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Farrar Gets Head Start on Court Reporting Certificate While in High School

June 14, 2013

Amanda Farrar  
Amanda Farrar

When a high school counselor suggested to Amanda Farrar that court reporting might be a viable career choice for her, Farrar couldn’t wait to start.

In fact, Farrar got started as a senior at South County Technical High School and began earning college credits toward a judicial reporting certificate at St. Louis Community College. She earned her certificate in May 2012 and was employed by Midwest Litigation Services later that year.

Completing the program did not come without sacrifice.

“Probably the biggest challenge I dealt with was time management and prioritizing my obligations,” Farrar said. “You have to be very diligent and willing to give up a good portion of your free time.”

STLCC’s partnership with South County Tech has been in place for 10 years, and currently is the only program of its kind in the United States.

Farrar’s primary duties at Midwest Litigation include swearing in witnesses at depositions, marking exhibits for use at depositions, stenographically making verbatim records of depositions, and editing and proofreading all transcripts ordered by attorneys and parties to cases.

Farrar said a combination of courses and out-of-classroom experiences helped her step into her current job.

“The workplace learning course gave me a very good idea of what I would be dealing with when I got into the field,” she said. “We also participated in mock depos at Washington University that were a great help as well. I also enjoyed the monthly get-togethers because we had the opportunity to meet working court reporters and ask them questions or talk about things that you don’t have time for during class.”

Midwest Litigation, in fact, sends representatives to many STLCC student events. That connection prompted Farrar to apply for and get a job with the company shortly after graduation.

“Students participate in a 50-hour internship near the end of their program, and we maintain solid relationships with professional court reporters in St. Louis City and County as well as federal courtrooms,” said Patricia Ziegler, associate professor who coordinates the information reporting technology program at Meramec. “We also have great working relationships with large regional reporting firms and local freelance reporting firms. Our instructors are certified working court reporters and experienced educators who are active in state and national professional associations, and we think those relationships also benefit our students with networking opportunities.”

Meet Farrar and Ziegler and find out if you have what it takes to become a court reporter or captioner at STLCC’s Career Connections in Court Reporting and Captioning event slated for Tuesday, July 9. The session runs 6-7:30 p.m. in room 105 of the Business Administration building at STLCC-Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Road.

Participants will find out about court reporting and captioning careers in government and agency work, as a freelancer, or in closed captioning. They also will learn about degree and certificate programs that cost a fraction of other court reporting schools, and include online courses that fit into tight schedules.

Register online at www.stlcc.edu/visit.  For more information about this session, contact Kim Fitzgerald at 314-984-7584 or kfitzgerald@stlcc.edu.