Court Reporting Student Reflection
Candy, Class of 2017
I had no idea about court reporting. I had never heard of it before until I saw the court reporter when I was chosen for a trial at jury duty. Actually, I was so fascinated by her and what she was doing that I had a hard time paying attention to the trial that was happening. On breaks I would go talk to her, and I asked her many questions. She was young and cute and so nice! That next week I started researching court reporting schools. It was a year and a half after that that I actually started. I was working fulltime and needed to find a part-time job to accommodate my studies.
The initial attraction to the field was my fascination with how fast the court reporter’s hands were going; the judge kept mentioning that she was typing everything that was being said. I had always loved typing at my job and (as nerdy as this sounds) would sometimes take online typing tests to see how fast I could type. But the thing that sealed the deal was the money. I’m not going to lie, when she said what she made, I was floored. I also love being a support person instead of the lead role, so sitting quietly and typing on the sidelines was right up my alley.
I figured that since I was older, determined, and already had a family that school would be easy for me… and then I started theory. I cried the very first week and many other times along the way. Even though people told me not to, I compared myself daily to people in my class. I didn’t understand how people were passing me in speed when I wanted to succeed so badly! As soon as I was able to realize that this was my own path and that it was okay to progress differently than others, it helped me value my accomplishments and strive for the next speed no matter what was happening with everybody else.
Also, I learned to have a relationship with failure. I had always heard people say, “Just shake it off and try again tomorrow.” Well, I had no idea how hard that could be until I experienced failing literally every single day. Thank goodness for wine and waking up with a new sense of determination. I can’t even count the number of times I wanted to quit.
If I could go back to day one of theory and give myself some advice, it would be to get a mentor right away, go to as many seminars and conferences as possible, and develop camaraderie with my classmates. Each of those things always helped motivate me.