Most students entering the court reporting world, or for that matter any profession, for the first time never give a thought to the differences in court reporting agencies. Like anything else in today’s highly specialized world, everybody is an expert, and, yes, court reporters are different and so are the court reporting firms that they work for. Before you send out a resume to a firm, I would strongly suggest you do some research and see the type of work they do. It is so easy now, check out their website. New court reporters are wasting everybody’s time if they send a resume to a firm which is marketing itself as a real time firm. New court reporters should look for firms that have easier, simpler work for them to start with and learn from. Unfortunately, most firms are too busy getting clients and collecting their money than to work with new reporters. Sad but true. There is very little of a give-back philosophy in our highly competitive world.
What is the simpler work? From my prospective, it is work that is billed out at lower rates because price is the driving motivation, not necessarily quality. As in everything, quality costs more. Who are the clients without the deep pockets or who are the clients do don’t like spending money? You figure it out. Not too hard. In court reporting firms where lower price is the driving factor in their client base, don’t expect to get paid the rates you may have heard floating around in school. You are taking a job to learn and gain experience. Compensation is not, or rather should not, be your prime motivator. It takes time to hone your skills. As your skills improve so will your paycheck.
There are several court reporting meetings coming up in March and April which will attract court reporting agency owners, court reporters and court reporting vendors. If you are not already a member of your state court reporting organization, I strongly suggest you join it immediately and go to meetings. You will be able to meet court reporters and learn much about the court reporting firms in your state and just general information about the court reporting industry in your state. Court reporting companies are very different in the type of court reporting work they do, the type of format they want their court reporters to use and their forms and procedures they want their court reporters to follow. You will also learn about opportunities and just general information about court reporting and court reporters which will be very valuable.
If you are not a member of the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA, join immediately. There you will find many meetings which attract court reporters as well as owners of court reporting firms looking to meet court reporters, vendors, and information that will keep you up-to-date about court reporting technology. Learn about your profession and support your profession. You can’t have enough knowledge and knowledge about your chosen profession is crucial. I personally always look at a court reporter’s state and national credentials when we are looking to use overflow reporters. The more letters after your names, the more in demand you will be.
Too many times we receive calls from court reporters who are having difficulty getting paid by other court reporting agencies and asking us what to do. Most court reporting agencies are very honest in what they pay and when they pay. However, here are some of the things we do as an agency from we take work from other agencies that we have not worked for. We check their reputation with other agencies in their area. Court reporters should ask their court reporting friends about the court reporting firm. If you are a new reporter, ask your teacher. They probably know about all the court reporting companies. Out-of-state companies, check out the local court reporting associations and contact an officer.. We all have reputations, good, or bad. I know it is tough out there but there is no sense working if you are going to have problems getting paid. You Must check out who you are working with. If it is a last minute call, ask what rates they are paying and what their payment terms are, ie, 15 pays, 30 days. Just say you don’t want to bother them down the line. Do you have to wait until they get paid? Everybody does things differently. With all our years of experience we too have not gotten paid several times by court reporting firms over the course of our business life. Stuff happens!
Our court reporting agency, Toby Feldman Inc., has always tried whenever possible to help other court reporting firms in New York City and also court reporting companies nationwide who we compete with when they need a court reporter and lend many court reporting firms in New York our conference room free of charge and allow other New York City court reporting firms to not only use our NYC conference room but bring in their own reporter. So I ask, how does this harm me? I am not losing any court reporting clients. These are their clients. I am not losing my court reporter for the day. Am I in harm of their court reporter stealing some valuable company secrets? So why is it that so many court reporting firms do not give these same professional courtesies? It would be a much nicer world for of us if we were just a little nicer and more thoughtful to each other.
I often turn to LinkedIn to find court reporters and court reporting companies in areas that I do not know any court reporters, videographers or court reporting firms. There is a lot of activity in the court reporting industry on LinkedIn. I find many discussion groups that many court reporters participate in. I also have found that there are many court reporters, court reporting companies and people who do business with court reporting firms on LinkedIn. I have also found many employees at all different levels members of LinkedIn. So since my favorite topic lately has been trying to give some advice on how to get jobs, well, certainly put up your professional court reporting or videographer profile on LinkedIn. I was really surprised to see how much activity the court reporting community has on this website.
My favorite topic these days is court reporting in new york city, especially concerning new court reporters and how they can best get that toe in the door of the court reporting agency they want to impress. Here is the method one new court reporter in new york used and how it worked out. Yes, we do give her work a few times a month. It really involved basic business and people skills. Obviously, your resume should be done with a lot of care. Yes, we do get mostly sloppy resumes. Ouch! End of the line for this one.
Send a thank you. Yes, thank yous work in the business world. Thanks for taking the time to look at my resume. Any possible occasion, New Year, whatever, about once a month, a short and nice email, please keep me in mind. I would very much like to work with you. Compliments do work! Keep in low-keyed. There is definitely room for new court reporters to get work and move up the ladder in the court reporting firm they choose. Target a court reporting firm; pay attention to it; keep in touch with them in a low-keyed way; make sure there are no typos in your correspondence and be available for whatever court reporting assignment might come up. Most court reporting firms do not want to lose clients so won’t send you someplace over your head. I feel good about 2013 and this seems to be a better year for most firms than 2012.
Hang in there. You picked a great profession, court reporting, and a great career, court reporter, but it take time and effort.
Been away for a little while but I still think it is crucial to write about jobs and the thoughts I express as an employer of a new york city court reporting firm are really relevant to all professions. In today’s economy, and having survived in the NYC court reporting agency business for over 30 years, I try to give back and help new court reporters in new york city as well as answering emails from court reporters nationwide.
This is my experience with a new court reporter in NYC this week. A recent court reporter graduate called and wanted to get some more experience sitting in. I spoke to her for a while to get a feel of what this court reporter’s skills were so as not to send her somewhere above her head. My nyc court reporting agency called our court reporter scheduled for the case and the attorneys on both sides to make sure it was okay for a new court reporter to sit in. We are a busy new york court reporting firm. I spent time on the phone with this court reporter and my staff spent time on getting approvals from clients and the court reporter assigned. Got back to this court reporter with all the info.
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Guess what? She never showed; never called and everybody in the room got involved with whether they should wait for her. Amazing right? And court reporters wonder why they don’t get called. This is a first for me in over 30 years. To spend the time and money and somebody gives you an inch in an impossible field to get a half an inch and treat it that way, wow! Actually, I never cease to be amazed by court reporters and their behavior every day of the week.
Tomorrow I will write about the other recent graduate new york court reporter who I also saw this week who I gave a job on the spot!
I have had the opportunity this year to work with two very talented recently graduated court reporters, who I am personally training. Every once in a while a new court reporter calls, looking to sit in and I try to speak with all the new court reporters, recent graduates of court reporting schools. I get many calls a week, probably because my name comes up on the internet and also my court reporting firm is one of the few New York court reporting firms that will take the time to train a new recent graduate of a court reporting school. Actually, I haven’t had a new court reporter that I was interested in working with for quite some time. Now I have two extremely talented court reporters. So what makes these court reporters so special from the ones who call every day and get nowhere?
They have a passion for learning; they have a passion for perfection. They are meticulous about their work and are like a sponge for knowledge. When I correct something, I will never see the same mistake twice. They fill out every piece of paperwork perfectly and turn their depositions in very fast so there is plenty of time to proofread and correct them. And they are working, making excellent money, and on their way to a wonderful career in court reporting.
Toby Feldman Inc provides nationwide court reporting services for many law firms. Therefore, we have an opportunity to reach out to court reporters and court reporting firms to cover our out-of-state work. Our court reporting firm gets many resumes each day from court reporters, radiographers and court reporting firms looking to cover our out-of-state depositions. How do we choose the ones we give depositions to?
Well, we certainly are persuaded by a court reporter or court reporting agency that is familiar with our name and reputation and the type of work we do. It certainly doesn’t hurt to mention that you would like to work with our firm for such and such reasons. Not all court reporters and court reporting agencies have the same clients and type of work. It helps if you are familiar with the type of work we do and the type of clients we have and what our clients’ needs are. When a court reporter or court reporting company makes references to the type of work we do and they too are able to do this type of work, it really opens many doors. There are all levels of court reporters and court reporting companies and best to connect with firms that are good matches for you. You will make a much better impression and surely get a second look.
Still blogging away on jobs in the New York City court reporting world. I try to answer all emails regarding jobs in New York City court reporting agencies and court reporting nationwide personally. It takes so little time each day and means so much to the court reporters who are in desperate need of information about how to go about securing court reporting positions. Here are some of my pet peeves and is so telling about why somebody gets a court reporting job or opportunity and the next one doesn’t. If I take the time to answer your emails and calls, you don’t have the time to send a brief thank you? That is a no-brainer. It sure will get you into my court reporting firm’s door. What is so difficult about that concept? Thank everybody for everything and see what happens. And what about the emails I answer and ask for a little more info so I can better answer the questions raised? Amazing the amount of people who never take the time to answer. And, yes, we keep a court reporter database and note all this stuff because if you don’t have the time to answer on this round, you probably won’t have the time to get the work out on time and you will probably be one of the court reporters we have to hound for our transcripts, paperwork and, yes, invoice. We can’t bill without an invoice and, yes, some reporters just don’t get their invoices out quickly and we spend much too much time tracking them down. I think it would do everybody good if the schools put in a required class on good business practices. Just as important as getting the words down right!