What’s in a Name? For Some Court Reporters, Misconceptions

Many people have preconceived notions about the court reporting profession. These erroneous misconceptions stem from what they see in courtroom dramas and movies. A court reporter Fort Lauderdale laments that many people just do not understand what this honorable job entails. If you are considering embarking on this profession or simply want to understand more about this career path, keep on reading. This helpful post will dispel common court reporting myths. 

Myth 1: Court Reporters Only Serve In The Courtroom

Court reporters study and train to get their position. They also require certain certifications. With these kinds of credentials, court reporters have a lot of knowledge and skills to work in and out of the courtroom. A court reporter in Fort Lauderdale shared that though most court reporters indeed work in the courtroom, some of them work in other fields. For example, you will find court reporters working in the following:

  • Webcast captioners for shows and films
  • Steno interpreters for meetings
  • Reporting for live events like concerts and sporting events
  • CART (computer access real-time translation) providers for the hearing impaired in meetings and classrooms
  • Taking notes for seminars, community meetings, or other political events

Myth 2: Court Reporters Serve As Glorified Secretaries

Unfortunately, secretaries do not have the qualifications to serve as court reporters. People in this profession must capture words in real-time. As such, they take a court reporting course to understand stenographic shorthand and theory. On top of that, they must also understand the legal and medical jargon, which is often used in their profession. 

Notably, humans speak at a rate of 225 words per minute, so most court reporters can type at this speed. You’d be really hard-pressed to find a secretary typing at this speed. Most of all, court reporting offers long-term job stability because not many people possess their skills. As such, a court reporter Fort Lauderdale said that if you get into this field and acquire advanced certifications, you can make a six-figure income. Unfortunately, you’d be hard-pressed to find a secretary making that kind of income. 

Myth 3: Anyone Can Be A Court Reporter

Though anyone who is a high school graduate with good moral standing can take a course on court reporting, not everyone is qualified to serve as a court reporter. To be called a court reporter, you must first undergo extensive training to acquire the necessary skills. You must master steno theory, learn about legal proceedings, and understand terminologies. You are required to:

  • Undergo formal education and take a court reporting program or associate’s degree
  • Must acquire typing skills of at least 225 words per minute
  • Take necessary certifications and state licenses
  • Engage in continuous education throughout your career

Myth 4: Court Reporters Do Nothing But Type

A court reporter Fort Lauderdale can’t help but chuckle when people say they do nothing but type. It is indeed a widespread misconception when people believe they just take notes. In reality, they use steno shorthand and specialized equipment to accurately record legal proceedings and other meetings.

If you have tried using the voice texting app on your mobile device, you know how difficult it is to transcribe an ordinary conversation. Just imagine how complex legal proceedings can be. Thus, court reporters do not merely type, but they must also be very proficient and well-rounded. Court reporters must have the following skills:

  • Keen attention to detail 
  • Accurately report every spoken word
  • Take note of non-verbal details
  • Understand complex legal terms
  • Work under pressure in hostile hearings
  • Stay organizes to release court reports fast with no mistakes

Myth 5: Computerized Court Reporting Will Overtake Human Reporters Soon 

You may probably be aware of how difficult it is to record an ordinary conversation. In fact, trying to capture a teacher’s lecture can be limited even if you use your smartphone. Complex legal proceedings make that even tougher, so it is impossible for computers to completely overtake the profession. 

A court reporter Fort Lauderdale shared that the most critical aspect of their job is ensuring everything is documented accurately. Since computers do not possess wisdom and the power of discernment, they cannot compete with humans when it comes to accuracy. To begin with, computers cannot see or note when people refuse to answer. 

On top of that, computers cannot pick up and interpret language nuances, dialects, and accents. Electronic recorders also do not process slang language. For this reason, human court reporters will always have a place in the industry. That being said, court reporters do appreciate technology for making their lives much easier. 

Myth 6: Court Reporters Work In A Very Boring Job 

A court reporter Fort Lauderdale shared that court reporting provides a constant opportunity for growth. Thus, the job is anything but boring. In fact, court reporters learn new information daily and hear about different subject matters. Besides, they even get to hear confidential information most of the time. 

On top of that, court reporters can choose to be independent contractors for live events like concerts, sports or games, broadcasting news, etc. As independent contractors, court professionals own their time. They can enjoy the flexibility to work whenever they want. Some even get to travel because of their work and meet a lot of people throughout their careers. Meanwhile, others do specializations so they can work in their fields of interest. So really, if you believe that this job is boring, you are in for a rude awakening. 

Myth 7: Court Reporters Are Women

A court reporter Fort Lauderdale noted that this misconception happened because of courtroom dramas. In these shows, women portray court reporters in their roles. Thus, many now assume that females dominate the profession. However, this is not true. Court reporting is a profession for all genders. 

Myth 8: Court Reporters Do Not Work In An “In Demand” Profession

Finally, most people believe that court reporters have trouble finding jobs because their service is not essential. However, the truth of this matter is there is a court reporter shortage. Unfortunately, this situation gets worse with each passing day. The legal profession and other fields need experts in steno theory but not enough people to qualify to do the job. 

Thus, if you are seriously considering a career path or feel shifting careers, this profession certainly has a place for you. Belonging to this esteemed profession means you provide an important service in real-time during hearings, trials, depositions, etc. As such, you will serve as an important person in the carriage of justice. So there you have it, myths and misconceptions busted!