A lot of people have an interest in law but don’t have the time or attention to become involved in it
A lot of people have an interest in law but don’t have the time or attention to become involved in it as a lawyer or law enforcement officer. Fortunately, there are many other opportunities available for those who want to enter the legal industry.
When looking at a career in court reporting, it is important not to get it confused with journalism. There are some court reporters who cover the courts so they can report the news through different media platforms. The court reporting covered here deals with those individuals who fulfill specific duties in the courtroom, assigned to them by the court system.
What Does a Court Reporter Do?
In many cases, the traditional court reporter is responsible for recording all of the formal conversations which take place in a courtroom. They do this with the use of specialized equipment, and they are required to have specific education and a certain amount of training to qualify as this type of court reporter.
Working From Home
There are similar positions that are classed as court reporting but are not done in the actual court environment. Often, there are documents of conversations that have to be prepared for court admission. This is slightly different compared to working within the court environment.
Within the court reporting categories, some skilled professionals are transcriptionists. Their job is to transcribe conversations into written form. Their source of information is usually a tape which has been made of a specific conversation. The transcriptionist listens to these tapes and transcribes what is being said word for word. Sometimes these professionals are referred to as stenographers. However, for court documents, it is the court reporter transcriptionists who are often used.
Sometimes these experts are required to produce the transcription in real-time. In these cases, they will be needed to go to a specific location to complete this task. Such as a lawyer’s office, for example. Or to a mediation that is being held at the court premises but not in the actual courtroom itself.
Modern technology is replacing the traditional method of using shorthand, but on occasion, it is still used. In these instances, the court reporter transcriber will take down the notes of a conversation or event in shorthand. Then they may return home to transcribe these notes in full English.
Thanks to new technology, more opportunities for being able to work from home in the court reporting industry are becoming available. An example of this is real-time court reporting where the legal profession has access to the transcripts they need by accessing them from their computers.
Those who are interested in entering into this type of career will need to seek out the proper training. To do this, they need to decide whether they want to become certified within this industry. By doing so, it gives them the option to be able to work in the courtroom setting. Those who prefer to work in other environments or work from home will want to seek out training programs that encompass this.
There are other forms of transcribing which fall outside of the legal industry but have the same concept about it. For example, there are broadcast (closed) captioning careers. These have many of the same skills demands that court reporting does.
Researching the Opportunities
For those who want to work in the court reporting industry from home, they should check out what job opportunities are available to them within their area.
Full course training facilities for the traditional court reporters are somewhat limited in Canada. Interested individuals should contact one of the associations responsible for this industry to see what schools are available to offer certification. The associations to seek out are:
- National Court Reporters Association
- Certified Shorthand Reporters Association of Ontario
These are organizations that qualified court reporters will have to become members of. It is essential to know what their criteria are so that the proper training program can be chosen. Choosing court reporting as a career offers some great opportunities in the working world.