A certified legal video specialist is a court reporter trained to use video equipment in the courtroom and other legal environments. CLVS professionals concentrate on video deposition techniques and other audio- and video-related court reporting activities. To become a court reporter specializing in legal video technology, you must be to certified by the National Court Reporters Association. Higher-end salaries for court reporters and videographers refer to those earned by CLVS professionals.
CLVS professionals are classified under "Audio and Video Equipment Technicians" in the 2010-11 U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics report. According to the document, the mean hourly wage for such workers was $21.38, or $44,460 annually. The lowest-earning 10th percentile made $11.00 per hour, or $22,880 annually, while the 90th percentile made closer to $35.53 per hour, or $73,900 annually. The median wages for videographers was about $19.49 per hour, or $40,540 annually.
Court reporters of all types earned slightly higher wages than audio and video equipment technicians, according to BLS. In 2010, the mean hourly wage for court reporters was $25.61, or $53,270 annually. The highest hourly wages were close to $43.89, the equivalent of $91,280 per year, and the lowest earnings were $12.36 per hour, or $25,710 annually. The median wages for court reporters surveyed were $22.93 per hour, or $47,700 annually.
The BLS also reported some regional variances in salary for videographers and court reporters during the reporting period. Audio and video equipment technicians in 2010 earned as little as $11.47 hourly, or $23,850 per year in non-metropolitan areas of southeast Mississippi, and as high as $32.30 hourly, or $67,180 per year in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Court reporter salaries ranged from $13.83 per hour, or $28,760 annually in non-metropolitan areas of southern Indiana, to $46.51 per hour, or $96,730 per year in Oregon and Washington.
There are three steps to becoming a certified legal video specialist, according to the Criminal Justice Career and Education website. The first phase of certification requires attending a three-day "Videotape in the Legal Environment" seminar sponsored by the National Court Reporters Association. This training is held at numerous locations nationwide twice a year and provides all corresponding text and workbooks.
Phase two is a written test, in which you will be required to correctly answer at least 70 of the 100 questions. The written exam consists of five main categories, including professional development and ethics, video recording production, office procedures, operating practices and legal and judicial procedures.
The third and final step to becoming a CLVS is a hands-on production test, in which your videography skills will be evaluated. During this exam, you are given 30 minutes to understand assigned video equipment and then, help video-document a mock deposition.