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The Double-Edge Sword of Court Reporting Flexibility

May 23, 2008
People are attracted to the court reporting profession for a lot of reasons. It's a respected position and an experienced reporter can make a generous income. Jobs are available anywhere in the country, and telecommuting technology means that a reporter in Nebraska might be doing Florida court reporting.

Some people are drawn to the profession because of the job's flexibility. It is important to understand that the flexibility works both ways. Often court reporters will have periods of freedom to enjoy personal activities while other people are at their regular jobs. However the position makes demands on a reporter's time and sometimes it is the reporter who must be flexible.

Court Cases Don't Wait For You

The traditional court reporting role is documenting legal proceedings in court. It's safe to assume that the judge isn't going to be receptive to rescheduling a hearing just because the reporter wants to go to his kid's birthday party.

Court reporters have to be available at the court's convenience. Since courts run typical business hours, this usually isn't too much of a burden. Most people can be available from 8 to 5 on weekdays. Court reporters can schedule days off just like any other employee. If you aren't going to be available on a certain day they will have a staff of other reporters who can fill in, although they will need to be notified in advance.

There are many court reporting jobs that aren't on such rigid schedules. If you need to document a deposition, you can often schedule that around your needs. Court reporters are used to closed caption pre-recorded videos, which can be done at the reporter's convenience as long as it is completed by the deadline.

The Feast or Famine Nature of Court Reporting

Another aspect of the flexibility is that, since court reporters work on demand, it is common for them to have lots of work followed by a lull. A reporter might have to work during the day at a court proceeding then spend hours in the evening producing a transcript for the next morning.

However, long days might be followed by days off. These are the times that reporters can catch up on aspects of their lives outside of their jobs. Some people thrive in this kind of environment. To them, the difference between an 8-hour day and a 12-hour days isn't that large; it's still a day at work. By putting in a few long days, they then get several days to devote to leisure time.

Of course, some people don't like such unpredictable schedules but that doesn't mean they should avoid the profession. The skills of a talented court reporter can open other opportunities on more traditional hours including closed captioning or transcribing the notes of other reporters.

Once court reporters understand that the flexibility of the position means both benefits and responsibilities, most of them love this non-traditional work environment.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Court
Reporting
, visit http://www.huseby.com.
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