Court reporters in the state of Wyoming generally work in the major cities of Cheyenne, Casper, and Laramie. They work recording all manner of legal proceedings, from in-court testimony to out-of-court depositions. Court reporting is vitally important to the judicial process since an accurate court record is often used in ongoing court proceedings, including in the appeals process.
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While there is no licensing mandate in the state, the self-regulating nature of the profession means there are still several steps that must be taken in order to have the best possible opportunity to succeed in becoming a court reporter in Wyoming:
|Earn a Degree in Court Reporting in Wyoming|
|Become Certified by a National Court Reporter Association|
|Find Employment as a Court Reporter in Wyoming|
|Maintain Licensure in Wyoming|
A good example of how the court record generated by a court reporter may be used in further trials and appeals was seen in the case of a Wyoming man who was convicted of rape. The victim’s ex-boyfriend had placed an ad on craigslist, acting as if he were her, saying she was looking for a partner for role play. A man replied to the ad by arriving unexpectedly at her house and raping her. The perpetrator was convicted of the crime, but subsequently appealed his conviction. The Wyoming Supreme Court, after reviewing the court records and other evidence, refused the appeal, thereby avoiding a costly trial. He was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison, as was the woman’s ex-boyfriend who had placed the ad.
As can be seen from the previous example, court reporters in Wyoming may be in a position, from time to time, to hear disturbing testimony. There are several qualifications of a good court reporter, including:
- Ability to control emotions during disturbing testimony
- Ability to report entire testimony quickly
- Ability to work long hours with minimal breaks
- Ability to work with neutrality
- Ability to keep information in strictest confidentiality
Step 1. Earn a Degree in Court Reporting
The best way to prepare for your career in court reporting in Wyoming is to complete a court reporter training program at any of the state’s community colleges, technical schools or the specialized court reporter schools in Wyoming. These programs are most often available at the associate’s or bachelor’s level.
These kinds of courses are designed to prepare you in every aspect of court reporting, from terminology, to technical skills, to finding employment. You should be aware that not every college or institute will use the same name for their court reporter course. Some course titles you may encounter include:
- Fundamentals of Court Reporting
- Associates of Science in Court Reporting
Step 2. Become Certified by a National Court Reporter Association
There are two major national associations that certify court reporters in the state of Wyoming. The National Court Reporters Association is the most popular of all national associations. This organization’s primary certification, the Registered Professional Reporter certification, is widely accepted for shorthand court reporters and stenographers.
The National Verbatim Reporters Association’s primary certification is called the Certified Verbatim Reporter certification. Those looking to do more voice reporting would want to look into this option.
Note: These organizations do not require that you join in order to take their exams and get certified. However, it is a good idea to join the organization by which you become certified for the same reasons that it is a good idea to join your local organization.
Step 3. Find Employment as a Court Reporter in Wyoming
After becoming certified it is time to look for a job. For those looking to work in a court setting, taking a look at Wyoming’s state and local courts is a good idea. Some courts that support court reporter jobs in Wyoming include:
If you would like to look for employment in the private sector, which may include more out of court work within law offices or in a corporate setting, consider these employers:
Step 4. Maintain Licensure in Wyoming
The NCRA requires that you take 3 credits every three years in order to maintain certification, while the NVRA requires 30 credits every three years.
Continuing education is important in order to keep your skills sharp, your knowledge up to date, and to keep you involved in Wyoming’s community of court reporters.
One of the best ways to enter into the field of court reporting is to join a local association. In the state of Wyoming the Wyoming Court Reporters Association is the most widely recognized and prominent organization in the state. By joining the organization you will be able to get invaluable insight into the field of court reporting, network, and possibly even find employment.
Wyoming Court Reporting Salary
For legal occupations as a whole, 44% of the available jobs in Wyoming were in Laramie County in November 2013. Ten court reporters worked in the state in 2013 according to an estimate by Wyoming’s Labor Market Information (LMI) agency.
According to LMI projections, two job openings a year are expected for court reporters in Wyoming in the period from 2012 to 2022. These jobs are projected to become available to replace people exiting the workforce.
Based on information from the LMI, the average salary of a court reporter in Wyoming in 2013 was $41,142 a year with experienced professionals in the 90th percentile making $69,410. A court reporter position for the Johnson County District Court in Buffalo paid $56,026 a year in 2013. This job entailed the following duties:
- Covering court proceedings by making a verbatim record
- Maintaining and retrieving files
- Producing transcripts
Part of a court reporter’s job for Wyoming’s District Courts includes acting as a stenographer to record the proceedings and then using a computer to produce an official copy of the finished transcript.
In addition to employment with the Wyoming Judicial Branch, private court reporting firms provide another avenue for jobs in the state. These firms contract out the services of court reporters to businesses and legal professionals that require verbatim coverage of proceedings or closed captioning for broadcasts or public events. Some of the court reporting firms located in Wyoming include the following companies:
- Coffman Meadors Reporting & Legal Video
- Crystal Hereford Court Reporting Services
- Hunter + Geist
- Huseby, Inc.
- Kaplan, Leaman & Wolfe
- Olender Legal Solutions
- Professional Reporting
- Sheridan Court Reporting
- Wyoming Reporting Service, Inc.
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