Looking to Get Into Court Reporting – What You Need to Know

Are you looking to get into court reporting as your full-time career? Being a certified court reporter keeps you on your toes but provides excellent remuneration and a great sense of fulfillment. However, a court reporting Fort Lauderdale veteran said the process of being a certified court reporter is no mean feat.

If you are determined to achieve this goal and make this a career, keep on reading. We’ve outlined everything you need to know to become a good court reporting Fort Lauderdale professional. When you follow these tips, you shall be on your way to join an esteemed group that works hard to keep the justice system in check. Let’s get started.

Complete Your Secondary Education or GED

Should you want to get into a court steno program, you need a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. You must comply with this prerequisite before you can begin your studies in this field. If you are serious about succeeding in court reporting Fort Lauderdale, you should begin honing your skill in high school. Though you don’t have to take any specific classes, prepping ahead will help you in your journey to certification. Take note of the following:

  • Consider typing classes to improve your speed for easy use of stenography technology
  • Take business classes to make you aware of industry terminologies
  • Make it a habit to read to increase your vocabulary and improve your spelling
  • Watch a legal series or courtroom drama to make yourself familiar with the law lexicon and legal procedures

Pursue Your Associate Degree or Online Court Reporting Certification

To get your court reporter certification, you must spend around 33 months studying and preparing for the job. Fortunately, many local colleges and tech institutes offer an associate degree program in court reporting. Another option is getting an online court reporting certificate from a virtual school. You must enroll in these programs because they do the following:

  • Provide necessary training in steno theory, computer-aided steno, and transcription mastery
  • Educate on the different concepts to perform an exemplary job
  • Help you study legal, medical, and other tech jargon that is frequently used
  • Make you practice typing to achieve a speed of 200 to 225wpm (words per minute)

Some court reporting Fort Lauderdale schools require completing a basic English test and a typing exam before you begin. If you want to excel in this field, you must take your schooling seriously. Practice your typing skills, expand your vocabulary, and work hard to make your dreams come to fruition. As a result, you can document accurate information and deliver quality results.

Strive to Become a Stenography Theory Expert

Steno theory shall be your best friend if you want to succeed in court reporting Fort Lauderdale. Your mentors will teach you the language of stenography. This pertains to writing in shorthand which makes the speed of writing oral language a lot faster. Steno theory serves as the foundation of your work because it will assure you document everything smoothly and accurately. On top of that, you must also improve your listening skills because this is crucial to accomplishing your future duties with precision.

Moreover, it would help to invest in your own steno machine. For example, a manual one costs at least one hundred dollars. If budget is an issue, you can also check the 2nd hand market. You need this tool for consistent practice to achieve fast typing skills. The more you practice, the more proficient you become.

Work Hard to Attain the Required Licenses to Practice

After working hard in court reporting school and pulling long hours to practice, you will graduate and get your diploma. Though this is indeed a milestone to celebrate, you are not done in your journey to court reporting Fort Lauderdale certification. You may be finished with stringent school requirements, but certain states require a formal certificate so you can start practicing.

Currently, the country does not uphold uniform licensing procedures for court reporters. For example, some states require you to pass a board exam and receive a Certified Court Reporter Credential. Meanwhile, other states also state the court reporter must also be a notary public.

Notably, certain states permit the NVRA or National Verbatim Reporters Association Certificate in lieu of the license. The reason for this is attaining this certification proves more challenging. It requires the following:

  • Certified verbatim reporter
  • Certificate of merit
  • Certification of real-time verbatim reporter

Consider Additional Certifications for Career Enhancement

When you finally earn your license, you can begin working as a court reporter in Fort Lauderdale. If you want seamless career growth, undergoing certification will be in your best interest. Remember, certifications at your disposal mean commanding better pay. Thankfully, you can get the additional certificates following two paths.

  1. USCRA or United States Court Reporters Association

The requirements for FCRR or Federal Certified Realtime Reporter designation are the following:

  • Membership with the USCRA (no need to be employed as a federal court reporter to join)
  • Complete a 5-minute dictation test at 200wpm
  • Pass the required qualifying tests
  1. NCRA or National Court Reporters Association

You can get three credentials from this organization, with different requirements for each category. Take a look at the details below:

Basic RPR or Registered Professional Reporter

  • Membership NCRA
  • Pass the 105 multiple-choice exam
  • Perform 3 practical skills test
  • Accumulate 3 continuing credits in the 3 years to maintain the status

Mid-Level RMR or Registered Merit Reporter

  • Hold RPR status to apply
  • Member of the NCRA for 3 years
  • Pass 3 written exams
  • Complete 3 practical skills tests

High-Level RDR or Registered Diplomate Reporter

  • Must be an RMR
  • NCRA member for 6 years
  • Pass comprehensive exam

Assess and Discern Well if You will Enjoy the Job

As a court reporting professional, you must take verbatim documentation of depositions, hearings, arbitration, etc. It starts by making a steno record which you must then translate into normal text. From there, you must format and edit the text to ensure accuracy.

Once done, you must file your official transcript with the clerk of court. A copy of your work will then be disseminated to judges, jurors, attorneys, and other parties concerned. Alternatively, you can also work as a closed-captioning expert for media, live events, and other meetings to serve the hard of hearing.

Do you think you have what it takes to join this noble profession? Then study and work hard to learn and attain the necessary licenses. This is the only way you can become a court reporting professional.

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