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Shortage Of Court Reporters Plays Out Across Country

Court reporters

Court reporters are missing from many courtrooms.

Courthouses across the country are lacking some key people as court reporters reach retirement age without replacements.

That’s just what has happened in Macon County, Illinois, when a court reporter there retired, according to the local newspaper, the Herald & Review. The paper reports that the lack of court reporters is playing out across Illinois.

According to the newspaper:

A snapshot of the problem: There are job openings listed online for court reporters, or stenographers, in 11 of the state’s 24 judicial circuits, and officials say that may not cover every opening in the state. Illinois had 506 licensed court reporters as of January 2017, and 136 of those were eligible for retirement, according to data from the court reporting division of the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts.

“We definitely need a new generation to come in,” said Kathryn Thomas, president of the Illinois Court Reporter Association, which has more than 300 members.

The shortage of court reporters has officials such as Winnebago, Ill., County Judge Eugene Doherty concerned, according to television station WREX.

The station reports:

“We are concerned.  Of that 500 we’re looking at maybe half of them or more being replaced in the next ten years,” says Chief Judge Doherty.

As the current workforce prepares to retire, court systems like Winnebago County are working to recruit the next generation of workers…

“A court reporter has to keep up with a lot of things and we rely on them and their skill in order to make sure that record is accurate,” says Doherty.

Firms such as CourtScribes are growing, though, thanks to a combination of technology and highly-trained traditional stenographers.

We pride ourselves on creating completely accurate verbatim transcripts, no matter how chaotic the environment. The best way to do that is through hiring the best court reporters and combining them with unique, powerful, industry-leading technology.