This week marks NCRA’s National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, and on the 12th of February the Association inquired of its membership, “Why I Became a Court Reporter/Captioner.” Planet Depos followed suit and asked some of our court reporters why they became reporters.

Lisa Wheeler, North Carolina Reporter

I had never heard of court reporting and, while trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, was flipping through a college brochure in the guidance counselor’s office. I knew it would be business something or other because Calculus and Trig and all of those other crazy courses were not for me. I ran across a two-page spread on court reporting and thought, hmmm, I might like that. My guidance counselor said, “Oh, you don’t want to do that, the attrition rate is really high.” Not being one to back down from something tough, I said, challenge accepted. The rest is history. Can’t imagine what I’d do if I wasn’t a court reporter.

MaryJo Legg, Maryland Reporter

I was just starting my senior year in high school and had no idea what I wanted to do. I was good in Gregg shorthand and typing – though nowhere near as good as Kathy DiLorenzo. I was taking all the office courses in school, but I knew I didn’t want to be a secretary. I saw a commercial on TV for ICM School of Business in Pittsburgh advertising for court reporting students. I called them up, visited them the following week, and they were getting ready to offer what they called Saturday Special classes to introduce people to the machine. Interestingly, I remember them trying to talk me out of it, until I took a typing test, and then they were happy to sign me up.

Mayleen Ahmed, Washington State Reporter

My aunt was a court reporter. I was studying psychology in upstate NY after high school. However, in those days, I thought my aunt’s life was so luxurious compared to what I saw growing up. She would go to the Bahamas. I never saw anyone going on vacation. She always had money, it seemed. She always seemed to be home and not working. And she — God bless her — encouraged me to come to NY and attend court reporting school. I drove down eight hours from upstate NY and attended an interview at Long Island Business Institute in Commack, NY. Long story short, I went back upstate, gathered my belongings, and moved in with my grandmother and my aunt while I studied court reporting. My aunt is currently a court reporter in Tampa, Florida!

Kathy DiLorenzo, Director of Court Reporting

I don’t necessarily know why. Heck, sometimes I still wonder why. Though I do know “how” I became a court reporter. When I was in high school, I was a super-speedy typist. By the time I graduated high school, I was typing 105 words per minute. That was quite fast back in 1979. (What’s interesting is that years later, my daughter would graduate elementary school at 111 wpm.)  I competed in contests in the tri-state area — and won! So, it was my instructors who encouraged me to apply for a scholarship program offered at a local business school in Pittsburgh. I applied in the secretarial category, assuming that was the direction I was destined to go. When I spoke with the admins at the school, they asked if I might be interested in a career in court reporting, given my fast typing skills. I remember asking, “What’s that?”  Nonchalantly, I agreed, and at the same time filled out an application for the full scholarship offered in court reporting. After an aptitude test and interview, I was awarded a full scholarship for court reporting…and the rest is history.

If you or someone you know wants to join the Planet Depos court reporting team, click here.

Planet Depos is a global court reporting company led by world-renowned industry experts. We provide best-in-class court reporting, interpretation and trial services throughout the United States and abroad to U.S. and international law firms, worldwide corporations, and government entities. We have extensive experience reporting complex matters around the globe, including arbitrations, trials and depositions. Planet Depos is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has more than 50 offices worldwide.