To learn about how to become a court reporter in Kentucky you can consult the following step-by-step guide:
|Become Qualified for Court Reporter Jobs in Kentucky|
|Keep up with Developments in the Field|
|Working Environment in Kentucky|
Court reporters in Kentucky work with the judiciary branch at all levels, and last year that meant providing a written record for over 50,000 civil suits alone, and altogether justices heard over 100,000 cases state-wide in circuit courts.
Earning an average salary of $30,870 in 2012, the court reporter profession is projected to grow into the future at a faster rate than the national job average.
Step 1. Becoming Qualified for Court Reporter Jobs in Kentucky
For the average person, typing on a phonetically chorded stenotype keyboard does not come naturally, let alone typing on this at speeds over 225 words per minute. However this speed is a typical expectation for stenographers across the state, and that is why obtaining the proper court reporter training is essential.
Kentucky court reporting schools prepare you to be a competitive candidate in the field and there are two-year associate degree programs and certifications available throughout the state at both technical and community colleges, as well as through online programs. A typical curriculum includes:
- Speed building tests
- Steno writing
- Pretrial and court trial preparation
- Rapid data entry for meetings, depositions, and medical transcribing
- Shorthand and stenotype theories/methods
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. Keeping up with Developments in the Field
One of the most important things you can do as a court reporter is to stay abreast of the Kentucky Legislature with any new laws regarding the practice of court reporting in the state. Although currently there are no official court reporter license requirements, regulations can and do change, and it is in your best interest to be prepared. For example, in February of 2011 the Kentucky State Assembly was considering Senate Bill 60 that would have required court reporters in the state to have become licensed through a national examination.
Aside from legislation affecting court reporters, it is also important to keep up on the latest technological developments in your field. Although the profession of court reporting has existed since the Roman Empire, there have been technological innovations that have revolutionized the field, such as the stenotype and more recently digital recording, computer advancement, and the steno mask. Using the latest technology can give you a competitive edge over other court reporters.
Many court reporters thought that with the advent of digital recording their livelihood was threatened, and a few officials including the Governor of California even called for replacing all court reporters with digital recording devices. However experts familiar with the industry quickly realized this technological development should not be viewed as a threat because it could not replace the discriminating mind of a professional transcriptionist, who can transcribe multiple voices at once, and incidentally can work when the power goes out. However this is not to say that you should not keep an ear to the ground for other technological developments that may affect your industry.
Step 3. The Working Environment in Kentucky
Before you set foot in the courtroom as a court reporter you should already be well aware of the rules and traditions regarding courtroom etiquette and professional conduct. Maintaining a good reputation can be considered second in importance next to your actual professional capabilities. You can always sit in on a public court proceeding as a non-professional.
When it comes to seeking employment it is not a bad idea to consider joining a professional organization such as the Kentucky Court Reporters Association (KYCRA). Here you will have access to the Association’s court reporter directory, along with opportunities for:
- Seminars, lectures, and conferences for court reporters
- Networking with colleagues and industry professionals
- Learning about new or controversial developments in the court reporting field
- Meaningful support from like-minded professionals
There are hundreds of court reporters working across Kentucky, in places such as:
- Court Reporting Services, Inc based in Louisville
- An/Dor Reporting and Video Technologies, Inc serving Lexington
- Taylor Court Reporting serving Owensboro and Bowling Green
- Kentuckiana Court Reporters serving the Covington area
Kentucky Court Reporting Salary
According to Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the number of legal jobs in the state is expected to increase 9.97% from 2010-2020. This agency reports that the average wage for a court reporter in Kentucky in 2011 was $49,629.
Court reporter salaries for 2012 in Kentucky are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and are shown below:
State courts are a common source of jobs for court reporters. Nationally, 27% of court reporters worked for state governments in 2012. In Kentucky, court reporters who work for the state’s judiciary are required to be licensed by the Kentucky Board of Court Reporting.
A court reporter may work as a stenographer, but with realtime technology, their notes can be instantly converted into English text. This allows attorneys to have instant access to the record of the trial as it is proceeding.
Other such professionals work for court reporting firms that contract out their services. Business support services employed 67% of the court reporters in the U.S in 2012. Some of the court reporting firms in Kentucky include:
- A to Z Reporting Services
- Accurate Court Reporting, LLC
- Associated Reporters
- Big Blue Reporting
- Certified Court Reporters
- Kentuckiana Reporters, LLC
- Migliore & Associates
- Sworn Testimony, PLLC
- West Kentucky Reporting Services
In addition to providing court reporting services for testimony from trials and depositions, court reporters frequently provide closed captioning to help those who are hard of hearing.
The BLS provides a detailed salary breakdown for all types of court reporters by hourly and annual percentiles for various locations in Kentucky in the following table: