The Guardian

College of Court Reporting, est. 1984

April 2021

You procrastinate because you're lazy, right? Wrong. The truth is more complex -- and far more interesting.

CCR Alumnus interviews a court reporter to discuss all things steno.

CCR Student Spotlight

Anne Marie Russell

What got you interested in the program and what brought you to the College of Court Reporting (CCR)?


I always wanted to be a lawyer, but life happened and that dream never was fulfilled. But my love for our judicial system never faded. I follow a lifestyle influencer on Instagram who also happened to be a free-lance court reporter, and she made it look and sound so amazing. Seeing her going out on jobs and talking about her career of 20+ years and all it entailed really struck a chord with me and motivated me to look into it.


I am in Georgia and I originally was set to start with the Brown College of Court Reporting. My start date was to be on a Monday, and I received a call the Friday before that they would be closing! I was devastated. They offered a list of alternate schools for us and the College of Court Reporting was the first on the list. It must have been serendipity because after that first call and speaking to Nicky Rodriquez I was positive this was the school I wanted to attend. I started and never looked back and could not be happier with my decision!!


What has been the most challenging part of getting through school, and what are you doing to overcome it?


I think the most challenging part has simply been time management. I turned 40 since beginning school, am a small business owner, and have four children, so life is hectic! Carving out the time for assignments, studying, and practice proved to be the most daunting, but important, part. However, if I can do it, anyone can!



What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given?


Definitely, “If you want something that you’ve never had, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done.”


What do you like to spend your free time doing?


I love working in the yard, reading, cooking, and spending time with my kids.


Have any plans now that you finished school? What is your dream job?


My plans are to get working as soon as possible! My dream job would be working as a court reporter, either free-lance or official, in Charleston, S.C. so I can be near the beach! I would also love to cover something high profile and possibly travel with the job, too!

Alumni Spotlight

Megan Bowman, CSR

What got you interested in court reporting and what brought you to the College of Court Reporting (CCR)?


My interest in court reporting stemmed from my interest in watching crime shows, trials, etc. I noticed the stenographer in the background during these shows and started researching the profession. It amazed me how a court reporter could write 225 words a minute. I decided I wanted to pursue this profession and attended Prince Institute College, which unfortunately ended up closing after my first year. I then transferred to CCR and it was the best decision ever. Their staff truly cares about getting you through school and helping you succeed. Before graduating, I already had a job line up because of CCR. They really want to see you become successful.


What has been the most challenging part of getting through school, and what did you do to overcome it?


The most difficult part of getting through school was disciplining myself to make sure I practiced enough. It was hard balancing work, school and my social life. I knew in order to get through school I had to practice, so I would set a goal each week of how many practice hours I wanted to achieve. Every day I kept track of how many hours I had done so that I could ensure my goal was was met by the end of the week. Getting through school and taking the CSR exam was the hardest thing I have ever done but the MOST rewarding.


What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given?


The best advice I received while in school was to read my notes, recognize my mistakes and practice over and over. I found that once I really started reading my notes and targeting the areas where I had trouble is when my writing really improved. I was one to fly through my speed building classes, but once I got to 180/200s, I got stuck. I felt that I would never pass my tests. Once I realized the importance of reviewing my notes and understanding where I was making mistakes, I was able to pass my tests in no time. Just remember that you can do it and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everybody's path is different in court reporting school and just know that you will eventually get through it!


What is the favorite part of your career as a court reporter?


My favorite thing in my career as a freelance reporter is that every single day I am constantly learning something new. I also love that I get to travel for work, have a different setting and case each day, and also love the flexibility I have with my schedule.

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Stenograph’s Milton H. Wright Memorial DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 1.

Nominations are being solicited for Stenograph’s Milton H. Wright Memorial Scholarship. Students from NCRA-approved reporter education programs are encouraged to apply for the merit-based two-year award, which is worth up to $5,000 per year and will include use of a student writer and software. Full details here.


Eligibility


To be eligible to apply for the Milton H. Wright Memorial Scholarship, students must meet the criteria below:

  • Attend an NCRA-approved court reporting program
  • Have completed an NCRA A to Z ® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program
  • Have received an NCRA A to Z ® Certificate of Completion
  • Have attained an exemplary academic record (3.5 GPA or above)
  • Have passed one skills test writing 80-120 words per minute at the time of submission

New Professional Reporter Grant

The New Professional Reporter Grant is awarded annually to a promising working court reporter in his or her first year out of school. The grant is $2,000 and helps support start-up expenses for a new court reporter, such as purchasing software and earning credentials.



Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must be a current NCRA member.
  • The applicant must have graduated from a court reporting program.
  • The applicant must have graduated with a grade point average of at least a 3.5 overall, based on a 4.0 standard or equivalent, as verified by his/her transcript.
  • The applicant must submit a copy of his/her official transcript with this application.
  • The applicant must be in his/her first year out of school, as verified by an official transcript.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from his/her employer or contracting agency attesting to the applicant's professional demeanor, attitude, and motivation.
  • The applicant must be working in any of the three career paths: judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning.

NOTE: Only one nomination will be accepted per employer or agency.

Nominations close on June 4, 2021

Monyeen Black Memorial Grant

The Monyeen Black Memorial Grant honors the memory of Monyeen Black, RPR, CRR, who passed away on January 11, 2021. She was an active member on the 100-Day Practice Group on Facebook. She was professionally certified in California and owned the agency MBreporting located in San Ramon. She worked as a deposition reporter.

This grant is offered through the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF). New professionals must meet the eligibility requirements and submit the completed documentation listed below to qualify for the grant.

New professionals who have passed the RPR certification are encouraged to apply for the 2021 award which is worth $1,000.

How to apply

The following criteria and documentation must be met and submitted to apply:

  • The applicant must be a current NCRA member.
  • The applicant must have passed the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification.
  • The applicant must be in his/her first two years of reporting with documentation as proof: e.g. agency letter, transcripts with dates.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from his/her employer or contracting agency attesting to the applicant's professional demeanor and motivation.
  • The applicant must be working in any of the three career paths: Judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning.
  • Applicant must complete application including short essay question (250-500 words). Essay question: How, when, and why did you realize that a career in court reporting was right for you?
  • Complete and submit this Grant application form.

Application deadline: Friday, July 9, 2021 COB

Email to jlandsman@ncra.org

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