Court Reporting Schools – My Thoughts

Lately I have been receiving quite a few emails and tweets from students at different court reporter schools, online and brick-and-mortar schools.  There is a lot of worry about there being enough work when they finish their programs, get certified, and are professional court reporters.  I received a tweet today, “Is this a good industry for me to invest in, pursue as career?”

 My answer is, yes, court reporting is an excellent industry to invest in and pursue.  But I do worry about people being taken advantage of.  Going to a school that is state certified or has a certified program, such as the schools certified by the National Court Reporters Association, I am confident a court reporting student will get the program they need to graduate.  Since I live in Southern California, I know that Sage College, South Coast College, and Bryan School of Court Reporting have excellent programs. 

 In California, we have a licensing board, the Court Reporters Board of California.   Our CR Board has a list of schools that are certified by California.  I would trust all of the schools on the list to have a realistic program that will get you where you need to go to pass the California CSR and become licensed.

 What concerns me is I received an email from a student this week who is attending an online school asking me to be her mentor, writing that the school she is going to requires her to find a “mentor” to dictate live dictation to her at different speeds.  She was hoping I would dictate testimony to her while she was at school.  I wrote her back asking for details and didn’t hear back.  I understand schools wanting their students to find mentors.  I would encourage students to find mentors.  I am unclear why a school would expect a student to have to find live dictation. 

 I am sure the majority of the court reporting students in the United States are making smart decisions, going to schools that can take them to the finals.  (I liken court reporters to athletes.)   

 Our profession is like all professions.  If you are really good at what you do, you enjoy being a court reporter, you decide you want to be the best and participate in continuing education, spend money to ensure you have the best equipment and software, and are eager to learn, you will be successful.

 If you look at the glass as being half empty, that the economy sucks, you are going to have a hard time.  Court reporting is a competitive, tough field.  There is a reason that the top reporters make six-figure salaries.  It is not because it is super easy, school is pass/no pass, or because you are certified you made it.  Like anything in life, being a successful costs time, energy, talent, and attitude. 

 My advice to anyone wondering about court reporting as a profession:  Go to a credentialed school. Work hard.  Be great.  Be determined.  Be the best.  Being a court reporter is the best profession ever.  It is not easy.  It is not simple.  You need to understand that this is a tremendous profession not to be taken lightly. 

 I dropped out of my first year of college to go to court reporting school.  My friends were scared for me.  Why would I leave two semesters of college to go to a trade school?  I received phone calls and letters from my dearest friends, begging me to graduate from SDSU with my business degree.  I ignored all of them because I knew I found my passion.  That was in 1979.  Sure, I wish I had business classes to help me run my court reporting business, but the bottom line is, court reporting has been the most fantastic career for me.  I have no regrets. 

 My advice:  Pay attention.  Go to a great school (online or not).  Work hard.  Don’t take the classes, speeds, or anything for granted.  Be great.  You will not regret it.

 @rosaliekramm (Twitter)

8 replies
  1. Todd Olivas says:

    Rosalie, your thoughts convey a great deal of truth. This could actually apply to any career or endeavour. But specifically as regards to court reporting… bravo! I’m going to link to this blog post from my blog.

  2. annie_m says:

    Thanks for this blurb. I start CRS in September. I have wanted to do this for 10 years. I have read so many horror stories from folks who have dropped out, and are left with big student loans. It’s great to read the success story for a change. You have encouraged and empowered me!! Thanks for adding to my determination.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Hi Annie, I am also thinking about starting crs in September. Still researching schools, but leaning toward Bryan College. Does anyone know if this is a good school? Where are you attending school? Thanks for your help!

  4. Marie says:

    I, too, am looking for an online school to receive my training from. Does anyone have a good suggestion? It’s hard looking online because you don’t know who to believe as far as reviews.

    Many thanks,


  5. Cheryl says:

    Marie, I am looking at Bryan College and College of Court Reporting. I am leaning toward CCR. They both seem like top schools, but ccr is half the price. Let’s know what you choose.

  6. Ashley says:

    Thanks so much for the information. Currently in my first semester of court reporting school. I will continue to look forward to your blogs :)

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