Court Reporting Degree

Court reporters record the discussions and other spoken proceedings that occur during court trials, meetings, and other legal events. They're responsible for making sure the records they maintain are accurate. The following documentation methods are used by court reporters: voice writing, real-time, and stenographic.

There are over 100 technical and vocational schools offering certificate and degree programs in court reporting. The type of program an aspiring court reporter should select will depend on their desired specialty. Many court reporting degree and certification programs can now be completed online. Students should also make sure the program they select is accredited by the National Court Reporting Association (NCRA).

Students have the option of earning either an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in court reporting. An associate degree can usually be completed in two years, while a bachelor's degree takes four years. Both degrees will provide students the skills required to launch a career in court reporting. Most court reporting programs cover topics including stenography, transcription methodology, legal proceedings, legal terminology and equipment operation.

Associate's Degree in Court Reporting
An associate's degree in court reporting, from a NCRA accredited program, will provide students a fundamental knowledge of the industry and equip them with the skills required to launch a career in court reporting. Student will learn about medical and legal terminology, shorthand, legal and court proceedings, and computer-aided transcription. They'll also gain a strong understanding of the English language and English grammer. Students should become familiar with electronic equipment used in court reporting, court reporting circuit boards, processors and software used within the industry.

Before enrolling in a court reporting associate degree program students must have a high school diploma or GED. Classes in English, social studies, writing, typing and computer will help prepare students to pursue a degree in court reporting.

Most court reporting degree programs are divided between classroom study and lab work. Classroom study focuses on legal terminology and vocabulary, while lab work focuses on learning how to use court reporting equipment, technology, software and other computer applications. Common course offered in a court reporting associate degree program include:

  • Legal shorthand (using a machine)
  • Court proceedings
  • Medical terminology
  • Legal terminology and vocabulary
  • Foundations of law
  • English language and composition
  • Word processing
  • Writing
  • Stenography
  • Computer-aided transcription
  • Reporting technology

Career Opportunities
There are various career options for students who earn a degree in court reporting. Court reporters are employed in many areas outside of the courtroom. Career opportunities exist with courts, federal agencies, state legislatures, broadcast companies (captioning), international organizations (i.e. United Nations), and with private corporations. Popular positions that court reporters fill include:

  • Broadcast captioner
  • CART reporter (Communication access realtime translator)
  • Court reporter
  • Judicial reporter
  • Medical transcriptionist
  • Webcasting
  • Deposition reporting

If you're ready to launch your career in court reporting, get started by requesting degree information from one of the recommended schools listed below.

Court Reporting and Legal Transcription Degrees

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