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New York State Dealing With Court Stenographer Shortages

stenographyNews out of Albany, New York shows that across the country officials are looking to recruit young professionals to be court stenographers. This effort comes as big changes are being made to the justice system in New York state. We in the stenographer community tip our hat to New York as they are dealing with the court stenographer shortages.

“There’s going to be a lot of opportunity in the near future as we continue to lose people to retirement,” said John Keller, Principal Court Reporter for the 3rd judicial district of New York.

There are other factors that have led to the shortages like the development of digital recorders and a nearly 85 percent dropout rate in court reporting instructional programs.

Stenographers in many local courts have been covering for each other when the courts are short-staffed. But soon enough even that will become a problem. Especially because legislative changes taking effect, like the Raise the Age and the Child Victims Act, will likely increase caseloads.


What are the Courts Looking to Do

That’s why court officials are looking to implement new programs to recruit young professionals, like Steno A to Z, among others.

“The [New York State] Unified Court System and the Office of Court Administration is reaching out to BOCES programs and small community colleges to try to spark an interest in them starting programs,” John Keller said. “Because it really is an exciting field to get into. It’s very rewarding. It’s rewarding personally, professionally and financially as well.”

The average salary for a court reporter is not bad at all. It is about $57,000 a year. The top 10 percent of earners bring in about a very healthy $100,000 per year.

“If you’re a patient person and you can stay focused for a very long time that’s basically is what’s required especially when you’re in a courtroom all day long and it’s your responsibility to take every word down verbatim, word for word everything that is said in the courtroom,” Keller said.

You can learn more about the Steno A to Z program here.

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