President Jean Gonzalez of South Coast College answers the question:  “How long does it really take to become a court reporter?” (Please read these questions in order 1-10.)


Least you be dismayed by the prospect of practicing 10,000 hours to become a court reporter, you need to take into consideration that the Outliers indicates that it takes 10,000 to be a world-class or elite performer.  To become a court reporter, you need entry-level court reporting skills, not elite performance.  To be an outstanding professional court reporter, you still need 10,000 hours.  Remember, not all court reporters who have worked for 20 years are equal.


Court reporting students need to practice 72 hours to progress from one speed level to another.  Some of this practice may be from classes in school designed for practice but others must be obtained by practicing on one’s own.  Schools vary in the philosophies by which they operate.  Some schools will emphasize practice in all classes with less evaluation.  Other schools provide evaluation only, expecting that students will practice outside of school the majority of the time.  Regardless of what the philosophy is, the number of hours to achieve the goal of passing a speed level exists. With this understanding, the court reporting student can virtually control his progress — again, if he/she understands the concept of practice.  My next blog explores this concept.