Once a court reporter is licensed, a decision needs to be made: “Do I go work in court? Do I want to work in a freelance setting and report depositions? Is it possible to do both?” There are many factors that would go into the decision. New licensees would ask themselves, “Am I the type of person that likes to go to the same place every day, or am I the type of person that wants to have a flexible schedule and never know where I might end up on any given day?” In many California jurisdictions, with the layoffs of the civil court reporters, reporters can become a hybrid and work in court and in the deposition setting. I believe the same is true in Florida.
I believe new reporters (and seasoned reporters) are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work in both settings and test where they are more comfortable and would be happiest. The key to success for a new licensee is training and support. It can be tough to find teachers, mentors, and cheerleaders, people that would encourage a new reporter to go for it. Joining court reporting trade associations is a fantastic way for new reporters to get what they need when starting out in the profession. In California reporters have the option of belonging to the Deposition Reporters Association (DRA) and/or the California Court Reporters Association (CCRA). Via Facebook I saw the wonderful Mike Miller, Depoman, in Ohio last week. Looking from the outside in, the Ohio State Association seems like a fun association. Florida, Virginia, Texas, and Washington also have marvelous associations with high-energy smart people that give energy.
NCRA has put together programs such as TRAIN, Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide, to teach, mentor and cheerlead reporters who want to do realtime. STAR, the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting, is a brilliant place for not only CaseCat writers, but all court reporters wanting to learn more about technology and mureet other like-minded people whom are excited to be court reporters. I am a past president of STAR, and I am an Eclipse writer.
One thing I see happening to some seasoned reporters is a lack of energy or excitement about being a great court reporter, and that gets in the way of success. Old machines, outdated CAT software, and not participating in continuing education opportunities will never work if you want to be successful.
Our profession, both in the court and freelance fields, needs great court reporters. I would suggest all reporters, new or seasoned, to reach out and find the teachers, mentors, and cheerleaders you need to be GREAT! After all, this is the best profession ever.
Kramm Court Reporting Facebook