Court reporting is essential and integral to our justice system, and yet, it is largely unknown and/or unseen in the general public. In recent years, a shortage in court reporters in America has led to the field becoming more attractive to students who want a guaranteed job after graduation. If they can make the cut and become certified, they’re in for amazing pay and great benefits, in a field that desperately needs young professionals. Court reporting, however, is not as easy as it may initially seem.
Students need to be certified by one of America’s three court reporting agencies: The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), and the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) or the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT). In order to make the cut for a court reporting agency, they will spend about 15 hours a week during their schooling learning to keep up with spoken word in order to hit the transcribing speed needed for certification. The court reporting agency is able to represent the court reporters of the nation. This type of expertise is just one piece of why they’re important to the court system.
To ensure that court reporting services are as successful as they can possibly be, each reporter must be able to transcribe 225 testimony words, 200 jury charge words, and 180 literary words per minute with a 95% accuracy. Due to these requirements being so strict and high, there will always be an accurate transcript of court cases that go through the judicial system. This is thanks to court reporting services!
Court reporters may also spend a large amount of time outside of the courts. They are often responsible for editing and/or filing transcripts for both the public and private records. This helps to maintain a vast network of organized, updated and accurate information for any future cases or needs. For example, if a judge were to ever need to see a case for a decision based on precedent, they could likely go to a court reporter for help. This improves the efficiency of the courts. In fact, up to 70% of court reporters in America don’t work within the court, but they instead sick to other areas.
Lastly, court reporting allows an objection within a case or trial to be verified. Because the transcript is a completely accurate record of the proceedings in a case, a judge can check to see whether or not a claim is accurate. This decreases the number of false claims, and once again improves the court’s efficiency.
What are your thoughts about court reporting? Did you know about each court reporting agency? Did you know that it was such an integral part of the American court system?