NCRA MEMBER PROFILE: Name: LaTanya “LT” Allen, RPR

Currently resides in: Madison, Miss.
Employment type: Official Court Reporter 11th Chancery Court District
Member since: 2007
Graduated from: South Suburban College
Theory: Stenograph Computer Compatible Theory

What are your favorite briefs or tips?

Numbers are my nemesis, so I’m always looking for shortcuts. One I use is the asterisks for years: 12*=2012, 13*=2013, 14*=2014, 15*=2015, 1*6=2016, 1*7=2017, 1*8=2018, etc.

Why did you decide to enter this profession and how did you learn about the career?

I have always loved the legal field. After the birth of my first child, I was looking for a career that would allow me the flexibility to be home with her as much as possible. After doing some research, I found an ad from South Suburban College inviting the community to an open house to learn more about court reporting. I went, and it was as if lightning had struck. I had found the perfect fit for me and my family with court reporting.

What has been your best work experience so far in your career?

Although I’ve enjoyed working as an official and freelance reporter in both Mississippi and in Chicago, Ill., my best work experience in my career thus far is where I serve now. In the 11th Chancery Court District in Mississippi, I am a part of a very special team. Whether it be budgetary decisions or incorporating technology in the courtroom, our three presiding chancellors continue to support the court reporting profession. I’m confident that when I take my seat in the courtroom each day the skill that I offer as a court reporter is appreciated and valued.

What was your biggest hurdle?

When I think back on how “green” I was when I first started working, I can’t help but chuckle a little. Writing in a controlled environment in school was very different than writing in the real world. I had several “What in the world were you thinking” moments. So my biggest hurdle was myself. However, I had former teachers and some wonderful court reporting mentors who were like my personal cheerleaders. I was often reminded that even on my worst day I’m still pretty special because only a few people can do what I do. So I learned not to give up and to remember my three P’s of reporting: Practice, Preparation, and Prayer.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment thus far has been to be selected as the President-Elect and soon-to-be President of the Mississippi Court Reporters Association. To be selected by your peers and to be entrusted to represent them not only on a state but also on a national level is an honor beyond words. I truly hope I can make them proud.

Is there something else you would like to share?

Although I’m from Mississippi, I lived and worked in Chicago for about 10 years. So I’ve been affectionately termed as the “City Girl with the Southern heart.” I love the arts, salsa dancing, good music, good food, and good fun. And that’s why I’m really looking forward to our 2018 National Convention in New Orleans, a.k.a. NOLA.