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Court Reporter Jobs and Training Opportunities in Oregon

The state of Oregon does not require certification of court reporters. However, it does offer the certification of CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter) to court reporters who complete the requirements. There are two types of court reporter jobs in Oregon: official and freelance. Official court reporters work in the Oregon judicial system, and may be certified but are not required to be. Freelance court reporters work for agencies and others taking depositions, and are often required to be certified.

Becoming a court reporter in Oregon requires you to follow these steps:

Complete Oregon Education Requirements
Pursue Certification as a Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) if Desired
Become Familiar with Oregon’s Court System and Court Reporting Agencies
Complete Continuing Education Requirements (if certified)

 


 

Step 1. Fill Educational Requirements for Court Reporters in Oregon

In order to work as a court reporter on an official or freelance basis in Oregon, you must complete a training program through one of the online or campus-based court reporting schools available to Oregon residents. This program should be approved by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).  Court reporter training programs in Oregon may offer a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree at the conclusion of the program.

The most common courses and skills taught in an Oregon court reporter training program include:

  • Legal procedures
  • Politics and current events
  • Court reporting procedures
  • Computer aided transcription (CAT)
  • English grammar, vocabulary and punctuation
  • Transcription styles
  • Ethics of court reporting
  • Court reporter software

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: Pursue Certification as a Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) in Oregon

After completion of your court reporter educational program, you have the option of becoming certified by the state of Oregon as a Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR). This requires passing an exam, which is offered by the state twice yearly, in February and July. The exam consists of:

  • Three dictation  and transcription portions:
    • Five minutes of two-voice testimony (225 words per minute or wpm)
    • Five minutes of jury charge (200 wpm)
    • Five minutes of literary (180 wpm)
    • Each portion of transcription must be at least 95 percent accurate in order to pass the exam

Contact Monica W. Melhorn of the Certified Shorthand Reporters Program in Salem to schedule a time to take the CSR Exam, at 503-986-5500 or monica.w.melhorn@ojd.state.or.us.

If you take an equivalent national certification exam offered by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) this counts for certification in the state of Oregon. The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Examination must be passed if you decide upon this route. This exam tests:

    • Skills of dictation and transcription:
      • Literary (180 wpm)
      • Jury charge (200 wpm)
      • Testimony and Question/Answers (225 wpm)

  • Written Knowledge – 115 multiple choice questions on:
    • Technology
    • Reporting practices
    • Professional practices

The Skills Test portion of the RPR Examination is given in Portland only. The Written Knowledge Test is offered at Pearson Professional Testing Centers in Medford, Salem, Portland and Beaverton. Register online at the NCRA Certification Test Center to take both parts of the exam.

 


 

Step 3. Become Familiar With Oregon’s Court System and Court
Reporting Agencies

When searching job opportunities for Oregon court reporters, it is helpful if you are familiar with the structure of Oregon’s judicial system. The Oregon State Court System is structured as follows:

  • Supreme Court – This is the highest court in Oregon and it reviews cases from the Oregon Court of Appeals, as well as circuit court decisions in labor law injunctions, death penalty cases, law questions, decisions of the Oregon Tax Court, and some agency proceedings. It is located in Salem.
  • Court of Appeals – The Oregon Court of Appeals is the first level of appeal after the decision of a trial court. Located in Salem, the Oregon Court of Appeals hears all criminal and civil appeals from circuit court (with the exceptions noted above).
  • Tax Court – The Oregon Tax Court hears appeals over property tax limitations, personal income tax, corporate excise tax, local budget law and timber tax cases. Both of its divisions, the Magistrate Division and the Regular Division, are located in Salem.
  • Circuit Court – Circuit courts are found in each of Oregon’s 36 counties. Circuit courts are Oregon’s trial courts of general jurisdiction and hear testimony on criminal and civil cases.
  • Local Courts – Oregon’s local courts are not part of the state court system and have limited jurisdiction. They include:
    • County Courts – Seven counties in Oregon have county courts, which hear juvenile and probate cases:
      • Wheeler
      • Sherman
      • Gilliam
      • Morrow
      • Harney
      • Grant
      • Malheur
    • Justice Courts – Justices of the Peace hold court in 19 Oregon counties, and hear all criminal cases in the county except felony cases. They also hear cases relating to small claims (under $7500), traffic, boating and wildlife violations. Justice Courts across Oregon are listed here.
    • Municipal Courts – Some of Oregon’s incorporated cities have Municipal Courts that share jurisdiction with circuit and justice courts over misdemeanors and violations in the city, but have no jurisdiction over felony cases.  Municipal Courts across Oregon are listed here.

Another option for court reporter jobs in Oregon is to go freelance. There are many agencies across the state that hire certified or non-certified court reporters, including:

  • Southern Oregon Court Reporting in Medford (hire CSRs only)
  • LNS Court Reporting and Videoconferencing in Portland
  • Star Scoping Services in West Lynn
  • Moore, Henderson, Thomas & Dalton in Portland
  • C&L Court Reporters in Salem
  • NAEGELI Deposition and Trial in Portland

 


 

Step 4. If Certified, Complete CSR or RPR Continuing Education Requirements

If you earned your certification in Step 2 above, you must fulfill the state’s or NCRA’s continuing education (CE) requirements to maintain that certification.

  • CSRs must complete 2.0 Oregon state court approved continuing education units (CEUs) every two years.  One CEU usually equals ten hours of qualified education. Approved activities may be found in the State Court Administrator Policies for the Certification of Shorthand Reporters, and include courses, online courses, workshops, seminars and the like.
  • RPRs must complete three NCRA-approved CEUs every three years. Approved activities may be found at the NCRA website and include courses, e-seminars, state and national convention seminars, tele-trainings, distance learning courses and the like.

 


 

Oregon Court Reporting Salary

The Oregon Department of Labor (DOL) projects that the field of court reporting will increase between 2010 and 2020 in two regions of the state.  They are listed below:

Region
Oregon Counties
Region 3
Marion/Polk/Yamhill counties
Region 10
Crock/Deschutes/Jefferson counties

In 2012, court reporters in Oregon had the fifth highest salaries of any state in the country based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The average salary of the 130 court reporters and stenographers that year was $64,760.  Experienced professionals earned substantially more.  The salary of top earners in the 90th percentile was $128,000.

In Region 2 (Multnomah and Washington counties), the average salary of a court reporter in 2012 was $100,151 according to the state’s DOL.

In contrast to many states, the Oregon DOL indicated that all 103 of the court reporters employed in Oregon in 2010 worked in the business support services industry.  Major employers in this industry are court reporting firms.

These businesses specialize in providing transcription and closed captioning services to attorneys and other professionals that require these services.  Some of the court reporting firms in the state include the following:

  • Bridges Court Reporting & Legal Videography
  • C & L Court Reporters
  • Cascade Court Reporters
  • CC Reporting & Videoconferencing
  • DTI
  • Duffey Court Reporting
  • Esquire Solutions
  • LNS Court Reporting
  • Moore, Henderson, Thomas & Dalton
  • Schmitt & Lehman,, Inc.
  • Synergy Legal
  • Todd Olivas & Associates

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