Some students interested in law wonder how to become a court reporter or what does a court reporter do. On a lighter note, movies and TV series fail to accurately portray the role of a court reporter as they simply show the person to be someone who types the transcript of court proceedings.
In reality, court reporters have a lot more to do than just making transcripts. In fact, court reporters are an extremely essential party during legal proceedings. They have to make sure the documentation of the entire proceeding is complete and accurate. They offer assistance for the judge and attorneys by searching through records to provide the information required by them.
Court reporters are well versed in administration and courtroom procedures. Sometimes, they even offer suggestions for the judge and attorneys. People who are hearing impaired also require the assistance of court reporters so they can read the translation or transcript of the proceedings taking place in the courtroom. Needless to say, a court reporter does a lot more than just make written transcripts of legal proceedings. As such, it is not surprising to see a court reporter’s salary is well rounded in five figures.
There are several jobs that a court reporter can perform, including the following:
- Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART)
- Creating Verbal Statements at Conventions
- Creating Transcript of Questions/Answers During Investigations
A Court Reporter Also Serves As a Stenographer
There are several different ways in which court reporting is done. As such, it isn’t simply cut and dry. The most typically associated profession with court reporting is stenography in which is a type of shorthand typing performed on a machine which is capable of simultaneously producing a verbatim transcript. This is typically carried out in courts. Stenography is also required for live subtitles production on TV.
Court Reporting and CART
Communications Access Realtime Translation (abbreviated as CART) is another responsibility given to a court reporter. It is also referred to as open captioning and real-time stenography. CART is basically a system used by court reporters for speech to text conversion. The court reporter, who is typically trained to operate the machines or equipment required during CART, transcribes verbal speech into written format, utilizing stenography methods or a keyboard.
There are several different occasions where court reporters are required. For instance, they are needed during hearings which are open to the public. In these hearings, other than keeping written record of the legal proceedings, the court reporter has to document the opinions of those affected by decisions or legislations of the court.
A Court Reporter Is Also Required at Conventions
During conventions, such as business meetings, award ceremonies, or seminars, court reporters are needed to keep written records of verbal statements. This is necessary as it provides a summary of the entire convention to the people who couldn’t attend.
Transcript of Investigations
Insurance companies tend to launch investigations for people filing claims. During this process, an investigator is sent to carry out the one on one interview. While the interview takes place, a stenographer (or court reporter) has to create an accurate transcript of the entire conversation including the questions and answers. This record proves useful upon the approval or rejection of a claim.
On the other hand, some corporations also need professionals to generate transcripts of their meetings. As such, they hire companies offering court reporting services to do so.
There are several responsibilities for court reporters. As such their job is quite crucial as generally perceived. Not only does a court reporter have to stenograph while making exact transcripts, but he or she also has to keep these records organized in order to make sure that the information is easily retrievable if or when required during appeals. Simply put, the role of a court reporter projected by the media is hardly able to justify their actual duty as the court reporting profession in reality is very expansive and essential.