As a person who is interested in possibly working as a court reporter in the state of Nebraska, you more than likely have quite a few questions about the field.
Prospective court reporters often want to know about the nature of the work, what their daily tasks and responsibilities will be, what skills they need to succeed, how to get started down the career path, and what the pay is like. The question, however, that they usually most want to know the answer to is about what the day to day schedule of a court reporter is like.
Since courtroom reporters work in the courts, they are, obviously, expected to work whenever court is in session. This usually happens from Monday to Friday, from roughly 8am to 5pm, with a lunch break set somewhere in between. However, each county in the state is different, and you should check the court hours of your specific county in order to be sure.
However, be aware that your work as a court reporter often does not end when court does. More often than not, you will have to either go home or back to the office to type up and correct transcripts, to listen to voice recordings, or to read over your notes, depending upon the type of court reporter that you are.
Some court reporters work for specific lawyers, judges, or other legal professionals. When this is the case, their schedules may be more varied than the schedule of a standard court reporter. They are determined by the employer and will often entail more or different hours than most other court reporters keep.
This is why you should ask about your working schedule while in the interview process and definitely before taking on any new job.
As a court reporter, be aware that a large chunk of your day will be spent sitting in the court room, taking notes and/or using whatever technology is required for your specific job. These can often be long, dry, and plain boring hours filled with endless court room and legal tedium and jargon.
Your fingers and hands will often get tired, and you may grow weary of sitting. If you think that you can handle this, however, then you might just make it as a court reporter. Keep in mind, too, that the nature of your work will vary depending upon what kind of a court reporter you are.
Stenographic court reporters, which are what most people think of when they think of court reporters, usually spend their days parked behind a stenographic machine in the court room. They must know how to work this machine, which is quite different from the traditional typewriter that it resembles, quickly and efficiently.
The transcripts they create are typically retyped or scanned onto a traditional computer as well for further use in the future.
Electronic court reporters have it a bit easier in some respects, but a bit tougher in others. They do not have to actually type while they are in the court room. Instead, they use an audio recording device to capture what is said and done during the court room proceedings.
However, at the end of the night, they have to go home, review the audio recording, and turn it into a typed transcript. Also, in addition to recording the court room proceedings, they also typically take notes during them. These notes help them to ensure the accuracy of their recordings and to clear up any errors or questions that may arise. Voice reporters do similar work but they use a voice silencer instead.