Gaining Autonomy in the Workplace: Law Edition

More autonomy is almost always ranked when it comes to surveying what attorneys desire within the law firm. The wide array of benefits that come with increased autonomy for attorneys in the work place: more flexibility in work style, increased fluidity in work processes and the most important benefit being increased morale and happiness within the firm. We are all too familiar with the stresses that come along with attempting to stay within the guidelines of company workflows, especially when you know of a more efficient and optimized method.

Being an autonomous lawyer is often likened to being a trailblazer. The one adopts a creative take on the law practice, they are much less likely to be confined to the very nature of a law firm that makes it a draining environment. When achieving success in your creative ventures within the firm, leadership will begin to accept your creativity as your method of servicing your clients.

As time goes on, not only will leadership be down your neck less, you will also begin to inspire other attorneys within your firm which transforms the firm’s overall culture.

More importantly, everyone has different work styles and as attorneys, the work you do is incredibly important. Therefore, you should be able to work in environments that are flexible enough for you to integrate the work style that’s most efficient for you and your clients. The increased efficiency and productivity can have profound effects in every professional environment you’re a part of.

This post is designed to inspire you to take that next step in trail blazing a new path for your personal practice within your firm. There is always going to be push back hence challenging the status quo. However, if you open the eyes of leadership to new workflows and efficiencies, this creates a plethora of opportunities for both transformation and advancement. You create opportunities for more than just increased autonomy when you explore creativity in the workplace.

Select Court Reporters You Can Count On!  Covering all of Central Florida including but not limited to Orlando, Orange County, Florida, Kissimmee, Osceola County, Sanford, Seminole County, Florida, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Longwood and all of Central Florida.

3 Ways to Build a Career in Law that Makes You Happy

It’s no surprise to find that more and more attorneys are looking for ways to increase happiness in their profession. Whether you are on your 1st or your 20th year as an attorney, happiness is essential in maintaining a long and successful career.

Studies have found that the happiest attorneys have created an environment within their profession that combines their passions, their best qualities and desired lifestyle.

More and more attorneys are beginning to question whether or not happiness is achievable in their profession and the answer is, and always has been, yes! The cornerstone for achieving it lies within your passion. What pushed you to become an attorney? What was the foundation for your motivation when enrolled in law school? What was the aha moment that led to your decision to become an attorney? Answering any of these questions will begin your mental pursuit to rediscover what your true passion is in this profession, bringing you one step closer to happier work days!

 

“What are your strengths?” You most likely answered this question in countless interviews when trying to start your career. But now that you’re established, when is the last time you answered that question? Like many things in life, we change and grow over time. Therefore, the strengths you have now may be different from the ones you had in the past. Learning what your new strengths are can reveal something new in your profession that you can excel in that you may not have noticed before.

Your desired lifestyle is essential to how you build your career. We all have visions for how we want to live and the steps to get there may seem overwhelming at first but it is definitely possible. As an attorney it can feel like you are always at the mercy of your client. In many situations that may be true. However, there are countless ways one can practice law. Finding a method of practice that conforms to you is very important in achieving happiness within the workplace. You do not have to stick to the status quo work-life balance that is expected or envisioned for attorneys, find and stick to what works for you!

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Professional Meeting Venues Add Value to Case Discussion


The meeting venue is an important aspect of a case discussion. Face to face meetings can
bring a lot to a case discussion. With a neutral meeting venue, the meeting is more likely
to be productive, allowing both parties to accomplish their goals in an efficient manner.

How to Choose a Neutral Meeting Venue

So how do you choose a neutral meeting venue that is perfect for your case discussion or
other types of litigation? Think about these questions when selecting the venue for your
upcoming meeting:

● Is the venue big enough to fit all your participants?
● Is there a provision of food at the venue?
● Does the venue fully support your technological requirements?
● Is the location of the venue conveniently accessible?
● Is there a provision for logistics storage?
● Will your meeting materials be prepared beforehand or at the location?
The following details are just a few of the benefits of selecting a neutral meeting space
for a case discussion or other types of litigation.

● Minimal Accommodation Distractions
Hosting a meeting comes with a variety of tasks such as preparing a room and
putting together snacks and drinks. You will have fewer of these responsibilities
when you meet somewhere else, enabling you to put more attention towards the
litigation itself.

● Fewer Interruptions

The breaks that you have during a case discussion should allow you to clear your
head and take a few minutes to regroup. If you’re meeting at your home, there is
a greater likelihood of having family members trying to talk to you during these
breaks about topics that may have nothing to do with the litigation at hand. While
it is possible to get interrupted at any location, there will be fewer interruptions
from staff when you’re away from the office.

● No Expectation to Provide Copy Services

Many people agree to host a meeting without realizing that it will mean providing
copy services to the attending counsel. This may not seem like a big deal, but
secretaries and assistants have better things to do with their time. Having the
meeting in a neutral location minimizes these expectations.

● Ease of Commuting

The meeting venue, when conveniently located for your participants and within a
fair distance helps avoid excessive travel and saves the attendance from the
undue pains of commuting.

● Good Customer Service

It helps to make sure that the venue is responsive to your needs before the event.
Having sufficient support staffs on location when the event is taking place will
ensure that you and your attendees’ demands will be responded in a timely
manner.

Digital Recordings vs Court Reporting

With today’s advanced technology, many attorneys and legal establishments are choosing to eliminate the human factor and record the majority of their cases and hearings digitally. This option is cheaper in terms of man-hours but can be incredibly costly when it comes to accuracy. Even court reporters are beginning to use digital recordings. In most cases, though, they use the digital advantage as a backup.

Digital Recordings

Digital recordings provide an accurate account of everything that has been said during the course of an interview, interrogation, or testimony. Video recordings can capture facial expressions, gestures, and other visual elements that a voice recorder does not.
When digital recordings are used, the equipment must be properly maintained so that it continues to function properly at all times. It’s also important that the equipment is monitored throughout its operation to make sure that there are no glitches or \malfunctions that could cost you valuable information.

The Advantage of Having a Court Reporter

There are advantages to having an actual court reporter on hand to transcribe a hearing or other legal meetings. Using a court reporter not only ensures accuracy throughout meetings or interviews, it also allows for mistakes or malfunctions in equipment to be corrected as they happen. No information will be lost and there will be no fear of lapses in recording time.

Another benefit of having a court reporter do the transcribing is the fact that everything will be captured. The spoken word, inflection or tone, and any visual cues will be recorded as they occur and placed in the notes creating an accurate and complete record of the session.

Digital Recordings vs. Court Reporting

While digital recordings are a good choice in certain situations, having an actual person on hand can mean the difference between an accurate transcription and a complete transcription.

Digital recording is an excellent option if there is no way for a court reporter to be present. When a court reporter is available, however, employing the human factor may make all the difference between an accurate recording and one that is not only accurate but complete and concise as well.
In reality, blending the two concepts will provide the best of both worlds.

How Attorney’s Are Choosing A Court Reporter

Certifications and Memberships

Look for a court reporter who is both certified and a member of professional organizations. This will give you a good indication of their credibility and commitment to providing quality work. As a member of a professional organization, court reporters must adhere to a specific code of conduct.

Availability

It’s essential that the court reporter you choose offers flexible hours and is available when you need him/her. This is especially true if there comes a time when the need arises outside of regular business hours. Having a court reporter who is available whenever they are needed can be extremely beneficial.

Experience Level

Look for a reporter who has experience in both courtroom and deposition settings. This allows you to use the same person for both types of jobs. Ask around to see who other legal professionals use. Most of them will be willing to share the names of the reporters who are hard-working and professional.

Unbiased Approach

In the legal field, it is essential that the court reporter you need is neutral and
impartial. Find one that does not have an affiliation with either party so that
there is no question about the accuracy of the files and credibility of the reporter.

Turnaround Time

Most court documents are time sensitive and have deadlines attached. Choose the reporter who has a reputation for being on time and consistent when turning in their work. Try to search for a company that offers a guaranteed turnaround time that meets your expectations.

Effective Communication

It’s important that the lines of communication are always open. This allows you to get answers to your questions when you need them, not when it’s convenient. Whether it be by email or phone, choose someone who is always responsive to your needs.

Perks of Being A Court Reporter

Many people don’t know what a court reporter is and even more so have  never even heard of a court reporter. I would say court reporters have one  of the neatest jobs ever, but I may be a bit bias. Let me tell you some of the  great perks we have and you be the judge.

1. Depending on how hard you work and how often you are trying to grow  yourself as a court reporter, you could be presented some awesome  opportunities. History is made every single day in courtrooms, how  awesome would it be to be part of it.

2. You work on your own time 90% of the time. As an independent  contractor working for a court reporting agency or even your own agency,  your work schedule is on your own time. Of course you’re only paid for jobs  you do so flexibility and availability are the key to success. There are also  plenty of government entities with a set schedule if you’re looking for a  more stable schedule with benefits.

3. Court reporting allows you to have your space and be social. You’ll meet  a ton of people – lawyers, paralegals, witnesses, and judges. You will hear  everyone’s business and learn a lot. While it’s obvious that you must remain  unbiased and more or less seen and not heard during official proceedings,  you still must build and maintain relationships. If your turnaround time is  fast and court has never waited on you, you can guarantee yourself more  jobs to come.

Those are just a few awesome perks of being a court reporter. If you’re  interested in becoming a court reporter, do some research and give it a try.

How To Stay Active While Working From Home

It’s often customary to spend eight, sometimes nine hours a day sitting while you’re at work. And by the time your workday comes to a close, you just want to go home and relax. So by default, you end up sitting again either in front of the TV or computer. Medical studies have found that spending seven or more hours sitting can lead to long-term health concerns. It has also been found that physical activity can stimulate the brain, improving memory and thinking skills.

A unique way to incorporate low-impact physical activity into your workday is to hold meetings on the go. A number of employers are encouraging this (when it’s feasible). If you’re part of a small meeting that consists of three or four people, recommend a “walking meeting.” Not only is this creative, different and fun, but it gets you and your co-workers out of your chairs and away from your desks. Walking meetings are a great way to encourage camaraderie while getting some extra steps in and refreshing your brain for the rest of the day. Good blood flow leads to good ideas!

If getting away from your desk is nearly impossible, we all understand time crunches and managing multiple projects, same with tight deadlines, consider investing in a standing desk. Standing desks have become a rising trend in office settings. It is a way to get you or your employees up on your feet without sacrificing productivity. Many are easily adjustable, so that you can alternate sitting and standing throughout the day. If standing while working is not an option or you are in a long deposition, you can get physical activity in while remaining seated. Simply lift your leg, straighten it out, hold for 5-10 seconds, and then lower it back down without letting your foot touch the floor. Do this simple exercise at least 15 times per leg, a few times per day.

When it comes to physical activity, it is easy to forget about your hands and your wrists. They are one of the most common workplace ailments – especially if you’re typing for 8+ hours like many court reporters. The best thing you can do for your hands and wrists is stretching them out regularly. This improves range of motion, and reduces the risk of carpal tunnel and can even protect you from breaks if you fall. An effective and easy stretching exercise is to make a gentle fist, wrapping your thumb across your fingers. Hold the fist for 30 – 60 seconds, and then release and spread your fingers. Repeat with both hands at least four times per day.

We understand that being active when you have a demanding desk job can be challenging. However, there are many ways to implement simple exercises into your daily work routine. Once you start the habit of being more active during your work day, your body and mind will thank you.

5 Questions Your Court Reporting Firm Should Answer

With all of the data breaches and the increased risk of hackers at every turn, a court reporting firm needs to find ways to protect all the confidential information that crosses their desks. Therefore, before contacting a court reporting firm, you should make sure that they have answers to the following questions regarding data security concerns.

How Serious Are You About Data Security?
Your court reporting firm should be able to provide you with peace of mind when it comes to ensuring that your vital information is fully protected. When it comes to procedures and protocols, make sure that everything is in place, and their programs are effective.

Are You Serious About Meeting Your Client’s Needs?
Court reporting firms must be dedicated not only to data security but also to finding solutions that meet each client’s unique needs. Talk to your court reporting firm to determine what they deliver, and ask for a personalized plan to make sure you get everything you need.

How Do You Manage Quality?
It’s essential that your court reporting firm informs you about how they effectively organize and manage every facet, from your billing to your data security. This quality assurance will make sure that all of your confidential information is completely protected.

How Do You Manage Your Confidential Information?
The court reporting firm should follow the highest standards of confidentiality, and should never allow that your confidential information is stored in local work areas. They should use data encryption and store information in certified data-centers to protect it from hacks and breaches.

Is Your Data Security Program Trustworthy?
Make sure that the firm uses secure technology at every possible level. Data encryption protects information and allows it to be stored and distributed safely without fear of it being leaked or corrupted during any of the processes. From deposition to client retrieval, your information should remain safe.

It is vital for the court reporting firms to reassure the clients that their information is a top priority. You should know that the information your court reporting firm provides is secure and fully protected at all times. It’s their responsibility to give you that peace of mind and reassurance.

At Select Court Reporters, we take care of all of these aspects to ensure the highest standards of confidentiality for all our clients. We work hard every day to earn your trust and to make sure that all your confidential information is protected.

What Every Court Reporter Wants You To Know

Context – When we walk in the door, assume we don’t know anything about the case. Providing spelling of proper names or technical terminology before a deposition begins can help us create a cleaner transcript the first time around, improving the quality of our readback, realtime computer-to- computer translation, and even a rough transcript, if you order one.

Who are you – Keeping in “context” with the above bullet point, it would be helpful for us if you could provide a case caption, along with your business card, to ensure we get the correct information for the cover pages of your transcript.

Neutrality – We are neutral third parties, officials of the court, and we are not supposed to give, or even have, an opinion of how we think your case is going. In reality, we only ever hear one side of the evidence, so we wouldn’t make good judges anyway!

Special Circumstances – There are many different ways a deposition can be taken. If you can let the reporter know in advance what special circumstances to expect, this will ensure that the deposition does not have to be rescheduled, and also that it will run smooth and efficiently. Examples would be “realtime,” expedites, roughs, etc.

Timeout – Short breaks every hour or two not only help us rest and stretch, but also help with our endurance throughout the day. A long day with very few breaks may actually impede the integrity of the transcript as we become fatigued, and no one wants that to happen!

Fast Talkers – Pauses in between fast talkers are invaluable. They allow us to catch up and prevent us from having to interrupt and slow everyone down. A 3- second pause in between the questions and answers can help immensely.

Arguers – Heated arguments are often unavoidable, but you should know that if you want what you’re saying on the record, you must try your best not to interrupt and talk over others. Otherwise, it is virtually impossible to get what you’re saying on the record.

Mumblers – A mumbler is usually more difficult to take down than a fast talker, so please speak up clearly, and avoid covering your mouth with your hands.

“Exhibit A” – While verbally assigning exhibit markers, please pause for just a minute to allow us to physically mark them before resuming with questioning. We can’t type and mark at the same time.

Video – Beware: Everything that can be heard on the video will be transcribed. We mean everything!

Can and Will Technology Replace Court Reporters?

We live in a world of ever evolving technology where each day brings a new gizmo and gadget. While this makes life easier and more efficient, it also threatens the job security of workers across all industries. If you are in the court reporting or legal industry, you have most likely heard the ongoing chatter of court reporters being replaced by voice recording technology. We are here to reassure you that technology will not be replacing the roles of court reporters anytime soon due to more reasons than one:

The legal industry is no exception to the time = money concept. In fact, it is one of the most time sensitive industries. Court reporters must produce accurate transcripts of depositions and trials in a timely manner. More often than not, they are producing a transcript with a very quick turn around time. Their ability to do this depends on their ability to know who is speaking, read lips of soft spoken talkers, mark key sections of the transcript, highlight code text, and make notes to reference later all while the trial or deposition is happening. Some reporters provide real time, which allows legal parties to have instant access to a live transcript feed as the reporter is writing it. However, this is not 100% cleaned up, and may not include punctuation that the reporter goes in and adds later. Individuals who are not on site utilize real time reporting to stream from their location, which saves them both time and money on traveling.

The misconception that court reporters will soon be replaced stems from the notion that voice-recording technologies would cost less than having to hire a court reporter. However, this is simply not accurate. Law firms would not only have to pay for the software, but they would also have to have it hardwired and purchase storage for large digital files. This could cost anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000. When you utilize voice recording technology, you must also have an IT professional available to resolve any malfunctions that may occur. When you add up all the costs associated with the voice recording system, it is more accurate, affordable, and feasible to simply hire a professional court reporter.