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Best Personality Traits for Court Reporters

Alert: Someone who attends school for court reporting must have a knack for precision and accuracy. This is important for many reasons. For one, if their transcripts are not accurate, it could effect the judicial proceedings. If, say, a case has been appealed and the transcription of the previous trial was not accurate than that could lead to some messy dealings, and quite possibly lead to the punishment of an innocent person or the escape of a criminal. Also, many court reporters are CART reporters for the hard-of-hearing. That means that all the information the hearing-impaired person receives comes through the reporter. In this case, it is imperative that the reporter be accurate because that person is depending solely on then to discern meaning. Also, many court reporters go into broadcast captioning and must be alert as they may be captioning breaking news, such as a tornado warning.
Quick: A court-reporter must be quick. Things may get heated in a courtroom and that means a lot of fast talking. The court reporter must be able to keep up with what is said so they may give an accurate account. Also, CART reporters who accompany the hearing-impaired to class need to work fast so the student can get their information in as little as four-seconds after it has been said, so that they may be able to ask the teacher questions if they need to. If a CART reporter lacks swiftness, it could damage their client’s education.
Multi-tasking: A court reporter must do many things at once. Whether they are reporting from the courtroom, a meeting, an assembly, a conference, or even a classroom, it is likely that voices will overlap and they must be able to transcribe each voice individually, even if they talk over each other. Not only does the court reporter have to worry about words, but also gestures, background laughter, applause, and anything else that adds to the commotion in the room. Therefore, the court reporter must be able to record, listen, and watch multiple things at once.
Observant: The court reporter must be observant. Obviously, as stated before, they need to be able to watch and hear everything that is going on around them, but they also must be sticklers for the letter. A court reporter must be meticulous with their editing. One typo in the millions of pages of transcription they are bound to do in their career might make or break them. It is important that the court reporter observe and pick out any inconsistencies or mistakes within the transcription.
Adaptable: Court reporting has come a long way since Marcus Tullius Tiro employed shorthand reporting as Cicero’s secretary in 63 B.C.. We now have stenographic reporting, electronic reporting, and voice writing. Moving even further up the technology ladder, we now have remote reporting (or remote CART) which uses court reporter equipment such as telephones or computer microphones to transport speech to the court reporter who then transcribes it and sends it immediately back via the internet. The court reporting career will most likely be affected by new and interesting technology and they must be adaptable when the time comes to change.

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