You may have hired a few different court reporters for depositions, thinking each one was about the same as the last. Maybe one or two really stood out for you: they turned transcripts around faster, or were willing to stay longer than you originally booked them. But have you ever considered the particular skills a good court reporter needs to stay alert—and competitive—in the field?
Daily Requirements of Court Reporters
- Attention. You’ve probably sat through plenty of meetings where you have “zoned out” for a minute or two. But as a court reporter is responsible for creating a transcript that is 100 percent accurate, zoning out is simply not an option. A reporter’s loss of concentration can not only make a huge difference in the transcript, it could easily cost him or her the job.
- Focus. Watching a good court reporter at work is like watching a concert pianist. The words are spoken and seamlessly transcribed, going through the ears to the fingers with only a second’s delay. The best reporters can break stride when asked, read back testimony, then immediately return to the same work flow.
- Stress. It may seem like a simple typing job, but there are a number of stressors placed on court reporters every day. In addition to the mental demands of perfect performance and fast transcription, stenographers routinely suffer back problems, headaches, repetitive motion disorders, and other aches and pains.
- Good hands. Just as models rely on their bodies to get work, a court reporter would be unable to perform his duties if his hands or fingers were injured. Many freelance court reporters opt out of physical activities that put their hands at risk, such as manual labor, home repair, or even a pickup game of basketball. Similarly, a court reporter who suffers from arthritis may lose work if he or she cannot keep up with the pace of the job.
For all of these reasons, it is important to appreciate a good court reporter when you see one. A good working relationship between an attorney and court reporter is not only mutually beneficial, it saves both a lot of time and money—reducing a little of the daily stress you can both live without.
Do you need a court reporter for a difficult or complex case? Visit our online scheduler to give us a brief description of your needs. We will contact you within the hour to let you know how we can best serve your clients.