Some who are considering a career in court reporting may not realize what a meaningful job this is. It comes with a lot of responsibilities.
When one thinks about court reporting opportunities, what comes to mind for most is that they will be working within the courthouse. There are variations in the work environment for this type of career. The Canadian government sometimes has job postings for court reporters in settings outside of the traditional courthouse environment.
The requirements which are placed on the court reporters are the same as they have been for many years. However, the way that they fill their responsibilities has become much easier due to new technology.
Depending on the position which the court reporter is filling, there may be some variations in their duties. However, generally, they will be expected to:
- Make a recording of everything which is said in the formal courtroom setting. They may do this by taking down the conversation in shorthand first then typing it out in full English afterwards.
- They are required to use a specialized keyboard for their transcribing.
- Revision of final documents
- Provide the completed transcripts to the judge, as well as the legal parties involved in the specific court case at hand.
These duties are the traditional way in which court reporting has been done for years. Now with new technology, court reporters can offer different services.
In some of the modern-day courts, the conversations are no longer transcribed in real-time but are recorded instead. In these cases, the court reporter has the responsibility of making sure that the equipment is functioning properly. Generally, they will be required to listen to the audio as it is taking place to make sure that everything is recorded clearly.
Variations in the duties and services can be present depending on where the court reporters’ services are needed. Commonly they are present when pre-trials are taking place, as well as for trials. However, their work doesn’t end when the trial does. The court reporter then has to see to it that the notes which were taken, no matter in which format, are transcribed properly. There are specific formats that these transcriptions must be completed in.
The court reporter must know how to write and read shorthand even though modern technology has replaced the need for this in many cases.
The final transcript, which is prepared by the court reporter, becomes a legal document. The judges and lawyers rely on these transcriptions to carry out their duties in the legal system. If there are any errors in the transcript as to what was said, there could be serious repercussions for the trial at hand.
For this reason, the court reporter must proofread their work several times over. In general, there are several tasks that a court reporter has to carry out in their position.
The Work Environment
One of the advantages of becoming a court reporter is that there are opportunities for them to be self-employed. However, for those who want to work within the court system, then they may be able to find government positions for this. For example, the government does hire court reporters for their military courts.
Getting Properly Educated
The student who is aspiring to become a court reporter has to make some decisions as to where they want their career to go before they decide on any formal training. For those who want to work within the court system, they need to know what the requirements are for their particular province, as this can vary.
Overall the choice of court reporting as a career is a good one because there will always be a legal system. As such, there will always be a need for the transcribing of conversations. Modern technology may change the way this is done, but there will still be a need for the court reporter to oversee it.
It will be essential to keep up with changes as new technology becomes available because this will put those who are familiar with it in the lead for job positions.