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.