Court reporting can be a challenging job that requires attention and focus at all times to record the audio and activity of a courtroom. Reporters must be familiar with how to set up equipment related to the job and operate it too.
They must also be able to establish communication with witnesses, lawyers, and the judge to ensure that a transcription is accurate. Whether you currently work as a court reporter or want to, these tips could help you improve understanding and performance.
Be early instead of on time.
Early is always best. Make getting places twenty to thirty minutes early your new normal and you will usually be able to deal with anything that gets thrown your way. Make it an hour if you’re the type of person that likes to get there early and then enjoy their drink.
Do your best to interpret an interpreter.
Cases with two primary languages that are different (or utilization of sign language). When an interpreter is required, a reporter must clarify who is testifying– a witness or if an interpreter is speaking. Prepare for this as needed.
Get spelling of certain words determined ahead of time.
Specific words can be needed in order to confirm how first or last names or medical terminology are spelled. Use punctuation and more and get spelling down ahead of time if you know there are going to be certain terms used if possible.
Develop a good sense of communication and rapport.
Get a rapport going with attorneys. If you’re going to be working together, you need to have clear communication and that way both of you will know what’s happening. Be clear about expectations both ways and confirm confidentiality when needed. Some may want headers on pages indicating confidentiality levels on the document.
Keep up with recording demands.
A reporter’s duties on the job are to keep up and make sure that the record and resulting transcript are accurate. Speaking up as needed to clarify words and more is key! Be sure you get a good night’s sleep and are ready to take on the day by eating breakfast and leaving early so you stay focused.
Do your best to stay current.
Commit to developing your reporting skills and staying sharp. Staying current with your industry and profession may be a good idea as well. You may want to familiarize yourself with timers if you need to track time, and be sure that your computer or steno components are good and do not require repair.
Be professional and courteous.
This one explains itself but will get you far in any career, job, or field. Always be professional and courteous with no exceptions!
Dress for work.
Length is best and never do shorts! Skirts should be at least to the knee and ideally longer. A simple pants and formal shirt combination whether male or female should be suitable. Simple colors and no loud colors or patterns is important too. Go with formal over casual, length over shortness, and clothing that you purchased within the last two years so that it is not overly dated.
Thanks for reading our tips for court reporting. Follow these tips to do your best on the job!