all of their transcripts and make sure every name is right, there are no spelling mistakes, and that it is completely error free before it is given to records and the court. This can be quite a daunting task when you think about how many pages are transcribed in a court proceeding. The job can be very time consuming and stressful because of this, but it is well worth it when you get the paycheck that comes with it.
Where Do They Work?
Reporters of the court obviously can work in a court room. You can work with the local government or you can work with business services. A company may hire you or you might decide that you are going to go out on your own as a freelancer. There has been close to a 25% growth rate in the employment for this job position. If you like to type, and you like being part of the legal proceedings, this is going to be the job for you.