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Court Reporting Myths

Monday, February 25, 2019

When you think about the court reporting profession, what comes to mind? Whether you are currently working as a court reporter or are considering court reporting as a career path, chances are good that you’ve run into people who simply don’t understand what the job entails. In this blog post, we’ll dispel some common misperceptions about court reporting.

Myth 1: Court Reporters Only Work in the Courtroom

Reality: If you have ever tried to use voice texting on your smartphone, you probably already understand the limitations of relying on electronic means to capture and transcribe mundane conversations, let alone legal proceedings.

Court reporters often work as steno interpreters, webcast captioners, Computer Access Real-Time Translation (CART) providers for people who are hearing impaired, convention reporters and broadcast captioners. The truth is, when you are trained as a court reporter, you will have the skills and knowledge you need to work inside and outside the courtroom.

Myth 2: Computerized Court Reporting Is Just as Good as Human Reporters

Reality: If you have ever tried to use voice texting on your smartphone, you probably already understand the limitations of relying on electronic means to capture and transcribe mundane conversations, let alone legal proceedings.

A critical aspect of a court reporter’s job is ensuring that information is documented thoroughly and accurately. Computer transcription using digital recording technology simply cannot compete with humans when it comes to accuracy. Human ears can pick up on and interpret nuances, accents and dialects, and slang that electronic recorders don’t know how to process. In reality, human stenographers are in high demand.

Myth 3: A Court Reporter’s Only Requirement Is to Be a Fast Typist

Reality: There’s a widespread misconception that court reporters are little more than secretaries, taking notes and using their typing skills to record legal proceedings.

While it’s true that court reporters need to be able to accurately record conversations in real time, they are not typing. Stenography involves specialized equipment to take shorthand. In addition to being able to capture every word that’s said, court reporters need to be extremely organized and detail-oriented. They also must be proficient in specialized terminology to which the average administrative assistant simply isn’t exposed in his or her everyday work.

Myth 4: Court Reporting Is Boring

Reality: Court reporting is not always exciting, but it’s a field where there is a constant opportunity to learn new information. Court reporters hear all sorts of details about a wide variety of subject matters every day on the job. You’ll learn about current events and may be exposed to confidential information.

At MacCormac College in Chicago, we offer an Associate of Applied Science in Court Reporting degree program. Our graduates hone their skills through hands-on learning opportunities, including supervised internships in and around the Chicago area. To learn more about becoming a court reporter, contact us today.