By Jason Meadors
In 2012 a call came through asking if I’d like to report a big case in Seoul, South Korea, for a few weeks providing a realtime text output of the proceedings, one-hour drafts, and 24-hour turnaround of finalized transcripts. My friend and colleague Lisa Knight, FAPR, RDR, CRR, had recommended me for the work. I’d never done it before, so I said yes. It helped that I had my baseline certification, RPR, as well as my realtime certification, CRR. In fact, without those, I would not have been hired.
That assignment had its bumps, but it went well. That started me off on what became a robust international practice at least until COVID-19, but I’ve had assignments since then. It also spawned me giving seminars on the overseas style of practice, but since I haven’t charged for presenting, that part’s not exactly been a business-booster.
But what a wondrous and joyful profession to be in! In my line of work, one can be in a secure government or private job, happily making good money, and hearing the breadth of human experience in a courthouse, at home, or flitting about in a local area or enjoying the adventure, challenges, and rigors of travel to far-flung places. I have experienced all of those.
The travel practice is not for everyone, but for a few, it’s addictive. Every trip has its own barriers, so you take nothing for granted and preparation is key. You develop a thousand different insights, strategies, precautions, and tactics. Good habits produce good results, but still with the knowledge that anything can go wrong at any time. So be ready to pivot.
My court reporting work has taken me to Northern Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, West Africa, South America, Central America, a tropical Pacific Island, an Atlantic Island, and nations on the Western Pacific Rim and all the passport stamps that such travel generates. The work has graced me with memories of a lifetime and whetted the appetite for what may yet lie ahead.
Court reporting and captioning. We see people on those little machines and think, what’s going on there? What’s going on is a skill, an art, a devotion, a commitment, and endless possibilities.
Jason Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, is a freelancer based in Fort Collins, Colo., and President of NCRA. He can be reached at email@example.com.