A member of NCRA since 2008, Lauren A. Balogh, RPR, of Murrells Inlet, S.C., recently earned the distinction of being named the Grand Strand Young Professionals (GSYP) 2023 Young Professional of the Year. Operated by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, GSYP aims to attract and retain talented young professionals to the region.
Balogh, who also serves as treasurer of the South Carolina Court Reporters Association, considered it an honor to receive this award. The hardworking freelancer was kind enough to grant the JCR Weekly an interview discussing her recent accomplishment as well as her experience as a court reporter and member of NCRA.
JCR | How was your name submitted for the Young Professional of the Year for 2023 and for what reasons?
Lauren A. Balogh | I was nominated by my peers and other members of GSYP and then selected by a nominating committee for the award. I was given this award for being a GSYP member who demonstrates community involvement, has an aspiration to succeed in the workforce, a desire to positively impact the Grand Strand, and is an outstanding advocate for young professionals.
JCR | Does being an NCRA certified member help you stand out professionally and in organizations such as the GSYP?
LAB | Being an NCRA certified member always helps me stand out professionally in the court reporting world and in every organization I am a part of, including GSYP. I am always eager to share that I am a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).
JCR | Where did you go for court reporting school? What was the most challenging part of becoming a certified court reporter?
LAB | I attended the Academy of Court Reporting in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated in 2010. It was an amazing school with wonderful teachers, and it trained me incredibly well. The most challenging part of becoming certified was obtaining the 225 Q&A years after being out of school. Most testimony in depositions is not a steady 225 wpm for five minutes, so having to practice for that again was a challenge.
JCR | Do you have any advice for those considering or looking to get into this career field?
LAB | This is an amazing career, and I highly recommend studying the profession of court reporting. I can honestly say I love going to work every day. It does take practice, dedication, organization, and time management skills; but if you put forth the effort, you will be rewarded with a world of knowledge, a unique skill set, job security, and respect in the legal community.
JCR | What sort of upkeep for your machine(s) or practice do you do? What kind of machine(s) do you work with?
LAB | I just recently purchased the Luminex II at the NCRA Conference in 2021. I love the lightness and compactness of it. I use it for my everyday in-person depositions. Of course I still have my very first machine, my Diamante. I have it set up in my office and use it for Zoom depositions.
JCR | Are there any concerns you have regarding the court reporting or captioning career fields that you feel aren’t getting the attention they deserve?
LAB | I am much concerned about the closing of court reporting schools, especially the brick-and-mortar schools. I feel that, if we could express the need for court reporters and the many benefits of the profession at our local community colleges, we could hopefully revive court reporting programs in our areas. Having graduated from a brick-and-mortar school, I know the value of the in-person education. The interactions with teachers, the practice and testing, the structure of a schedule, and the interning opportunities are what helped me succeed in school.
JCR | What is the next certification you are working towards?
LAB | I will next be working on obtaining my RMR.
JCR | Is there anything unique about being a court reporter in South Carolina compared to other states or regions?
LAB | Being from Northern Ohio, I have noticed that the pace in South Carolina is much slower and southern hospitality is very much alive. The attorneys are super friendly to work with, and it makes for a great work environment.
Special thanks to Kathy Cortopassi, RDR, CRR, CRC, an NCRA member since 1986, for submitting Lauren’s name and recent distinction to the JCR Weekly.