Online Classes in Court Stenography
Court stenographers, also referred to as court reporters, produce verbatim transcripts of court proceedings. You can take online classes to start or further your career as a court reporter. Learn about what Court Stenography courses are available to you online.
What Kind of Courses Will I Take?
Enrolling in an online course in stenography will teach you about the different methods associated with court reporting. You will also practice your speed techniques, and learn the legal terminology. You may take some or all of the following courses:
Machine Shorthand Theory
This class will introduce a student to the basics of stenography such as writing court briefs. You will learn how to write by sound, master the keyboard, and gain basic transcription skills. Different schools have various speed goals at the end of the course, but generally, you can expect to improve your skills through constant repetition and practice.
This class provides the student with a broad range of legal terminology that you can expect to use in the field. Emphasis is placed on correct spelling, learning definitions, and proper use of terminology. Some schools focus on civil and criminal law and give you the opportunity to conduct research on citations.
In this course, students can expect to learn the basic professionalism that is expected of them, whether as an official or a freelance reporter in the courtroom. You will work on your communication skills, business etiquette, and learn about how to present yourself professionally. You will also learn proper transcription methods and the correct formatting styles for transcript production.
Realtime Theory is a progressive class, which means you cannot move on to the next lesson until you have mastered the current one. This course will teach you the basic principles of writing on a stenotype machine since it is based on machine shorthand theory. You will receive instruction on mastering keystrokes, keyboard practice and drills, and learn the alpha-numeric keys.
You can expect to take several speedbuilding courses, as you reach various increments of speed. Depending on the school where you enroll, your first speedbuilding milestone may help you reach around 100 to 140 wpm. While your second speedbuilding course may target 160 to 180 wpm. And your third speedbuilding class will generally help you to reach 225 wpm or more.
How Do the Courses Work?
You will find that online classes in court stenography will allow you to complete most of your coursework online, but there are some requirements that you need to complete in-person. The courses are proficiency-based, and you must complete each assignment successfully before being allowed to move forward to the next assignment. Towards the end of your coursework, you will likely have to complete an internship where you take a deposition in an actual courtroom setting. Hours required for your internship vary by program, but usually range from between 50-75 hours.
What Level of Courses Are Available Online?
Online Stenography classes are typically completed at the undergraduate level and you can choose to complete a certificate program in court reporting/stenography or earn an associate's degree.