Having a career in law can mean all sorts of things. There are many types of attorneys and an attorney who specializes in criminal defense will have a very different day-to-day work life than one who specializes in personal injury. Then there are judges, clerks, paralegals, legal assistants, and other support staff who work for courts, law offices, and other law-related entities. Court reporting is one of many possible careers in law, and it might be the right one for a new graduate to pursue. Let’s talk a bit more about what court reporting is.
Courts of law are technical places. Legal cases include a lot of details to keep track of before, during, and after legal actions and proceedings. It’s often important to know exactly what was said or done in court — and that’s where court reporters come in.
A court reporter’s job, simply put, is to record what goes on during legal proceedings. That includes trials and other court hearings. If you’ve ever seen a movie where the record is read back by a person with a typewriter at the request of the judge, that person was a court reporter (also called a stenographer). But court reporters are also in action at other points in the legal process. For instance, a witness may have to give a deposition before a court hearing. A court reporter can record that deposition for use in court.
Court reporters can have very rewarding careers. Their salaries can go as high as $55,000 per year and the hours are indeed usually better than those of many attorneys. But, of course, you’ll need to be qualified to land a job. To be a court reporter, you’ll have to get a degree or a certificate in the discipline.
It’s not easy to be a court reporter. Court reporters must “make a hard job look easy,” experts say, by typing in lightning-fast shorthand as judges, lawyers, and witnesses talk. Getting everything down is a tough job, but a vital one.
So should every young professional up and decide to become a court reporter? Reading this article is only one way to find out. Why not experience it first-hand?
Consider shadowing someone in the field. Try emailing various agencies to see whether the experience of the Fort Lauderdale court reporters at Brickell Key Court Reporting might be different from that of court reporters elsewhere. With enough research, any aspiring court reporter get a taste of what this career is actually like, and that’s an invaluable thing for any young professional looking to chart the path of their career.