New York Courts Test Opens First Time in Nearly Half a Decade

Filing has opened for the New York State Unified Court System Court Reporter and Senior Court Reporter civil service exam! This is a monumental event that happens about once every 4 years due to civil service law. If you’ve ever wanted a career in the New York State Unified Court System, the time has come! Listen to prominent New York reporters like ASSCR President Eric Allen, secure your and your family’s future!

The most important tip that anyone can give you is to read through ALL of the examination materials. Do not skimp on it. For example, there’s an FAQ. You should read it. The exam application is linked here.

For the court reporter test, there’s an exam announcement. Read that too. A copy is archived below so that future court reporters will be able to see what it looks like when it’s taken down. Court website link.

For the court reporter exam, there’s a subject matter guide. You’re going to want to download and read that.

There’s a written examination sample questions page. Make sure you get that. I also generated some tests to simulate what the test was like several years ago. The written examination page is also available for download below or off the court’s website.

There are also a sample transcript. In my view, most of us will be familiar with this, but read it anyway.

There’s a sample video. Watch it.

Then there’s an orientation guide. Read the entire guide. Be familiar with the guide. They’ve changed the testing procedures this year from years prior! You cannot go off of tests you’ve taken in the past!

All of this applies to the Senior Court Reporter exam as well. There’s a subject matter guide.

There are written component sample questions.

There are the transcript and video. Finally, there’s the orientation guide.

Just for completeness, the job announcement for Senior Court Reporter is here.

For anybody that came down this far, here’s my take. Politically, we’ve got a lot of forces trying to push us out. New York is relatively stable. But we’ve all seen what they’re doing in California, crying shortage while refusing to use funding earmarked for attracting stenographers. If we get a lot of people filing for this test, I bet it’ll keep New York stable at least another decade. So if anybody knows anybody that might want this wonderful career, now is the time to let them know. You won’t just be helping the individual. You’ll also be benefitting us all as a group.

Again, read all the materials. I cannot stress this enough. Every single time this test is given there are people that fail because they did not read all the instructions and were not ready. I personally failed so badly once that I had to withdraw from the test. So give yourself the best chance to succeed, read all the materials, practice hard, and prepare yourself. You’ll do great.

Stenographers, NY Courts Want YOU!

As announced by ASSCR President Eric Allen, the New York State Unified Court System Civil Service exams for court reporters and senior court reporters are going to open their filing period later this month.

ASSCR President Eric Allen announces dates for the NYS senior court reporter and court reporter exams

My advice? Put March 24 in your calendar and use the link above to apply on that date.

Working on an announcement for independent contractors and business owners that want to tell their story. Look out for it this weekend!

NYS Courts: Court Reporters’ Work is Integral to Our Democracy

I think this one will speak for itself. In recognition of Court Reporting & Captioning Week, an Office of Court Administration Broadcast went out today from the Honorable Tamiko Amaker.

This is a rallying cry for court reporters seeking provisional or permanent employment in the New York State Unified Court System. This is a court system that understands your value.

The text is provided below the images for those that rely on screen readers.

NYSUCS OCA Broadcast for Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2023. Part 1.
NYSUCS OCA Broadcast for Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2023. Part 2

Good afternoon.

In commemoration of National Court Reporting Week (February 4 to February 8, 2023), and on behalf of Acting Chief Judge Anthony Cannataro and the entire UCS leadership, I wish to extend my gratitude to our highly skilled corps of court reporters across the State–who play a critical role within the New York State courts and justice system–for their hard work and commitment. 

As “guardians” of the court record, UCS court reporters are responsible for producing a complete and accurate record of court proceedings, including trials, hearings, conferences and arraignments, preparing verbatim transcripts used by attorneys, judges and litigants. This important work requires special training, along with excellent language, research and organizational abilities, among other qualifications and attributes.

         We are constantly looking to hire court reporters. Any graduate of a court reporting school or program who is interested in a fulfilling career in the courts may apply to work as a provisional employee, working in the criminal, civil and Family Court, so please pass the word on, and join me in expressing thanks to our dedicated UCS court reporters for their outstanding efforts throughout the year. Their work is integral, not only to the judicial process but to our democracy.   


Thank you.

Hon. Tamiko Amaker

ASSCR President: “Secure Your and Your Family’s Future Today!”

The New York State Court Reporter and Senior Court Reporter Civil Service Exams are likely taking place in January 2023. Members of the public seeking more information can look up NY Courts Exams. NY Courts Careers also has information on positions available, including provisional positions. All test takers must read the available information and study guides found at the bottom of the exams page. Looks like this.

Test takers should read the exam information and study guides for the test they wish to take.

The New York State Court Reporters Association has announced practice dictation sessions. I’ve released a set of practice written tests. Everyone is working together to ensure test takers have a fighting chance.

Perhaps most moving was what the President of the Association for Surrogate’s and Supreme Court Reporters, Eric Allen, stated today.

ASSCR President Eric Allen addresses the benefits of working for the New York State Unified Court System as a court reporter 1/2
ASSCR President Eric Allen addresses the benefits of working for the New York State Unified Court System as a court reporter 2/2

I can personally attest to the benefits of these jobs, particularly for reporters struggling to pull in a decent freelance rate. My income is more or less double what it was as a freelancer after 7 years in the state court system. That’s without factoring in any other benefit. For anybody that wants to ditch self-employment taxes and experience the joy of employee rights and a union contract, Mr. Allen said it best. Click the links above! Secure your and your family’s future!

Court Reporters Speak Up For The Record On Future Trials

The New York State Unified Court System commissioned the Future Trials Working Group to look at many possibilities for use of technology in the courtroom. In April 2021, the Future Trials Working Group released a report with recommendations for the court system. On page 13 of that report, there was a section regarding the possibility of automatic transcription, and specifically automatic trial transcription.

The report had a strange view on the possibility of automatic transcription. In one area, it noted “the most foreseeable endgame in the evolution of trial transcription likely is full automation.” In another part just down the page, it stated there were “…obstacles to the use of such technology on a fully automated or even predominantly automated basis for the foreseeable future”, going on to note “…automated transcription — at least at its current stage — could threaten access to justice if widely employed.” The most foreseeable endgame is automatic, but in the foreseeable future, the technology is unreliable. This is, in my view, a strange view to take. The report goes on to recommend that the court system study outside vendor offerings for automated/remote transcription or translation.

Court reporters and the people that represent them did not sit in silence. A response was prepared by the New York State Court Reporters Association and the Association of Surrogate’s and Supreme Court Reporters. Several unions supported the response, and the full letter and list of supporting unions can be read below. My personal favorite quote? “…use of automated speech technology for trial transcripts, by all available information, would not threaten access to justice, it would implode it.” We have, as a profession, put our foot down and said “we are here to guard the record, we have been guarding the record for over a century, and we will do all we can to educate the system on why other technologies are inadequate.” State and national association membership has never been more important. Union membership has never been more important. When you contribute to these organizations, you give them strength to advocate for you.

In full disclosure, I did contribute to the letter. But without the work of ASSCR President Eric Allen and NYSCRA President Joshua Edwards, this would not have been possible. Again, it all points to the importance of association and union membership. Members empower leaders. Leaders fight for an advocate on the behalf of members. It’s a symbiotic relationship that, if you are not currently a part of, you certainly want to be.


A response was received by the court system and is featured below.

Thank you Eric Allen and Joshua Edwards.