When court is in session, there is a court reporter present in the courtroom. Contrary to popular belief, a court reporter is so much more than a fast typist. A court reporter also needs to be an excellent listener, incredibly accurate, and extremely focused. You won’t just work in courtrooms, you will also work in law offices and at television studios. T.V. studios employ court reporters to spearhead their closed captioning efforts.
Online Criminal Justice Classes
If you're considering a career in criminal justice—specifically, in court reporting—you might be wondering if you can fulfill the necessary requirements to obtain your degree online. The answer is yes, criminal justice schools do offer various court reporting degrees and certifications online. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the tools for taking online classes for court reporting are becoming more individualized and specialized.
Online court reporting programs can vary greatly, ranging from:
- Certification in scoping and proofreading
- Certification in court reporting
- Associate degree in closed captioning
- Associate degree in court reporting
- Associate degree in professional transcription
When choosing an online court reporting program, choose carefully based on what type of future career you are shooting for. The requirements for the majority of these online programs can be taken fully online, from the comfort of your home office.
Court Reporting Degree Requirements
Let's focus strictly on the degree requirements for an associate’s degree in court reporting. Here is what a typical course outline would look like:
- Introduction to CART and Captioning
- Legal Terminology and Legal Research
- Medical Terminology
- Office Procedures
- Reporting Procedures
- Courtroom Vocabulary
- Steno Lab: Realtime Software Applications
- Realtime Theory, levels I & II
- Realtime Reporting, levels I through V
- Internship (may or may not be required)
To fulfill the requirements, you will be required to achieve a certain machine shorthand speed (225 WPM), have an in-depth understanding of courtroom terminology, real-time reporting, and theory and medical and legal terminology. You will also learn real-world skills, such as transcript preparation using transcription software and legal and business ethics. Many court reporting programs will have a type of "all of the above" course outline that will require you to be a well-rounded court reporter before you receive your degree.
Benefits Of Online Classes
There is a wide array of benefits of taking classes online, including the ability to cherry-pick the exact school and program you want, more affordable schooling, courses themselves may be cheaper and textbooks will likely be available online, etc. Not driving to class or moving to be closer to the school is definitely a perk, and the comfort of a more flexible learning environment is a big plus to some.
Disadvantages Of Online Classes
There are a few disadvantages to taking classes online, including little to no face-to-face interaction, the possibility of having more work to do, the need to be extremely self-disciplined, and the possibility that some online courses may be of a lower quality than classroom instruction.