What does it take to be a court reporter?

Court reporting isn’t a career that should be taken lightly. It’s focused, detail and deadline oriented work requiring sharp skills. Just because a reporter has completed a program, doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. When it comes down to what it takes to be a court reporter, start with the qualities of the person you want for your team as well as the expectations you’re setting for them.

Positive Attitude & Work Ethic

If you’ve been in business any amount of time, you know the challenge of hiring the right people. When you’re hiring court reporters, look for people who have a positive attitude and good work ethic. As a Chicago court reporting agency, we can say with certainty that it’s embarrassing to schedule someone for a deposition and have them show up late or not at all. To avoid this situation, set expectations early.

Begin with a clear job description so candidates understand what his expected of them and can anticipate the questions you ask in an interview. Questions may include previous experience as well as those related to the core values of your firm or agency. Your culture may be different from what they’ve previously experienced; that may be important to know before they say yes to an offer that could have been extended to a different (better?) candidate.

Technical Know-How

The right personality and work ethic are characteristics of a court reporter to consider but that’s not all. You’ve got to hire people who have technical know whether it’s preparing the conference room for a deposition, having the right software or hardware, or understanding the importance of quality Wi-Fi while working remotely. The best reporters aren’t afraid of technology, they embrace it.

Diligent, Focused, and Accurate

It doesn’t take being perfect to be a court reporter. More important than perfection, is to have a dedication to diligence, focus, and accuracy. Reporters put their nose to the proverbial grindstone to record, proofread, and make changes to depositions so the record preserved is an accurate one. That takes concentration and attention to detail making it essential to have a process in place so errors can be caught before they impact a case.

Court reporting isn’t for everyone. In fact, we’re pretty sure that what it takes to be a court reporter makes many people shy away from this profession. For those that can handle the demand, they will find this to be a rewarding and fulfilling career for themselves and their clients.