The Three Skills A Professional Court Reporter Must Have

If you need a good court reporter, it helps to understand what skills are necessary to be a good court reporter. A court reporter must be accurate and quick when transcribing. They must also be able to listen carefully and transcribe what they hear. Additionally, a good court reporter will be diligent and have good grammar skills.

A court reporter must pay close attention to details and be very accurate when transcribing a conversation. They must be know how to use a stenograph machine and thoroughly familiar with its operation. The best court reporters can transcribe a conversation more quickly than any keyboard typist. The steno tape is then translated into readable text which the court reporter must verify is correct.

Verifying the report for accuracy takes not only strong reading skills but also excellent grammar skills. The court reporter must continually provide accurate punctuation during the transcription and then must proof the final report to ensure it is grammatically correct. They are creating an official court record, and there must be no mistakes. To ensure the transcribed text is an accurate recording of the conversation, the court reporter must be an attentive listener. Their reporting must not only include all correct punctuation but must also accurately reflect the speaker’s meaning and intentions.

Court reporters who work during a trial are directly connected to a computer with software that is immediately transcribing the data from the stenograph machine into readable text. This means a good court reporter has excellent transcribing skills during real-time reporting. During a trial, other legal participants may be networked into the system so they can follow along with the report as it is transcribed. Today’s court reporter must be comfortable with all types of technology.

During a trial, the court reporter must remain diligent as not to miss anything that should be entered into the official record. This means constantly listening and watching their surrounding environment and acting professionally at all times. Court reporters work in environments besides a courtroom, including mediations and depositions. They must be professional in any and all situations. The reporter is responsible for creating the official record of the proceedings, and it must be legal and accurate.

Court reporters are often required to be certified or licensed before they can begin work. Even when licensed, court reporters are often required to complete a certain number of hours of transcription before the can officially be a court reporter.

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