Why did you decide to enter the court reporting profession?
As a high school junior, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation from a student at a nearby reporting school. It sounded clerical and interesting. My high school then offered machine shorthand as an option when I was a senior, I saw my aptitude, and pursued full-time reporting school immediately after high school graduation.
What is your favorite thing about being a court reporter?
It’s hard to think of a favorite thing. I like the variety of subjects I learn, the variety of people I work with, the variety of places I report, the variety of scenarios that benefit from a verbatim record. I like the way my machine feels – when it’s behaving correctly! – and I love the many, many friendships I’ve made in the reporting community and NCRA over the years. I like the income, I like the flexibility, I like the importance of our contributions to history.
Were there any hurdles you had to overcome in your career?
Life is full of disappointments and challenges, and our reactions to them test our mettle. I’ve been disappointed in failed exams, lost jobs, equipment failures … but I’m glad to report that the hurdles are few and far between, thankfully.
What advice would you give to new court reporters?
Keep practicing and improve your skills. There’s always another level to achieve, another certification to hang on your wall, always a way to be better, faster, more accurate. The constant-learning aspect of our profession is SO rewarding! The easier it is for us to mechanically do our jobs, the more career satisfaction we have and the more we want to tell people about it. If you love reporting, tell others; if you don’t, improve your skills or find a better calling. It’s a fabulous profession and SO worth all the effort you put in on the constant improvement spectrum.
What was the strangest case you have worked on?
Hmmm. I haven’t really had strange ones. I find the amount of litigation generated by the potential patent intricacies of a mechanical belt or light switch amazing. Criminal work, although sometimes strange, is also very rewarding, knowing that people’s lives literally hang in the balance based on the quality of my work. I always enjoy accident reconstruction and arson investigation – maybe I was a frustrated detective in a prior life.
What do you like to do outside of court reporting?
I love all things reporter related and am inextricably bound. Beyond that, I like road trips and doing anything outside in beautiful scenery, hiking, wineries, or an impromptu picnic. My favorite place in the world is the Black Hills, and there are MANY trails I’ve yet to explore.