Interested in the Court Reporting field...any suggestions?

I have been a Paralegal/Legal Asst. for 12 years.  I would love to get in the court reporting field.  I live just outside of Tampa, Florida.  I was just wondering if anyone can give me any tips or suggestions on court reporting.  Do you make decent money, are there jobs available, how flexible is it?  Also if you could recommend an accredited school.  I did a few search and the local school that it is suggesting on the National CRS does not list CR as one of their options.


I would appreciate any help I can get.


Thank you,


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Have you checked into online programs?  That is a real trend these days.
Have you checked out the community colleges?  I would still encourage you to contact a reputable local reporting firm and ask them if they know what training is available in your area or if they can ask their reporters for some ideas.
I did just look into some online programs that are on the NCRA list for Florida, but honestly I was just worried about doing it online.  I would prefer online classes because I have four girls and work so I think it would be a huge convenience, but I just worried if it was possible to learn court reporting that way. 
Yes, it is very accepted to go online these days.  My scopist who lives in Wichita is going to school online and she is like you she has 3 or 4 children.  She is 30-40 minutes from an a bricks and mortar school but that would take an hour out of her day to commute that she could use to practice.  She likes it.

Erwin Votec still has the picture of the court reporting student on their main page, and the info abount special requirements.  


Since you have been a legal assistant for so many years, you definitely qualify for an online program.

You have all the background for the legal field (more than most court reporters).  Take a medical terminology class at HCC.


You can start out by yourself RIGHT NOW by buying a Stentura 400.  Buy a Phoenix Theory Book.

I don't know enough about any online programs to give info on that.



Okay I spoke to a court reporter that I have used off and on for the last couple of years.  She was very helpful and even offered to answer any questions that I may have in the future.  She said that business is a little slow, but not too bad and nothing that she can see lasting for any length of time.  She couldn't help me with school because she went to school up north several years ago, but said that she has a friend that is taking classes online from a school in Georgia.  I have contacted two school in Florida to request information on signing up and so far have not received a response. 


I have been praying for some direction and I definitely think that this is the right path for me.  I really appreciate all of the advice that you ladies have given me and I will continue to work towards my goal.


Have a blessed night :)

Hi, April.

I highly recommend the school I am attending:  The College of Court Reporting.

The next semester starts in October, and if you contact them, they will let you "test drive" the school so you can get used to their online content management system.

They teach their own theory, which the founder of the school invented.  It's called The Moody Method.  They only recently went "live" with the theory, having switched from Phoenix (which is what I learned (*mumble-mumble*) years ago.

In talking with the school's president, he told me that when the theory students come out of theory and into speedbuilding, they are writing at 100 wpm -- which is unusual.  My original school had us test at 50 wpm, and that was a struggle for most of us, so writing at 100 wpm right out of the box is really good.

Once you are out of theory, you will be in what is called "speedbuilding," where you basically are trying to pass speed tests.

At my (most recent) previous school, I would take a test, submit it (assuming the content management platform didn't crash in the process), and not hear how I did on the test for (literally!) a whole MONTH.

At CCR, I write the test, transcribe it from my paper notes into a text document, copy and paste that into a window in their content management platform, click a button or two, and in *minutes* it gives me a preliminary grade, with a final grade to follow within a couple of days ... and that is accompanied by a recorded message from my instructor with recommendations on what to do to improve my score, or (in the event I get it 100% correct) a lengthy "Way to go!" message.

My other school would stop grading the tests once it was clear you weren't going to pass ... and there was NO FEEDBACK AT ALL.

Another difference on the speedbuilding side is you test in increments.  At most CR schools, you take a couple of five minute tests.

At CCR, you take what they call SEs ("Self Evaluation"), which are basically pre-tests.  These are available in one, two, three, four, and five-minute increments.  Once you pass, say, the first one minute SE, you are immediately eligible to take a one minute SAP (sorry, I forget what that stands for).  This is the one that counts ... BUT in order to move up in speed, you have to pass all five of the SEs and the SAPs ... or you can do what I had to do for the midterm tests:  Just take a five minute test in one of the live classes.

I had been sick for most of the first month and nearly half of the second, and had *finally* gotten better ... just in time for mid-terms.  Passed all three of those tests with decent scores.

Well.  I've prattled on long enough!  Good luck in school!

Oh, and while it is true that Florida doesn't require certification, you should follow Mary Cochran's example and get it anyway!  The surrounding states *do* require certification to work, and if things get too tight there in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, or even South Carolina might be able to use your services from time to time.

Hope that helps!


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