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What is a Scopist?
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Are you working to full capacity and can’t seem to see yourself clear of your tremendous workload? Do you
wish you had someone to help you, but can’t seem to
find the right scopist to work with? Maybe you’re a reporter, and you want to make your working relationship better and more successful. Perhaps we can help you achieve these goals.

NCRA has committed itself to help educate reporters about what a scopist can do for you and how to find a qualified scopist and how to make a court reporter-scopist relationship work. We are very excited about this because we know that these relationships exist, and you, too, can have one.

One of the big reasons a business relationship between a scopist and a reporter will fail is due to lack of communication. It may have nothing to do with the skills of either one of you. A reporter needs to make their wishes, style and requirements known to the scopist. A scopist wants and needs feedback. A good scopist should know the questions to ask reporters that will make both their jobs easier. In return, a reporter knows quality work when they receive it back, so why not ask for that? But keep in mind, even with all the ideal factors in place, there are times a reporter-scopist relationship is not ideal, which is sometimes no fault to anyone and may be nothing more than poor chemistry. So don’t get discouraged if that happens; just try someone else.

Today’s scopist is a professional who has chosen to make this a career, not just a part-time job for spending money. Today’s scopists are better trained, have access to reference sites on the Internet, likely have extensive reference libraries, and are capable of putting out a high-quality transcript in less time than ever before. They are also very capable of helping their reporters with the newest technologies.   
by Shirley Barrett and Jim Woitalla, published in the
August-September 1998 issue of The Journal of Court Reporting