What Skills Does a Court Reporter Need?

When watching a courtroom drama, there may be a tense scene where an attorney turns to a person seated at a desk behind a small, typewriter-like machine and says, “Could you please read back that last statement?” That person is a court reporter. They exist in real life and have an important job in the legal system.

The Skills Required for Court Reporters

Those in the profession, for example, Providence court reporters have a job that is fascinating and that can also pay very well. To become a court reporter requires licensing in most states and generally involves a written as well as a skills test. People who wish to enter the profession usually take classes to learn the specific skills required.

  • A court reporter must have an excellent grasp of spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Court reporters need to be solid researchers.
  • A good court reporter has a working knowledge of the legal system.
  • Court reporters need to be familiar with and understand legal and medical terminology as this jargon comes up often in courtrooms.
  • Court reporters must be experts in the use of the technology of their profession. This includes stenotype machines and stenographic computer software.

Minimum Skill Levels

The National Court Reporters Association has set standards of minimum skill levels that must be reached or surpassed in order to be certified and licensed to work as a court reporter.

  • When taking down testimony and Q&A, the minimum is 225 words per minute.
  • Literary recording has a minimum of 180 words per minute.
  • The minimum for a jury charge is 200 words per minute.

For people who want an interesting career that can make a contribution to the legal system, becoming a court reporter might be just the ticket. With the right skills, education, and practice, you may land a rewarding and good-paying job.

Author Since: Dec 08, 2016

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