In a previous post, we addressed the importance of clients using court reporters during legal proceedings and talked about the attributes to look for when selecting a court reporter. In this article, we offer some tips to court reporters, to help you become the best court reporter that you can be.
As a court reporter, you fulfill an essential function. Your responsibilities extend beyond merely documenting what is said by those in the room. You must produce excellent work and must be proficient and familiar with the general processes and functioning of your job-related equipment. These are some preliminary steps a court reporter can take in order to be successful:
Check your work! Make sure that you have correctly spelled names, titles, and responsibilities. This can be time-consuming and does require a great deal of attention, but it’s necessary to avoid the embarrassment of producing sloppy work and ruining your reputation.
Distractions are the most common causes of errors, so minimize your distractions as best as you can. Fatigue can sometimes affect your level of attention, so if you catch yourself distracted more than usual, perhaps consider taking a short break, and coming back to your work with a fresh mind.
- Arrive early
“Early is on time, and on time is late…”. Arriving early conveys that you are punctual, responsible, that you take your work seriously, and that you respect your clients and their time. It also alleviates a potential source of stress for them, as they don’t have to wonder if you will show up. Beyond these external benefits, arriving early allows you to comfortably set up and prepare yourself to take on the job.
- Always be prepared
If you have a feeling that a particular case might be problematic, prepare! Though it may not be possible ahead of time, try to learn and to familiarize yourself with any relevant terms of art, or with a list of names beforehand. This will help increase your initial accuracy and will make you more at ease as the proceedings unfold.
- Stay up-to-date
Industry tools and equipment are a significant part of your job. Ensure that your computer and any other stenographic equipment is current and well-maintained. It would be a pity for your resources to crash on you when you need them most!
Your skills will develop over time. The more you practice your profession, the better you will become. Following these guidelines can help you serve your clients with confidence and professionalism.
Call one of our locations today, conveniently located in Whitby and Barrie to book a court reporter for a meeting or a mediation, or even to discuss a court reporting position with OTR. We look forward to discussing your court reporting needs.