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Texas is Another State Hit With Court Reporter Shortages

Court reporters

As you know from reading the blogs on this site, the country is rapidly running low on court reporters. You can now add Texas to the list of states that is really beginning to feel the crunch,

On Dec. 31, Judge Chris Day, of the 2nd Judicial District Court, in Cherokee County, Texas, sent a formal request to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton inquiring about the possibility of implementing a court recording system in face of “an increased shortage of court reporters.”


Shocking Statistics

In 2014, there were about 32,000 court reporters in the U.S. Texas had the second-biggest shortage in the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the country has half that many court reporters today!

The good news is that becoming a court reporter only requires one to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass a state certification exam as well as a state and federal background check. Include court reporting school and a stenograph and it should only set one back $25,000.

Many students fail their certification tests on their third or fourth try as the program dwindled but in the last three years there has been a change in enrollment, a new spark in the profession, and the word is getting out that the legal profession needs court reporters, badly.

And the shortage has one major side effect that may have been overlooked: Court reporters make bank. In 2014, a six-figure court reporter job opened up in San Francisco, and while that’s still on the high end, median wages were approaching $60,000 a year in 2018.


What About Court Recorders

Isn’t the issue as simple as putting microphones on judges, prosecutors and plaintiffs? Well, not really.

Not only would the cost of implementing a recording system, as well as hiring human technicians to maintain and operate the equipment, likely reach as high as $400,000 after also factoring in storage and archiving costs, but court recorders are far less accurate. And there lies the biggest problem.

Court recording machines do not seem to be the answer. They have been tried and they are very difficult to transcribe with accuracy. They may be OK for municipal court but they are always extremely difficult and time-consuming.

Anyone who has ever struggled to understand a teacher with a thick accent or a police officer with a particularly distinct regional dialect can probably understand why simply recording someone’s voice might not be adequate for creating an accurate transcription.

So if you’re sick of your job or just ready for a career change and you live in Texas, now is the time. You should really think about becoming a court reporter. Because without court reporters to produce an accurate record of court proceedings, then chaos, injustice, and most gruesome court delays are likely to be the inevitable outcome. And nobody wants any of that.

If you need court reporting services from the best court reporting service, which supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we 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.