How to Become a Court Reporter

Become a court reporter in a sea of career options might be just for you. But first, what exactly is a court reporter and why would it make an interesting career path? Court reporting has existed for hundreds of years in some form or another, but in a form that is recognizable to us, it has existed for approximately 200 years. With a little training, you could be an asset to many legal proceedings.

Court Reporting as a Career

Firstly, to become a court reporter, you need to understand what they do. Court reporters assist with documenting legal proceedings in many situations. Tempest stenographers don’t only work in courts, but anywhere where legal discussions happen. Many court reporting services also offer services such as videoconferencing and closed captioning. As a court reporter, you will be a witness to many different kinds of people and situations. It’s unlikely that you will become bored as a court reporter, simply because you will be working with such a diverse clientele, and writing about such different things.

Who Would Be Good at Court Reporting?

Good hearing, grammar, and English writing skills are very important as stenographers. Since you will be typing what people say at the moment they say it, you need to have excellent hearing. You also will need to have very good grammar skills and be able to write in English very well.

Court reporters often type on their stenographic machines at a speed of 225 words per minute, so you need to be able to type well. You need to be someone who pays attention to detail and cares a lot about accuracy. It’s a lot like playing the piano because you can use as many keys as you need – even at the same time!

How Do You Become a Court Reporter?

Study court reporting or stenography at school. Court reporters usually go to a technical school, community college, or private school. You can get a degree or a certificate in court reporting in Salt Lake City. In order to become a court reporter, you do need extensive training and pass a national test. Court reporting uses shorthand, so you’ll how to use a stenographic machine for typing everything in shorthand. There are also academic courses to prepare you for the most common situations you’ll be working in.


With a little self-analysis, some research into the career path in your area, and some schooling, you can become a court reporter. You will never be bored as a court reporter since you will be traveling to many different kinds of legal meetings. You can also work on projects such as creating closed captioning for TV shows and the news. If you are interested in becoming a court reporter, contact your local community college or technical school for information about their training programs. You may also find them at career and job fairs.

Lawyers in a meeting

Court Reporting Deposition Proccess

Taking a deposition is serious business, it requires a high level of attention to detail and accuracy, when a court reporter finishes writing a job, they transcribe it and the office produces and delivers the transcript.  This is not the end of the process for getting the transcript production completed.  The court reporter’s office or the reporter, depending on their understanding, has to follow up and make sure a number of things are done.

A witness is given 30 days in which to read, correct answers, and sign their deposition, after they receive it.  The reporting firm will send the transcript to the witness’s attorney, if there is one, or directly to the witness, except in certain circumstances.  The court reporters office should also be tracking the time passing, in order to inform all attorneys who ordered copies of the transcript, if there have been any corrections made, and if the deposition was signed.

Many times the reporting office never hears back from a witness – or the witness’s attorney – about the transcript.  In this event, the original transcript, which is often kept by the court reporting firm, gets bound, a forwarding letter is put into the front of the transcript, and the transcript is put into a sealed envelope and sent to the attorney who took the deposition for safekeeping, until a trial in the case occurs.  Copies of any correction pages are sent to all counsel who ordered copies of the transcript.

If the court reporting firm fails to follow up and the attorneys don’t get any correction sheets or signed deponent certificate pages, then when the job is ready for hearing or trial, the reporting firm is going to get a series of phone calls, messages, and emails from paralegals, secretaries and potentially attorneys involved in the case, asking where the depositions are, was there any corrections? Did the deponent sign the transcript? There can be a number of other questions related to getting prepared for trial.

When attorneys are uninformed about what’s happening with their transcripts, they can become nervous, in turn their secretaries and paralegals can become uncertain and nervous which starts the trickle down effect on down to the reporting firm and the reporter, this doesn’t help anyone get anything done and it can make it uncomfortable for everyone and this is an unproductive use of resources and an unnecessary waste of time and energy.

Our commitment here at is to have our court reporting office be on top of all deposition’s.  From the taking of the deposition to the production of the transcript and its delivery to whoever is responsible for getting signature.  Then the staff should follow up in 30 or so days to see what’s happened:  Did the deponent read and make corrections?  Did they sign the certificate page?  How many attorneys are involved in the case who need some follow-up information, and where are they located?  Did the deponent not have enough time to get the reading and correcting finished, or does she need more time?  There are a number of things that can slow down the process, but if you don’t know there is a problem, you can’t correct it or speed things up, if you need to.

Of course when the transcript is either expedited or rushed, where transcript delivery is required the morning following the deposition – or rough drafts are requested at the end of the day – everything moves much faster, but all the steps still have to be done correctly, unless the reporter is told that the process is being changed by counsel.  Then the reporting firm double checks with the attorney, when necessary, and follows through with how things are going to be handled on that job.

Follow up from the court reporter’s transcript is very important for the attorney, the witness, and the client.  If follow up isn’t done properly by the court reporting firm or it isn’t done at all, there are problems the attorneys are going to run into when they want to use the transcript in court.  That kind of trouble is going to come back to the reporting firm that didn’t follow up, and it’s entirely possible the attorney will never call that firm for reporting services again.

You must be professional and follow up; otherwise you can create problems not only for counsel, but also for the court reporting firm itself.  It’s always best to go the extra step and make sure transcripts are followed up on, to help counsel and the entire team of people involved in a case. Here at Tempest court reporting our commitment is to provide steady reliable service for all of our clients! We are committed to reliably delivering impeccable, accurate transcriptions and excellent customer experiences for all of our clients big or small! We have built our reputation on these principles and have been reliably delivering outstanding results for our clients for over 25 Years!

3 Things You Should Know About Court Reporting

Court reporting has many uses that people don’t know about. Most people have seen court reporters on TV and in movies, but they don’t know much about the career. Court reporting is a demanding job that can be exciting, carries a high level of responsibility, and leads to a diverse work experience. Here are three things that you probably didn’t know about being a court reporter.

1. Court Reporters Must Be Precise

Court reporting is difficult work. It requires that a reporter be on high alert, listening to and then transcribing every single word that is said. A court reporter must have excellent hearing and the ability to quickly turn what they hear into typed words. Since what they have written is considered an “official” record, they must get every single thing right. Sometimes, a member of a court proceeding or a meeting will ask the court reporter to read back what was said at some point during the meeting. What they have written must be absolutely right.

2. Court Reporting Includes Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is the printed words that you read at the bottom of a TV screen during something like a live news report. It is usually created for the deaf and hard of hearing, but you will also see it turned on for TVs located in noisy bars, restaurants, and fitness clubs.

Who types all of those words? Court reporters trained to caption! Court reporters are perfect for creating closed captioning because they are used to listening carefully and typing quickly. They can type 225 or more words per minute. The record known speed for court reporter typing is 375 words per minute! You might have wondered how the process worked and who was doing the typing, and now you know.

3. Court Reporters Must Learn Highly Specific Technology

Court reporters use a type of written English called machine shorthand. This is a way of combining consonants and vowels to shorten a word. Court reporters use a computerized machine called a stenograph machine. This is similar to a typewriter, except as many keys can be depressed at the same time as needed it is made specifically for typing shorthand. It allows court reporters to capture everything that is said in a courtroom or other legal meeting very, very quickly.

Court reporting isn’t a job for everyone, but it is highly satisfying to those who like a challenge and diverse work environments. If you are very detail-oriented, enjoy working at a fast pace, and like the idea of assisting the public with legal matters, court reporting might be a great career choice for you.

Utah Court Reporting Tips

You’ve just completed your courses and tests to do Utah court reporting. You’re probably thinking, now what? After you finish your courses it’s best to start these next steps to get into the field.

Licensing in the State of Utah:

First of all, you’ll need to apply for your court reporting license for the state you’ll be working in. You can apply for your license here with the State of Utah. The application fee is $45 and needs to be renewed every two years.

Applying for a Court Reporting Job:

Choose what city you want to be based from. Court reporters will travel often depending on the courthouse or location of depositions, but it’s best to choose a base office in one of the larger cities like Salt Lake City, Provo, or Ogden.

Court Reporters and Networking:

Take advantage of networking at social events. Court reporting and establishing your name in the business is going to be your bread and butter throughout your career. Ariel Mumma at Tempest Reporting suggests networking with the paralegals or secretaries.

Lawyers are too busy and leave it up to their secretaries to find a court reporter for their trials or depositions. If you do a good job, this is also a great opportunity to establish your relationship as a firms regular court reporter or stenographer.

Looking for an opportunity to network, check out the Utah Court Reporters Association event page.

Utah Court Reporting: Your First Assignment

Your job is established, you are licensed, and you’re ready to go. Now it’s time for your very first trial. It’s intimidating, but you’ve been trained for this. Get the date, time, and address for the trial and meet the lawyer you will be working with.

There are a few things a few you should be prepared for and bring to your trial. Trials can last a few hours without any breaks. Make sure to eat, hydrate, and use the restroom before your assignment. Turn off your cell phone and leave it in your bag or purse. Last and most importantly, don’t forget to bring your stenography machine and it’s necessary equipment like batteries, steno paper, and a memory disk. Good luck and enjoy your opportunity as you do court reporting in the state of Utah.

How to Hire a Court Reporter

At some point in your life, you might find yourself faced with a court date. To be sure that you have an accurate record of everything that happens during that court hearings, it’s a good idea to have your attorney hire your own court reporter or stenographer.

These are people who quickly type everything that is said during the hearing. After it is all over, they give you a transcript that is considered a legal record. This is useful for when you need to make a case about what was said or done during your court hearing. Here are a few tips for finding and hiring your Utah stenographer.

Find a court reporting or stenographer agency

A quick Google search will help you identify all of the advertising court reporting services in Utah. Tempest’s Salt Lake court reporters and stenographers are willing to travel long distances, as well, so don’t rule out our agency if your case is in another city. Remember, it’s the reporter’s qualifications that are what’s the most important.

Search our website or ask about our specialties

Some court reporting agencies specialize in a particular field. Tempest’s court reporters specialties include medical, employment, business, construction, and legal patents. Many court reporting agencies have multiple specialties and areas of expertise. Make sure your attorney finds one that offers what you need.

Contact the agency and schedule an appointment

Court reporters are busy people. Make sure that your attorney knows the exact date and time that you need our assistance before you call to make an appointment. Find out our availability and schedule the appointment that will work the best for your court reporter and your lawyer.

Meet them at your court proceedings

Our Utah court reporters will be at your court location ready to get to work. You won’t always have control over how much time the hearing will take, but hopefully, you will have an estimate. We will do our job and you can relax, knowing that your legal information is being recorded accurately by our stenographers and court reporter.

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