If you’ve ever watched a movie with a courtroom scene, odds are you’ve seen a court reporter in the background, transcribing what is said. It’s an important job, but one that requires a great deal of training and specific qualifications. If you are interested in becoming an Indiana court reporter and working within the Indiana court system, read on to see how to get started.
Also known as a stenographer, a court reporter transcribes both spoken and recorded speech into written form, all in real time. The transcripts must be created with care. Although court reporting firms most commonly serve local, state, or federal government agencies, court reporters can also work for individual courts, private law firms, and various associations and nonprofits.
Although Indiana doesn’t have mandated license requirements for stenographers, you still must possess certain skills in order to find a job. You should have a skill set that includes being a fast and accurate typist, having great attention to detail, language translation and interpretation, and at least a basic understanding of courtroom procedures.
You’ll also need to have a variety of experience in order to perform court reporting within Indiana. You should have an Associate Degree in a relevant area, like law or court reporting, as well as law experience and at least two years of shorthand stenotyping study and practice. You should also familiarize yourself with Indiana laws and regulations, along with the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct.
There are many court reporting schools across Indiana, which will earn you a certification allowing you to work within the state. You can also gain national certification, which would allow you to work in any state from online sources. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is also a great source of information about all things court reporting, and you can obtain certification there as well.
Court reporting is an important vocation, but it faces difficulties across the country, from budget cuts to student shortage. Veritext Legal Solutions, a known leader within the legal industry, recently extended their support for court reporter legal programs, in an effort to help grow the prestigious profession. Veritext has even partnered with accredited schools and programs, like Project Steno, wherein you can find a free introductory course, along with others focused on speed building and theory.