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Court Reporting

Court Reporting

Court reporters may be essential to the legal process as recorders of every official word spoken in court and other legal proceedings or meetings. Theirs is the official record of the trial and will be referred to if the verdict is appealed. Attorneys will often base the entire appeal on words spoken in the trial.

As a court reporter, one should be able to perform tasks quickly and efficiently. The average court reporter should be able to record up to two hundred words per minute. The task of quickly writing down every word, as it is being said, requires intense concentration, and accuracy is critical. It is the court reporter's job to ensure that every word makes it into the trial transcript. Accuracy by the court reporter is crucial to keeping the judicial system on track.

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Court reporters may rarely rely on notebook and pen today — more and more court reporters in the US today use computers or computer aids. Most court reporters may have a typewriter-like device that is connected to a computer and translates their shorthand notes into an accurate and legible manuscript. Even with computer aids, the job of a court reporter may not be an easy one; however, demand is high and employment opportunities are prevalent in most localities. Training and certification may be required and according to the BLS compensation median annual wage for court reporters was $47,700 in May 2010.