Why Court Reporters are the Backbone of Courtrooms


“NCRA Court Reporter and Captioning Week” is an annual initiative by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) to highlight the contributions of stenographic court reporters and to showcase growing career opportunities in the field. Orange Legal proudly celebrates NCRA Court Reporter and Captioning Week and is dedicating this week of content to the NCRA.

Why Court Reporters are the Backbone of Courtrooms

Hopefully you’re not the person on the witness stand, but let’s say you’re visiting a courtroom and watch a case being presented to the judge, you’ll notice the usual players: the assistant district attorney, the defense counsel, the defendant, the jury… Who’s that other person? There’s someone sitting and typing on a very impractical-looking keyboard. They might even have a large mask covering their mouth. Occasionally, the judge might ask this person to read parts of testimony back to the court.

This is the court reporter, AKA the stenographer, and they are imperative to this process. Reporters type or speak court proceedings in trials, depositions, and other legal meetings. Some reporters also do live video captioning for television and realtime translation. This is great for those who are hard of hearing, as well as those at public events. Sometimes it’s impossible to hear what the singers are saying, you know?

Court reporters need to be well-versed in grammar and the weirdest types of law imaginable, just so they can write down terms related to maritime law, medical terminology, construction defects, and all manners of litigation. Their vocabulary must be well-rounded in those areas, and they must have the ability to pull all-nighters in order to ensure the attorneys’ requests for expedites.

Orange Legal court reporters show a high level of proficiency and familiarity in all areas of law. They also possess many necessary certifications, such as:

  • RPR: The Registered Professional Reporter requires passing of a written knowledge test as well as a speed test of 180 wpm, 200 wpm, and 225 wpm in different areas.
  • RMR: A Registered Merit Reporter is the next step after receiving the RPR. The skills test requires a higher accuracy and speeds reaching up to 260 wpm in the highest subject.
  • CRR: The Certified Realtime Reporter merit requires reporters to sit for a two-voice Q&A test, maintaining 200 wpm at a minimum, although this time writing in real time with 96% accuracy.
  • FPR: The Florida Professional Reporter designation is for — you guessed it — Florida. The designation covers topics such as the state’s court rules, judicial and attorney ethics, federal court rules, NCRA advisory opinions, appellate procedures, how transcripts are created, and much more.

These courtroom professionals are an essential cog in the legal machine. Their expertise and skill are invaluable to ensuring that justice is dispensed both fairly and expeditiously. This “Court Reporters and Captioning week” is dedicated to celebrating these outstanding individuals and the work they do.

If you would like to learn more about court reporting or are interested in becoming one, visit today!