How to Become a Court Reporter
To become a court reporter with the Stenotype Institute, you must complete the Basic Machine Shorthand curriculum. Day, evening and online classes are available for this program. The average full time student can complete this program in approximately 36 months. Upon completion of the required coursework, you will have the skills necessary to begin your lucrative new career as a court reporter.
Basic Machine Shorthand
This course is designed for students who want to train for positions in the fields of court reporting, conference reporting, convention reporting, television or classroom closed captioning, and the reporting of all types of hearings. Successful completion of this training requires a consistent speed of 225 wpm or more.
Though the completion objective of the court reporting course and the speed at which the student qualifies for graduation is 225 wpm, we make every effort to develop the student's speed to transcribe at a rate of 240 wpm. Study and practice outside of class are required. This course covers all phases of procedure and vocabulary building necessary for a future position as a court reporter.
Each student will be enrolled in the required academic courses as they are offered: Basic English, Legal Terminology, Medical Terminology, English for Court Reporters, Court Procedures and Case Catalysts.
The Basic English course will include:
- Study of English Grammar
- Rules of Punctuation
- Writing of Numbers
Special Emphasis in this course is placed on:
- Vocabulary Enrichment
- Commonly Confused Words
The Legal Terminology and Medical Terminology courses are designed to acquaint the student with legal and medical terms he or she will need as a court reporter.
The student is also required to take courses in the following:
- Computer-aided Transcription: This allows the student to develop a working knowledge of the technology and practices involved in the use of court reporting computer software.
- Court Procedures: Concentration and focus in this course are placed on the role of the court reporter in trials, depositions and administrative hearings.
- English for Court Reporters: This course places emphasis on the concentration and focus necessary in proofreading and editing legal documents.
In addition to the above, the court reporting curriculum includes 45 court hours of internship time.
Machine Shorthand Theory 100-103
This segment of the curriculum applies the principles of theory and brings the student to a dictation speed of 60 words per minute (wpm). Academic subjects are begun during this phase of the student's training.
Machine Shorthand Speedbuilding: 80-140
This segment of the curriculum develops vocabulary and brings the student to a speed of 140 wpm. Additional academic courses and classes in computer-aided transcription are also completed. If a student stops at this point in the course, he or she may choose to take a position in other fields requiring high-speed dictation.
Machine Shorthand Speedbuilding: 160-225
This segment brings the student from a speed of 160 wpm on the stenotype machine to 225 wpm, which is the graduation requirement. Realistic training is given by having students sit in on court proceedings and other types of reporting assignments with a certified court reporter. The student learns the forms associated with transcript processing and court procedures.
All three sections include the study and practice of CAT (computer-aided transcription) and real-time reporting fundamentals and techniques. Case CATalyst® from Stenograph Corporation is the software used both in classes and outside assignments. Students are also introduced to other types of current and emerging technologies in litigation support.
Our Teaching Philosophy
At the Stenotype Institute, we place a strong emphasis on establishing and developing a rapport with each student by providing unmatched personalized training and support. We believe that the support we provide creates the best possible learning environment and equips our students with the tools they need to be successful in our program and become a court reporter.
Our instructors realize that when a student is involved in the rigorous program required to learn how to become a court reporter, there will be times along the way when he or she will become discouraged. If too much time elapses in the receipt of lessons from a student, the instructor uses a variety of techniques to motivate the student and get them back on track. We encourage all our students to keep in regular contact with their instructors and discuss any problems they may be having with their coursework.
Thank you for considering the Stenotype Institute, a premier court reporting school.