4 Steps on How to Become a Court Reporter


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Court reporters are the professionals trusted with the task of writing down and keeping track of everything that goes on in each court case. If you have decided to get into a career of court reporting, there are some steps to follow. Read on to learn the steps!

1. Choose the path you want to take

There are many different fields to choose from if you want to become a court reporter. Even though all classes have the same basic structures, there are three major programs:

  • Judicial reporting. Taking records of court proceedings and hearings.
  • Closed/broadcast captioning. This is when you provide a live feed to a network.
  • Communications Access Realtime Reporting. This court reporter service specializes in providing aid to deaf and hard of hearing people.

2. Get prepared

Every student in the court reporting program must buy their own manual stenotype machine, costing between $100 and $250. Make sure this is a writer that comes with paper, as most schools do not allow paperless writers because it is an important skill to learn how to read paper notes.

Additionally, students should study and complete an entrance exam prior to being accepted into a program.

3. Complete the program

Each program has different standards as they can result in an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a certificate of completion. Even still, the process to become a court reporter is standardized throughout the nation. As per the National Court Reports Association, the goals you should reach for include:

Literary speed at 180 words per minute

Jury charge at 200 words per minute

Testimony or question and answering process at 225 words per minute.

In addition to these skills, court reporters are required to have a mastery of the English language, a general understanding of medical and legal terms, how to fill out a transcript, proper research practices, and knowledge of legal studies.

4. Complete state licensing requirements

Depending on your state, you may have to acquire a state approved license. Generally, these include a test on skills along with a writing exam.

Looking to become a court reporter? Then contact a court reporting agency and they will guide you through the process!

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