If you’re scanning a list of possible hires for a court reporting position, you may be tempted to give the job to the reporter with the most experience. After all, years spent sitting in a courtroom or recording depositions are key to learning the trade, and if all of the qualifications are there, shouldn’t experience make the difference?

How Much Experience Should You Look for in a Court Reporter?

There are many different factors that should influence your choice of court reporter, and experince is definitely one of them. However, there is no set minimum amount of court reporting experience that will translate into competence—and many reporters who have been in the game for a decade are no better at their jobs than those with brand-new credentials.

Consider the pros and cons of experience in reporters who are:

  • Recent graduates. People who have just earned their certification will be eager and willing to gain experience, so they may be more willing to stay late or make last-minute schedule changes than older reporters. Recent graduates are unlikely to be experiencing burnout, and may have more recent training in the latest technology than those who left school years ago.
  • New reporters. In some cases, choosing a court reporter with little experience will mean that he or she has a lighter caseload, making it more likely that your transcripts will be delivered quickly. Reporters with less than a year of experience are still learning the ropes, but that doesn’t mean they make mistakes. Many younger attorneys who strike out on their own may choose younger reporters, as they understand the need to build a reputation.
  • Seasoned reporters. If your case revolves around specific technical information, it is best to choose a reporter who not only has experience, but experience in your type of case. Court reporters may have specialized knowledge of medical language, patent law, insurance terminology, or other background information that will allow your case to proceed more smoothly.
  • Certified reporters. For many reporters, experience goes beyond the demands of the courtroom. The evolution of reporting technology has allowed many court reporters to earn additional certifications, giving them a wider skill set than those using only one form of transcription. Reporters who are notary publics, are certified in real-time reporting, and know how to troubleshoot technological difficulties can be invaluable in saving time and simplifying case preparation.

The important thing to remember when choosing a court reporter is to find someone you can work with easily. Your reporter should be qualified, but also have a strong work ethic and positive attitude. It is far worse to commit to working with someone who refuses to learn than someone who is willing to learn.

At Casamo & Associates, all of our certified court reporters are trained with the latest in captioning technology, and have an average of ten years of experience. Call us today at (877) 837-0077 to find out more about our court reporting services, or request one of our reporters using our Online Scheduler.

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