The Reporter E-Letter Articles

23Mar2016

Captioning the Super Bowl

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For most people, the only stress associated with the Super Bowl is whether their team wins or loses. However, for Paula Arispe, Octavia Brandenburg, and Stefani Tkacs – all captioners with the National Captioning Institute – the Super Bowl provided them an opportunity to showcase their captioning skills. “Despite the anxiety of knowing that it’s a huge event and that everything needs to go as perfectly as possible,
24Feb2016

Do You Truly Give 100 Percent at Work?

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If you took any employee to one side and asked them whether or not they believe they truly give 100 percent to their work, I wonder if they would answer affirmatively. Let’s try to delve into the inner depths of our beings here and evaluate just how committed you really are to your work.
24Feb2016

The Happiness Avoidance Problem: You Sure Do Know What You Don’t Want

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We all want career happiness. So why, for some people, is it so hard to get? It is remarkably sad that so many people end up devoting their careers to jobs that don’t make them happy. They don’t start out that way, of course. It just ends up that as they get further along in their chosen job they discover they’re not very happy.
20Jan2016

What do Lawyers Want from Their Legal Secretaries and PAs?

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On one level, there are as many answers to this question as there are legal secretaries and lawyers. Every working relationship is different, and most of us will have found out that what perfectly suits one relationship doesn’t work at all in another. However, as someone who has worked both as a Legal Secretary and as a lawyer,
23Dec2015

How to Introduce Yourself to Others at a Business, Social, or Networking Event

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Knowing how to introduce yourself to others and engage in conversation is a vital part of business, social, and networking etiquette. Using a process and employing a strategy will help reduce anxiety and increase your confidence. First, try to arrive to the event early. It’s not so daunting to walk into a room and approach people and introduce yourself if the room is not so crowded.
23Dec2015

Being an Achiever

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You become an achiever by achieving your goals. If you achieve your goals, you’re an achiever. If you don’t achieve your goals, you’re not an achiever. This is a simple, binary way to think about achievement. To achieve means to reach, attain, or accomplish. What you choose to reach, attain, or accomplish is up to you.
18Nov2015

Seven Delegation Tips for Administrative Assistants

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For admins, delegation can be a challenge. It’s hard to delegate when you’re not the one in charge, and most admins are accustomed to being the ones delegated to. To a certain degree, both of these things may be true. But there are still ways to get help from others even if you’re not in a position of authority or leadership.
21Oct2015

Stressed at Work Anyone?

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“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn It is Monday morning and you can feel every bone in your body begging you not to go to work. You are tired, exhausted, and need every minute of sleep you can get. For the past couple of months,
23Sep2015

Tips to Stay on Track and Reach Your Goals

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Working as a Legal Secretary will require you to be extremely focused and organized in order to adhere to tight deadlines and to keep up with the fast-paced legal industry. Dividing your work or objectives into specific goals is an important part of managing your workload and achieving your overall ambitions.
23Sep2015

Five Powerhouse Strategies for Creating Administrative Peer Power

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Coming together is better than fighting for your own agenda. When you are trying to create change, whether in a process or for the administrative community in your organization, it is much easier to be persuasive when there is a group. There is strength in unity. Whether there are two administrative professionals in your office or 200,
19Aug2015

How to Identify Your Weaknesses

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We are often much better at identifying our strengths than looking objectively at our weaknesses, but knowing the areas in which we struggle most is usually the most beneficial piece of information we can have in terms of improving our performance. Whether you are not receiving the marks you were hoping to achieve on a course or not getting the recognition or results you want in the workplace,
19Aug2015

How to Stay Motivated During the Hot Summer Months

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Social media is blowing up with pictures of all your friends at the beach, you can’t get a solid night’s sleep due to your antique AC unit, and it seems like there is a long weekend every other week. Summer is definitely not the easiest time of year for anyone to be productive,
21Jul2015

Why Can’t Electronic Reporting Replace Steno Reporters?

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Stenographic reporters have the capability to provide realtime. Realtime is a process that instantly captures the spoken word so that judges, law clerks, court clerks, parties to a proceeding, jurors, and members of the media, as well as those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, have immediate access to a transcript. Realtime feeds can be accessed remotely and by multiple devices,
10Jun2015

Comfortable with Uncomfortable

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I don’t believe in fads. Usually, I’m too tuned out from them to notice, but even if I were aware I think I’d still turn the other cheek and let the trends roll off my face like rainwater sloshing off impervious surfaces and into the gutters. For this reason, I avoid all diets and “get fit quick” pledges and opt instead for routine fitness.
10Jun2015

Nine Ways Smart Admins Nurture New Ideas

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Most of the people in your office do a good job, and many of them excel. To really stand out, you need to be known for something beyond your job description. Think of the most successful admin or assistant you know–someone you emulate or who is doing what you’d like to do.
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,