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Spotlight on a new professional: Melissa Case

Melissa Case

Melissa Case worked hard to get through school.  She has gone on to work in freelance and court.  In this interview, she imparts wisdom about the schooling process and what to expect when you start a professional career.

JCR Weekly |Tell me about your career path and what drew you into court reporting.

MC |I had a friend who was in court reporting already. She took me around her courthouse for a day, and I fell in love with the profession.  I was in freelance for three years and then obtained my RPR and became an official.  I’ve been there for just over two years.

JCR Weekly |What school did you attend, and how long did it take you to graduate?

MC | I went to Stark State in Canton, Ohio.  It took me just under four years to graduate.

JCR Weekly |What are some things that you like and dislike about professional court reporting so far?

MC |I love my career.  I work in a great courthouse with awesome coworkers. My dislike would be how sore my wrists, forearms, and shoulders can get during a trial.

JCR Weekly |You have done freelance as well as court work.  Can you describe some of the pros and cons to freelance versus official work?

MC |The pro of being in freelance is the flexibility in your schedule.  If you don’t want to work that day, you don’t have to.  The pros of working as an official are the benefits, vacation time, and more steady work.

JCR Weekly |What’s the coolest experience you have had working in the profession?

MC |My coolest experience has been a trial about gambling.  I learned all about different table games.

JCR Weekly |What advice can you give to court reporting students?

MC |Work hard, but enjoy the journey.  You’ll fail tests.  It happens.  But celebrate every little win you can. Look back and remember when you wished you were where you are now.

JCR Weekly |What did you do to remain positive and motivated in school?

MC |I celebrated the wins!  I also would reach out to talk to as many experienced reporters in my area as I could.

JCR Weekly |How difficult was it to obtain your first job after graduating?

MC |Not difficult at all.  I had a job before I graduated.

JCR Weekly |What are some goals down the road for your career?

MC |Future goals are the RMR and CRR.

Ashley Stahl is a freelance reporter in Tempe, Ariz., and a member of the NCRA New Professionals Committee.