How To Become a Certified Legal Video Specialist
One of the fastest growing sectors of the court reporting field of work involves video work. Traditional court reporters use a steno machine to make a written record of the proceedings that they are documenting. As the title would indicate, a certified legal video specialist documents the proceedings through video.
The court reporting profession is very important to the legal process because it creates an exact record of what happened and what was spoken. The transcripts from the meeting, trial, deposition, etc. will be preserved as a permanent record. Attorneys, judges and litigants will use details from the transcripts so it is of absolute importance that the transcript is accurate. Because of the importance of quality work, in most cases, certification is required to secure employment. Certification is proof that you have the knowledge and the skills to do quality work.
A certified legal video specialist (CLVS) is the main certification used for this type of work. There are three steps to becoming certified and they are shown below.
The first step involves attending a seminar called “Videotape in the Legal Environment”. This legal video specialist training is sponsored by the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association). The seminars are held in different locations across the country but they are only held twice per year. You will have to plan ahead for travel and hotel accommodations if you don’t live in the city that is hosting the seminar. The seminar will provide detailed training, workbooks and demonstrations related to all facets of being a court video specialist.
Each seminar is three days long and each day has a different focus. Day one will be an introduction to the profession and it will also review the different kinds of equipment that you will use. The second day of the seminar will review the finer points of recording a deposition. Attendees will get a comprehensive understanding of how and why video is used for depositions. The final day gives you three different topics to focus on. You can choose to attend a hands-on workshop, discussions related to continuing education or learning about the latest technologies used in the profession.
The second step to becoming a certified legal video specialist is a written test. It will be easier to find a local test because there are 200 different testing locations. The written test includes 100 multiple choice questions and you must answer at least 70 of them correctly in order to pass the test. The five areas that you will be tested on are video recording production, legal and judicial procedures, post production, office procedures, operating practices and the final item is professional development and ethics.
The third step to becoming a court video specialist is a production test. This part of the test includes a deposition that is staged just for your test. You are allowed 30 minutes to enter the room and become familiar with the equipment that has been provided. Then there will be a brief mock deposition that you are responsible for documenting. You will be graded on your ability to provide a quality videotape of the deposition proceedings.
Court video specialists have many different types of job opportunities, the employment outlook is great and there will be room for advancement as you gain experience.