Professional court reporting services such as Court Scribes are a critical component of any legal case, an often overlooked fact that legal professionals understand. While most legal professionals agree that court reporters are integral part of the legal process, many do not realize just how critical these services actually are. Most professional court reporting courses only last for two years, but those who choose to continue learning and growing in their craft find themselves better prepared to perform in a court room, especially when it comes time to give testimony.
As part of their training, professional court reporting services such as Court Scribes complete a two-year internship program. This internship is intense and covers many different areas including research, writing, presentation and court listening. Throughout this intensive two-year course, court reporters are taught everything from ethical standards to court reporting strategies. The coursework is rigorous, but well worth the time. Upon completing the internship, professional court reporting services such as Court Scribes will be ready to step into a courtroom and provide their invaluable services to their clients.
Court reporters learn ethical standards through their internship, which is one of the reasons for the intense focus during training. Court reporting firms want to ensure their reporters know how to conduct themselves professionally in both their personal and professional lives. This is especially important when it comes to children or those who are less experienced in the legal system. Court reporting firms also see to it that their reporters adhere to a strict confidentiality agreement.
Another area that is covered during court reporting classes at a college or university is journalism. Legal reporters learn about proof and legal procedure, but they also get a strong education in newsroom style reporting that teaches them how to properly interview witnesses and use audio and video equipment to better process information and deliver clear and concise reports. A strong understanding of media ethics is required by many legal reporting agencies in order to work in that field.
Court reporting firms pride themselves on having reporters who have a solid background in the legal system and extensive experience reporting on all different types of litigation. However, having reporting experience isn’t the only thing a good reporter needs. They also need to be skilled at writing stories that are accurate, clear, and comprehensive. This requires thorough research and a good eye for what’s current and what’s going to be topical in the future. For instance, if a case has been going on for quite some time, it would be logical to expect a legal expert to write a case study on the subject that’s fresh in his mind.
The field of professional court reporters has grown tremendously over the past few decades. In the past, most reporting agencies simply used stenographic devices to record depositions and court hearings. However, with the advent of digital recording devices and transcription software, there’s no longer any need for stenography. That means court reporting now can incorporate a full range of audio and video technology, including camera footage, voiceovers, and Internet video.
While the advent of online docket services may have negatively impacted the profession, the fact remains that the vast majority of reporting firms still require reporters to take advantage of those services in order to properly prepare their reports. The best news for reporters and court reporters is that digital technology makes it easy to do that. Digital video technology allows a reporter to incorporate text as well as video into an evidentiary report.
Another advantage to being a professional court reporter is the opportunity for continued employment. Many reporters find work in this field and then again in the related fields of bookkeeping and legal writing. The possibilities are nearly endless. It would be a great career choice for anyone wanting to contribute to the society and benefit from a stable job.