What important qualities and skills do I need to be a good Court Reporter?

Court reporting is not for the faint of heart. Why you ask? Court Reporters have a huge responsibility bestowed upon them when they are in a court of law. In this important job, you are responsible for recording history. As someone relays their account of a particular event, you are tasked with recording and transcribing it into the written word for everyone to examine, read, evaluate and to assess. So, have you got what it takes to accept that kind of responsibility? Listed below are a few qualities and skills that each Court Reporter must possess.

Accuracy is the number one quality needed to be a good Court Reporter. Are you detail oriented? Court Reporters must pay attention to every detail that comes out of someone’s mouth. It must be recorded accurately without mistakes. Your mistake could cause someone a lifetime of trouble and heartache if you should accidentally skip a relevant word or phrase.

How are your grammatical skills? Although you are recording the exact words of someone else, you will be tasked with punctuating sentences and proofreading all transcripts. A good Court Reporter must have excellent grammar skills, as well as, an exceptional understanding of the English language.

Are you a good listener? Do you have a genuine interest in helping others? Being a good listener, instead of a talker, helps people the most. Although we all misunderstand occasionally, it is helpful for the Court Reporter to maintain good listening habits. As a Court Reporter, your ears and listening skills are your most important assets.

How do you react in stressful situations? Are you calm, cool and collected or do you fall apart when things get chaotic? Court Reporting can be stressful. After all, you are being asked to record dialogue, with precision accuracy, while someone is talking, often while upset, excited or just plain angry. Occasionally, during court proceedings regarding tragic murders or abuse cases, you will be subjected to heartbreaking and disturbing, yet crucial, information to record. Have you got a weak stomach? Can you take the gruesome and sad details that may arise? A Court Reporter must be emotionally stable.

A Court Reporter should not be the shy type. You must be comfortable in front of others and display confidence in your profession. You could be asked to repeat back what you have recorded at any given time by a judge or an attorney. If you fear public speaking, court reporting may not be for you.

Are you punctual? You must show up on time to court hearings and appointments. In addition, you must maintain a professional appearance at all times and be prepared to adhere to all ethical and confidentiality rules and regulations. You must also be able to maintain your transcribing equipment with ease.

Are you the determined type? As a Court Reporter, you may not possess all these qualities at first. But with hard work, a can-do attitude, patience, and determination, you will learn them in no time. Your diligence will pay off if you stick with it and follow your dreams!

If you are interested in this field, please see our list of the Best Online Schools for Court Reporting.