What can we do about the court reporter shortage?

There’s a crisis happening in our industry that is hardly getting any media attention. While it’s not life and death, the impending court reporter shortage could leave courts along with businesses without experienced professionals to transcribe and caption depositions, meetings, and events.

Denver and the Court Reporter Shortage

While Colorado is estimated to have a court reporter shortage of 50 reporters in the next year, there are no schools, even in the capital of Denver, offering reporting programs. The closest are in Texas and Arizona; it’s likely if students travel to these other states that they will be placed locally rather than traveling back to Colorado so the gap could widen over time.

What can we do about the court reporter shortage? As an industry, we need to be spreading the word about the crisis and opportunity!

Cause of the Shortage

The cause of the shortage is two-fold. The first is the increasing number of programs closing or not accepting new students. The program isn’t simple and many students that enter the program end up not qualifying to graduate. To us, that means we’ve got to be doing more to attract the right students.

The second is the age of reporters compared to the age of the average American worker. According to the Ducker Worldwide Court Reporting Industry Outlook Report (Source), the average American worker is about 43 years of age compared to reporters who are a decade older. That means reporters are retiring sooner and without new students to fill the gap, we’re left with an increasing demand and decreasing supply.

For those in the industry, there’s is great opportunity to expand our skills and experience outside the legal field to earn more income.

Sharing Your Experience

We think as an industry we need to be sharing our experience of being in this growing industry. Blog, share your story on social media sites like LinkedIn, and talk to local media about the benefits of court reporting like earning potential and working as a freelancer.

This is the right field for the right candidate; we just need to work together to attract the right people. If you’re interested in learning more about court reporting, the court reporter shortage, or our services, we’d love to chat with you!