What Do Court Reporters Do?


Court reporters are essentially professional transcriptionists. It is their job to record everything that is said during hearings, trials, depositions, meetings, speeches, and other events. While many court reporters do spend time in the courtroom, they do not work exclusively for judges, lawyers, or other court officials; on the contrary, court reporters often transcribe non-court related events, such as movies, television shows, job interviews and speeches. 

Common Court Reporter Duties

  • Use specialized equipment (stenography machines, video and audio recording devices) to capture spoken dialogue word-for-word.
  • When statements / testimonies are unclear or inaudible, court reporters are responsible for asking speakers to clarify or repeat themselves.
  • Read or play back recordings at the request of the judge, attorney, or client.
  • Proofread and edit transcripts for typographical errors.
  • Distribute copies of transcripts and audio files to all necessary parties.
  • Create captions for television shows and movies 

Why Court Reporters Are Important

Reading the description above, it might be easy to assume that court reporters are glorified note takers. Although recording the happenings of an event or case is a big part of their job, there is more to it than just taking notes. Court reporters are trained to leverage an array of special equipment that is designed for pure accuracy and clarity.

In The Courtroom

Lawyers, judges, prosecutors, event planners, and hearing impaired individuals all depend on these recordings. In the legal realm, these transcripts make it easy for lawyers and judges to review and pinpoint specific sections of a hearing, trial, or testimony.

Outside The Courtroom

Outside of the courtroom, hearing impaired individuals often require captions or transcripts of meetings, events, and/or classroom lectures.



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