Court Reporting Scopist
Most people are aware of the function of a court reporter, but they don’t know about what happens after the court reporter finishes creating their transcript. At that point, a court reporting scopist usually takes over. This usually prompts the question of “What is a court reporting scopist?” because most people have never heard the phrase. A scopist ia a professionally trained transcript editor, usually hired by court reporters. Their purpose is to review and edit the transcript so that the record delivered to the court is the most accurate record possible. Having an accurate record of proceedings is an integral part of the judicial system.
The court reporter uses a machine to document the proceedings. Software is usually used to transcribe that into written English. It is the job of the court reporting scopist to compare the court reporters notes to the transcribed version of the proceedings and find errors and inconsistencies.
The scopist begins by receiving an electronic copy of the proceedings. They will also be told of any specific format requirements for the transcript. Traditional editors only review the completed copy, but a court reporting scopist can compare the notes from the court reporter to the transcript.
The court reporter scopist will then review the electronic document with the purpose of editing it into a complete, updated and finalized version. In addition to typical editing, the scopist will look for words and phrases that were not in the computer dictionary of the court reporter. These can include many detailed, technical terms and proper names, etc. One additional item they will check for are “mistranslates” that require updating.
The income for a court reporter scopist will vary depending upon the education, experience and location. Initially, scopists can expect to earn $10 – $16 per hour and could increase to $30,000 to over $40,000 per year.