Court Reporter

Job Description:

Court reporters capture, store, retrieve, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.

Job Category:

What you will do:

Your day-to-day will include tasks such as:

  • File and store shorthand notes of court session.
  • Record verbatim proceedings of courts, legislative assemblies, committee meetings, and other proceedings, using computerized recording equipment, electronic stenograph machines, or stenomasks.
  • Transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats.
  • Record depositions and other proceedings for attorneys.
  • Respond to requests during court sessions to read portions of the proceedings already recorded.
  • Take notes in shorthand or use a stenotype or shorthand machine that prints letters on a paper tape.


You’ll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • time management and administration skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Both university graduates and school leavers can become court/verbatim reporters because normal academic qualifications are not required for entry. It is, however, vital to possess good IT, computer keyboard and secretarial skills. To work as a court reporter in the crown courts it is necessary to satisfy a number of criteria. You’ll need:

  • to gain experience as a trainee court reporter
  • to learn written or machine shorthand
  • to reach a shorthand speed of 160 words per minute or more.
  • It is necessary to undertake shadowing of a qualified reporter to become a full member.

School Subjects

Certain subjects can be beneficial for pursuing a career in this field, such as:

  1. English: Strong language and writing skills are essential for accurately transcribing spoken words and producing clear, concise, and accurate transcripts.
  2. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with digital tools and software is crucial for using stenotype machines or other recording equipment effectively.
  3. Legal Terminology (optional): While not mandatory, familiarity with legal terminology can be helpful in understanding the context and content of court proceedings.

Working Hours and Environment:

Court reporters typically work 40 hours per week, but it’s not uncommon for them to work overtime to meet deadlines.

Career Path & Progression:

For the most part, career progression is largely self-motivated and dependent on experience, performance and proficiency.

Another viable option is to move into a related legal profession. For instance, you could become a paralegal or a law costs draftsman. Alternatively, you could set up your own court reporters agency.