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Tip of the month: Invest in yourself

By Keith Lemons
Invest in yourself. Pay your professional dues, pay your maintenance agreements on your machines and your software, become certified, and stay abreast of hardware and software trends.

If you want to compete in the workplace, what “they” see is the image you project. So what will it be? The modern reporter ready to give realtime at a moment’s notice or an outdated reporter with a 1995 steno machine with a diskette drive, spilling paper over the tray? Every time someone goes out into the public arena looking like a dinosaur escaped from the past, it reflects badly on our profession as a whole.

In a forum on Facebook, someone was complaining mightily that their machine was out of warranty, and when it broke — wonder of wonders — the manufacturer was going to charge them actual money to fix it! Electronics break. Count on it. Prepare for it. Reach for the upper echelon of court reporting and don’t stop until you get there.

Keith Lemons, RPR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter in Brentwood, Texas, and a JCR Contributing Editor. He can be reached at