court reporter shortage

Are you looking for a career that?s challenging, rewarding, and interesting? Court reporting could the right place for you. And don?t worry that you?ll be in courtrooms all day. There are opportunities outside the legal field that make this an attractive profession. And it?s a great time to consider a move to court reporting!

The Arizona court reporter shortage is making it challenging for attorneys and businesses to find people with our training and skills to help with depositions, court proceedings, closed captioning, and more. If there?s a shortage now, then it?s only going to get worse unless we work together.

By the Numbers

By 2018 there will be a need for more than 5,000 court reporters and that number will continue to increase until we figure out what we can do an industry to help [Source: Ducker Worldwide].

In Arizona alone there is already a need for court reporters outside Maricopa County including Pima, Coconino, Yavapai, and Mohave counties. In Greenlee and Apache counties, there hasn?t been a court reporter on staff in years forcing court administrators to use electronic recordings of proceedings in lieu of reporters. [Source: KJZZ]

According to the Arizona Supreme Court, human court reporters are only required in cases involving a Grand or felony jury trial, death penalty murder cases, some sex crimes, and parental consent for abortion. That leaves a lot of cases without a human court reporter.

What You Can Do to Help

Often the biggest challenge is that in counties experiencing a court reporter shortage, no one from a larger area like Phoenix or Tucson wants to move there. They can stay in a more populated area and work as a freelance reporter where they likely make more money than in a rural county job.

In Cochise County, they?ve experimented with bringing in freelance reporters for certain cases with mixed results. Freelancers work their own schedule, not when the county needs them so they can say no to work in favor of being able to work closer to home. Even if this approach works, it?s not a long-term solution.

Looking to the Future

The reality is that if we don?t fill court reporter schools, we will, in the not so distant future, run out of court reporters in rural and urban areas. What can we do today?

  • Work with high school and college counselors to bring a face to our profession.
  • Use social media, blogs, and press releases to share industry news.
  • Share the benefits of being a court reporter with job seekers.

There?s not one solution to the Arizona court reporter shortage but working together we can bring attention to our industry.

If you?re interested in learning more or are in need of a Phoenix court reporter, contact us today!

2 replies
  1. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    I’m sure if you lessen the test restrictions on experienced reporters you would have a lot more. Technology has changed the industry and the testing process is a joke. It should be given by skills and transcription ability. Many reporters use scopists and proofreaders and just keep taking more work rather than transcribing. They should be more concerned about understanding the hundreds of different accents we have to deal with rather than what is the inside lining of the stomach, which is very easy to find. Thanks be been doing this a very long time and the older generation actually is convinced that it’s s lot to do with money making and not actually reporting. If you’re not a good reporter then word spreads very quickly,

    Reply
  2. jana
    jana says:

    the above reply is ridiculous. firstly, we need to know, at least somewhat, what people are talking about, as in subject matters, to be able to write the testimony in the first place, let alone editing/proofing. secondly, the obtaining of the required speed to pass testing is what is difficult and certainly we do not need people who cannot meet the basic speed because, in reality, the speed one needs on the job is often much more than 225 wpm.
    And just because a reporter uses scopists and/or proofers does not negate the fact that they need to know the facts…they need to be able to perform..the fact that technology has changed does not mean the skills needed have changed..in fact, more/newer skills are now required.

    Reply

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