There’s a looming crisis in the legal world that is affecting the ability for courts to swiftly administer justice. According to the National Court Reporting Association’s (NCRA) Annual Survey in 2014, “about 70 percent of existing court reporters will retire in the next 20 years.” This is largely because the median age of court reporter is now 51, ten years older than the median age of workers in all other occupations.
More importantly, the report states that by 2018 there will be a supply gap of roughly 3,500 to 4,000 reporters in the industry. It’s now 2018 and the evidence is lending strong support for the NCRA’s conclusions.
One such example is a news report from Kansas City, Missouri pleading to the public that “Wyandotte County has a budget for 10 positions for court reporters to record what happens in county courtrooms. They are currently down three reporters,” impacting trials and hearings by slowing down court proceedings.
To compound the problem, a steady increase in demand for legal services driven by increased legal activity, and a transition of reporters to other industries such as medical and TV closed captioning makes for the perfect storm of a crisis in the legal industry.
The importance of capturing the record of legal testimony cannot be overstated, leading many to look to technology solutions to bridge the gap of court reporter shortages.