What court reporting skills come to mind when you think of who you’d like to see as a reporter? Accurate, punctual, detail-oriented, and professional are just a few. More than that is a love of language, technical skill, and familiarity with the legal process that will set you apart, in good ways, from other court reporters.
I laugh every time I see the meme, “I watch Grey’s Anatomy so I am pretty sure I can do surgery.” It’s so me to think I can place a central line when I really have no clue what a central line is!
When it comes to being a court reporter, you need an extensive vocabulary and love of words, punctuation, and grammar. Whether you’re working a medical case and need to be familiar with terms like gastric lavage, craniotomy, intubate, and extubate, or a criminal case where you need to know terms like cyberstalking, forensic accounting, and rules of evidence, you’ll set yourself ahead of others if you’re willing to learn new words.
While you don’t need a degree in IT to be a court reporter, it’s important to understand technology enough to be your own tech squad. You’re likely the one setting up or testing technology prior to a deposition. If you’re working with a legal videographer, they will take care of the lighting and sound for you (hopefully) but you still need to be sure your equipment is working and troubleshoot as needed.
At many depositions it is the court reporter who acts as the presiding official to swear in witnesses and mark exhibits. It helps to be familiar with the courtroom process. While a pre-law or similar degree isn’t required, it may come in handy especially if you’re working for a municipality as a court reporter.
Court reporters don’t always work in a legal setting. In fact, more and more they’re being asked to transcribe in real-time at business, sporting, and political events. That means more opportunities to spread your wings and use the skills that set you apart from the crowd.
If you’re a court reporter seeking more Chicago court reporting clients or an attorney with an upcoming deposition, Depo International in Illinois is here to help. Call us today!