We had the opportunity to chat with Ginger Baze, the founder of Steno Services, to talk about choosing court reporting as a career.
What do you want people to know about court reporting?
As court reporters we are realizing the terrifying fact that, year by year, our numbers are decreasing across the state of Oklahoma and all over the nation. We have uploaded flyers to our website to advertise for some new court reporting programs that are taking on enrollment now. This career is an excellent choice and, frankly, one of the best choices I have ever made.
Check out the Ducker Worldwide Industry Outlook Report for more on trends in court reporting.
What do you love most about court reporting?
I absolutely LOVE my career as a court reporter, and it never ceases to amaze me. Every day I hear something new, write differently, shorten my writing, and build speed in my fingers as a result. The sky is the limit when it comes to your writing speed and the levels that can be reached. The state bar in most states requires a speed of 225 words per minute (wpm) for five minutes, but you may continue your training and achieve even higher certifications through NCRA in speed levels all the way up to 280 wpm. I love the constant opportunities to make myself better at my job and my writing by obtaining these higher speed levels with continued practice writing timed dictation and speed drills. I can even compete in national speed competitions should I ever choose to take on that endeavor. The current Guinness World Records, as of 2018, is holding steady at 360 wpm. I love that sort of motivation and the fact that there is not a hard ceiling above me holding me back. The job opportunities are limitless. From being an official court reporter in a courtroom, taking down jury trials and other types of hearings, a freelance reporter taking down depositions, CART/Captioning for the hearing impaired, which can also be done remotely from the comfort of your own home or on-site in the actual university classrooms, to owning your own firm. Every aspect of the court reporting career gives me constant access to new knowledge and the ability to learn about so many different fields and subjects, not to mention the people and experts it brings me in contact with every day.
Where can prospects go to learn more about Oklahoma court reporting schools and choosing court reporting as a career?
There are a number of vocational technical facilities in our area that have adopted court reporting programs. You can expect this course to be a two-plus year course. It took me six years to graduate, however, so by no means think that this is a walk in the park. But stay strong in your dedication, get a mentor, and practice, practice, practice! And once you pass your state boards, it will be worth every drop of sweat endured. I have absolutely zero regrets about choosing this career as my profession. It can be a very lucrative career that you can start your journey on right out of high school!
Please check out the links below to learn about programs in your area. You can also call local colleges and vo-tech schools to find the closest one to you. I highly recommend going through an on-site program but always know that this wonderful profession is also taught online as well.
How urgent is the need for Oklahoma court reporters?
Because of the shortage our nation is currently facing, we need potential court reporters in schools now more than ever! Tell everyone you know. Some people don’t even consider this career as a possibility because, quite frankly, they don’t think about us. We are the silent ones in the courtroom. We usually blend into the background. This year I beg of you to help me and other court reporters and small court reporting firms spread the word about this wonderful, fascinating, and exciting career.
Remember, the sooner you start your court reporting program, the faster you can achieve your goal of 225 words per minute. The Oklahoma state test is given at 200 words per minute, so that’s even better; a quicker graduation date for you and the sooner you can start really bringing in the cash flow!
How can Steno Services help court reporting students or those interesting in this career?
If you do decide to choose court reporting as your career, either early in life or late, please let Steno Services know so that we can help mentor you along the way. We love to help provide insights and tips and tricks, anything to make your journey better. Then when you complete the task and pass the state test, let us be the first firm that you call so that we can put you to work and train you from the very beginning on the correct and proper ways to take depositions, introduce yourselves, and help grow your own careers while expanding our reach and strengthening our own team of certified shorthand reporters. We are a tech-savvy firm that you will love working for. We treat every reporter with the great respect they deserve because we all know that this job isn’t easy. If it were, I don’t believe we would be facing the shortage that we are now.
To find out more, give us a call any time. You can reach me at 405-796-8681. Just ask for Ginger Baze, and I will be happy to give you all my attention. I wish you a satisfying and happy journey ahead of you!