The Reporter E-Letter Articles

06May2015

Benefits of Joining a Professional Organization

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Joining a professional organization is extremely important to your career if your main goal is to learn, grow, and network with other like-minded individuals. It exposes you to things you might not have been aware of and keeps you informed about current trends within the marketplace. I have heard many complain about not getting much from the professional organizations they join.
08Apr2015

An Oh-So-Different, Effective Approach to Strong Cover Letters

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Cover letters are usually boring. About 98 percent of the time it’s entirely possible that your cover letter is just like the last one that the employer read. In fact, while not word for word, I’ll bet it goes something like: To whom it may concern: “I noticed your ad for a litigation paralegal.
08Apr2015

How Technology Has Changed the Legal Secretary Role

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Most jobs have been subject to changes over the past few decades as we race to keep up with constant advances in technology. Many technological developments have made life easier, but we need to be aware of how to work with them and stay vigilant. Tools like spelling and grammar checks are extremely useful,
11Mar2015

How to Stay Healthy and Fit at Work

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Do you spend eight hours a day at work on an average? Do you find it difficult to take out time for exercise to stay fit? Is your busy and hectic schedule taking a toll on your health? Do you feel stressed out at work? Do you often suffer from backache,
11Mar2015

Everything Old is New Again … Well, Sort of

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In approximately the 8th century B.C., the Greek poet Homer said, “The journey is the thing.” That is evident when we look back and consider what got us from where we were to now. Recently, I found an old secretary’s manual from 1975. This is from the days of manual typewriters,
05Feb2015

Optimum Customer Service Skills

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Working as a legal secretary will often mean dealing with clients and customers. As is the case with any service industry, it is imperative to show these clients the highest level of customer service skills at all times, especially considering how handsomely they may be paying for their legal advice and support.
15Jan2015

The One Who Changes EVERYTHING. It Could Be You.

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This article takes us back a few months into the middle of baseball season for “the little man,” otherwise known as Gavin, my elementary age cutie. Gavin’s team found themselves playing one of the best teams in the league, a team that actually went on to win the championship later that season.
01Oct2014

Three Common Playground Behaviors to Increase Professional Resiliency

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By Courtney Clark
The playground seems like a place for play, an unlikely place to take our professional cues. It turns out, however, that some of the most common childhood habits can actually work as resiliency-building tools. Children often have naturally resilient tendencies. Think about a toddler learning to walk and hitting the ground over and over,
01Oct2014

Ten Ways to Encourage Others in the Workplace

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How often do you give or receive encouragement? If you were asked to encourage five people a day, would you find it challenging? I was asked to do this recently, and it was more difficult than I thought it would be. It seemed forced and perhaps insincere. At the same time,
01Oct2014

Goodbye Comfort Zone – I Bid You Farewell

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Earlier this year, I made the decision to step out of my career comfort zone. In doing so, I knew I would have to be willing to do whatever was necessary in order to reinvigorate my career and save my sanity. I found myself in the complacency zone.
While I have always loved the law and found it intriguing,
01Oct2014

Ten Ways to Encourage Others in the Workplace

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How often do you give or receive encouragement? If you were asked to encourage five people a day, would you find it challenging? I was asked to do this recently, and it was more difficult than I thought it would be. It seemed forced and perhaps insincere. At the same time,
01Sep2014

Networking: 5 Tips on How to Make Small Talk

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By Rachel Wagner
Small talk matters in the business arena. It’s part of good business etiquette and helps build rapport with others. Small talk often leads to bigger things like new clients and new business. Here are five timeless tips to enhance your ability to make small talk anywhere your business takes you: 1.
01Aug2014

Research Makeover: Digging into Government Websites

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By Ashley Ahlbrand
In several of my posts this year I have mentioned various government resources that can prove helpful in conducting legal research.  For instance, in March I covered several websites that are helpful in administrative law research, such as RegInfo.gov and the e-CFR; and in May I coveredCongress.gov while discussing legislative histories. 
01Aug2014

Career and Commitment

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By Steve Pavlina
How committed are you to having a career you absolutely love? Your level of commitment plays a key role in the process of creating a fulfilling career.  When people are undercommitted to their careers, they tend to get lousy results.  When they get clear about what they want and commit themselves to creating it,
06Jun2014

You’ve Been Hacked!

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By Doug Leins
Introduction You’ve been hacked! These are words no one wants to hear, but that are becoming increasingly common in our cyber-connected lives, both at work and at home. Not only are these attacks becoming more frequent, but the variety and cunning of those creating them are also increasing.
01Jun2014

In Defense of Court Reporters

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By Dennis D. Depew
As I write this column, there is a move afoot in the Kansas House to begin the process of eliminating court reporters in the courtrooms of Kansas.  In times where there constantly seems to be more needs than money, proposals like this, which a few years ago would have been unthinkable,
13May2014

State Court Reporter Associations

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State Court Reporter Associations ALABAMA COURT REPORTERS ASSN. Web site: www.alcra.org  ALASKA SHORTHAND REPORTERS ASSN. Web site: None ARIZONA COURT REPORTERS ASSN. Web site: www.acraonline.org  ARKANSAS COURT REPORTERS ASSOCIATION Web site: www.acraonline.us CALIFORNIA COURT REPORTERS ASSN. Web site: www.cal-ccra.org  COLORADO COURT REPORTERS ASSN. Web site: www.ccra.info  CONNECTICUT COURT REPORTERS ASSN. Web site: www.ctreporters.org  DELAWARE COURT REPORTERS ASSN.
01May2014

Do You Have a Good Telephone Manner?

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By Quin Hoskins
The skill to portray a good telephone manner is definitely one of the most important to your role in working as a Legal Secretary or PA. How you come across on the telephone affects the professionalism of your firm and, therefore, its reputation. With this in mind,
23Apr2014

Why Am I the One Who Has to Find the File?

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By Grace Thoreau
I am often amazed at the complicated systems law firms have in place to keep thousands of bulging client files organized, accessible, and within arm’s reach of at least a dozen people at any given time. Whether it’s a numerical system, an alphabetical system, or one that arranges files based on client eye color and dietary preferences,
23Apr2014

Preventing Burnout

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Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Coping Strategies If constant stress has you feeling disillusioned, helpless, and completely worn out, you may be suffering from burnout. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation. The unhappiness and detachment burnout causes can threaten your job,
23Apr2014

Introducing the NALS 2013-2014 President

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By Betty Wells, PP, PLS, TSC-RE
Doris Marie Compton, PP, PLS, lived in many different towns in the State of Arkansas, as well as in Enid, Oklahoma, and Abilene, Texas, before finally making her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Long before Doris knew about NALS, she was involved in the law through her dad’s profession.
01Mar2014

How to Build a Strong Work Ethic

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By Steve Pavlina
There is no fatigue so wearisome as that which comes from lack of work. – Charles Spurgeon If you’ve been stuck in a lazy rut lately, here are some suggestions to get yourself working productively. Accept That Many Results Require Hard Work Remind yourself of the simple causality chain from decision to action to results.
01Mar2014

Become More Emotionally Intelligent in 2014

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The new year is a great time to make a fresh start and focus on what you would like to do to improve your life in both personal and professional ways. You may think about behaving more mindfully with your family, friends, or colleagues; working more efficiently in your job;
01Mar2014

Identifying & Ending Workplace Bullying Gains Momentum

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By Emily Sneddon, Esq.
Efforts are underway on several fronts to once again raise the standard of acceptable (and legal) behavior at work. The new area of concern is the elimination of workplace bullying. Quite frankly, if you are a workplace bully, your employment future does not look good.
23Feb2014

25 Questions to Ask Yourself in 2014

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Beyond the festivities, travel, celebration, and joy of the holiday season, December was truly a time of reflection.  I experienced this myself as I was home with family.  Amidst all the chaos that is involved with kids running around, a sick husband, and spending time with loved ones, I had the chance to sit back and really reflect on all that happened in 2013.
01Feb2014

Communicating Under Stress in the Workplace

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By Stephanie Reyes
Work-related stress has become a major cause of absence from the workplace. In spite of workplace stress reduction programs and EAPs, the trends show that things are getting worse. While some stress in our lives keeps us alert and helps us achieve, too much stress can make us ill: both physically and mentally.
01Jan2014

Three Useful Tips for MS Word

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By Michael Hall
Note: These tips apply to MS Word version 2007 or newer. Here are a few tips for MS Word that will save you time and hopefully stop you from pulling your hair out on those days when you just can’t make Word do what you want it to.
27Dec2013

Widening the Highway

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As the saying goes, “Time is money,” and how true this rings for a depo reporter. Being paid by the amount of transcript pages produced speaks loudly of the importance of efficiency. That is, if we want to make a decent income and still have time left over to prop our feet up on the desk (or better yet,
27Dec2013

Staying at the Top of your Field

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The U.S. Open Golf Tournament is always Tiger Woods’ time to be the overwhelming favorite to win. At just 29 years old, he has already established himself as the best player ever, and what he can achieve over the next twenty years is mind boggling. After winning the Masters Tournaments, and becoming the first person ever to win all four Majors in a twelve-month period,
27Dec2013

Tips and Ideas on Business and Managing Stress

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“The one thing that I do that really helps me is to make sure that I’m there 1/2 an hour early (especially if it’s someplace I’ve never been before). I know Atkinson-Baker wants me there 15 minutes early, but this gives me time to relax, locate the bathroom and settle in after getting out of traffic.
27Dec2013

Reporter Preference Sheet for Working with Scopists

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YES/NO – USE SLASHES BETWEEN DATE YES/NO – USE DASH BETWEEN DATE YES/NO – USE (INDICATING) YES/NO – USE DIRECT QUOTATIONS MARKS YES/NO – USE INDIRECT QUOTATION MARKS YES/NO – MAKE JOB DICTIONARY SPELL OUT WORDS IN: CAPS – LOWER CASE – WITHOUT DASHES TURNAROUND TIME EXPECTED_____________________________________ TYPE OF SCAN MARK TO LEAVE____________________________________ FREQUENCY OF PAYMENT: (Example: 1st &
27Dec2013

Is There a Shortage of Court Reporters?

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A question that has been coming up lately is whether there is a shortage of court reporters and, if so, how long will it last? The answer is that yes, we are entering a period where, in many parts of the country, there will be a shortage over the next several years.
27Dec2013

Saunders Case Decision

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Mark D. Saunders, et al. v.
Truck Insurance Exchange, et al. is a California case regarding the legality of contracting for court reporting services. The case has attracted a lot of national attention in the reporting profession over the last eight years and was even featured on the NCRA website last year.
27Dec2013

More Free Time … Samantha’s Story

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By Barbara Lynch
More free time, less stress AND more money?  That doesn’t seem right, does it? Aren’t being stressed and having no free time two of the sacrifices that are necessary for court reporters to make if they are to earn more money? The answer is definitely no.
27Dec2013

Reporting in the Internet Age

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In 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held two days of oral arguments in the Microsoft antitrust case. While the arguments themselves were interesting, what was also noteworthy is the way in which the hearing was conducted. In the first place, the judges required that both parties in the case file their briefs on CD-ROM.
27Dec2013

Hire a Scopist and Earn More Money

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The relationship you have with a scopist is a very valuable partnership and should be treated as such.  Partnering with scopists provides many benefits without sacrificing the quality of your transcripts. A Win-Win By employing a scopist, you can, on average, accept two more depositions a week than without using a scopist.
27Dec2013

ABI Reporter Spotlight with June Cochrane

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MEET JUNE COCHRANE… What got you into court reporting? I originally had thought of being a court reporter while in high school. But being overseas there was very little info on the field. So I ended up getting my college degree and moving into the world of retail management and being a diamond consultant.
27Dec2013

Grammatical Preference

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What do you prefer? Where did you work when — Strike that. Where are you working? Where did you work when — strike that. Where are you working? Where did you work when — strike that — where are you working? Where did you work when — strike that — Where are you working?
27Dec2013

Competition and Quality of Service

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It’s not easy keeping ahead of the competition. As a litigator, you’ve probably long since lost count of the extra hours you’ve put in trying to keep one motion ahead of your opposing counsel. CJRA Plans and “fast track” systems give you less time than before to prepare your case for trial.
27Dec2013

Creating Time and Increasing Profits

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In another article, we discuss the importance of using a scopist and RealTime writing to help manage your time. While these do play a very important role when it comes to managing a reporter’s time, there are other factors to look at. In this article, we will take a look at planning as a way to increase efficiency and organization,
10Dec2013

Can You Hear Me Now? Five Tips for Effective Client Communication

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By Chere, Estrin, The Estrin Report
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw Those legal professionals who are effective in client communications are those who stop, for just a moment, to reflect upon who their clients are, the client’s personal makeup,
01Dec2013

Missing the Message

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By Jennifer Moritz, Dixon Schwabl
Not long ago, the word world spun into a frenzy when someone discovered that several dictionaries had added a second definition for the word “literally.” Now, instead of meaning “actually,” it also means “Just kidding, not really.” For the better part of a week,
17Nov2013

Time is Money

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By Sheila Atkinson-Baker
Many of us have hired housekeepers from time to time even though we are capable of cleaning our own house. We’ve also hired painters and gardeners even though we could do the jobs ourselves. Why? We do this for the sole purpose of freeing up time and energy so we can focus on other important areas that need attention.
17Nov2013

Proud to Be a Legal Secretary

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By Carol Ann Wilson
A voice on the telephone recently asked me, “Are you his secretary, or do you prefer to be called his administrative assistant?” I told him, “I am his secretary and very proud of it.” You could hear the relief in his voice as he replied,
17Nov2013

Medical Terms Dictionary for Word

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Hosford Medical Terms Dictionary v3.0 is offered as a text file that you can import into Word as a custom dictionary. (A voluntary donation of $3 is requested.) Step #1: Download the zip file at: Medical Terms Dictionary Step #2: Extract the files and save them in a directory where you can leave them permanently.