How to Become a Court Reporter in Mississippi

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How to Become a Court Reporter in Mississippi

A court reporter, also referred to as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR), plays a crucial role in legal proceedings by transcribing every spoken word during trials and other legal processes.

This integral role within the justice system necessitates proper licensure for aspiring court reporters.

In this article, I will outline the essential path to licensure for those interested in pursuing this career.

Pursue Your Education as a Court Reporter in Mississippi

To attain licensure, the first step is completing a recognized training program.

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This program must have the approval of the Mississippi Board of Court Reporting.

To be eligible for enrollment, individuals must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or a GED

The training programs are available in various specialties, including:

  • CART/Captioning
  • Judicial Reporting
  • Scoping/Proofreading
  • Professional Transcription
  • Office Assistant
  • Court and Realtime Reporting

Prospective students should ensure that their chosen curriculum is sanctioned by the Council on Approved Student Education (CASE).

It should encompass subjects such as:

  • Applied Writing I
  • Medical Terminology
  • Legal Terminology
  • Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
  • Realtime Reporting I
  • Realtime Reporting II

Typically, these programs are offered at the postsecondary level without conferring a degree.

However, certificate, diploma, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree programs are all accepted.

Here are some educational institutions in Mississippi to consider.

The Cypress College

Cypress College, situated in California, is a sizeable public educational institution.

It provides three distinct programs in court reporting:

  • A one-year Court Reporting Certificate
  • A one-year Captioning Certificate
  • A two-and-a-half-year Associate of Science Degree in Court Reporting

All of these court reporting programs offered by Cypress College have received accreditation from the National Court Reporting Association.

Downey Adult School

located in California, is a public college renowned for providing a comprehensive court reporting certification program.

This particular certification can be successfully achieved within a span of 2 to 4 years.

To attain this certification, students are expected to diligently complete 1,110 hours of coursework and training each year.

Upon successful completion, graduates of this program become eligible to practice as Certified Shorthand Court Reporters in the state of California.

It’s worth noting that Downey Adult School maintains accreditations from both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, as well as the Council on Occupational Education.

School Name Address
The Cypress College 9200 Valley View St, Cypress, CA 90630
Downey Adult School 12340 Woodruff Ave, Downey, CA 90241
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Obtaining Licensure as a Court Reporter in Mississippi

Upon completing your education, passing an exam is necessary to secure your license.

You have an 18-month window from the completion of your training. During this period, a temporary license is obtainable, though it cannot be renewed.

There are two nationally recognized certifications available:

  • NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification
  • NVRA’s (National Verbatim Reporters Association) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR)

To acquire the official license in Mississippi, passing a skills exam is imperative.

This exam can be administered by one of these organizations:

  • NCRA
  • NVRA
  • ACRA

The process entails:

  • Paying the appropriate fees, which include $200 for the license and $50 for the application
  • Presenting proof of graduation from the training program
  • Completing the application form

The ACRA test closely mirrors both the NCRA and NVRA exams.

While the NCRA skills test can be taken online, the other two tests require in-person attendance.

If you aspire to become a registered professional reporter, the fee ranges from $120 to $77, depending on your membership status.

The NVRA exam carries a $125 fee.

For those wishing to become certified verbatim reporters, a transfer fee of $50 is applicable if you’re already a registered professional reporter.

The Certified Court Reporter (CCR) skills exam costs $75.

This exam is divided into three sections, each lasting 5 minutes.

Passing requires meeting word count criteria for:

  • Literary at 180 wpm
  • Jury charge at 200 wpm
  • Testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm

Candidates have 75 minutes to transcribe their notes, and the minimum passing accuracy score in Mississippi is 95%.

Additionally, a knowledge written exam for the registered professional reporter includes 120 questions covering technology, professional practices, ethics, and reporting practices.

The passing score is 70%, and the fees vary based on membership status.

Renewing Your Court Reporter License in Mississippi

As is common with most licenses, renewals are essential.

The Mississippi Board mandates an annual license renewal.

Renewal fees are as follows:

  • $200 for on-time renewals
  • $240 for renewals until September 31st
  • $280 for renewals by November 30th

For license renewal, completing 5 hours of continuing education per year is required.

Unused hours can be carried forward to the next year.

These education hours must be completed through NCRA, NVRA, and ACRA, while personal development classes are typically not accepted.

Court Reporter Salaries in Mississippi

If you’ve reached this point, your interest likely lies in understanding the earning potential in this occupation.

In Mississippi, the median annual salary for court reporters is around $55,132.

The following table highlights cities with the highest median salaries for this profession.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Southaven $57,203
Jackson $55,334
Greenville $54,959
Meridian $54,798
Biloxi $54,792
Vicksburg $54,777
Pascagoula $54,539
Gulfport $54,359
Hattiesburg $54,019
Tupelo $52,152

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills do I need to become a court reporter in Mississippi?

Here are some of the main skills and abilities for a court reporter, regardless of state:

  • Good hearing
  • Able to sit for long periods
  • Word knowledge
  • English / grammar skills
  • Good use of both hands
  • Able to handle stress
  • Good organizational skills

What other requirements are there to become a court reporter in Mississippi?

Candidates for licensure must ensure they:

  • Are an American citizen
  • Have a photo not older than 6 months

Which courts hire court reporters in Mississippi?

All of the state’s courts hire court reporters.

Here are some examples:

  • Appellate Courts
  • Superior Court
  • District Courts

USA Court Reporter by State

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