Court reporting is great and employees are well-trained individuals who take records of legal proceedings. They also help lawyers and judges find and process information gathered from the court of law. There are a few main kinds of court reporters, which are voice writers and stenotypists. Voice writers use their voices to speak into a soundproof mask that is hooked up to a transcription machine (speech recognition software). Not only do they record every word that was said in court, but they also indicate emotions and gestures. Stenotypists use special keyboards, pressing one or more keys at once to write down words and phrases that were said. The key or combination of keys show up as words on a screen. This is called CART, or Computerized Access Real-time Translation. There is also stenocaptioning, which is not strictly a courtroom occupation. However, it utilizes similar skills to stenotypists. Stenocaptioners write captions for news programs for the benefit of the hearing impaired. Court reporting careers may also take minutes in legal meetings and at conventions. They may take legal depositions for lawyers. They may even work for the government. Training for stenotyping and voice writing vary state by state. Generally speaking, however, stenotypists can expect about a three-year training regimen, while voice writers need only to train for approximately one year. The NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) stipulates that graduates from accredited schools must be able record 225 words per minute, which is also the rate required by the federal government. Some states also require that the applicant pass an examination and achieve a State license.
It is an exciting thing to be involved in a legal proceeding. It is rewarding to have your work be used by lawyers and judges, or perhaps even members of the government. These are a few aspects that make court reporter an appealing job prospect. Another is the working conditions the court reporter generally enjoys comfortable, climate-controlled courts and offices.