Court reporters are an important part of any legal proceedings. Their job entails producing a valid and accurate real-time report of a court proceeding, deposition, trial, prosecution or administrative hearing. Whether you are looking for a reliable certified court reporter or you want to be one, it is important to know the top qualities and skills that a court reporter must have.
Like a secretary who records the minutes of a meeting, the court reporters in Atlanta GA also keep a record of a legal proceeding. Though both these professionals have an almost similar task, the job description of the later is far more complex.
Court reporters provide a reliable reference for the lawyers of both parties, as well as for the judges, and jury. Apart from the typical written or encoded transcription, some court reporting services firms offer sign language services to provide translation for participants with hearing impairment.
Qualities of an excellent court reporter
Regardless of whether you are looking for a reliable certified court reporter for your legal proceeding or you want to be one, it is important to know what qualities that make a court reporter an excellent one. These qualities will help you find the best professional for the job. On the other end, if you are an aspiring court reporter, these qualities will serve as your reference. Hopefully, through this post, you will be able to know what you need to work on and improve to become one of the most competent court reporters in town.
Without further ado, here is an overview of the top qualities and skills that a court reporter must have.
It is imperative that court reporters must arrive early in court during a hearing. Their task requires them to prepare the devices or tools they need in doing their job. They must come on time or better yet earlier than everybody else because they need to record every word spoken, every action taken, and every decision made from the beginning until the end of the proceeding.
In most cases, the court will not call the legal proceeding into action until the court reporter arrives. You surely don’t want to be the cause of delay, right? If so, you must see to it that you arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes earlier.
2. Organizational Skills
Court reporters have to be incredibly organized. They spend a lot of time keeping track of the files for their different clients. They also usually handle multiple court proceedings in a day.
Needless to say, in order to keep everything in proper order and to avoid mixing documents, the court reporters must possess excellent organizational skill. They must be able to coordinate the enormous amount of paperwork and organize them according to their respective cases. Apart from that, court reporters also need to keep the files secure and ready for presentation or distribution before the given deadline arrives.
3. Attention to Detail
From punctuation to grammar, Atlanta court reporters must be very critical. Legal documents have a strict standard format and it is very important to ensure that this standard format is followed accordingly.
There is also a special rule to follow when it comes to the terminologies used in legal proceedings. This rule does not employ basic conversational language. Instead, it follows a formal verbatim language. Luckily, these complicated legal terminologies are being taught at the national court reporting schools. Court reporters must learn, study, and master these legal (and sometimes medical) terminologies before they can be able to practice their profession.
Court reporters must also be very keen on details. Every single word uttered by the speaker must be captured and recorded precisely in detail.
4. Accuracy and Speed
One important thing that a court reporter cannot be without is his ability to keep up with the pace, while still retaining accurate recordings. Whether you are translating via sign language or you are using a stenograph machine, you must be able to simultaneously listen, record, and still come up with minimal to zero errors in the transcription. A court reporter must also be able to type in around 180 to 225 words per minute at very high accuracy.
During a court hearing, court reporters will be exposed to the two opposing sides. They get to listen to statements given by both parties. Although it almost never happens, a court reporter may experience temptations to internally be driven by personal biases and to unknowingly take a side. It is important for them to remain neutral throughout the entire process.
Court records are not meant to be disclosed to third-parties or to unauthorized individuals. They are highly classified information and are only meant to be accessed by authorized persons. Unless publicized, what goes on in the court must stay within the realms of the court and the people involved. Court reporters must be able to maintain the confidentiality of classified information all the time.
Court reporters are expected to maintain a graceful composure while working under pressure. They must look and be respectable at all times, and possess professional courtesy while on the job.
8. Time-management Skills
Court reporters typically need to juggle different tasks and cases within a very tight schedule. And, they also need to be always on point when it comes to hitting the deadline. All these things will be impossible to achieve without having excellent time management skills.
Court reporting is a very broad and critical profession. As a court reporter, you will need to be able to work efficiently in different settings. You will be exposed to various kinds of environment, and you will also be likely to encounter different kinds of people. To be a competent court reporter, you must not only be flexible and versatile enough, but you also have to possess all the above-mentioned qualities and skills.
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