The work of court reporters is to write courtroom hearing word for word, as well as for other legal meetings. Additionally, they may use their skills in a capacity of television broadcasting to provide closed captioning. A courtroom reporter wannabe can work as a voice writer, a stenographer or an electronic reporter. An electronic correspondent records discussions with the help of radio tools, while voice writers repeat into a microphone some spoken words, figuring out actions and hand gestures. Stenographers on the other hand set down real-time conversations with stenotype machines.
Training needs for a courtroom reporter varies, depending on the selected path. Electronic writers for instance usually get to know reporting techniques while on the job. Anyone considering a career in this field should know that prospects of employment are high. Qualifications needed for joining the career vary throughout the United States.
Over 100 courtroom reporting programs are offered at technical colleges and schools, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) has certified over 60 of such programs, and they require students to record not less than 250 words per minute.
Certain states require that a courtroom reporter should pass an exam before they can obtain a license. The National Verbatim Reporters Association, which is abbreviated to NVRA, provides an applicant with three certifications if the applicant has adopted the voice-writing method of reporting. This method involves a reporter speaking into a mask and then repeating the statements of lawyers, defendants, or witnesses who may speak in the course of a meeting, trial or deposition.
In accordance to HVRA rules, a person can only get his or her certification accepted if they pass their tests, as they are much faster than all the others. For a student to qualify and acquire a NVRA certification, they should go for a workshop, pass a written-form exam with an accuracy score of 95% or more for three five-minute transcriptions.
A court reporter must be on possession of certain skills. He or she must work accurately and quickly. Since the correspondents transcription are usually treated as the official records in most depositions and trials, a mistake is capable of impacting the ultimate outcome of a case, together with the professional reputation of a reporter.
Courtroom reporting can be a physically and mentally tiresome job, requiring one to concentrate on the smallest details. Therefore, a reporter should have sufficient computing skills together with a technical know-how of operating the equipment used in the process of transcription. Other notable qualifications that courtroom correspondents should possess include being able to work sitting still for hours at a time. Additionally, one should have knowledge of medical and legal terminologies together with how to sell such terms properly.
Journalists sometimes hire support personnel to help them with transcript and office tasks. This kind of management assistance is usually done by freelance reporting agencies. However, official courtroom correspondents are free to hire the services of copyists to assist in producing transcripts.
Technology may have created new applications for reporting skills, such as television captioning. However, most court reporters continue courthouses jobs either as deposition journalists or as official correspondents. The nature of the job they do does not allow the same degree or style of interaction seen in other law-related professionals.
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