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How to Become a Court Reporter in British Columbia

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Real-time court reporters are not journalists; they are professionals in the legal field who are responsible for recording word-for-word what is said during any court proceeding. Court reporters play an important role at any meeting where the spoken word must be preserved as a transcript. As a court reporter, you would use a stenotype machine not a typewriter. Stenotype machines allow you to press multiple keys at the same time to spell out whole words in one hand motion. In British Columbia you must complete a diploma program in order to become a court reporter.

Complete a Court Reporting Diploma Program. The Canadian Centre for Verbatim Studies is located in Toronto and it offers a two-year court reporter diploma. The programcan be taken online or at the school itself. You need to be a high school graduate who is 18 years of age or older in order to apply for the program. There is also a Court Reporting Diploma Program offered at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) in Edmonton.

Apply for membership with the British Columbia Shorthand Reporters Association (BCSRA). There is an application form on the association's website, and you must have a court reporting diploma in order to apply.

Decide whether you want to freelance or work for a firm. There are several firms throughout the Lower Mainland that hire court reporters and then place them in proceedings when necessary. Some court reporters also freelance their services and are hired for private meetings and events where word-for-word transcription is required.

Tip

Court reporters should be able to type at 100 wpm (words per minute) or faster.

About the Author

Amber Yake has been writing professionally since 2008. She has experience writing for several online and print publications, including the Low GI Meals website, the "Kamloops Daily News" and providing travel-related articles for LIVESTRONG.COM. She has a Bachelor of Journalism with a major in public relations from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.

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