The Definitive Article on How to Become a Legal Videographer
By Peter Ausburn
Advancements in technology have made civil litigation more efficient and the legal practitioners who employ this technology more effective. Consequently, a corresponding increase in a variety of tech-laden legal support jobs has been observed in recent years. One such career is Legal Videographer. A legal videographer, also known as a forensic videographer or court videographer, is responsible for using video equipment to record digital images for civil court related proceedings, and they occasionally present (with the help of legal support software) what they have recorded at trial. Recording depositions is how legal videographers spend the vast majority of their time. Depositions frequently contain exhibits that must also be recorded when necessary by the videographer. Sometimes, exhibits or evidence that has not been introduced as an exhibit will be filmed outside of a deposition setting; the filming of a damaged vehicle being inspected is a good example. Legal videographers will also from time to time record a legal proceeding that is not part of a case; will executions and real estate transactions fall under this category. The future is bright for those in the legal support field. According to bls.gov, the employment of legal support professionals is projected to grow by 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, slightly above the average for all occupations.
For those wanting to get serious about pursuing a career as a legal videographer there are a few steps that can be taken to maximize one’s chances at securing gainful employment in this niche legal support field. The most obvious question to begin with is “Who is hiring legal videographers?” Legal videography is really a niche within a niche when it comes to legal support services. Legal video is usually added as an afterthought when a paralegal is ordering a court reporter for a deposition; therefore, court reporting companies are in a unique position to be the first movers in the legal videography field. Most court reporting firms simply farm out their legal video work to freelance legal videographers and mark up their invoices. Some reporting firms with considerable volume will employ a dedicated legal videographer on staff. Aspiring legal videographers looking for a steady paycheck should try to get a staff position, and those who want to make more money and assume more risk should become a freelancer. Once you have decided on the employment classification that suits you best you must ask yourself how you can compete with all of the other videographers in the market.
Competing with a college degree in hand will undoubtedly make your services more valuable to potential employers and may help you stand out from the pack. However, unlike most careers that can make you up to 100k a year, legal videography does not require a degree. Most people in a position to hire you for your legal video services are going to be looking for a technical proficiency in audio visual technology and a general understanding of the legal system before they even consider your post-secondary education.
Be forewarned that having a college degree is not particularly helpful in shooting legal video. However, a college education, although not essential, is still recommended to anyone who wants to become a legal videographer. There are times when you must correspond with court reporters and/or former court reporter firm owners and they will be put off by poor grammar and improper syntax. They are currently or were previously in a position where they must produce a written record of a court proceeding in which a mastery of the English language is required.
Once you have reconciled yourself with your college education, for better or worse, you must now focus on the technical aspects of legal video. Mastering basic videography skills (all that is needed in legal video) is essential. If you lack these basic videography skills you should work for or volunteer to help other videographers. In addition, you can take training workshops taught by professional videographers and ask other legal videographers for advice about gaining experience. One may even offer you the chance to job shadow them.
If you are interested in learning how to shoot legal video on your own, there are training manuals and instructional videos available. The “How to Become a Legal Videographer” instructional video and its accompanying training manual is a great choice for those wishing to get serious about becoming a legal videographer, or even for those who are just curious about the day to day operations that legal videographers must go through. The instructional video and training manual can be found here:
Once you have watched the “How to Become a Legal Videographer” video series, which is also available for rent on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/How-Become-Legal-Videographer), it is now time to start thinking about video equipment.
If you are already working as a professional videographer, you may already have most or all of the equipment you need. It is best to check with the “How to Become a Legal Videographer” training manual to find out exactly what equipment is required. The manual is available for download here:
If you are still on the fence about ordering the “How to Become a Legal Videographer” book and video you may want to consider that legal videographers are quickly becoming an indispensable part of the legal system. Career options for legal videographers are increasing across the country. Many courts and legal practitioners are now implementing high tech methods that are putting legal videographers in great demand. There is also a shortage of legal videographers which makes this career a great choice.
Once you have made the decision to make legal videography your career and adequately educated yourself on how to use professional video equipment in a legal proceeding, it is now time to market yourself to the people who are in charge of hiring legal videographers. The scheduling coordinator at a court reporting firm should be the focus of your marketing strategy. However, it should be mentioned that paralegals and attorneys themselves may be interested in hiring a legal videographer directly. Bear in mind that there are at least a thousand attorneys for every scheduling coordinator.
When you market yourself, remember to say that you specialize in legal videography. There are many videographers who just do legal video once and awhile, and although they may be professionals, some of them are not the best choice when one is looking for someone who is experienced in working in a high stakes legal environment. The people deciding on whom to hire to cover a video deposition know this and want to hire someone who is both technically proficient in video equipment and understands how to interact with attorneys and court reporters in a legal proceeding.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about how to become a legal videographer, the “How to Become a Legal Videographer” training manual and instructional video are an excellent choice. You will learn how to use the equipment necessary to film legal proceedings and become better educated about what is expected from a legal videographer from court reporters and attorneys. Click the link below to view a mock deposition that shows legal video equipment in use and a legal videographer interacting with other legal professionals:
And don’t forget that in addition to equipment and the protocols inherent in legal proceedings, the “How to Become a Legal Videographer” instructional video and training manual also covers marketing! LEARN WHERE AND HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH SCHEDULING COORDINATORS THAT WORK FOR COURT REPORTING FIRMS!
Let’s get started with the “How to Become a Legal Videographer” instructional video and training manual!
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Good luck in your new career as a legal videographer!