Has anyone looked at the court reporting requirements in each state – every state? I have – it’s crazy!
My very first job in this field was working at a court reporting school in California in about 1995 – Donna Cole School of Court Reporting. This was pre-Internet, basically. So all I knew about court reporting I learned in that big, square building. I didn’t even really give much thought as to what court reporting was like across the rest of the country. I just assumed it was all the same -the court reporting requirements were a 200 4-voice test, 15 minutes at 97.5% (now 10 minutes).
It wasn’t until I started my first online business, SpeedBuilders, that I realized how messed up things were. I knew you could qualify to take the CA CSR by passing the RPR first…but I then found out in some states you ONLY had to pass the RPR exam…or pass the machine part of the RPR exam and the academic portion of the state exam…or some eye-twitching combination of the above to become a CSR…or RPR…or CRR…or LSR…or whatever. Let’s break it down.
Court Reporting Requirements by the number –
- 26 – States that require certification of some kind to work as a deposition or court reporter.
- 19 – States that require NO certification to work as a court reporter (other than maybe a notary license).
- 10 – States that require the RPR exam to work as a court reporter (not counting reciprocity).
- 8 – States that have a voluntary certification exam.
- 6 – States that have a CSR exam…though it’s not always the same exam content as the CSR exam in another state…or the RPR.
Examples of variations –
- Washington gives a 200 words-per-minute 2-voice test – 5 minutes – 95%.
- California gives a 200 words-per-minute 4-voice test – 12 minutes – 97.5%.
- The RPR is 225 2-voice, 200 jury charge and 180 literary – 95%.
- Part of the Missouri exam is 200 medical or technical.
- New York has part of the test as a 175 words-per-minute medical 2-voice.
And there’s even one state that REQUIRES students to graduate from a campus school within the state if they want the opportunity to take the state exam. Not so odd…till you find out there’s only 1 court reporting school in the whole state!
And none of the above addresses the fact that if you pass the RPR exam in one state, you may obtain the court reporting requirements to take the CSR exam in another…or not! Or that passing a test in one state may not carry over to another state!
Can we please make this easy and get on the same page in all 50 states?! I still don’t understand the logic of states that want their own certification exam. I don’t accept arguments like, “We hold our reporters to a higher standard.” That’s baloney. And for states that have NO certification, it’s time. We need to create a united front, with court reporting requirements across the board that prove our skills.
Let’s get on the same page!
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