Groundbreaking new professional development program seeks online mentors

The National Court Reporters Foundation Career Launcher program is braced for liftoff, and we’ve saved you a seat at mission control! Career Launcher is a 10-video curriculum developed from the ground up by a team of seasoned freelance reporters to provide new professionals and students nearing graduation hands-on training in the world of deposition reporting. 

Each video covers elements of freelance reporting from arrival at reception, setting up and meeting the participants, a short mock deposition filled with exposure to elements they will most assuredly encounter in the real world, all the way through to getting transcript orders.

Career Launcher candidates will prepare a final, ready-to-go-out-the-door transcript for each module, complete with cover page, appearances, index page, and certification using materials provided in each session.

Career Launcher Evaluators will mentor and review submitted transcripts with an eye toward critical errors. This won’t be a proofreading exercise disputing commas or semicolons, rather, each evaluation will consist of your guidance and advice along with a subjective pass/fail grade based on the most important criteria: Would you as an experienced court reporter send this final transcript to your client?

Please consider this opportunity to directly give back to the profession that has been so good to so many of us. Our new professionals are our greatest resource. Let’s all assist in the successful launch of their fantastic new careers.

To sign up to be a Career Launcher Mission Control Evaluator or for information, please email jlandsman@ncra.org.

Stenograph announces winner of the Milton H. Wright Scholarship

In a press release issued March 6, Stenograph announced that winner of a new scholarship that honors Stenograph’s founder, Milton H. Wright. The scholarship, which is awarded through a partnership with NCRF, was given to Lisa Wurtinger, a student at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn.

Read more.

Leaving a lasting impact on the profession through NCRF’s Legacy Society

Debra Cheyne providing realtime in Judge Kenneth Stewart’s courtroom during the documentary film, On the Record.

Leaving a legacy lets us be sure that we can have a continuing impact on the future of what matters to us most for generations to come. The National Court Reporters Foundation Legacy Society is a way for NCRA members to give back to the court reporting and captioning professions by naming the philanthropic arm of the National Court Reporters Association as a beneficiary in their estate planning. Choosing to be part of the NCRF Legacy Society ensures a donor that their commitment to supporting the future of the profession will continue well after they are gone.

The impetus for the NCRF Legacy Society followed a donation made by NCRA member and past president Rachel Lerschen, FAPR, RMR, a freelance court reporter from Bloomington, Minn., who passed away in 1996. Prior to her death, Lerschen arranged for a contribution to the Foundation in her will and, thus, became the first donor through her estate planning.

Today, more than a dozen NCRA members have included the Legacy Society as part of their estate planning. Most recently, NCRA member and NCRF Trustee Debra Cheyne, MA, CSR, a captioner from Sherwood, Ore., who is also certified in Washington, was the most recent NCRA member to make a provision in her estate planning to benefit the Legacy Society.

“I first learned about the Legacy Society when reading the JCR magazine, and I noticed a page dedicated to a colleague’s legacy provision,” said Cheyne, who has worked as a realtime captioner for 25 years.

“I, like most people, want to leave the world a better place for having been given the gift of life. The National Court Reporters Foundation’s philanthropic programs make our world a better place. Becoming a member of the Legacy Society helps ensure the next generation of court reporters will have the support through scholar-ships and grants to succeed in continuing our role as verbatim guardians of the record.”

Cheyne said that she believes that one of the greatest values of the Legacy Society is providing role models of good leadership, service above self, and promoting the professional of the future.

Donations to NCRF through the Legacy Society or any other estate planning program can be designated as a specific amount or a percentage, either through a final will or an insurance policy. Including charitable donations in a final will can also offer the giver a number of benefits, such as protecting their assets by controlling where they will go, reducing estate taxes, and avoiding capital gains taxes. Donations to NCRF can take the form of the following:

■Outright Gifts: Outright gifts can be used immediately. A gift of appreciated stock or mutual fund shares can be particularly advantageous from a tax standpoint since capital gains tax is avoided.

■Bequests: A bequest to NCRF’s Legacy Society in a will allows a person to leave a particular asset, a percentage of an estate, or a portion of assets remaining after other specific bequests for family members have been made. A bequest to NCRF’s Legacy Society is fully deductible for estate tax purposes.

■Life Insurance: Naming NCRF as the beneficiary of all or a portion of a life insurance policy is another option. Amounts left to NCRF are fully deductible for estate tax purposes.

Supporting NCRF through its Legacy Society or any of its other giving programs also supports several goals in the Foundation’s strategic plan. Among those goals are building and operating a sustainable organization that can continue to collect and preserve the history of the profession, increasing annual funding to create and grow new programs that advance the court reporting and captioning professions, increasing funding for the expansion of NCRA’s A to ZTM Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program, and increasing the amount of financial assistance awards such as scholarships and grants given over the next several years.

“My court reporting career nurtures a lifelong curiosity to continually learn; every day there’s a different and unique ‘topic,’” said Cheyne. “As an officer of the court, our certification requires that we be unbiased. Standing (but usually sitting!) in the middle, hearing ‘both sides,’ promulgates a broader world view, increases tolerance and understanding. My court reporting profession has taught me the value of walking a mile in another’s shoes.”

Cheyne, along with and her late husband, attorney Jeffrey McCauley Cheyne, have also supported NCRF as Major Gift and NCRF Angel donors.

“Giving back to a profession that’s been so good to me not only helps others, it also provides tangible and positive effects on the future. In college, I was re-quired to take Theology. One concept from that study that’s stuck with me is bodhisattva: You reach one hand up for help and one hand down to help others,” added Cheyne. If you would like information on how to leave a lasting legacy and become a member of NCRF’s Legacy Society, contact Mary Petto, deputy director of NCRF, at 800-272-6272, ext. 122, or by email at mpetto@ncra.org

Angel Donor Profile: Aimee Goldberg

Aimee Goldberg

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) supports the advancement of the court reporting and captioning professions through education, scholarship, recognition, and programs critical to preserving the past, enriching the present, and securing the future of the profession. NCRF is able to do the great work it does with donations from individuals and organizations through various donor programs, including the popular Angels program.

Each month, the JCR Weekly will highlight one of the more than 100 Angels who support the National Court Reporters Foundation year after year. This month, we profile Aimee Goldberg, CEO of and partner in Benchmark Reporting Agency in Minneapolis, Minn.

JCR | Let’s begin with learning where you are based and what you do.

AG | I own Benchmark Reporting Agency along with my partner, Eric Goldberg. I oversee the administration and operations of our firm.

JCR | How long have you been an Angel?

AG | I have been a contributing member of the NCRF Angels program since 2008.

JCR | Clearly being an Angel is important to you. Why?

AG | I am a firm believer in supporting and giving back to our profession. NCRF supports our profession in many ways. NCRF creates exposure, building awareness and knowledge about our industry. NCRF also provides financial support to students with scholarships and programs designed to enhance their education. One of the programs will pay a student’s NCRA dues upon completion of two oral histories through the Oral Histories Program. This gives them access to invaluable resources available to NCRA members, including the JCR

JCR | What is your favorite NCRF program?

AG | My favorite NCRF program is the Oral Histories Program. This allows our profession to shine by providing a written record of those who were interviewed as a part of world events that should never be forgotten. This is a prime example of the far-reaching power of the written word.

Learn more about the NCRF Angel Donors program, or become an Angel.

Angel Donor Profile: Marjorie Peters

Marjorie Peters

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) supports the advancement of the court reporting and captioning professions through education, scholarship, recognition, and programs critical to preserving the past, enriching the present, and securing the future of the profession. NCRF is able to do the great work it does with donations from individuals and organizations through various donor programs, including the popular Angels program.

Each month, NCRA will highlight one of the more than 100 Angels who support the National Court Reporters Foundation year after year. This month, the column kicks off with a profile of Marjorie Peters, RMR, CRR, who also holds NCRA’s Realtime Systems Administrator certificate.

JCR | Let’s begin with learning where you are based and what you do.

MP | Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., covering Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland. I am a freelance reporter and small firm owner covering complex realtime and all types of litigation, large and small.

JCR | How long have you been an Angel?

MP | Since the Angel program started, nearly 15 years ago!

JCR | Clearly being an Angel is important to you. Why?

MP | I did not attend college, but having a skilled trade that has become a career has offered me the opportunity to achieve goals and work in places with people I never would have imagined. It has given me freedom of choice and flexibility in my life. I want everyone to realize their own goals as well, and the Foundation programs offer those opportunities to others as well.  How can I not support that!?

JCR | Are you involved with the Foundation in other ways?

MP | I am on the Angels Gatherers Committee! Ask me about being an Angel! It’s not as hard as you think. After I was an Angel for the first couple of years, I realized it was a commitment that I would always make to myself and others because NCRF’s programs really do help others. Foundation programs empower!

JCR | What is your favorite NCRF program?   

MP | Well, the easy answer is the Oral Histories Project. It is a labor of love and the best day you will ever have. The Foundation programs support education through scholarships, support reporting firms by offering legal education resources, and of course the Corrine Clark Professionalism Institute supports fledgling reporters and firms. The Foundation lifts students, reporters, and firms to success personally and professionally.  

Learn more about the NCRF Angel Donors program, or become an Angel.

Nominations open for awards and scholarships, including the all-new NCRA A to Z scholarships

It’s time to recognize someone special! Every year, NCRA offers members several scholarships and awards to bring attention to the people who are contributing to the profession in important ways. In addition to the annual scholarships managed by the Council on Approved Student Education (CASE), the National Court Reporters Foundation has initiated an all-new scholarship to help students who have completed the NCRA A to Z™ Intro to Machine Shorthand program with the next step in their training. Scholarships are supported by funds from the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF).

Nominations are now open, so consider nominating individuals for these special opportunities:

CASE scholarships.Five scholarships are available. Students attending an NCRA-approved court reporting program and writing between 140 and 180 wpm are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Teachers and mentors, let them know that you see their potential. The nomination period opens Feb. 15 and nominations close April 1.  

NCRA A to Z ™ scholarships. Up to 10 students will receive a $500 scholarship. Qualified applicants must have completed the NCRA A to Z™ Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program as well as pass a skills test writing between 60 and 100 wpm, among other eligibility requirements. Nominations open Feb. 15 and close April 1.

 CASE Educator of the Year. This special award is for a court reporting instructor. Was there someone special who inspired you, who got you through the ups, downs, and plateaus of your court reporting classes? If your teacher was an incredible influence in you getting started, now is the time to say thank you by nominating that special someone for the CASE Educator of the Year Award. Nominations open Feb. 15 and close April 1.

Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters. If you know a dedicated court reporter or captioner who has contributed to the profession in a big way over the years, nominate that person as a Fellow. Candidates must be active practitioners in the field and have at least 10 years of experience. Criteria for nomination include the publication of important papers, legislative or creative contributions to the field, and service on committees or boards. Nominations open Feb. 15 and close April 1.

Today is a great day to support the Foundation

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF), which was founded in 1980, is dedicated to supporting the future of and raising awareness about the court reporting and captioning professions. Its charitable initiatives include:

  • Student scholarships: NCRF has given more than $100,000 in scholarships to students.
  • The Oral Histories Program, including the Veterans History Project (VHP): NCRA members have completed more than 4,200 transcripts for the VHP.
  • The Legal Education Program: NCRF has created materials that many court reporters have presented to attorneys, law students, and judges on making the best record.
  • The Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute: NCRF has created educational content, including seminars and a series of articles in the JCR, to help students and new professionals successfully transition to becoming working reporters.

You can learn more about what NCRF accomplished in 2017 in the accompanying infographic and find more information about NCRF’s programs at NCRA.org/NCRF.

Make an online donation to support NCRF’s work

Donations can now be made to NCRF online. Donors may also set up recurring donations to NCRF on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Donations of $1,000 or more — or recurring donations of at least $250 quarterly or at least $83.34 monthly — are Angel donations. Angels will be contacted separately regarding their special Angels recognition. (Please note: Angels who have already pledged will not be affected by this new online system at this time.)

Donate now at bit.ly/JCRWeekly.








Take Note! Court reporters and captioners transcribe interviews for Veterans History Project

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn Feb. 10, the Library of Congress posted a blog written by April Weiner, Manager of the National Court Reporters Foundation. The blog provided insight into how court reporters and captioners are helping to preserve the stories of American war veterans.

Read more.








Gadsden State student earns national scholarship

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyGadsden State Community College, Gadsden, Ala., announced in a press release issued Jan. 29 that Analisa Arnold is one of two students nationwide to earn the Student Intern Scholarship from the National Court Reporters Foundation. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and is offered to students who are enrolled in NCRA-approved court reporting programs and meet other requirements.

Read more.








Plan ahead for learning opportunities through NCRA

calendar

Photo by Dafne Cholet

Mark your calendars and plan your learning path with NCRA through 2018. NCRA offers opportunities to earn CEUs in a variety of ways, from certification to webinars to live events. NCRA is your one-stop shop for your educational needs, whether you are working toward your next certification, your cycle ending date, or another goal.

Keep in mind that NCRA members can earn CEUs by passing the skills or written portion of certain tests, such as the RMR, RDR, CRR, or CLVS Exams.

Here is a short selection of dates and events (dates are subject to change):

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 10-17), Memorial Day (May 30), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs, although members and students are invited to participate throughout the year. And don’t forget that online skills testing is available year round.

In addition, NCRA is planning webinars throughout the year, which will be announced in the JCR Weekly and on the NCRA Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages as they are available.

Watch for more information in the JCR, in the JCR Weekly, and on TheJCR.com for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.