Court reporters have daily routines just like any other profession. The average court reporter works many hours a week. Often over 40. How he or she spends this time depends on what job is performed. Court reporters often have flexible schedule benefits that most careers don’t provide.

Civil and criminal law stenographers may have very different assignments daily. The same is true for those who work as freelancers, and those working for a court. Regardless of where they work, there are some fundamental similarities in the day-to-day lives of each court reporter in San Francisco.

On the Job Duties & Daily Tasks

At the most basic level, each court stenographer performs the same function. Reporters are responsible for recording important proceedings held by courts, government agencies, and other assemblies. These proceedings are reported on stenography machines. Reporters use a particular type of shorthand to record the words spoken quickly. These symbols are then translated into readable statements with the help of software.


Preparation is critical for a court stenographer. Each stenographer needs to begin the day by ensuring that all the appropriate tools are packed and ready to go. This includes things such as the stenotype machine, a laptop and most likely a seat cushion. Each stenographer has a specific set of instruments that are essential to their daily work. A reporter will take these to the work site where he or she will set up for the day. Then, comes the process of recording proceedings for hours on end. At last, the reporter will translate the shorthand into a legible transcript that can be distributed to the parties.


Official court reporters in San Francisco who work for a court or government agency usually have set schedules. These employees are likely to work an eight-hour day, five days a week. Reporters that work on a contract basis may have flexible schedules. Either way, most court stenographers are writing during their day on their stenography machines and proofreading in the evening and nights.

At the End of the Day

The typical day for a court reporter can be as varied or predictable as one wants. This is what makes court reporting such an attractive career. It offers the flexibility to do what you want. It’s a great career to consider if you want to make money and have a lot of options.