Certified court reporters are invaluable to the day-to-day business of the courts, particularly when it comes to record-keeping. If you wish to be a certified court reporter, or are working as one, you would admit that court reporting, despite being quite hard and unforgiving, is essential to the provision of justice.
Whatever news agency, state, federal or international court you work for, there are certain traits you need to either have naturally, or acquire on the job to enhance your work experience. These include the following:
Focus, Performance and Professionalism
Focus is extremely essential to court reporters, as they are required to accurately transcribe every word they hear. Sometimes, there may be several voices in action, and it requires a lot of focus and concentration to follow and record what the main speaker is saying.
Moreover, court reporters have to maintain the highest degree of professionalism as they perform their work duties. Among the things they have to do is dress presentably, show up to work sober and following industry ethics.
A court reporter’s job is to note down (verbatim), all the events that happen in a court session, and who said what. As such, it is important that they learn to reserve their judgment and not get emotionally invested in particular cases, as that may impact their focus and subsequently lead to errors on the transcripts.
It is advisable for a court reporter to get to work at least 20 minutes before the start of their first session so as to organize their thoughts and tools for the day’s work. Leaving the house a little bit earlier than most is also great as it leaves extra time to battle morning traffic.
It is unprofessional and unethical for a court reporter to gossip about court events and cases with other people, particularly friends and relatives. If it happens that the outside party that receives the “tea” about a certain case decides to interfere with the case, it could lead to obstruction of justice, which is both legally and morally wrong.
Additionally, if a court reporter is found to have discussed intricacies of a case to an outsider, they will more likely be sacked or sanctioned. Imagine how worthless it would be to go through all the pain and struggle of becoming a certified court reporter just to get fired for not keeping your mouth shut?
In the course of your duties, you may have to sit through cases that will be disturbing or graphic, which could affect your psychological stability and your ability to focus. A good court reporter stays composed at all times, and does their job in a neutral manner, even during extremely graphic testimonials. To this effect, professionalism and reserving judgment can significantly help you focus.
There you have it; the 5 essential traits for certified court reporters. Aspire to learn and cultivate them into both your personal and professional lives, and you will go far in your career.