We’ve all seen the stereotypical stenographer in courtroom scenes of movies, seamlessly guiding their hands across old-fashioned typewriters with poise and eloquence. The truth is, they do a lot more than you think.
Court reporters play a huge role in the legal system and are essential to the transcription of important judicial information. In the digital age, court reporting has extended to include legal videography and videoconferencing. Here are three surprising things about court reporting that you should know before seeking the services of a professional agency:
The number of court reporters is rapidly growing. It’s important to find the best possible court reporting agency for your legal transcription needs. There is a sea of options in 2015, so choose wisely. As of 2012, there was 21,200 court reports in the U.S., and that number is growing at a rate of about 1% per year. Stenographers are represented by the National Court Reports Association, which accounts for about 20,000 American court reporters.
Court reporting is extremely difficult. You should know how hard it really is to be a stenographer to value the services of a talented court reporter. The training is rigorous, and the court reporting education program takes about 33 months to complete for most stenographers. The general quality standard is extremely high, usually requiring court reporters to capture 225 words per minute with 95% accuracy or better.
Great court reporting services offer more than just stenography. If you find that your legal situation will require extensive travel, you should know that a good court reporting service can offer video services as well. You can take a deposition anywhere in the United States, or the world for that matter, and the video will be seen and transcribed by your appointed stenographer. It’s just like being in the same exact room.
Keep these quick facts in mind when you finding yourself seeking the services of a qualified court reporting agency. Stenography is serious business, and you should see the best possible services available to you. And hopefully, when a courtroom scene comes up during the next movie you watch, you look at the stenographer as more than just a fast typist.