What does a Court Reporter do?
A career as a court reporter is a good choice for those who are looking into the criminal justice field. A court reporter can perform a wide variety of jobs with a degree. Their primary function is the recording of court proceedings in the judicial system. However, they can also transcribe business meetings, depositions and pretrial cases, and provide close-captioning to the hard-of-hearing as well as translation services.
A court reporter who works in the judicial court system will transcribe the spoken words that occur during a court procedure. This will include what is said by the judge, lawyers, accused, witnesses, etc. They will also prepare these official transcripts so the lawyers, judges, and litigants in the case can use them. A court reporter is responsible for recording every detail of the conversation so that they can certify that what they transcribed is accurate. The transcripts will then be filed as the official documentation of the court procedure.
A court reporter working within the judicial system will also need to have certain personal skills. They should be able to communicate well with those around them, stay organized and motivated, and have excellent time management skills. They will be required to work in high-pressure cases, many of which become public on the news or in print. A court reporter will be responsible for transcribing a proceeding in detail, and there will not be room for any errors, since this will be the only written account of the trial or court appearance. These documents are essential to the judicial system.
A court reporter’s job is not restricted to working in the courts. Freelancing is an option for graduates of this field. Lawyers and large corporations may hire a court reporter for a freelance position to record depositions, stockholder minutes, and other legal meetings that take place. This is especially important between some companies and their clients, as they may need to have an accurate report of any negotiations that go on.
A court reporter will conduct their job by using a stenotype machine, as well as a computer. A stenotype is a machine that uses a special type of shorthand and the sounds of words as a way to record a conversation. A CAD program, or computer-aided transcription, will then be used on the computer. This transmits the information from the stenotype into English for review and storage. With much advancement in computer software, a court reporter is now able to use a program that will show the transcript on a computer screen, even while the event is being transcribed. This is known as CART, or communication access real-time translation. This is especially important for those who may have trouble hearing, or who are deaf, to understand what is happening in the procedure.
Court reporters may also use a stenograph machine to enter in the captions for live television broadcasts. This is for the benefit of people at home who may be interested in a live program, but are hard-of-hearing or legally deaf. Close captioning will allow them to read across the bottom of their television screens what is going on. This job is known as Broadcast Captioners or sometimes Stenocaptioners.
The field of court reporters is exciting, and an excellent choice for many. It is challenging and offers graduates many different job opportunities in many areas of the law and even television