Court Reporting- A Dying Career or a Dwindling Group?

Since the advent of the tape recorder,  rumors have flown that court reporting as a career is going the way of the dodo. Decades later, court reporters are still a necessary part of the legal world. Thankfully, the tape recorder didn’t take over when everyone realized how cumbersome it was to try to locate a specific section of tape and then hope that the audio was of decent quality. The most recent threat has come with the improvement of voice recognition technology and software.

Speech recognition definitely has the potential to become a part of the court room as budgets are tightened. Currently the technology isn’t advanced enough to truly replace a court reporter but who knows how long that will last. It is hard to imagine how a computer would ever be able to accurately identify different speakers, accents, or discern if something is being read and should be placed in quotation marks. For the sake of our hardworking court reporters, lets hope that the technology is still a long time coming.


Can you imagine if the courts used speech recognition and got results like this?

It seems fairly evident that court reporters will be needed for quite awhile but that begs the question of will there be enough of them left? The average court reporter today is in their fifties and the number of individuals entering the profession is on the decline. The lack of interest is resulting in fewer and fewer schools offering programs. Just last week AIB College of Business in Iowa announced they are dropping their court reporting program due to lack of enrollment. Pretty soon it won’t be easy for the aspiring court reporter to find a school.

So to all you court reporters out there- Tell people about your job and encourage them to become part of the elite field of court reporters.


On a lighter note, here is an amusing bit taken from the actual transcript of a court reporter:

Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?

A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.



Leave us a comment with the funniest or most bizarre moment that you’ve had on the job.