We live in a world of "he said, she said." Undoubtedly you have been in an argument with someone only to find that your words have been distorted, misquoted, or misunderstood. Humans have a natural knack for selective remembering, and consequently, this creates even more problems, more arguments, and more distortions. But in the legal world, there is much less room for inaccuracy. Court reporting essentially ensures that what "he" said was actually said.
What is court reporting?
There are two basic fields of court reporting (stenography and voice recording), but they achieve the same purpose. As a court reporter, your job is to document everything that takes place within the courtroom. Often, attorneys, judges, clients, and the public need to refer to earlier statements, evidence, or testimony. Your official record allows them to do this.
In this field of court reporting, you type out everything that is said. You must master the specific shorthand that they use in this field. It usually takes about 3 years to become certified in this field.
Using voice recognition software, you speak into a microphone copying everything that is said or done in the courtroom. In many cases, you will go back and manually transcribe everything and check for accuracy. Certification in this field takes less than a year.
Overburdened justice system
Trials take weeks. Companies feud daily. Crimes happen all the time. What all this means is that demand for court reporting is pretty high. The good news is that you will rarely suffer from boredom. And the pay isn't shabby either. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median salary is $42,000.
Publish date: February 10, 2011