5 minute read
Time and Technology: How Partnering With Steno Helps Court Reporters
With the advent of COVID-19, moving into a virtual world became increasingly necessary for court reporters across the nation. Many who previously favored in-person options were faced with the demand for online work.
Many judges and attorneys expected court reporters to create accurate transcripts and serve as technology assistants simultaneously. Add that on top of a court reporter's everyday struggles — searching for work and waiting to get paid promptly — and the job had grown increasingly complex.
Harry Palter, a certified shorthand reporter in San Diego, California, experienced that change.
After 33 years in the industry, Harry had already incorporated an understanding of technology into his practice and theory. His background in computer programming was foundational in helping him to achieve success in court reporting.
When Harry learned about Steno, a court reporting agency driven by innovative technology, it seemed like the perfect fit.
Steno is dedicated to improving the litigation process. That starts with Steno Connect, a videoconferencing platform built to eliminate common obstacles that arise for court reporters. From mid-deposition technology issues to problems downloading exhibits, Steno's goal is to create an experience that alleviates as many of those issues as possible.
Read on to see how Harry, a forward-thinking court reporter, found solutions to save him time and energy by partnering with Steno.
How Steno Protects Court Reporters' Time
One of the primary skills that every court reporter needs is speed. Typing speed, quick turnaround on transcripts, and the ability to find work before it's gone all contribute to whether a court reporter will be successful overall. Harry had the speed, but that didn't stop him from losing time on administrative tasks.
Harry can finish a transcript in a few hours, but the administrative tasks can take weeks. Submitting work, sending invoices, tracking payment progress, corresponding with attorneys, scheduling jobs, the list goes on.
“As a freelancer, you have to make sure you get paid,” Harry said. “But Steno’s payment structure blows me away. I turned in a job last night, and I got an email that the job is under review and will be moving through the process to the payment stage. Getting paid three days after you finish a job? Nobody does that!”
That's what Steno does. We've removed that extra wait time, integrating the job submission and invoicing processes. As soon as a transcript is uploaded and reviewed, we send the check.
“Sometimes, you’d have to get on the phone and chase after the money," Harry continued, “I know what that’s like, to dial for dollars because my dad had an agency too.”
With Steno, the time Harry used to dedicate to tracking payments is now devoted to his work. He can use those hours taking on more jobs or mentoring young court reporters in their professional journeys.
Taking Care of Legal Technology Problems
We've all been there. A meeting is going well, and suddenly, someone's mic starts to act up, or someone's camera disconnects.
For court reporters, these issues can impact the accuracy of the transcript. To protect the record, they have to stop transcribing the record and start serving as tech support. Not just for attorneys, but judges and witnesses as well.
It's not uncommon for a court reporter to encounter someone who isn't confident using a computer. The court reporter may be the only participant in a proceeding who even considers the audio quality.
“Every time I see someone with a headset, I thank them. It makes my job easier. It makes my wife’s job as a scopist easier,” Harry said. “You get those audio glitches on Zoom or the hiccups on the internet, and you have to have somebody repeat something, or you could lose the most important word in a sentence.”
Steno takes those concerns away from the court reporter. Instead, an in-person technology assistant provides white-glove support during court proceedings and troubleshoots all mid-deposition technology struggles.
“They explain to the participants what we’re going to do, they give out a phone number as a back-up plan, if something goes wrong. Because, you know, 99% of the time, nothing happens, and it all goes off without a hitch. But for that 1%, you don’t have to worry,” Harry said.
Getting Back Your Time and Energy
For Harry, working with Steno has left him with free time, more energy, and more success. He can focus on completing his work accurately and quickly, spending time with friends and family, and mentoring new court reporters instead of managing administrative work and technology troubleshooting.
“I’d rather relax a little bit. Work smart, not hard,” Harry said.
Steno puts court reporter's needs first by guaranteeing:
- Payment within days of submitting work
- Upfront payment for copy orders
- Access to our digital, streamlined, and searchable job marketplace
- Personalized and live in-deposition technology support
With all of that time back in their hands, reporters can focus on continuing education and becoming an expert in their craft.
Are you interested in learning more about how Steno can help make your court reporting career more enjoyable? Then, get in touch with our team to start a conversation about what Steno can do for you.
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