Law Reports

Legal Placement Services: Information Regarding Court Reporters

While most people might not think that The Wild Wild West, Billy the Kid, and Wild Bill Hickok might not have anything to do with reporting or legal placement services, in a way they do. What they have in common is their timing, because 1893 was when the first idea of coming up with a national court reporting association (NCRA) came to mind. The idea came to fruition in 1899 in Chicago where the National Shorthand Reporters Association (NSRA) held their first meeting. About the year of 1927, the NSRA set their first code of ethics and allowed women to take a more active role in the profession.

Enough about the history, some people who might be considering this career path might be more curious about the types of court reporters there are and the certifications required. The information below will describe these two pieces of information about court reporters.

Types of Court Reporters

A court reporter is often referred to as a shorthand reporter, a law reporter, or a stenotype operator, all of which have the same definition of transcribing the happenings of trials. No matter what the profession is called, there are different career paths the professional can advance toward with the right training. Some of the different types of court reporters that require this training include Registered Professional Reporters (RPR), Registered Merit Reporters (RMR), Registered Diplomat Reporters (RDR), Certified Realtime Reporters (CRR), Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC), Certified Legal Video Specialists (CLVS), and Certified Program Evaluators (CPE).

Those who think technology would eliminate the profession are obviously wrong because while technology provides a sense of better accuracy those recordings or videos still need to be transcribed. Many court reporters choose to work as freelancers because along with working for law firms, they can work for television companies by transcribing captions for the hearing-impaired.

Types of Required Certifications

The Nationally Recognized Certification has been administered to court reporters since 1937. Additionally, the RPR has replaced the licensing exam (also known as the state certification) in 22 states. As previously mentioned there are many different types of reporters, but some of them are simply different levels of certification:

  1. Registered Professional Reporters (RPR) – The first level of certification that holds about 11,000 certified professionals.
  2. Registered Merit Reporters (RMR) – 2,100 professionals claim this second level certification spot.
  3. Registered Diplomate Reporters (RDR) – 450 have reached this third certification level.

Becoming certified might be challenging with all the different accuracy and type-speed requirements, but it provides a number of benefits. For one, certifications give professionals more opportunities because it shows the professionals’ level of commitment to their profession. It also gives them the opportunity to build their skillset and enhance their credibility.

While the process of becoming a court reporter might be frustrating and challenging, it has its benefits and many different career options. If this article has not provided enough information for professionals who are looking to pursue a career in this profession, the interested professional should contact local legal placement services or NCRA.org for more information.

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