Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a job as a freelance court reporter?

While attending school and achieving 200 words per minute, the student will be required to undertake a 40-hour Internship sitting in with working reporters, either in court or freelancing.  The agencies that you would be working with as part of the program could offer you a position upon graduation.  There could be some additional training required by the individual agency before taking your first job.
Freelance Reporters in New York get paid by the page plus an attendance fee.

When would I be ready to work in court?

Usually, after two or three years of freelancing, some reporters might want the benefits that are available with an official position.  They would have to meet the requirements necessary to take the Court test for the lower courts and another set of requirements for the Supreme Court test.  Currently the US Federal Court requires their reporters to be Certified Realtime Reporters.
Court Reporters are paid a salary, paid time off, and some benefits, depending on the court.

Why would a student consider a career in captioning as opposed to working in the legal field?

Since Court Reporting, both freelance and official, requires active participation in some form, there are certain people who may prefer not to have to interact with the public.
The ability to work from home and do captioning can be very attractive.  The use of an encoder allows for the input of captions on a television screen as the proceedings are in progress with only a few-second delay. Other relevant equipment is necessary.
The Captioner must have a speed of at least 240 words per minute because you cannot stop the speaker or the proceedings.  Additionally, there is needed training to learn how to caption for the viewer, which is not the same as a verbatim proceeding in a legal setting.
Captioners can be paid a salary or by the hour.

What about working as a CART Provider; how does that work?

Onsite CART requires interaction with a deaf or hearing-impaired student or someone needing a translation of the spoken word. You might attend a class with a student and take down the lecture along with questions from other students, with the translation appearing on the student’s laptop.
CART Providers either work directly with a college or an agency and get an hourly rate.

Do I have to be onsite to provide CART?

There is off-site CART where you may be providing realtime to one or more than one student at the same time during a class.  However, the questions from other students would not appear as part of the translation.

How do I get a job to work as a CART Provider?

There are multiple opportunities through a Google search to apply to work as a CART Provider.

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