The Reporter E-Letter Articles

17Nov2013

From Pearl Harbor to Legal Secretary

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By Barbara Lynch, Atkinson-Baker
A Unique Pivotal Point Many of us can trace our line of previous jobs to find that pivotal point which steered us into the legal profession. For Adele Naito, a legal secretary in Honolulu, that turning point came on the heels of working at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base Library when,
17Nov2013

Your Online Historical Information Archivist

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By Mary Ellen Bates, President, Bates Information Services
Researchers and info pros know that everything is NOT available for free on the web, although sometimes it feels that way. One area in which it is evident that information comes with a price tag is news from more than a month or two ago.
01Nov2013

Ten Tips for Dealing with Difficult People at Work

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In every workplace, you will have difficult coworkers. Dealing with difficult coworkers, bosses, customers, clients, and friends is an art worth perfecting. Dealing with difficult situations at work is challenging, yet rewarding. You can increase your skill at dealing with the difficult people who surround you in your work world. These tips will help you.
01Nov2013

Spotlight: National Association for Legal Professionals

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NALS is a leader in the legal services industry offering professional development by providing continuing legal education, certifications, resources, and training to those choosing the legal services industry as their career.  NALS was formed in 1929, was incorporated in 1949, and has been dedicated to members of the legal community ever since.  
01Oct2013

My “Secret” for Better Realtime

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By Jerry Kelley
When I am preparing for a trial, I do a number of things to make my realtime better. I go to the law firms’ websites and copy and paste photos of the litigators, along with their bios. This helps me build my speaker ID in advance. 
01Oct2013

Nine Ways for Court Reporters to Relieve Stress

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By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS, CLA
A court reporter’s job is to take down, verbatim, every word spoken for hours at a time, which can be a pain in the neck. I have written thousands of pages the last couple of weeks, all expedited, and my neck has a constant throb.
01Oct2013

Realtime Competition Got You Nervous? You Got This!

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Last July during the NCRA convention in Philadelphia I found myself in a room filled with people I was sure were the people who SHOULD be in that room, who DESERVED to be in that room, and who were good enough to be in that room. What in the world was I doing in a room filled with speed champions,
01Oct2013

High Speed Chase

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By Dom Tursi
When I hear talk about amazing shorthand speeds, it always stirs my professional passions. The ambitious goal of 400 wpm is now on the horizon as the speed zenith of 2013. This has rekindled memories of speed contest thrills and evoked a desire to share my historical shorthand knowledge as director of the Gallery of Shorthand.
01Oct2013

Technology Is Making the Role of a Legal Secretary More Secure Than Ever Before

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While the world continues to change with technological growth, keeping in step with technological growth is required in every profession. With radical changes taking place in the entire dynamics of information storage, access, retrieval, publishing, and search and indexing mechanisms, apparently a lot of secretarial work that can be done either more efficiently or cost-effectively by software is being delegated to software.
01Oct2013

A Legal Secretary Tale

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By Patricia O’Neill
One of my hobbies is going to folk clubs. I do comic songs, and once I made up some doggerel about things which can go awry in a legal office – for instance, an inexperienced casual receptionist telling a client point-blank that the legal eagle is too busy to talk to him or her,
01Sep2013

How To – Skills Building Session

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By Alexis Kessler, Baldwin County ALP (Alabama)
We’ve all been there.  You start a new job, maybe your first job in the legal field, and they begin by giving you “basic tasks” until you both feel more comfortable in your skill level. Sounds great, right? Until you begin to realize that your definition of “basic” and their definition of “basic” are two completely opposite things.   
01Sep2013

Time Management Tip: Use the Power of Three

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My last time management tip talked about creating a “Don’t Do” list – effectively whittling down the number of tasks or projects you have to complete so that you can prioritize and better focus on the highest value and most important tasks. Another tool to help you focus on what is most important is the Power of Three.
01Sep2013

I’m a Survivor – Maintaining a Positive Attitude

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By Alexis Kessler, Baldwin County ALP (Alabama)
We’ve all worked with that one person whose voice just makes you want to cringe when you hear them say your name, or their name comes up on your caller ID and you wonder, “Do I really have to answer it?” Of course you do.
01Aug2013

The Importance of Proofreading

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By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS, CLA
Believe it or not, people are judging you every day by your grammar skills—or a lack thereof. A letter, email, or document from your firm may be the first (and only) impression that a client, opposing counsel, judge, or prospective client gets of you,
01Aug2013

Introducing Doris T. Compton, NALS New Presidentle

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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. He was an Arkansas State Trooper.
01Aug2013

Do Work and Life Ever Balance?

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By Stephanie Potter
Many of us lawyers are Type A, competitive perfectionists, and these traits don’t fade away when we become mothers.  While our aggressive natures can serve our clients well, I question how well they sometimes serve us. Recently, a good friend of mine who is also an attorney asked me how I “do it all.”  I was flabbergasted. 
01Jul2013

How to Motivate Yourself

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Staying motivated is a struggle. Our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward. There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure.
01Jul2013

Realtime Success

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Whether you are already providing realtime to all your clients or whether you are just dipping a toe into realtime feeds, you can pick up something new from talking to other reporters. That is exactly the premise of NCRA’s Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide (or TRAIN, as it is called).
01Jul2013

Relaxation Exercise: The Inner Smile

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By Sarah Jeffrey-Gray
It’s essential to take the time to relax – to take a break from other things: work, home, other people. It is vital to maintain ourselves and our health, both physically and mentally. We really need to give priority to the time to relax regularly in order to recharge the batteries.
01Jul2013

Managing Conflict in Meetings or Presentations

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We have all, at some time, encountered the steamroller and the sniper. “Steamrollers” are aggressive, hostile, and intimidating; they don’t listen, they talk over what anyone else may have to say, and they bludgeon others with their views and demands. “Snipers” are far more insidious; they seek to undermine, often indirectly,
01Jun2013

Eight Work Traits of a Successful Secretary

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So you’ve mastered the core skills of a legal secretary.  How do you set yourself apart as a stand-out secretarial professional?
Here are eight traits of a successful secretary. 1. Reliable Since a legal secretary is the attorney’s right-hand person, reliability is crucial.  A secretary who is punctual, timely,
01Jun2013

Court Reporters Help Record Veterans’ Stories

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By NAPS, North American Precis Syndicate
Once again, court reporters are making sure that the stories of America’s veterans are recorded for future generations. 2013 marks the tenth consecutive year that the Veterans History Project (VHP) has worked with the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
01Jun2013

Are You Assertive?

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Everyone recalls a time or a particular situation when we wish we had been more assertive. Assertive communication is all about putting our point of view over – clearly and calmly, free from the distortion of mood or circumstances – so that we can best communicate how we feel about something and what we need as a result.
01May2013

Letiquette – Netiquette

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By Marie Schoenfeldt, PLS, CLA
When composing a letter, be mindful of your etiquette, especially if it is a first contact business letter. Keep the recipient of your correspondence in mind, as well as what and how you want to communicate. If this is your first contact with the recipient,
01May2013

How to Be Irreplaceable in a Tough Economy

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By Ruth M. Schaub, PP, PLS
I began my first law office job 25 years ago as a receptionist for a small firm. Along the road I learned the value of becoming the type of employee no boss wants to be without. Read my suggestions and find a way to make them apply to you and your work situation.
01May2013

Improving Profile and Visability

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By Des Whitehorn
In a perfect world people would judge us by results and the quality of our work. However, life isn’t perfect. People who work hard and are loyal can be overlooked for promotion or pay raises, while those doing a good PR job on themselves tend to be thanked and appreciated more often.
01Apr2013

Being Aware of Unhelpful Thinking Tendencies

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The Conscious (thinking) Brain and the Subconscious (emotional) Brain
Our brain is a complex and fascinating organ. The thinking (conscious) brain operates at an intellectual level, giving us perspective and good problem-solving capability. When it works in healthy harmony with our emotional (subconscious) brain, we function at our best and can be at our most robust and resilient in dealing with whatever life throws at us.
01Apr2013

Improve the Quality of Your Audio

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By Wes Long, Director of Technology, Dynamic Captioning
First, I’m excited to talk about audio because that’s actually what I got my degree in (even though I now make software and products to help the deaf). There is a lot you can do to help “muffled” audio. First, make sure you have enough of an amplifier to drive your headset/headphones.
01Apr2013

Tips for Working with the Deaf or Hearing Impaired

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By Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS
Thirty-six million people, approximately 17%, in the United States are suffering from hearing loss. It is expected that this population will increase rapidly because more people are developing high-frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise, new unexplained deafness, trauma, and disease,
01Apr2013

How to Motivate Yourself

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Staying motivated is a struggle. Our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward. There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure.
01Apr2013

Capturing the Spoken Word and Each Other’s Hearts

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By Linda Smolkin
When we think of couples, more than a few come to mind. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Sonny and  Cher. John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In the court reporting world, we have several couples who have captured the spoken word — and each other’s hearts. Some have met while on the job,
01Mar2013

Attributes of Excellent Client Services

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By Fran McClean, PLS
When you think of client service, what comes to mind? Think about it. Client service is all about how we treat our clients. Take a moment to think about your day. Are you providing excellent or proper client service (both internally and externally)? If you are not sure how you can improve the quality of service,
01Jan2013

Timesavers and Tips

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Case CATalyst Users: Timesavers to be had with just a little effort Total Eclipse Users: Sign up and get free access to tips! Check out this Eclipse user group! Cheetah Users: Archives of “Tip of the Week”
01Jan2013

Is Your Dictionary Getting in the Way of Realtime?

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By Anissa R. Nierenberger
When the National Court Reporters Association launched the Writing our Future initiative, it set for members a lofty goal: get everyone to write realtime. Anyone who attended last year’s NCRA annual convention in Las Vegas got that message again — big time. The realtime goal is its number one priority.
01Jan2013

Challenging Negative Self-Talk

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By Sarah Jeffrey-Gray
There are times when we talk to ourselves critically. Perhaps we just think it, or perhaps we voice it out loud. “I’ll never get this right.” “I’m such an idiot.” Phrases like this are a sure sign that emotional hijacking is at work. If we become aware that this is going on,
01Jan2013

Mentoring

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By Alexis Kessler
When people ask me what I do for a living, my answer is simple: “I’m a paralegal.” I then get the “I’ve always wondered what the difference is between a secretary and a  legal assistant/paralegal” question. I always respond that it depends on the structure of the firm and terms they prefer to use. 
01Nov2012

An Interview with Ralph Losey

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By Rebecca James, DiscoveryResources.org
Ralph Losey, one of the leading experts on e-discovery, is a partner and e-discovery chair at Jackson Lewis. His practice has been limited to e-discovery since 2006. Losey is a writer and an educator; he publishes books, articles and the e-Discovery Team Training blog; he teaches at the University of Florida;
01Nov2012

Clear Your Mind

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By Sarah Jeffrey-Gray
We all carry around a fair amount of emotional baggage – things which have annoyed or worried us, whether they are to do with work, home or our social life. These things can create emotional clutter in the mind unless we develop healthy ways to clear them out so we can concentrate better on what is good for us.
01Oct2012

Tools for the Sustainable Law Office

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By The Center for Earth Leadership
To promote sustainable office practices, the Center for Earch Leadership has created six tools for use in a law office setting. Additionally, annotated versions of selected checklists and supplemental materials are available for education of office personnel. Model Office Sustainability Policy.  A key element in any office initiative is a sustainability policy adopted by the management team. 
01Oct2012

A Shoutout to Paralegals

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By Jamie Collins, The Paralegal Society
Have you had your day hijacked recently? Ha! Of course you have — you’re a paralegal! Let’s face it. We as paralegals are planners. We make to-do lists, organize things (and attorneys), and draw up masterful contingency plans, day in and day out.
01Oct2012

Achieving Personal Objectives

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By Judith Di-Castri
Do you need to stretch yourself more in terms of development?  Do you wish you could achieve more?  Do you sometimes feel stuck in a rut?  Set yourself some personal objectives to achieve.  To help you achieve them, here are the top ten tips, including the SMART model: Specific  Make sure the objective you want to achieve is as specific as possible. 
01Aug2012

A Stress-Free Career? Are you Living in Dreamland?

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By Chere Estrin, The Estrin Report
Stress doesn’t really scare me. It is part and parcel of our lives. Why, might you ask, would anyone say that?  Probably because in the second half of my work life, I have found the secrets to a relatively stress-free career. Article after article has been written about stress. 
01Aug2012

Don’t Try to Manage Time, Manage Your Activities

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By Allison C. Shields, Esq.
You can’t really “manage” time, which is why I’m not the biggest fan of the term “time management.” I only use it – and then only very reluctantly – because that’s the term most people are familiar with. But in actuality, the only thing you can control is what you do with your time;
01Jul2012

Text Message Preservation

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By Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., John W. Simek and Jesse M. Lindmar,Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
With an average of 193.1 billion text messages sent every month in the United States, the importance and use of text messages in litigation is ever-increasing.  As a consequence, the importance of text message preservation for e-discovery is also growing. 
01Jul2012

Does Your Attorney Suffer From Technophobia?

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By Carl Morrison, PP, AACP and Gavin W. Manes, Ph.D
Attorneys have been historically slow to adopt new technology, and now is no exception. Many attorneys of the “Baby Boomer” and earlier generations are accustomed to creating, using, and storing paper documents despite the greater efficiency afforded by electronic media.
01Jun2012

Why Worrying Well is Good for You

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It is often said that we ought not to worry. In fact, this is far from the case, provided we ‘worry well.’ Our brains thrive on being stretched and on finding solutions to difficulties. When we worry well, we engage both our higher intelligence and our innate creativity, which not only reduces stress but also gives us a sense of competence and achievement.