When many people think of working within the court system, they often think of judges or lawyers. Usually the association with court is a position of power, and many fail to realize that court reporters are quickly becoming a growing position within the sector. In 2012, there were over 20,000 court reporters in the United States alone. Employment for this position is expected to increase at least 10% by the year 2022. Court reporters are an important part of the system, since they take down everything that is going on within a case during a legal trial. These individuals work with a variety of mediums including in-person transcription and even video deposition. Here are three reasons why court reporters are quickly becoming in-demand.
Court Reporters Require Education, But Not as Long as That of a Lawyer or Judge
Individuals who wish to become a court reporter will not need to spend as much time in school as a lawyer would. In fact, the average time in school is about 33 months, which translates into two and a half years, depending on the class schedule. Individuals must also type at least 225 words per minute. Since speaking between clients and attorneys can happen quickly, speed is of utmost importance. Homework is not a cakewalk, since students are expected to spend at least 15 hours a week outside of classes working on their transcribing skills and dedicating themselves to continuous improvement. Those who work at a slow and steady pace and constantly challenge themselves to improve will see results, and be able to take on court reporter responsibilities in a timely and official fashion outside of school.
Work Can Take Place in Many Different Locations, and Even Allow Individuals to Work From Home
With over 65% of court reporters working outside of court, there are many different locations that they can work from. This includes working from home, thanks to the internet and cloud technology. With the advent of different ways of taking testimony, including video deposition, many reporters find their duties require them to transcribe what is captured in audio or through video. Video deposition allows individuals to give sworn statements about something that may have happened. Court reporters must then take down the details and accurately transcribe the video deposition, the same as they would if the individuals were in a traditional courtroom setting. Since technology and new ways of taking information and testimony has risen, this makes being a court reporter a flexible career that appeals to many different lifestyles.
Court Reporters Have Their Own Association Dedicated to Education and Betterment of Their Services
There is a court reporter association that individuals can join, known as the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). By joining an association, individuals have the opportunity to meet others who do the same time of work, have abilities to network, and can even find a new job. Of course, there are always opportunities for continuing education, which is sometimes required for professionals. For those that are moving to a new area, or are looking for clients or other reporters that are outsourcing work, this is a prime way of finding these contacts. It is also helpful since it is likely that court reporters who work in a traditional courtroom setting are usually the only one in their profession, and they might be hard-pressed to find others doing the same job. This can lead to isolation. Finding similar individuals in their line of work can allow them to ask questions and have a sounding board.
Individuals who wish to become court reporters will find a new career path. They can work in a legal setting without needing several years of schooling, since the average court reporter spends two and a half years in school. They also may have the opportunity to work from home, thanks to new developments such as video deposition. For those that are looking for ways to better their skills and network with other individuals in their profession, there are multiple associations they can join. Court reporters will find varied work, and because they legal system is based in government, there will always be a need for the skilled services they offer.