Name: Lisa A. Knight
Currently resides in: Littleton, Colo.
Position: Freelance realtime reporter
Member since: 1984
Graduated from: Mile Hi College of Court Reporting
Theory: Brenner Shorthand
Don’t ever give up on your dreams! Find a way to make things happen for you. If you keep getting turned down, find another way. It may not be the exact path you thought you would take, but tenacity is more than half the battle. Set your goals high, and figure out ways to accomplish them.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. – Epictetus
Why did you decide to become a court reporter?
I decided I wanted to be a court reporter in 1982 – when I was a senior in high school – purely by dumb luck! I lived in a very small Colorado mountain town (my graduating class was only 108 people), and I was not exposed to the big city life, let alone television, so I really had no idea what a court reporter was let alone what their job entailed.
I was in the advanced typing class (because it was easy, and I was a lazy senior in high school and only wanted easy classes). The office procedures class next door was having a guest speaker from Mile Hi College of Court Reporting from Denver give a presentation about court reporting, and I was told I could attend (if I wanted to) because I had completed all my assignments. The presenter told us that, as a court reporter in Colorado, we could make up to $100,000 a year and tell a judge to shut up! Where do I sign up for that?
What has been your best work experience so far in your career?
Working in South Africa. The first time, I was providing realtime services for a large asbestos case. I flew all over South Africa (Johannesburg, Capetown, Pretoria, and Durban) for four weeks to work. When I was done working, my husband joined me, and we went on safari in South Africa as well as Zimbabwe.
The second time, I was on a different realtime case (and only a week’s duration), but opposing counsel were a dream to work with! We traveled (by car, this time) to some rural cities, such as Knysna, South Africa. I ate some of the freshest seafood I have ever had in my life – and I got to see smaller villages and their townspeople than I ever would have otherwise.
What was your biggest hurdle as a newbie, and how did you overcome it?
Experience! I was only 19 years old when I graduated court reporting school, and no one would hire me because I lacked experience I graduated with a 4.0 in record time – one year and five months – and still, no one would hire me.
So I decided to create my own experience. I substituted in court every opportunity I could, while still holding the part-time office job I had while attending school. I needed to get the experience and network as much as I could if I was to ever realize that dream job of being an official court reporter one day! My hard work paid off, and I was offered two jobs only a year-and-a-half later.
What surprised you about your career and why?
I didn’t realize that court reporting could be so much fun. I absolutely love my job – even after 30 years! I get to meet the most interesting people and work in some of the most amazing cities in the world, not to mention eating the most delicious food or tasty libations! Every day is something brand new, so I’m never bored.