In the courtroom, and even in movies portraying legal dramas, most of the attention and focus is given to the attorneys, judges, juries, and the parties in the case. Rarely, if ever, does the wider audience pay attention to the folks seated in the background, furiously typing on seemingly old-fashioned typewriters. That, unfortunately, is the place of court reporting in today’s world – an essential yet culturally irrelevant part of the justice system.
Yet, court reporters have always been, and will always be, as crucial to court proceedings as every other party, including the attorneys and judges. Without the transcripts produced by court reporters, the wheels of justice will inevitably break down.
The Magic Touch of Court Reporters
Even as many courts integrate new technology into their procedures, the one profession that is not likely to be affected by the digital shift is court reporting.
Court reporters are in many ways more reliable than available technology, especially when it comes to detecting mistakes and fixing them in good time. They are rigorously trained to make little to no errors in their work and will not break down (like machines do) or generate poor-quality transcripts due to “software glitches.”
Remember, courts need accurate transcripts not only for easier reference in the future but also to serve as evidence if the need arises. While AI is catching up fast, it is still not a match for seasoned reporters. In particular, recording devices cannot seek clarifications from speakers when they fail to discern certain words or phrases. Therefore, they are bound to produce transcripts full of holes and lack flow. In contrast, human reporters can speak up and request speakers to repeat certain words for clarity.
As such, the transcripts produced by court reporters are, in most cases, accepted by all parties as to the official run-down of proceedings and are attached to the given case’s files and quoted in media reports. Without these transcripts, litigating parties would have endless conflicts about who said what in the last court session.
If you were thinking of being a court reporter, you would probably be pleased to know that it is one of the few jobs that is not threatened by technological advances. However, the need for accurate and sensible court transcriptions is not going away anytime soon, and from the look of things, tech is not advancing fast enough to take over.
Even where digital recorders are used, human reporters are still needed to proofread and edit the generated transcripts. Technology is a work aid, not a rival, for the average court reporter.
Notably, how long you remain employed as a court reporter is, for the most part, up to you. Reporters who consistently produce high-quality transcripts and continually look for ways to improve their skills and acquire new ones will always be in demand. Lastly, discipline and good communication skills are also invaluable to the trade and will help ensure you remain professional at work.
Are you in need of a certified court reporting company in New Jersey? Contact us today.