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What You Didn't Know About Court Reporting

Court Reporting

What is Court Reporting?

Court Reporting is the practice of legal transcription of speech into text taking place within a court hearing or trial performed by Court Reporters, who are licensed and certified professionals. Court reporting positions are classified as legal occupations requiring earned certifications from accredited institutions.

Primarily, the most common certification with regard to the field of court reporting is that of a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR). This certification must be granted by an educational institution accredited by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).

The mastery of court reporting requires the ability to produce accurate and expedited legal transcription of speech within a legal venue, which is accomplished through the proficiency in shorthand, stenography, and typing skills.

Court Reporting Methodology

Court Reporting, which is also known as ‘Stenography’, involves the following methodologies in order to undertake the transcription of speech into text taking place within a court hearing or trial:

What Equipment is Used for Court Reporting?

A Stenograph machine, also called a Stenotype machine, is a machine resembling a typewriter that is used for manual court reporting for the purpose of legal transcription. In contrast to traditional typewriters, a stenograph machine contains only 25 keys and does not operate on a traditional keyboard format such as ‘QWERTY’.

Legal stenotypes include features allowing a court reporter to transcribe common phrases and articles rather than individual letters and characters.

Chording is a typing method utilized within the field of Court Reporting allowing court reporters to adequately and accurately transcribe legal hearings through the pressing of multiple keys in a single stroke. This allows them to transcribe whole words in lieu of typing the word in a ‘letter-by-letter’ fashion. This methodology allows for a legal transcription produced in a ‘real time’ setting.

Who Regulates Court Reporting?

National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is responsible for both the regulations and oversight of the certifications that are granted to individuals who desire to gain employment through the field of Court Reporting. The NCRA began as an institution specializing in shorthand with regard to the provision of expedited and accurate transcription of events.

The NCRA enacts the methodology and ideology expressed within The Phrase Book of Pitmanic Shorthand, which expressed the requirements and processes latent within the production of authorized transcription of both legal and medical proceedings.

Certifications Illustrating the Mastery of Court Reporting

In order to be certified within the field of Court Reporting, certifications will be necessary as per the requirements applicable to the desired position, including a Certified CART Provider (CCP), Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Federal Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR), and Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR). However, the most common certification within the field of court reporting is considered to be a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).

Court Reporting Examinations

Professional court reporters will be required to receive certifications granted to individuals interested in becoming Court Reporters. In order to advance through the field of Court Reporting, it typically requires varying degrees of passing grades on the Written Knowledge Test administered in order to gauge the skill of an individual applicant with regard to the expectations of Court Reporting.

The test includes a section that focuses on reporting, the ability to produce transcription of events, the understanding and proficiency with regard to a stenograph machine, and a review of background knowledge and professional acumen.

The analysis of the amount of words that an individual applicant is able to type within a finite period of time, also referred to as ‘Words per Minute’ or ‘WPM’, is also assessed.

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