Site search

Main menu:

Court Reporters Are Under Appreciated

This isn’t to say court reporters are not respected as an integral member of the legal system.  It’s just that many of the attorneys and judges might not give them the respect they so rightly deserve.  Perhaps it’s the short amount of schooling it takes to become a court reporter that makes them think this is an “easy” job.  Considering how long an attorney needs to go to school it does seem like a very short time to gain the knowledge they deem worthy of their respect.  Court reporters gain a lot of knowledge and experience on the job.  A new reporter will find it more difficult to understand all the proceedings they will be required to take part in.  That might be why most state and federal court reporters are required to work as a freelance reporter for a minimum of 2 years.  That is two years of on the job education and training a new reporter would not have. 

Stenography is not an easy career path.  There is an 80 percent dropout rate of students in stenography school.  So basically only 2 out of 10 students actually finish the program.  That fact alone is an indication of how difficult learning stenography really is, and why they deserve a lot of respect for finishing the program. One court reporter stated that you learn 75% more on the job.  Schools just can’t prepare you for the real world job.  In class a teacher reads a question and answer transcript at different speeds, and with different voices to represent the attorney and witness.  In the real world, you could have 5 attorneys in the room, and it is very difficult to take down the transcript your first few times because you are not used to using designations for so many different speakers.  You will also do a lot of legal research on the job. 

Just like in any job there are some court reporters that are lazy, sloppy and do not have a sense of pride regarding their work.  These individuals are not worthy of respect in any career field.  Attorneys know that if the court reporter isn’t getting it, the transcript will turn out poorly.  Most attorneys show respect, and do not speak over each other.  They know you have to make a record of the proceeding and how important that record is.  Some attorneys though do not respect the court reporter, but we have all had to learn how to deal with these types of individuals.

A new court reporter must earn respect from their agency, and their clients. There are many things a new reporter can do to earn the respect of their agency and clients.  Showing up early so you have plenty of time to set up prior to the legal proceedings is a good start.   Remember that you represent your agency, so work hard to make them proud to have you representing them. They will give you a lot of work and you will also build relationships with the attorneys and their firms.  Respecting yourself and taking pride in your work will go a long way to gaining respect from other people. And will help you quickly become established in your court reporting career.

Write a comment