4 Skills That Make For A Good Court Reporter
on account of difficulties appearing at first sight to be insurmountable...
-From the book Stenography: Or A Brief and Simple System of Short-hand
By Morris Coleman, 1858
So you want to be a court reporter? Court reporters have an incredibly important job. They take the spoken word and capture history in the making. There are a multitude of skills required to become a court reporter. This article - while not exhaustive - is a good place to start to see if you have what it takes to become a court reporter.
1. Court Reporters Strive For Accuracy
Are you a detail-oriented person? Court reporters need to be conscious of the finer points of several subjects including grammar, transcription and the stenograph machine. You'll be a great court reporter if you're good with details and enjoy striving for accuracy.
- Are you a person who is detail oriented?
- Are you a person who shows up on time?
- Are you a person who likes to be professionally dressed?
- Are you a person who is easily stressed out?
- Are you a person who is confident in front of others?
Much of what a court reporter does is punctuate what others say. As a court reporter you will be spending almost as much time punctuating and proofing transcripts as you will be in court or in a deposition. A good court reporter needs to have excellent English grammar skills. One simple rule is to use short sentences. In other words, use a period as soon as possible and avoid the over-use of the comma.
3. Court Reporters Strive To Be Excellent Though Not Perfect
Court reporters strive to be excellent listeners as well as stenographers; however, nobody is perfect and an unhealthy sense of perfectionism can actually be a hindrance to becoming a court reporter. Are you a perfectionist? Successful court reporters strive for excellence instead.
4. Court Reporters Are Diligent
Like learning any new skill, becoming a court reporter requires diligent effort. And once one becomes a court reporter, diligence and hard work are expected. If you are a person who perseveres and consistently can work towards a goal, becoming a court reporter just might be the right profession for you.
These four skills are just some of what it takes to become a successful court reporter. The good news is that any individual can learn these skills even if they don't happen to posses all of them in the beginning. With patience and hard work, you can become a court reporter and enjoy the many benefits of working in the legal field.
Thursday, May 15, 2008