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Free Introduction to Court Reporting Classes Offered in Illinois

Posted on: October 28th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

As we already know, court reporters, and the transcripts they produce are a support pillar of the court system, but a shortage of licensed court reporters is looming on the horizon. This is a point that has written about often.

Tammy Bumgarner, the Director of Court Reporting Services in Springfield, Illinois, says that if something is not done soon to change the course of the profession, there could be a slow down in the court system waiting for a record of proceedings in the state.

Licensed court reporters take a verbatim record in the criminal cases heard in Illinois to ensure that all citizens have equal access to justice, not just for those who can afford to hire a court reporter.

The profession of court reporting has been seeing a decline for the past few decades for many reasons.

Why the Decline


The profession is in high demand with many students getting recruited by agencies and the court system before they have even have completed school. Court reporters’ starting salary in Illinois can be from $41,000 to $51,000 per year with benefits and additional transcript income. You do not need to have a college degree to be a court reporter. One just needs to gain enough proficiency on a steno machine to pass the licensing exam.

“There are many trades which are now suffering from the ‘college only’ mentality that’s been preached to kids. That’s causing shortages in professions while simultaneously driving up wages,” said Bumgarner.


“The average age of official court reporters in Illinois is 52 years old. One-third of our court reporters are already eligible for retirement, which means we will likely have to replace more than 400 employees in the next 10-15 years, and it’s a scary prospect,” says Bumgarner.

“We need to get creative to figure out how we can get more people to consider this profession. One of those things that we’re doing is offering a free Introduction to Court Reporting class, called First Steps, which will be taught by our court reporters,” Bumgarner says.


Classes will be a couple of hours, one day a week, for four weeks. Participants will learn what it takes to be a court reporter, what type of work they can do, be assessed for success in a court reporting program, and be able to get their hands on a steno writer.

With over 20 locations all over the state, there’s likely to be a class offered near you. For more information, visit supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersberg, and Rockville.

So, You Want to be a Court Reporter

Posted on: April 29th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

So You Want to be a Court ReporterThere are few jobs that are more in demand than court reporters right now. There is a major shortage all around the country. Here, CourtScribes will show you the steps. So, you want to be a court reporter? Well, here is what you need to know.


Court reporters, also known as stenographers or shorthand reporters are the professionals that are hired to ensure that all words spoken as well as the gestures of a proceeding are recorded to produce an accurate transcript.


These guardians court records are required to be impartial, reliable, responsible, and they must be properly trained and certified to expertly perform their job.


With outstanding employment and salary potential, it’s no wonder many are pursuing careers in court reporting and stenography. But before you embark on a career as a court reporter, you must complete a comprehensive program in court reporting. You also must satisfy requirements for licensure or certification that is required in many states.


1. Choosing Your Career Path

There are a number of paths you could choose in a career in court reporting. It is important to find a path of interest before beginning a court reporter program.


The International Realtime Court Reporting Institute offers online programs at all levels, from basic and retraining courses in speech-to-text technology to advanced CAT system training in Eclipse Vox.
Although all court reporter programs have the same, basic structure for preparing students for state licensure and/or professional certification, many schools do divide their programs in a number of ways to best prepare students for specific areas of court reporting. Others provide a more comprehensive approach to court reporting.


Some schools provide a wider approach, which allows the students to study in a number of areas within the profession. This includes:


Other programs may separate court reporter programs by:


2. Preparing for the Program

One thing the students have to bite the bullet and do is that they must purchase their own manual stenotype machine. These usually cost between $100 and $250. Most schools don’t endorse paperless writers. They feel it is important that writers learn to read paper notes.


Students are then often required to rent or purchase a model computerized writer for CAT classes. Purchasing a new computerized writer can be very expensive. Like costing upwards of $2,000 expensive. Used models can be purchased for as little as $400. That does offer a little bit of a break. Since the cost is on the high side, many students choose to rent these models. Software for the computerized writers may also cost an additional $100 to $500.


Students need to also be prepared to take entrance exams prior to being accepted into a court reporter program. These exams are usually in typing and English. Students should have a firm grasp of the English language before applying to a court reporter program.


3. Completing the Program

The path to a court reporting career is standard in terms of education. Individuals must complete a recognized court reporting program. Where this education is obtained may differ, as court reporting programs are available in a number of institutions. This ranges from community colleges to dedicated court reporter schools. A court reporting program may result in an associate’s degree or professional diploma or certificate, depending on the institution in which the program is located.


Court reporting programs tend to be quite flexible. Many institutions offer a number of online courses and day and evening classes to accommodate today’s busy lifestyles. Some programs, especially those in dedicated court reporter schools and technical schools even offer combination court reporting programs that include online academics with hands-on speed classes taken on-site.


Because court reporting programs are designed to prepare students to achieve state licensure and/or professional certification, they must contain a similar curriculum. Students must be able to achieve a minimum skills standard for machine shorthand which, according to the National Court Reporters Association, is


Most court reporting programs deal with shorthand. Most specifically, the mastery of it. A minimum accuracy must be achieved in machine shorthand. This is usually 97 percent accuracy. Most programs also require students to achieve a minimum, average grade in both speed-building classes and coursework.


In addition to teaching students the skills through the use of a stenography machine and often computer-aided real-time technology, court reporting programs are designed to provide a comprehensive education in:


4.  Meeting Licensing Requirements

Depending on the state in which one practices their court reporting, a state license may be required. Most states that require licensing either have their own court reporting examinations, which consist of both a written examination and a skill test, and many accept the Certified Verbatim Reporter’s examination (CVR) through the National Verbatim Reporters Association or the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designation through the National Court Reporters Association in lieu of state exams.

Even states in which no licensing requirements exist, it is common to find many employers seeking the RPR designation, which is the entry-level designation for the National Court Reporters Association.


We here at, know about the shortage of court reporters and how important it is to continue to train those who have an interest in court reporting. The faster you train, the faster you can get going embarking on your new career. Courtrooms are not going anywhere. Why not get certified, get into the courtroom and let your fingers start typing away.