Dressing for a job in the courtroom doesn’t have to be stressful. But when you’re a court reporter, making a good impression on everybody from the judge to paralegals is important. You need to add a bit of your individual flair to an outfit without compromising its integrity.
For those professionals in the legal field, dressing well doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Finding the right fit and look can benefit you and give your clients more confidence in you. Here are some tips to dress well as a court reporter:
First, what is a court reporter?
A court reporter is an important part of the legal field. These judicial reporters are the ears and eyes of the courtroom. They record every word exchanged between all parties, including the judge, witnesses, prosecutors, defense team, and those on trial. The certifications differ between states, so court reporters in Fort Lauderdale, for example, need to find Florida-specific accredited schools for certification or an associates degree.
In addition to having fast fingers, aspiring court reporters should be proficient in English, communication, and business acumen. You need to type fast and pay extremely close attention to testimonies, depositions, and every interaction. Court reporters use a stenograph (which resembles a small keyboard) to type less than 300 words per minute. The 25 keys are a combination of letters, numbers, phrases, and even phonetic sounds to record for accuracy.
Why you should dress well
Imagine walking into a professional law firm and finding the person representing you in sweats and a coffee-stained shirt. While they might be the most successful lawyer in history, first impressions are important in and out of the courtroom. Looking and feeling great can reflect positively in your job performance.
Dressing well shows others that you take pride in your appearance and you take your job seriously. Business attire doesn’t have to be boring suits — you can add a little personality to your outfit with small and subtle accessories. You can be seen as more approachable, which will aid you in your career down the road.
Having fun and being professional
For men, pocket squares and ties can be a perfect addition to show others your charm. If you are a fan of science fiction, there are a variety of novelty ties complete with your favorite Star Wars or Doctor Who characters. These can easily complement a nice tailored black or dark grey suit.
You can complete the ensemble with cufflinks and a tie clip. Compliment your outfit with some classic wingtips or sleek black shoes. Your hair should look nicely coiffed, and longer hair can be pulled back. If you sport a beard, indulge in some popular men’s grooming products.
You can add some beautiful accessories to any style of work dresses for women. Everyone should have that classic black dress which can be versatile for work and evenings out. Pearls never go out of style; small earrings with a simple matching necklace are aesthetically professional. Small heels are perfect and comfortable to walk in.
When you try on your suit or dress, sit for a few minutes to make sure it is comfortable and properly hemmed for court. You can wear a floral dress with an added blazer or small jacket. This fall, hues of purple can be suitable and proper for work. Deep plums and lavender for men and women can make for a handsome outfit that’s completely appropriate for court.
Playful belts that cinch the waist have also made it onto the runway and can complete your blazer and work dress, giving you the perfect judicial uniform for work. If you have longer hair, you can discreetly keep your hairband on your person at all times with a clever hair tie bracelet.