Court reporters go by various names: typographers, stenographers, electronic recorders, etc. They are responsible for recording all dialogue that takes place during legal proceedings. When someone speaks, it is a court reporter’s job to copy it verbatim so accurate records are kept in case of future use.
There are various devices one can use for this job including specialized typewriters, computers, or a steno-mask, which allows a reporter to repeat everything that is said into a hidden microphone.
Many students can complete a training program in less than a year and become quite advanced in less than 2 years on the job. A court reporter program typically focuses on teaching students how to use specialized machines with speed and accuracy. Most Federal and State requirements ask that students be able to capture a minimum of 225 words per minute to graduate. Depending on the state where you pursue your court reporter career you could be asked to pass a licensure exam. The National Verbatim Reporters Association offers 3 different tests that can be taken instead of the state-issued exam. These exams can make an applicant qualified to work in any state in the nation.
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