Interview with a Newly Minted Electronic Court Reporter

October 22nd, 2018

There is a shortage of court reporters across the nation, leading to long waits in some courtrooms when there's no court reporter available. One way this shortage is being addressed is by the increasing utilization of electronic court reporters.

As an early adopter of new technologies, Legal Media Experts was one of the first court reporting firms in the nation to hire and train electronic court reporters. One benefit of this new method is the dramatically shortened training time and cost, meaning a new reporter can be on the job in months instead of years.

This shortened training time makes it easier for people to undertake a mid-life career change, and some new court reporters have even come out of retirement to join the profession. This week we are spotlighting one of our newest electronic court reporters, Charlene, who was retired from a career as an assistant to high-level executives at a major multi-national corporation before deciding to become a court reporter.

How long has it taken you to train as an electronic court reporter? For people who don't know anything about the process, and who might be interested in it, what was the easiest part? What was the hardest part?

It has taken me about five months to get to the point where I am now reporting depositions on my own, but it can be done in a shorter amount of time - depending on how often you're able to attend training depositions. I had to become a Notary, and learn After becoming familiar with how to operate the equipment, I shadowed a couple of the court reporters in the firm to numerous depositions to learn how to operate the equipment, what apps I may need on my phone (or iPad), and how to take notes. The equipment can sometimes be confusing, but I found that watching a video tutorial or two helped me to understand it better. One advantage I had was that my daughter has been a court reporter for over 20 years, and by reading some of her transcripts and talking to her about her job over the years I was already familiar with court terminology and what information a reporter needs to send to a transcriber.

What aspects of being a court reporter appealed to you as someone partially coming out of retirement?

Freelance court reporting appealed to me because I can decide which jobs I will be able to take, especially if one conflicts with an appointment that I had already scheduled.  In addition, I am able to be out of the house and meet new people.

What has been the most surprising part of this journey?

I was happily surprised to learn that there's something that retired individuals are needed for.
What has been the most interesting thing you've heard in the depositions you've taken so far?
While I can't comment on specific cases, the most interesting, although very tragic, cases I've worked on so far have been wrongful death cases.

Thank you for answering these questions, Charlene!

If you'd like to learn more about a career in electronic court reporting, more information can be found at AAERT. If you'd like to learn more about working with Legal Media Experts as an electronic reporter or a transcriber, contact us here