Don’t expect the job of a newly-licensed Naples court reporter to be a walk in the park. However, it is an exciting and rewarding career if you possess the right mindset. Court reporters need to thrive in a challenging environment. You will interact with some of the best legal minds in the city. There’s always the opportunity to develop your abilities and become an effective communicator. Besides, you can look forward to worthwhile compensation. Here are five pointers for newly-licensed court reporters to adopt.
1. Concentrate on your Task
You must focus on your assignment. Keep away from distractions while you are in the courtroom. Remember that disruptions often cause errors in proofreading legal transcripts. Review your report carefully. Make sure the names, titles, spellings, and responsibilities are correct. Understand the rules of punctuation so your transcript will not have typographical errors. This may take more time. Yet, scrutinizing transcripts means fewer mistakes and a good reputation as a court reporter.
2. Keep Emotions in Check
The court reporter should remain fair and objective. The sensitive subject matter can prove emotional to witnesses and concerned parties. See to it that you remain unbiased while upholding the record. Being emotional does not only denote a lack of professionalism in your field, but it also causes distractions during the deposition process. Control your feelings and body language during litigations.
3. Plan Ahead
Your success as a Naples court reporter depends on the capacity to plan in advance. Keep in mind that haste makes waste. Organize and spend your time wisely like scheduling important meetings. Look at your daily activities and plan appropriately. Planning ahead matters because you have time to assess risks, expand your comfort zone, and reach success. It will give you the self-confidence to take the necessary risks that other persons may not be willing to take. You can classify these threats, evaluate and formulate a response strategy.
4. Make Tasks More Manageable
Split your responsibilities to make them more workable. This approach helps to meet deadlines in writing reports and submitting work to your superiors. At the same time, you’re working independently – so organize all your assignments. Organizational competence is also important in managing exhibits and witnesses during trials. Moreover, being organized helps you to avoid lapses which can endanger your credibility as a courtside reporter.
5. Be Punctual and Practice Business Etiquette
You should be on time for court proceedings. Make it a point to arrive earlier than principal figures in the courtroom. Efficient court reporters are never late. You should be inside the venue at least 30 minutes before the proceedings begin. Punctuality will make you more dependable and respected by clients. Likewise, practice proper business protocol. Dress formally while in court and during your appointments.
Confidentiality of Information
A Naples court reporter will surely be in the middle of legal tussles. In most cases, recorded testimonies of witnesses are classified as strictly confidential. Information provided in court must not be disclosed elsewhere to protect the privacy of these persons. Besides, classified information must be kept to prevent harming the reputation of other people.
Need for Decisiveness
Court reporters listen and record what witnesses, attorneys, and judges say. You may not be an active participant in the proceedings. However, you may be allowed to raise concerns like asking the witness to speak louder for the accuracy of records. Don’t hesitate to request spelling of names, streets, or cities cited during the trial at the end of the deposition. Competent court reporters must be emphatic and speak up to ensure the accuracy of transcripts.
Ask for Assistance
There’s nothing wrong with requesting assistance from attorneys, legal staff, or more experienced colleagues when in doubt. This is the best way to avoid making unforgivable mistakes. Feel free to ask them for clarifications. Veteran court reporters can give you advice and suggestions in making preparations for depositions. This includes what to do before the deposition and after to guarantee that you are providing correct transcriptions.
Continuous Learning Process
A newly-licensed Naples court reporter must not stop learning. Getting the job and securing a license are not reasons to rest on your laurels. Set your goals.
- Become successful in your chosen profession.
- Be assured of job security.
- Earn a lucrative pay.
- Control your working schedule.
All these will entail absolute commitment, passion for accuracy, and constant practice. Acquaint yourself with new legal terminologies, positions, titles, and abbreviations. Improve your typing or encoding speed. Finally, enhance your skills in listening, transcribing, and writing.
Naples Court Reporter Mentorship Courses
The challenges can be intimidating once you are a full-pledge and licensed Naples court reporter. Fear not since there are mentorship programs that will guide you in the transition from the classroom to a real courtroom scenario. Now, you have a fundamental overview of how to practice as a court reporter. Another opportunity is the virtual mentoring program launched by the National Court Reporters Association or NCRA. Instead of meeting in person, there are options for mentors and learners to meet through cutting-edge technology. It could be through Skype, Zoom video conferencing, email, and mobile phone. The NCRA also prepared a handbook to avail students in its Virtual Mentor Program.
What’s the Next Step?
As mentioned earlier, your job as a licensed court reporter is far from easy. As you start going to court and attending proceedings, you’ll realize the need to hone existing skills. There are more lessons to be learned and mastered. Precision is among the basic traits that you need to acquire. Attorneys and clients demand 100% accuracy in reporting. Perfecting these abilities will not happen overnight. You need time to listen, understand, and perfect the fundamentals. Practice makes perfect. In other words, it’s vital to prepare and rehearse to achieve proficiency.