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.

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.

4 Ways To Increase Your Bottom Line

As most court reporters are well aware, selling value-added services is an  effective way to increase your bottom line. But are you selling a service that  actually has value?

Seeing rough draft transcripts everyday, I can attest that most reporters  make the attempt to present a rough draft that is usable by clients. But here are a few tips for making sure no one ever questions your rough draft.

1. Clean up your notes  

If you are someone who makes a lot of notes to yourself during the  job, take the time to search your notes and clean up those sections in  advance.

2. Proofread against the audio 

Take the time to proofread the first 10-15 pages against your audio.  Counsel shouldn’t have to pay for your warm-up session, so by taking this  step, the reader can immediately feel confident in the product you’re  selling.

3. Turn off your timestamps

Be sure to turn off timestamps before submitting your rough draft. If  you had a significant drop for any reason, your timestamps on the rough  draft will give you away.

4. Spell Check

Be sure to spell check, you write for a living and nothing looks worse  than misspelled words through a professional type up. You may be  surprised what spell check finds and will save you embarrassment later.

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.

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.

Here’s Why Every Attorney Needs a Blog

 

Every attorney needs a blog.

 

We bet you’ve heard this phrase before…

 

While it may seem like a frivolous addition to a crowded weekly schedule, blogging is an important element for your firm. Blogs allow attorneys to connect with potential clients in important ways.

 

For example, if you are a construction litigator and you blog about things like latent defects or other construction items that homeowners should keep an eye out for, you not only provide vital information to an unsuspecting public, you also give them something much greater: peace of mind.

 

This should be a big goal on your list of marketing milestones.

 

Creating peace of mind for clients is an attorney’s job. They want to know that you are on their side and that you’ll protect them from potential legal fallout. If you can provide this service before a person becomes your client, you get a giant head start on your competitors.  By giving your prospects advice via your firm’s blog, you place yourself in that highly coveted column labeled TRUSTWORTHY.

 

That is the ultimate point of a blog. It’s not just about networking with clients and colleagues, it’s about building trust.

 

If you’re feeling lost on how to go about establishing a blog for your firm, check out this great post on building a blog in 2018!

 


Select Court Reporters provides exemplary court reporting services to attorneys and law firms throughout Central Florida, including but not limited to Winter Springs, Oviedo, Winter Park, Maitland, Orlando, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, and Kissimmee. We are currently expanding our client base in Seminole and Orange Counties and would love to connect with you. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
Phone: (407) 977 – 7725
Email: selectcourtreporters@gmail.com
“Select Court Reporters you can count on!”

Continuing Legal Education: Schedule It!

 

Here in Florida, attorneys are required to meet certain requirements where it concerns their continuing legal education.  The Florida Bar sets hourly obligations that attorneys must meet.  Specifically, over a 3-year period, each member of the Florida Bar must complete 33 hours of continuing legal education, five of which must be in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, mental illness awareness, or bias elimination, and three hours in technology.

 

 

While this might seem like an easy feat, there are times that attorneys fall behind, especially if they have a heavy caseload.  That’s why putting together a schedule for your continuing educational pursuits is a good way to stay on top of your obligations.

 

 

Begin by prioritizing your CLE requirements.  Which will take longest and be the most intensive?  Make a list of those items first.  From there, you can move on to the less intensive items, and so on, and so forth.

 

 

Second, compare your CLE list with your daily or weekly task list.  Find ways to implement your required educational hours into your task list by scheduling them as a part of your day.  Get your staff involved—have them set you up the same way they would for your regular tasks and appointments.

 

 

Third, keep a record of all your required CLE obligations.  Mark off items as you complete them and have your assistant or a staff member submit them to the Florida Bar.  Be sure to save all of your receipts and certificates of completion to a file.  Back it up along with your other confidential legal documents so you always have proof that you have met your obligations.

 

 

Finally, stay positive!  Continuing legal education requirements often overwhelm attorneys, particularly if they are already inundated with a busy work schedule.  Keeping an open mind, setting up an easy and productive schedule, and maintaining a positive outlook can help diminish overwhelming feelings.  It will also increase focus and help familiarize you with your limitations.

 

Select Court Reporters provides exemplary court reporting services to attorneys and law firms throughout Central Florida, including but not limited to Winter Springs, Oviedo, Winter Park, Maitland, Orlando, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, and Kissimmee. We are currently expanding our client base in Seminole and Orange Counties and would love to connect with you. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
Phone: (407) 977 – 7725
“Select Court Reporters you can count on!”