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Career and Education Opportunities for Court Reporters in Fort Smith, Arkansas

If you want to be a court reporter, the Fort Smith, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for court reporters sees this job pool growing by about 18.3% over the next eight years. Court reporters generally use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.

Court reporters earn about $22 per hour or $46,670 yearly on average in Arkansas and about $23 hourly or $49,710 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as court reporters in Arkansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. People working as court reporters can fill a number of jobs, such as: data transcriber, freelance court reporter, and freelance court stenographer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can study to be a court reporter, among nine schools of higher education total in the Fort Smith area. Court reporters usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a court reporter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Court Reporter

Court Reporter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, court reporters use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information. They also includes stenocaptioners who operate computerized stenographic captioning equipment to provide captions of live or prerecorded broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers.

Court reporters ask speakers to explain inaudible statements. They also furnish transcripts of proceedings upon request of judges or the public. Equally important, court reporters have to transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats. They are often called upon to record verbatim proceedings of courts and other proceedings, using computerized recording equipment, electronic stenograph machines, or stenomasks. They are expected to take notes in shorthand or use a stenotype or shorthand machine that prints letters on a paper tape. Finally, court reporters file a legible transcript of records of a court case with the court clerk's office.

Every day, court reporters are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for court reporters to verify precision of transcripts by checking copies against original records of proceedings and precision of rulings by checking with judges. They are often called upon to record depositions and other proceedings for attorneys. They also file and store shorthand notes of court session. Somewhat less frequently, court reporters are also expected to record symbols on computer storage media and use computer aided transcription to translate and display them as text.

And finally, they sometimes have to transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats.

Like many other jobs, court reporters must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
  • Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Court Reporter Training

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Journalism which graduated three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Registered Professional Reporter: The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) program is the only nationally recognized certification program that establishes your competence as a reporter.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Realtime Reporter: Prove you're on the cutting edge.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Reporting Instructor: The CRI certification program for teachers of court reporting subjects has been developed to encourage excellence in the educational programs that prepare tomorrow's court reporters.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Legal Video Specialist: The use of video in the legal environment is growing fast.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Broadcast Captioner: Prove you're on the cutting edge.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified CART Provider: Become a Certified CART ProviderSM and take advantage of the growing number of opportunities becoming available to realtime practitioners.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

LICENSES

Court Reporter, Certified

Licensing agency: Arkansas Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners
Address: Justice Building, 625 Marshall Street, Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone: (501) 682-6850
Website: Arkansas Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.