Would you like to work in the legal field but lack the time and resources needed to get a full law degree? Maybe you’re not attracted to the office environment of a paralegal or a law clerk? If that sounds like you, then you may want to consider a career as a court reporter. If you have great command over the English language, you like the prospect of freelancing and you’re intrigued by the excitement of court cases, then this article is for you.
Are you a Writer?
If you are comfortable writing for long periods of time you might be suited for a career in court reporting. Was English your favorite subject? Good writing skills are essential for a career as a court reporter so you should have an excellent awareness of grammar and a robust vocabulary to do effectively do this job. The ability to type quickly is also crucial to this profession. For example, the Certified Shorthand Reporters’ Association of Ontario (CSRAO) requires you to be able to produce 200 words per minute. In order to type this quickly, listening and comprehension skills as well as a high level of attention to detail are important to accurately grasp and transcribe what occurs in each proceeding.
Are you highly professional?
Professionalism is also a highly valued trait among good court reporters and can take on several forms. Being prompt and prepared is essential, so it is good to maintain a schedule and to stay up to date on current affairs such as new laws being passed. Being one who stays open-minded about adopting trends in the court reporting industry is also to your advantage.
Professional accreditation is another asset. Again, a law degree is not necessary to be a court reporter, but a diploma and additional certification by institutions recognized by National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) of Canada IS necessary. Getting additional certifications in things such as computer shorthand theory has also become an industry standard because this helps employers ensure that they hire court reporters that provide a competitive edge, so if you like the idea of refining a skillset and being rewarded in proportion to your then this could be for you.
Are You Flexible?
Now, if you are drawn to careers that offer a high degree of flexibility, court reporting is great for individuals who like setting their own schedules and operating as independent contractors. Court reporting and the art of transcription is a versatile skill set that is valued in several sectors. Of course, the legal sector provides many opportunities for court reporters in the form of legal hearings, quasi-legal tribunals, legislatures, and committees. The broadcast sector makes use of court reporters’ closed-captioning services and the government employs them for real-time transcription of public sessions. As a court reporter, there is no shortage of opportunities to demonstrate your usefulness in the job market.
A career as a court reporter is not all easy and possesses it’s own unique challenges. These challenges revolve around ideas such as time management, like when you are taking depositions on short notice while simultaneously managing projects with competing deadlines. Another challenge faced by court reporters is the practical challenge of being exact while transcribing, especially when there are multiple speakers at one time, or if a speaker has an accent. If you are someone who is conscientious, interested in the legal system and you are comfortable writing for long periods then these challenges won’t stop you from excelling in the field of court reporting.
Report, O. T. R. (2022, June 30). What you need to do to become a Certified Court reporter – OTR blog. On The Record Court Reporting Inc. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.otr.report/2017/03/20/what-you-need-to-do-to-become-a-certified-court-reporter/?gclid=CjwKCAiAvK2bBhB8EiwAZUbP1AucLqMlCsN1kJkePFBjJrehWJrN3ytp-PeYXgS-MJM4vjuHeXvm3BoCGukQAvD_BwE
McKay, D. R. (2019, May 16). What does a court reporter do? LiveAbout. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.liveabout.com/court-reporter-525667
Requirements for being a court reporter in Canada. crao.ca. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from http://crao.ca/requirements-for-being-a-court-reporter-in-canada/
Students. CSRAO. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from http://csrao.net/students/
Colleen Jilio-RyanColleen Jilio-Ryan is the Owner of Jilio-Ryan. (2019, April 12). 4 major challenges for court reporters to overcome – jilio-ryan. Jilio. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.jilioryan.com/blog/4-major-challenges-for-court-reporters-to-overcome/