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Court Reporter Jobs and Training Opportunities in Louisiana

As a court reporter in Louisiana you will be responsible for maintaining an accurate and professional record of all court proceedings and many related processes. The Louisiana Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters (LBECSR) is the certifying agency overseeing the profession, which regulates who is considered for certification and testing. Court reporters work throughout the state in the following judiciary branches:

  • Louisiana Supreme Court made up of seven judges
  • Courts of Appeal divided among five circuit courts, each with a panel of at least three judges
  • One District Court with at least one judge for each of the state’s 40 judicial districts
  • Additional juvenile and family courts located across Louisiana

Once you have become a Certified Court Reporter (CCR) you will be eligible to work in any of these courtrooms as a freelance reporter, official judge-appointed reporter, or both. Last year there were 530 CCRs state wide who earned an average salary of $39,950. The process of how to become a court reporter in Louisiana is as follows:

Meet Initial Louisiana Qualifications for Certification
Become a Certified Court Reporter (CCR) in Louisiana
Maintain your CCR Certification
Start Working as a Court Reporter in Louisiana

 


 

Step 1. Meeting the Initial Louisiana Qualifications for Certification

There are two ways you can meet license requirements in Louisiana to become a CCR:

  • Pass the certifying examination given by the Louisiana Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters (LBECSR)
  • Apply for certification with the LBESCR based on their reciprocity criteria if you already hold a certification from a different agency

LBECSR Exam

There are three ways you can qualify to take the LBECSR’s CCR exam:

  • Attend one of the state-licensed court reporting schools and pass its qualifying test that includes a five-minute two-voice Q&A at 225 words per minute with at least a 95 percent rate of accuracy
  • Pass the LBESCR’s $50 qualifying examination
  • Submit proof that you are a CCR in another state which includes the specification that you can complete 225 words per minute

LBECSR Reciprocity Recognition

If you hold the following certifications you can apply for certification with the LBECSR based on its reciprocity recognition policy:

  • National Verbatim Reporters Association’s (NVRA) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) Certification
  • Two National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) certifications:

No matter how you are qualifying to apply for CCR certification, the LBECSR recommends all candidates attend one of the many schools located throughout the state and online, which offer competitive court reporter training in Louisiana.

Explore Other Education Options Related to Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Here you’ll find schools that offer certificate and degree programs well suited to a career in legal assisting, law office management and the paralegal profession.

 


 

Step 2. Becoming a Certified Court Reporter (CCR) in Louisiana

Your application to become a CCR in Louisiana depends on the way in which you are qualifying for this:

  • If you are taking advantage of a reciprocity agreement you can apply with the Reciprocal Application for Certification. The fee for this is $125 plus $20 per seal
  • If you are seeking certification by passing the LBECSR’s exam you will apply for this when you register for the exam. The full examination fee is $265

This exam consists of a written knowledge portion and a skills test portion, and is usually administered twice a year (exam schedule). The LBECSR provides a study guide for this examination upon request for a cost of $20 and offers exam rules on its website. You will be evaluated as follows:

  • The written knowledge test is 100 multiple-choice questions covering:

    • Legal terminology
    • Medical terminology
    • Grammar and punctuation
  • The skills test involves dictation and transcription with the following five-minute segments:

    • Literary dictation at 180 words per minute
    • Jury charge at 200 words per minute
    • Two-voice Q&A testimony at 225 words per minute

 


 

Step 3. Maintaining Your CCR Certification

You will need to keep your CCR up to date, and that means renewing it before it expires and obtaining the necessary continuing education. You can renew your license online starting October 1st of odd-numbered years or by sending in a renewal invoice. Renewing online costs $130 and renewing by mail costs $125. Your license expires on the last day of odd-numbered years.

You will also need to earn 12 continuing education credits every two years, with two of these credits being in ethics. Credits may be obtained from the following, and you should confirm the LBECSR’s approval of these:

Finally, do not forget to update your metal seal certification each year.

 


 

Step 4. Going to Work as a Court Reporter in Louisiana

Once you have become a CCR your next step will be to begin the hunt for court reporter jobs in Louisiana. Remember to keep up with the laws regarding court reporters, such as Title 46 and RS 13:961, as well as any new legislation that affects the field. Building relationships with your colleagues can be an important part to finding employment, and joining professional organizations such as the VRLA or LCRA can help you accomplish this as well as provide you with the latest news in your profession.

Court reporter employers in the state include:

 


 

Louisiana Court Reporting Salary

Louisiana has a high concentration of court reporter jobs.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it had the second highest concentration of these type of jobs in the country in 2012.  This is also the case for certain cities in Louisiana:

  • Shreveport – 3rd highest concentration
  • Lafayette – 8th highest concentration

The number of these jobs is projected to increase in the period from 2010 to 2020 according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.  They are projecting 13% growth in the field with equal numbers of jobs being created by growth and from the replacement of people leaving the workforce.

Growth projection rates for court reporting jobs is available for regions within Louisiana and are listed below:

Louisiana Area
Louisiana Region
Baton Rouge area
Regional Labor Market Area 2
Shreveport area
Regional Labor Market Area 7
New Orleans area
Regional Labor Market Area 1

The BLS indicates that the average annual salary of the 530 court reporters employed in the state in 2012 was $39,950.  Experienced professionals in the 90th percentile made $59,220 a year.  Salary information for specific cities in Louisiana is shown below:

Louisiana City
Average Annual Salary
Baton Rouge
$35770

Lafayette

$39640

New Orleans

$39620

Shreveport

$52930

A major employer of court reporters in Louisiana is the state’s Supreme Court.  Rather than hire court reporters as state employees, it contracts out these services.  The Office of Special Counsel of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana invited certified court reporters to submit quotes to provide such services to the state.  This offer was open to individuals and companies.

A detailed breakdown of court reporter salaries in Louisiana cities and nonmetropolitan areas is provided by the BLS.  Both annual and hourly percentiles are shown below:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Baton Rouge LA
50
35770
Lafayette LA
50
39640
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA
140
39620
Shreveport-Bossier City LA
100
52930
Natchitoches nonmetropolitan area
estimate not released
36750
Winnsboro nonmetropolitan area
estimate not released
32950

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