What Are the Core Courses of a Court Reporter Program?

Court reporters play a crucial role in the legal system, and as innovative technology becomes more available, professionals must continuously update their knowledge and skills to stay relevant. Court reporters must complete either a certificate or associate's degree program. Programs cover legal terminology, computer-aided transcription, real-time reporting and criminal procedures. Schools offering Legal Transcriptionist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Court Reporter Program Overview

Court reporters are responsible for creating a written record of trials, court hearings, depositions and other legal proceedings. Reporters play a crucial role in judicial proceedings, and must create complete, accurate and secure legal records.

Court reporters are typically required to complete some type of formal training program, such as those offered at community colleges or vocational schools. These programs can lead to certificates or associate's degrees. They can also prepare court reporters to gain licensure or certification through a professional organization, such as the National Court Reporters Association. The following courses are common in a court reporter program.

Important Facts About Court Reporter Programs

Possible Careers Court reporter; Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) provider; broadcast captioner; scopist/proofreader
Continuing Education Continuing education is required to maintain certification
Online Availability Available as fully online program or hybrid program
Concentrations Examples include judicial reporting, broadcast captioning/CART

Foundations of Law

The foundations of law course covers all aspects of American law and the legal system. Topics in this course include legislation, ethics, civil law, federal laws, state laws, property law, legal procedures and appellate courts.

Computerized Machine Shorthand Theory

Students enrolled in the computerized machine shorthand theory class are educated on the study of phonics and learn to hear speech as sounds. Those sounds are then transmitted through the fingers and onto the keyboard. Students read from plated notes at a rapid speed rate. Instructors emphasize both listening and concentration skills, which are beneficial in machine shorthand writing.

Machine Shorthand Speed Building

Significant course time is spent on building the student's keyboard speed and accuracy throughout the program, with a goal of achieving between 180 and 225 words per minute depending on the purpose of the transcription, and an accuracy rate of at least 95%.

Court Reporting Procedures

This course teaches students to transcribe multi-voice diction and understand the court reporter's role in the judicial process. Students learn the differences in reporting trials, statements, hearings and depositions. The topics in this course cover real-time transcribing, various oaths for swearing in witnesses, litigation support, and the latest developments in court reporting technology.

CSR/RPR Preparation

This course prepares students for the Certified Shorthand Reporter test, which is the state certification test, and the Registered Professional Reporter test, which is the national certification test for court reporters. Each state has its own requirements that are addressed in this course. To prepare for these tests, students spend class time reviewing grammar, spelling, punctuation, legal and medical terminologies, court reporting ethics and court reporting procedures.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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