Court Reporting Degree
Court reporters play an important role in the process of courtroom activity by recording everything that is said or happens in the courtroom. In addition to recording what transpires, they are responsible for the documentation and evidence presented during a trial. Court reporters must have highly developed listening skills along with a solid sense of grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, and spelling. In addition, they must gain knowledge in legal terms, procedures, and court room customs. They must be able to easily remember names, places, and the sequence of events that occurred. They must also become proficient in the use of stenography equipment. Court reporters must be trustworthy individuals with a keen sense of ethical awareness and a sense of trust in our nations legal system. Students who are concidering taking court reporting courses will find degrees offered from online court reporting schools, or campus based court reporting schools.
Court reporters have become an integral part of the judicial system because of their unique ability to document the proceedings in courts and in depositions across the country. This allows all of the words and details from the trail or deposition to be documented and archived. A court reporting degree is the typical first step toward developing a career in this field.
The transcript that is prepared by the court reporter is a verbatim account. It is essential that the transcript is exactly what was said because it is used to safeguard the legal process and it is used for many reasons. Lawyers use the transcript from depositions to prepare their defense and as the basis for a potential appeal. Juries sometimes review the transcript while they are deciding a case to become more familiar with certain details. The finalized court reporting transcript is an accurate, complete and secure record of the proceedings.
A court reporting degree is the first step towards working in this exciting career. There are more than 150 colleges across the country where you can earn a court reporting degree. Many of them offer the option of earning an online court reporting degree if you are unable to travel to the classroom.
The single most important skill you will acquire by earning a court reporting degree is machine shorthand. This is the machine used by court reporters that allows them to document the spoken word as quickly as people speak it. After you master the skill of using the machine, the focus will shift toward working faster and becoming more accurate. Typical graduation requirements require students to be able to work at a speed of 225 words per minute or higher.
The curriculum followed to obtain a court reporter degree includes an education about many different pieces of the judicial system. You will also learn how to listen accurately and you will develop strong skills in writing, punctuation and grammar. Additional classes will be required in criminal and civil law, legal and business terminology, business management, judicial procedures and stenographic theory. Successful students will be able to concentrate for extended periods of time and be able to handle pressure.
An associate's degree is the basic degree used by people who want a court reporter degree, however there are also some programs that offer a bachelor's degree. This higher degree will give you the ability to transcribe speech in realtime by using additional computerized machines.
You will want to work toward a court reporting certificate upon graduation. This will make you more marketable, prove your skills, and in many jurisdictions, this will be a requirement of the job. These certification exams will test your speed, accuracy and knowledge about the court reporting line of work.
Court Reporting Degrees Online
Court reporting degrees are available both on campus and online and are tailored to the type of reporting you will be conducting. Voice writers can often be trained in less than a year of intensive work and study, while stenotypists may need up to two years of training. Court reporting courses consist of both procedural knowledge about the legal system and practice using stenography equipment and working on speed and accuracy. You can expect to take courses on legal terminology, grammar, computerized shorthand, dictation speed, courtroom procedures, and more.
The requirements for certification and license vary by state. The National Court Reporters Association offers different designations such as Registered Professional Reporter. You will want to research the requirements for your state and be sure that your program prepares you for any certification tests you may need to take.
National Court Reporters Association
The National Court Reporters Association's mission is to promote quality education, professionalism, & excellence in court reporting. They offer programs for mentoring of new reporters, court reporting continuing education, and represent the industry as a whole.
National Court Reporters Association
8224 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, Virginia 22182-3808
NCRA Contact Numbers
Toll Free: 800/272-6272 (NCRA)
Local: 703/556-6272 (NCRA)