Court reporters are required in courtrooms nationwide. Unfortunately, there is currently such a severe shortage of court reporters that hearings are being delayed and in some cases, even canceled.
Nativa Wood, who is Vice President of the National Court Reporters Association and a 37 year veteran in the industry, is trying to recruit new candidates to the position by educating them about how interesting the work actually is. She said that many people have a preconceived notion that the only thing court reporters do is sit behind a machine and take notes. But she is quick to point out that there’s much more to the profession and that it can be exciting to be a part of the courtroom drama that often unfolds during a hearing.
During National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which took place between February 15th and the 21st, she also highlighted the fact that court reporters have opportunities available outside the day to day grind of the legal world, and that many are finding opportunities with local, regional and national TV stations that need closed captioning.
Wood, who is based in Dauphin Country in Pennsylvania, said her court reporting career began when her father urged to explore the opportunity. She admits that a lot has changed since she got started and that technology has made things much easier since traditional stenographic machines have since been replaced with devices that allow court reporters to be quicker and more efficient
The most successful court reporters have the ability to adapt quickly to technology changes, come from strong academic backgrounds and can type at least 225 words per minute with no mistakes. Impeccable concentration skills are mandatory for this profession.
Experts predict that there will be more than 5,500 openings in this field over the next few years.