Career Growth in Court Reporting
Court reporting careers are experiencing tremendous growth as attorneys, judges and other members of the legal system scramble to find more people than devices to assist in the documentation of legal proceedings. Between problems with recorders and other devices that preserve courtroom testimony and depositions and the common errors that occur when media is transcribed by a third party, the need for human court reporters is growing tremendously.
The person behind the stenograph machine is usually a contractor or freelancer that provides a service to courts, attorneys or mediators. With the abundance of court reporting jobs needing to be filled, a certified court reporter has the benefits of both a steady income and scheduling flexibility. However, court reporters must also be prepared for last-minute calls into court in order to quickly fill the requirements of the legal system, plus, some of the testimony in court can be violent, disturbing, mundane and anywhere in between.
These court reporters provide a human touch to testimony that revolves around personalissues, whether in criminal or civil courts and are vital to the legal process both for their accuracy of transcription as well as the ability to convey emotion and other personality nuances that cannot otherwise be determined through the use of electronic recording devices or closed-captioned broadcasts. Court reporters are trained to understand not only the emotional nature of a person's testimony, but also the legal meanings behind courtroom proceedings. Court reporters can ask for clarification of testimony and may be required to repeat the testimony of a witness in order to clarify meaning or intent to the court.
In addition to recording the testimony within a court room or the deposition of witnesses, many court reporters are also able to transfer their skills into the world of closed captioning for television and Internet web casts. Real-time translations in which a person transcribes conversations, speeches or meetings can assist the hearing-impaired community in daily work and life tasks.
As courts begin to see the detriments caused by technological failures and third-party translators, many are turning back to the standard court reporter in order to have reliable and accurate documention of legal proceedings. Court reporting provides an interesting, stable and lucrative career for those interested in becoming a valuable part of the legal system and with the potential for growth exceeding expectations, the ability of a court reporter to thrive in the legal community is endless.