Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

Health Risks and Healthy Habits for Court Reporters

Court reporters are essential to the legal process, providing written transcripts of everything that happens in the courtroom. Although court reporting has its disadvantages, including some health concerns, there are many reasons to pursue this important career.

Date:   5/3/2022 1:51:50 PM   ( 3 mon ) ... viewed 64 times

Court reporters are essential to the legal process, providing written transcripts of everything that happens in the courtroom. Although court reporting has its disadvantages, including some health concerns, there are many reasons to pursue this important career.

Job Description

Court reporters create written records of court proceedings. They use special equipment, such as stenography machines, to produce fast and accurate transcripts. Transcripts include not only what is said, but descriptions of the speaker's body language and actions.

During a trial, the judge may ask the reporter to read back part of the transcript for clarification; the reporter may also ask for clarification or repetition of what has been said in order to produce an accurate transcript. Some court reporters Portland provide real-time transcription that is displayed on a screen in the courtroom.

After the trial, the court reporter distributes copies of the official transcript to the court and legal teams involved in the proceedings.


Court reporters must have excellent reading, writing and communication skills. They must be punctual, dependable and able to sit and focus for several hours at a time. A court reporter must have specialized knowledge and skills, including:

  • Shorthand reporting techniques

  • Operation of reporting equipment, such as stenography machines

  • Legal terminology

  • Legal record keeping procedures

To become a court reporter, you should enroll in courses at a technical school or community college. Some schools offer an associate's degree in court reporting, while others offer a certificate. Further requirements vary depending on the state. Some states require you to pass a written exam and obtain a license to be a court reporter.


There are many advantages to choosing a court reporting career. It does not require an advanced degree, so you can train and qualify for the position without accumulating a large amount of student debt. While some court reporters are full-time employees, you can also work as a freelancer, which allows a more flexible schedule.

Being trained in court reporting does not mean you have to work in a courtroom. Many court reporters find work outside of legal settings as captioners, providing closed captions for televised events. Others work as real-time captioners for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Challenges and Risks

While it may sound like a relatively safe job, court reporting is not without health risks. Like any clerical position, it involves a lot of sitting and very little physical activity. Sedentary jobs increase the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and many other health conditions.

Mental health is also a concern. You must be able to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines. In the courtroom, you must maintain keen focus at all times in order to accurately take down everything that is said. This need for constant focus can be mentally exhausting. If your work requires you to transcribe criminal trials, you may be exposed to disturbing details and graphic evidence, which can impact your mental health.

Healthy Habits

Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a court reporter to maintain your physical and mental health. Exercise is an important part of your daily routine, as it improves your strength and endurance and relieves the tension caused by sitting for many hours.

If you find it difficult to incorporate exercise into your routine, consider joining a class. Not only does this help you exercise, but it also provides a much-needed social outlet that can improve your mental health. Remember that exercise doesn't have to take place in a gym; activities like playing with your children or walking your dog are good for your body and mind.

Eating and sleeping well benefit your physical and mental health. Avoid using alcohol or tobacco to cope with stress; while these may provide temporary relief, they can exacerbate health problems. Instead, consider taking up a mindfulness practice, such as meditation or deep breathing, to manage stress.

Despite its challenges, court reporting is a good career path for people with strong writing and clerical skills who thrive in fast-paced environments. If you work well under pressure and want to make a difference, this may be an ideal career for you.


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