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Six things prospective court reporters should know about this career.
For people just entering the workforce or those looking for a new career, the law might be a good option. And while lawyers get most of the attention, they are certainly not the only members of the legal industry. One profession worth looking into could be court reporting.
Most people probably have some idea of what a court reporter does, but not the intricacies involved. For example, there are many more duties than just recording what goes on during a trial or other legal proceeding. If you’re serious about pursuing a court reporting career, here are some other things you should know:
Schooling is short
If the thought of spending four years or more in college fills you with dread, you will be happy to know that training for a court reporter can usually be completed in two years or less. Not only does this mean lower costs for tuition, it means if you do need to get loans, it won’t take you as long to pay them back.
Job security is excellent
One of the best reasons to get into court reporting now is because the demand is so high. Due in part to the fact that so many have retired recently, currently there is a big shortage of court reporters around the U.S. This means that you will almost always be able to find work. And although recording devices are sometimes used instead of reporters, you don’t have to worry about machines taking over, as most people prefer working with a human.
The pay is great
Okay, let’s get to the part you’re probably most interested in. Right now, the median salary for a court reporter is almost $56,000. The typical range is between $40,000 and $73,000, which means right out of school, you could be making good money. And it’s not uncommon for court reporters to make close to $100,000.
There’s rarely a dull moment
Court reporters may be silent participants, but they are always involved in the action. They play integral roles in an assortment of legal proceeding, including trials, deposition, or arbitrations. They are frequently used for other things too, like conferences and meetings. Not only do they have the opportunity to meet and work with top legal professionals, but they also get to learn about things most people aren’t privy to.
The work is flexible
In many cases, court reporters can work as much or as little as they would like. On a freelance basis, they often have the opportunity to take the assignments they want. And because most things involving the law operate during regular business hours, there are not usually any late nights or weekend work.
The job is important
Lawyers and judges may make the headlines, but court reporters are extremely vital to our legal system. In many instances, they are the cogs that keep the wheels of justice spinning. If you are looking for a career that is not only interesting but also important, court reporting could be just what you’re after.
Want more information on what it’s like to be a court reporter?
If you are looking to start your reporting career, Boss Reporting can offer tips and guidance. Since 1995, we have been the home of the top court reporters in Broward County and around the country. Call us at 954-467-6867 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The human factor wins out every time.
We’re living in a digital world, no doubt about it. And while every industry on the planet has experienced this change in one way or another, some benefit more than others when it comes to the use of certain technologies. In the case of court reporting versus digital recording, many industry professionals still opt for capturing the conversations, testimonies, and everything else that transpires during litigation or other legal processes with a stenographic court reporter rather than using a digital recording. The reality is that nothing can match the quality of stenographic reporting. Here’s why:
1. Whoops—didn’t mean to record THAT.
When it comes to recording events that occur during legal proceedings, digital devices are notorious for capturing conversations that were not intended to be captured. These types of accidental recordings can not only be costly mistakes; they can cost you your case. Accidents like this don’t happen when a court reporter is transcribing, because a professional only reports what he or she is instructed to.
2. He said what?
Digital recordings can be great and they can also be horrible. And when it comes to recording your next deposition or litigation proceedings, you can’t afford the latter. Unfortunately, no matter how high-tech the device is, it’s not uncommon for digital recordings to capture background noises or to provide an end product that is simply inaudible. And when these things happen, it’s almost always discovered after the proceedings have concluded, resulting in major issues, appeals, and other difficulties. On the flip side, live-in-person court reporters do not record background noises and they are trained to capture only words that are spoken and that are relevant to the proceedings.
3. Could you read that back?
When it comes to requests for a readback, which happens quite often during a court proceeding, there’s no comparison to the swiftness and accuracy that a court reporter can deliver. Because he or she is present, attentive, and on top of the testimony that’s being reported, relevant sections can be found within seconds. When using a digital recording device, however, searching through the audio to find the exact testimony requested can not only be time-consuming and arduous, in some cases, it’s just not possible.
4. One step forward—two steps back.
When it’s time for a transcript, digital recordings still have to be transcribed by a professional. So even if you were lucky enough to produce a quality recording of your proceedings, the audio file must be then given to a transcriptionist to produce the official copy. Today’s court reporters can provide a first draft of the proceedings immediately and, using real-time reporting, can show testimony within seconds of the words being spoken on computer screens right in the court room. Less steps, less time, and more cost effective.
5. Let’s review!
Reviewing a digital recording is a lengthy process that most judges and attorneys don’t have time for—if a review is needed, it entails having to listen to the entire recording. Real time court reporting gives judges and attorneys the ability to review and annotate testimony during the course of the proceedings, and court reporters can provide remarks on a computer screen or print a report onsite.
6. Where’s the research?
Using digital recording devices does not give lawyers and judges the ability to perform any research during proceedings. A court reporter, however, can not only call up depositions to compare during testimony, he or she can also access online research and communicate with expert witnesses who may be testifying remotely.
We all know that you get what you pay for, and when it comes to choosing between digital recordings or stenographic court reporting, this sentiment couldn’t be more accurate. Although some attorneys may think they’ll be saving money by using the less reliable method, the reality is, cutting corners only produces a lower quality, less accurate results. And in the case of your next case, that’s a chance you shouldn’t take.
For more useful industry information, visit our blog often and to find out why Boss Reporting is a leader in real-time court reporting services throughout South Florida. And the next time you need reporting services, give us a call at 954-467-6867 or request a free quote online.