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Jobs in Court Reporting Outside the Court Room and Judicial Arena

What do you think of when you hear the term court reporter? It would appear to be a no-brainer, someone that reports on court proceedings. But, in fact, the title is misleading. Court reporters can find jobs in a variety of places outside the judicial sphere. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is outside of the courtroom that some of the best job opportunities are available. So, what are these other entities that hire court reporters and what do they hire them for? Basically, court reporting is transcribing accurately what has been said. Therefore, court reporters may be called in to transcribe other official proceedings such as speeches, they may be called in for broadcast captioning, or they may be called in for personalized services to assist the hearing-impaired.

Trial proceedings are not the only public events (or private events for that matter) that need to be documented. If, say, a public figure were to give a speech, that may need to be transcribed. Conventions are other hot spots for court reporting as panels may need to be taken down. Many times these types of things are recorded and then immediately shared online. People who report on these things may be called web-casters or internet information reporters. Any important meeting might also need documenting. Sometimes a court reporter will be commissioned for something as little as recording a conversation, if the people in that conversation are serious about being held accountable for what is said. There are many different places a court reporter may work to basically do the same thing they would do at court.

A more alternative approach to the court reporting career would be one in broadcast captioning. This is a rapidly growing field as the federal government has recently declared a law that requires all new television broadcasting to have closed captioning for the hard of hearing, not only for English programs, but Spanish programs as well. With the thousands upon thousands of shows now available through cable and satellite television, there is indeed a lot of work out there to be done. Working in broadcasting can have it’s share of diversity. For instance, a person who transcribes a live show would have a very different job than one who transcribes a sitcom. It is imperative for broadcast captioners to be accurate, especially when it comes to breaking news.

This brings us to our last mode of employment in court reporting, which is personalized services to the hearing-impaired or people who use English as their second language. It has recently become a federal law that higher education entities (such as colleges and universities) provide assistance to the hearing impaired. That means a stenography machine operator would come on-site to the classroom to provide an accurate transcription of the class’s lesson. Though not law, many elementary, middle, and high schools will also provide this service.

As you can see, those who learn stenography for court reporting can be employed in many areas outside of the courtroom. You may find a court reporter at a conference, television station, or even in a classroom.

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