Court reporting is the ultimate learn-as-you go job. You know that every job you take will build up your experience and make you better and faster—but what can you do outside the courtroom to become a better court reporter?
Here are a few relatively easy ways to hone your court reporting skills:
- Become a notary public. It takes a few hours to become a notary public, and since many states require it, it’s an easy way to give yourself an edge over the competition. Even if it’s not required on a particular job, listing the service on your website or business card could land you a referral to the next one.
- State testing. Look into state-specific certification tests, including the Certified Court Reporter (CCR) test or the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) exam.
- Specialize. Many complex injury cases involve medical terminology, so a medical language training course could be doubly profitable: as a reporter and for potential jobs as a medical transcriber.
- Classes. Taking a class that requires a lot of reading will help your ability to recognize different word pronunciations and inflection, and any course in critical thinking will keep your mind sharp.
- Language courses. You may be in higher demand if you can speak additional languages, saving the attorney time and money in hiring a translator.
- Moonlighting. The skills needed for court reporting can easily transfer into other jobs, such as secretarial work, scheduling, and transcription—and any word processing activities will likely improve your reporting speed.
The best thing about honing your skills is that any learning you do can be used as training for court and depositions.