Getting Started in the Court Reporting Industry

Legal support services

Have you ever dreamed of being self employed? You would have the ability to stay in your work when you wanted, while working the hours you also desired. You would still have time to run errands and transport children from point A to point B, because you are making your own schedule. Court reporters are a contractual type of employee, meaning that you can pick and choose your jobs. How can you get started in the court reporting business and experience the freedom of self employment?

Enroll in a certified court reporter program Court reporter duties require specific skill sets. Some of these skills include attention to detail, a fast typing speed, and the ability to multitask. Even if you already contain these necessary skills, it is beneficial to expand upon them and to learn new ways to speed up the typing process. The court reporting education program and certification process takes an average of 33.3 months. You will also have the ability to market yourself as a court reported program graduate.

Join relevant court reporters associations There are three national court reporting associations in the United States, The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), and the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA), and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT). These court reporting associations can help new court reporters in a variety of ways. They can provide additional educational courses to new reporters. They may also provide you with new job leads. Also, some employers will only contract court reporters who are certified through one of these recognized court reporting associations.

Market yourself Just as with any other business, it is important to market yourself successfully. Let local court rooms know that you are a court report for hire. Provide them with a list of your available court reporter responsibilities and available times. Include any references that you may have and a resume that carefully details the specific types of courses you completed in your education. As you gain more work experience in the court reporting field, you will replace much of your education with the work experience.

When you are marketing yourself, it is important to highlight your qualities, the specific qualities that set you apart from other court reporters. Although it may differ by certification or certification program, the ability to capture 225 testimony words per minute, additional requirements for court reports may include the ability to transcribe 200 jury charge words per minute and 180 literary words per minute with 95% accuracy. If any of your ratings for these court reporter responsibilities exceed these numbers, let potential employers know. They want the best person for the job. Let them know it is you.

Provide free initial work, if possible When you are new, it can be difficult to gain employment at first. Courts want to know that you can handle court reporter responsibilities, before they pay you to provide them with a court report. If there are mistakes, they may not be able to correct them, since the court proceeding has already finished. Provide your court reporting services for free for one session to prove that you are capable of the required court reporter responsibilities. If they are satisfied with your court report, you are likely to land additional work.

Many people dream of self employment. Self employment allows you to make your own schedule, while still supporting you and your family. Court reporting is a needed field that allows reporters to work on a contract basis. If you are interested in getting into the court reporting industry, do your research. Find a reputable educational program that will enhance your needed skills for accurate court reporting. Join local associations for networking purposes. Market yourself and your skills. Offer free initial services to prove you are ready for the job. Follow these suggestions and you will be well on your way to a fulfilling job of self employment.

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