Court Reporter Definition

Discover the role of court reporters in legal proceedings and the importance of their accurate transcriptions. Learn about the skills and qualifications required for this profession.


When it comes to legal proceedings, accuracy and attention to detail are crucial. Court reporters play a vital role in ensuring that every word spoken during a trial or deposition is accurately recorded. But what exactly is a court reporter?

What is a Court Reporter?

A court reporter, also known as a stenographer, is a professional responsible for creating verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings, such as court hearings, depositions, and other legal proceedings. They use a stenotype machine to capture spoken words in shorthand and then transcribe them into a written format.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Attend legal proceedings to record verbatim transcripts
  • Prepare transcripts for review by attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals
  • Ensure the accuracy and completeness of the transcript
  • Provide real-time transcription services during proceedings

Skills and Qualifications

Court reporters must have excellent listening and typing skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure. They typically complete a formal training program and obtain certification in stenography.

Example Case Study

In a high-profile criminal trial, a court reporter was tasked with transcribing hours of testimony from witnesses and experts. Their accurate and timely transcripts played a crucial role in the case, helping the judge and jury make informed decisions.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for court reporters in 2020 was $61,660, with a projected job growth rate of 9% from 2020 to 2030.


Court reporters play a vital role in the legal system by ensuring that an accurate record of proceedings is maintained. Their attention to detail and expertise in transcription are essential for the smooth functioning of the judicial process.

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