Many students want to become court reporters because they love the legal field. “It’s exciting! It’s so professional! It’s dramatic!” True, but it’s also tough to listen to at times. Keep in mind that being a court reporter means being in the middle of some very nasty moments. People don’t sue (or get sued) because of a happy situation. It’s never about puppies and rainbows and too much love. It’s a fight…and you will be the one sitting, as the court reporter, in the middle of it.
Speaking of Puppies and the Court Reporter…
This is similar to the situation I experienced when I was about 20. I LOVE animals! I thought, “I’ll work at a veterinary hospital so I can be with animals all the time!” What I didn’t consider was that those animals are in the hospital because they’re sick…or need a flea bath…or shots. They never come in because they need more cuddling. That said, I worked as a veterinary assistant for 3 years.
Same thing in court or depositions. People might be lovely and fun to be around as a whole, but in a trial or deposition setting, you will often see people at their very worst – combative and mean.
None of this is meant to dissuade you from becoming a court reporter. In fact, I think it’s an amazing occupation with endless opportunities. But it’s important to go into your field knowing what you will be encountering. In fact, many court reporters went into this field because of the drama. They love the thought of hearing important arguments and seeing legal matters played out, all while having a front-row seat.
As a court reporting student, or prospective court reporting student, you’ll want to make sure you experience the courtroom or deposition setting before you get too far in your education. Sit out with court reporters. Sit in on depositions. Be prepared for the job you eventually want. And bring a puppy along…they love that!