Digital Court Reporting: Is It the Future?

Has your court reporting gone digital? If not, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity. More and more courts are moving to digital systems, which means a growing demand for digital court reporters so that the legal system runs smoothly.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. This article will give you all the information you need to get started in the world of the digital court reporting industry.

What is a Digital Courtroom?

young woman working from home

A digital courtroom is a courtroom that uses digital technology to record proceedings and manage cases. This type of courtroom has many benefits over traditional courtrooms, including improved accuracy of records, lower costs, and faster case management.

Digital courtrooms have been used for several years, and their popularity is growing. About one-third of all courtrooms in the United States are now equipped with digital recording systems. Furthermore, most states are mandating the use of the digital recording in all courtrooms, and the trend is expected to continue.

Several different types of digital recording systems are available in courtrooms. The most common type is the audio/video system, which captures both the audio and video of proceedings. Other types of digital systems include those that capture only audio or only video.

Digital courtroom systems offer many benefits over traditional analog systems.

What Does Digital Reporting Mean?

Over the past decade, there has been a growing trend in digital reporting. But what is digital court reporting, and is it the future?

A digital court reporter creates recordings of depositions or other legal proceedings through redundant, high-tech digital recording equipment. In real-time, digital reporters write in non-phonetic shorthand that can be read back at any time.

This type of court reporting has several advantages over traditional methods, including improved accuracy and timeliness.

Despite its advantages, digital court reporting can be challenging, as the reporter needs to be accurate. 

What Are Court Reporting Agencies?

As digital reporting agencies are on the rise, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they operate. On the other hand, a court reporting agency is an entity that the parties agree on and designate to attend proceedings in the court and create transcripts of what was said. Lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals then use these transcripts to ensure accuracy and fairness in the courtroom.

While many of our competitors use artificial intelligence or speech-to-text software, we use only US-based human transcribers. This gives our clients the best possible result: accurate transcripts of court proceedings.

There are many advantages to using reporting agencies over traditional ones. For example, digital transcripts can be easily shared with anyone who needs them.

How Fast Does a Court Reporter Type?

woman typing on laptop at home

A digital court reporter can type incredibly fast, sometimes as fast as 200 words per minute. This speed is made possible by specialized software that allows a court reporter to see what he or she is typing. This makes it possible for them to keep up with the speaker and produce an accurate transcript of what was said.

The speed at which a digital court reporter can type is one of the many benefits that make this type of reporting the legal industry’s future. Other benefits include quick edits to transcripts, adding timestamps, and searching for keywords.

Is There a Demand for Digital Court Reporters?

Yes, they are in high demand due to the accuracy and efficiency of their work. Court reporters create a written record of courtroom proceedings that can be used for reference by attorneys, judges, and other professionals in the court reporting field. When you are reporting digitally, it allows for real-time transcription of spoken testimony, which means there is no delay in getting the information to those who need it.

There are many benefits to using digital reporters in various court systems, including the fact that they can provide an accurate record of legal proceedings and can do so in real time. This is a massive benefit in court cases where every word matters.

Additionally, digital reporters can create easy-to-read and searchable transcripts, a significant advantage over traditional handwritten transcripts.

Almost all traditional court reporting schools have closed their doors in the US as the demand for them went down over the years.  People, for one reason or another, were no longer interested in becoming court reporters, so the schools closed, opening the door for digital court reporters to emerge.

The bottom line is that there is a demand for digital reporters.

What Is It Like Being a Digital Court Reporter?

Digital court reporting is the future of the industry. Here’s what you can expect if you decide to pursue a career in this field.

  • As a digital court reporter, you will be responsible for creating accurate transcripts of courtroom proceedings and depositions.
  • You will need to have strong listening skills.
  • Also, knowledge of legal terminology is essential.
  • Being a digital court reporter includes having a flexible schedule and working from anywhere.
  • As such, digital reporters should also be comfortable working with computers and other digital tools.
  • Digital reporters must be able to type quickly and accurately.
  • Lastly, you will be essential in ensuring justice is served.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in digital court reporting, contact your local court system or search for online training programs.

The Benefits of Digital Court Reporting

Digital court reporting is becoming increasingly popular for several reasons:

  1. Digital reporters can provide real-time transcription, allowing faster information dissemination. This is especially helpful when time is of the essence, such as in criminal proceedings.
  2. Digital reporters can create searchable transcripts, making it easier for attorneys and legal professionals to find specific information.
  3. Digital court reporting can help to conserve paper and save money on printing costs.
  4. The client receives a detailed and accurate account of how the proceeding occurs.
  5. There’s an ever-increasing pool of highly skilled and certified digital reporters.

The Disadvantages of Digital Court Reporting

Digital court reporting has a few disadvantages:

  1. There are not as many digital court reporters as traditional court reporters. Finding a successful digital reporter when you need one can be somewhat tricky.
  2. Digital reporters may not be as experienced as traditional court reporters yet, leading to errors in the transcript due to a lack of knowledge.

What is the Salary of A Digital Court Reporter?

The salary of a digital court reporter varies depending on experience and location. Still, the average salary is around $35,668 to $48,456 annually. Digital court reporters don’t necessarily have to have attended high school or community college. However, those certified by the NCRA can easily earn more.

Some digital court reporters use computer-aided transcription to transcribe court proceedings. These professionals are also responsible for maintaining the court record and ensuring accuracy as they edit the computer-aided transcription to be at least 99% accurate.

A digital court reporter creates real-time recordings of depositions or other legal proceedings by writing in non-phonetic shorthand.

The Future of Digital Court Reporting

Digital court reporting is an increasingly popular field, and for a good reason. Technology is constantly improving, making it more accurate and reliable than ever.

There are many reasons to believe that digital court reporting is the future. For one, it is much more efficient than traditional methods. A human court reporter can work faster and produce transcripts that are easier to read and search through.

Another reason digital court reporting is the future is that it gives attorneys and judges more flexibility. They can receive a real-time transcription of proceedings, which allows them to review arguments and make decisions more quickly. Additionally, digital recordings can be easily shared with other legal team members, which helps ensure everyone is on the same page.

Finally, digital court reporting is simply more convenient for everyone involved. These industry professionals can work from anywhere if they find jobs through freelance agencies.

How to Become a Digital Court Reporter?

Digital court reporting is an exciting and growing field. 1

The AAERT has a certification process for aspiring digital court reporters. It requires first passing a written and practical exam demonstrating your proficiency to provide accurate transcription at a minimum typing speed of at least 225 words per minute with 98% accuracy.

AAERT offers nationally recognized certifications like the certified electronic reporter (CER) and certified electronic transcriber (CET), which mean that reporters have been rigorously trained to provide accurate and reliable transcripts. So, taking certifications like a certified electronic transcriber and certified electronic reporter by The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers could mean you have leading credentials in the legal industry.

There are no prerequisites or hoops to jump through to take any tests. And AAERT certification vastly improves your chances of getting hired.

Are Electronic Reporters and Transcribers the Same as Digital Court Reporters?

Yes! An electronic reporter and a transcriber is a digital court reporter who uses cutting-edge technology to provide real-time transcription services. These reporters use special equipment to transcribe proceedings as they happen, making them an invaluable resource for courtrooms and other legal settings.

The electronic reporter’s long journey began with tape recordings. Today, the modern electronic reporter uses computer-based digital systems to capture proceedings.

What Digital Reporting Methods Does a Digital Court Reporter Use?

A digital court reporter uses many different reporting methods, but they all rely on digital technology. They use cutting-edge recording equipment to capture the proceedings. Moreover, they come with at least two audio backups as a failsafe. 

These recordings can be stored on a computer or a portable storage device such as a USB drive. The advantage of this method is that it allows the reporter to go back and listen to the recording if they need to review something.

Another method for digitally reporting is the use of video recordings. This can be helpful in cases where there is a need to see body language or other nonverbal cues.

Who Are Stenographic Court Reporters?

A stenographic reporter, also known as a court reporter, uses a stenotype machine to capture every word spoken in a courtroom. With stenographic court reporting, attorneys and judges can use a written transcript of the proceedings and other legal professionals.

While digital court reporting is becoming more prevalent, stenographic reporters are still essential to the legal system. Their real-time transcription skills ensure that an accurate record of proceedings is available if needed and they are in person.

Is a Stenographic Reporter Responsible For Transcribing the Proceedings?

So, is a stenographic reporter responsible for transcribing the proceedings? The answer is yes and no. While stenographers are still responsible for creating transcripts of proceedings, they can now rely on digital recordings. This means they can focus on other tasks, such as taking notes or providing real-time captioning, while the recording can be transcribed later by the court reporter.

The Takeaway

So, is digital court reporting the future of the legal field? We think so – as it is one of the fastest-growing career areas! It’s clear that this technology has a lot of advantages over traditional methods, and it seems to be catching on quickly. If you haven’t tried it yet, we encourage you to do your research and give it a try. You may be surprised at how much easier and more efficient digital court reporting can make your work life.

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