A court reporter, stenotype reporter or stenographer is someone who verbatim, for legal purposes, completely and accurately transcribes into written form, speeches spoken or recorded, sworn proceedings, court hearings, conversations, video depositions, legal depositions, and meetings. A certified reporter plays a significant role in judicial meetings and proceedings where written legal transcriptions of depositions need to be saved as court records. Some reporters also assist trial attorneys and judges by suggesting alternative administration and courtroom procedures, or by organizing and gathering information required for official records.
Since there is a great demand for court reporters, there are always job openings with inviting salary and compensation available. Aside from establishing contacts with various courts, there are other ways to search for court reporting jobs.
Start your search by checking your school's job placement office. Many schools that offer court reporting courses have a listing of open jobs in the locality. Your school may have links to your local jurisdiction and may be able to arrange for you to apply for an open position.
If you plan to relocate after graduating, you can start initiating contact with the state and local Human Resource and Employment departments. They would be able to assist you find open court reporter jobs in the area. They could also provide you with the qualifications needed for the open positions, and guide you on the proper way to submit an application.
Court Reporter Associations are good resources of open jobs. These associations have in their database, a contact list of the different jurisdictions in the state, and would be able to provide you some tips on the hiring process, range of salary and compensation, and benefit packages for a court reporter job.
It would also be advisable to register with more than one court reporting service to widen your employment options. Like temporary work agencies, these agencies have contracts with courts to provide qualified court reporters. If this happens, you earn more, by being paid as an employee of the court and getting a salary from the agency. This option would be helpful if you are relocating or need experience working in several courts.
There are also available job postings for court reporters in online job sites. Search all open employment options including those in national and local job sites. Find out the compensation and salary offers in the area.
Make sure you are certified and possess the skills required to do legal transcription, including skills in shorthand; good accuracy and speed rates; an exceptional hearing and listening ability; a good command of the English language; skills in punctuation, grammar and vocabulary; a heightened awareness of current events and business practices; expert knowledge of criminal and appellate procedures, and legal terminology; and the ability to simultaneously and quickly, speak and listen quietly, if you are a Voice Writing Reporter. Lastly, you should have adequate knowledge of how to use computer software applications and hardware for captioning proceedings in real-time, for speech recognition equipment and computerized stenography.
Finding a court reporter job to record legal depositions, video depositions and maintain court records is easy. Maximize all your resources and know how to apply for the position. Be clear about the compensation, conditions of the work and other job expectations before applying for the job.