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The Huseby Journal

5 Keys to Success for Newbie Court Reporters

Some people have the mistaken impression that court reporters have an easy job. All they do is sit there and type up what transpired during a court case or in a deposition and voila! – they’re done.

But as a nationwide court reporting firm, we know that excellent court reporting takes a lot of hard work and late nights. To be successful in this profession requires total dedication and a passion for precision. It also takes some smart moves that will help position you a cut above the rest. Here’s a look at five of them.

Court Reporters Should Read the News Everyday

In court reporting, you have to be able to write about different topics, industries, and subject matters with ease. By reading the news everyday, names and words will become easier to recognize and to accurately report while you’re on assignment. For instance, if you’re unfamiliar with the acronym “NASDAQ,” then you might report it as “Nazdack.” And your clients don’t want to see mistakes like that.

Court Reporters Should Do Their Homework

Before going to a court case or deposition, research the attorney, expert witnesses, doctors, and anyone else involved with the case online to become familiar with who they are and what you are going to be hearing during your assignment. This is especially important if a case or deposition is complicated and technical in nature. The more knowledge you have about the people involved and the specific subject matter, the better transcript you will be able to produce.

Court Reporters Should Go the Extra Mile

Despite all your work, there will be times when topics are unfamiliar to you. But it’s important to go the extra mile and spend the time necessary to research a word nuance or an obscure subject matter if it means you’ll be able to deliver a more accurate transcript. Your clients expect accuracy and they will take note of any errors you make.

Court Reporters Should Seek Out Support

Court reporting, nationally or locally, is a solitary profession. You don’t exactly have a lot of opportunity to interact with co-workers and colleagues and so it can get a bit lonely. What’s more is that when you experience a work-related issue, it can be difficult to know where to turn. That’s why it’s important to seek out support from other, more experienced, court reporters by joining a local or nationwide court reporting association, or getting involved in online forums and message boards.

Court Reporters Should Practice

Don’t set your sights on being “as good” as other court reporters; aim to be better. The only way to do that is through regular practice. Try to practice a little bit everyday, rather than one long session once a week. Your skills will improve faster and your weaknesses will fade away.