In 2017, everyone is a filmmaker. With the proliferation of Smartphone technology and outlets like YouTube and Instagram, anyone can fancy themselves a professional. Anyone can create blog channels and filtered photo albums cataloguing endless encounters with mediocre latte art. No training required.

That said, although everyone might be able to dabble in camerawork, not everyone should — particularly in the professional and legal spheres. Serious work demands a serious level of knowledge, skill, experience and professionalism. You wouldn’t just hire someone who’s interested in web programming to run your IT services; you certainly shouldn’t just hire anyone with a camera to take your video deposition. Everyone may be a filmmaker, but not everyone is Certified Legal Video Specialist (CVLS).

In one of our previous blog posts, Video Killed the Radio Star: An Important Guide to Video Depositions, we discussed the growing prevalence of video depositions in the legal field and talked through the process of creating video depositions. As that blog post suggests, it takes more than someone setting up a camera and tripod to create a quality video deposition. Certified Legal Video Specialists have undergone professional training to meet the highest standards for videographers within the legal marketplace. You can entrust your legal video needs with a CLVS.

What exactly is CLVS?

The Certified Legal Video Specialist program is a training course established by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). The program involves a three-step certification process that measures a legal videographers competency in the capture and usage of legal video. In order to become a Certified Legal Video Specialist, the candidate must attend a “Video in the Legal Environment” seminar, pass a written examination and pass a practical video production examination.

Why is it necessary? Why hire a certified specialist?

The CLVS program establishes standards for videographers in the legal field. When you hire a CLVS, you know exactly their level of competency and skill. The NCRA has established a code of ethics as well as 62 standards for the certification program. These standards cover every aspect of legal videography. Specialists are trained to capture sharp audio and video, set up real-time transcript synchronized feeds, follow attorney instructions regarding the legal video and convert that video into various formats based on the attorney’s needs. After earning their certification, specialists are required to continue in the NCRA’s education program and renew their certificate annually. Because of this, you can be assured that there will be no lapse in a specialist’s ability. Furthermore, as at Connor Reporting, video specialists often work in tandem with court reporters and benefit from understanding the full scope of the court reporting profession.

Specialists not only have a high level of skill with the camera but also a breadth of understanding of how to use that skill within a legal context. Without these standards, it is impossible to know what quality of work you will receive when hiring a legal videographer. And by the time you find out, you could already be dealing with a sub-par, unformatted video deposition suffering from muffled audio, mismanaged edits or any number of problems.

Legal videography requires a higher level of professionalism than a home video. Shoddy camerawork could ruin your video deposition and create endless headaches for you. A legal videographer should be an asset not a liability. Treat your legal video with the importance it deserves by hiring someone you can trust — a Certified Legal Video Specialist.

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