If you’re interested in the law niche, yet don’t want to take the time to go to school to become a lawyer or judge, you might want to become a court reporter. Between the years 2012 and 2022, it’s foreseen that the certified court reporting niche will increase by 10%. Not only do people realize the need for this job, but they also enjoy doing it now since it requires less schooling.
What Does it Take to Become a Court Reporter?
If your goal is to become a court reporter, you want to make sure that you understand the job description fully. Let’s look at what it takes.
- Be a Fast Typist — Most of your duties will directly involve the typewriter. For certain situations, you may have to type as people are speaking. So, you will need to have excellent typing skills. To become a certified court reporter with the NCRA, you need to have a minimum typing speed of 225 words per minute. While this might seem ridiculous, it is something that is needed, especially when you’re recording speech. The average human speaks up to 225 words per minute, so you must be able to type at the speed of a human speaking to excel in the field.
- Attend Depositions and Hearings — One of the perks, when you become a court reporter, is that you get to attend depositions and hearings. If you’re looking to eventually go through law school or just have a general interest in it, you will love this part. While you are transcribing most of what’s going on, you get to hear many different interesting facts. You get to see different arguing strategies and see how to build a case or defend one.
These are the two main jobs for certified court reporters today.
Who is This Field Intended For?
Well, this is a question that you can answer. If you’re interested and want to pursue the law field, you want to start here if you can. The training needed takes minimal time in comparison to other fields of law, including being a lawyer or judge. Most students are expected to go through a few hundred hours of transcribing videos and recordings to better help increase their speed and accuracy.
One you’re certified, you can become a court reporter at most jurisdictions. Since the process is the same in most states, you may not have to do much to transfer between counties or states with your certification.
If you’re someone who is currently in law school, this could be the perfect venture for you. This gets free education and experience in the field without having to be directly involved. You can see how different lawyers argue their cases, so you can learn your own strategy while going through law school.
Spending hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in a courtroom before even graduating law school can give you a huge advantage. With so many people going through law school, you need a reason to stand out and to show your abilities. Any experience you can get in a courtroom is necessary. So, becoming certified and joining a court reporting firm for jobs while you go through law school is a perfect pair between work and education.
Other people who have no interest in becoming a lawyer, but want a job that offers security and have a general interest in law and typing will excel in this field. It’s a job that’s going to continue to grow and it’s one that?s sometimes a government job. So, it can give you great benefits and pay in the end.
Take the Time to Practice
Before you go through the process to become a court reporter, make sure you practice your typing first. This is a crucial part of the job that can ultimately dictate your success in the field. If you want to be in the courtrooms, you’ll need to practice transcribing videos beforehand.
Most students are asked to practice transcribing videos on their own time for a minimum of 15 hours a week. Doing this even after you become certified is crucial, especially during breaks or hiatuses between jobs. You don?t want to lose your typing speed. It will come it handy for you.
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