Criminal Justice School Info

Court Reporter Job Description

Court Reporting Degree A court reporter is a highly trained professional whose job it is to safeguard the legal process by creating an accurate, permanent and secure record of many legal proceedings. The judicial system depends heavily on the services that can be provided by a qualified court reporter.

The basic court reporter job description involves capturing everything that is spoken during a deposition, trial, etc and converting it into a written account of what happened. There are quite a few different tasks that must be handled as part of the overall court reporter job description.

The job of a court reporter starts by using a steno machine and computer equipment to make a shorthand record of what is said during the trial or the deposition. While doing this, they may be occasionally asked to repeat statements that were previously made for various purposes. It is important for the records to be accurate, so the court reporter may occasionally ask speakers to repeat information to ensure it is documented correctly.

At the conclusion of the event that is being documented, the notes from the court reporter's machine are transcribed into a written document. The transcript must be reviewed for accuracy and has to be in the format established for the event that was covered. The process ends for the court reporter when their notes and the final transcription are filed. The official transcript is filed with the court clerk's office.

Court reporters also use quite a bit of technology to perform their jobs. Steno machines and computers are very common. However, many people don't know that court reporters also use many other types of tools and software in their daily jobs. Some of the more frequent software that is used is related to voice recognition, word processing and translation.

Court Reporter Skills

  • Ability to focus
  • Great listener
  • Strong command of English (and other languages in some cases)
  • Skilled in grammar & vocabulary
  • Computer skills

A court reporter job description also lists a wide variety of skills and knowledge that are required. To be a successful court reporter, you must be able to focus for long periods of time and you have to be a great listener. It is also important to have a very strong grasp of the English language, which includes word usage, grammar and an extensive vocabulary. An overlooked area for many people is that court reporters must be computer literate. Traditionally, court reporters only used a single machine, but with technological advances, there are now many different machines that are frequently used. This is especially true for those who advance to the higher levels. It is also important to be able to troubleshoot any problems that they encounter very quickly so the proceedings aren't held up. You should expect that your court reporter training will cover these topics and much more.

Court Reporter Job Description vs. Court Clerk Job Description

Many people confuse a court reporting job description with that of a court clerk, but they are not interchangeable. As discussed, a court reporter is responsible specifically for documenting the words that are spoken. A court clerk performs administrative functions related to the court. Some of the court clerk responsibilities are clerical in nature and involve typing, filing, and things of that nature. However, they also administer oaths, authenticate court records and handle all of the administrative functions to enable the court to run efficiently.

Getting Started

Obtaining a court reporting degree will provide you with the education that will allow you to handle all of requirements from a court reporting job description at the highest level. Degrees are offered from online court reporting schools, or campus based court reporting schools.