Court Reporting 101: Skill Set of a Good Court Reporter

The documentation and creation of written records of government, court, or private settings fall within the responsibilities of a court reporter. This role, also called as a shorthand reporter, requires great skill and precision – after all, it involves verbatim documentation of a court proceeding. Phoenix Deposition Services points out the necessity of this role, as attorneys need to have a better idea of their adversaries’ testimonies. Also, accurate documentation is vital to legal processes, as a whole.

Below are skill sets that typically makes for a good court reporter:

Shorthand writing skills

Excellent shorthand writing is a highly-technical skill every good court reporter must possess. good court reporter understands shorthand language and knows how to write it with speed and precision. This is where someone in this field must also continually acquire knowledge in the industry and earn certifications to hone their ability to write at faster speeds and greater rates of accuracy.

Active Listening and Assertiveness

The ability to staying focused on what people inside the court are saying is another skill a court reporter must have. Court reporters must give their full attention to proceedings to understand testimonies. Though court reporters’ task is to write, a good one knows when to speak. They are not afraid to ask from both parties, asking a witness to speak louder during a proceeding for example. They do what is necessary to deliver an accurate script.

Business Etiquette

Good court reporters have good manners and business etiquette. They are always on time. They dress appropriately in a business setting, as well. They know that having business etiquette can go a long way in the legal world.


Court reporters are exposed to different types of legal actions. Keeping sensitive information confidential is one of their skills. They know that information shared in the proceeding strictly stays in the court.

Time Management

Proper time management also makes for a good court writer. They know how to manage their responsibilities to deliver transcripts on time. They recognize that the ability to meet deadlines makes them more reliable and valuable to clients.


Court reporters maintain neutrality inside the court. They do not share their personal opinion nor react during testimonies. They treat each other partially and simply do their duty—which is to record what is spoken.

To support attorneys and both parties in a proceeding, a court reporter must possess this skill set.