It’s been said that what we gain by achieving our goals is far less important than who we become by achieving our goals. We agree wholeheartedly. Our industry makes it easy to improve and grow on a fast-track schedule. Let’s take advantage of all goal-setting extends in both professional and personal development and turn 2017 into the year we courted success and accomplished more than we thought possible.

The National Court Reporters Association awards a number of honors and recognitions during the year. Why not throw your skills in the mix?

  • The 2017 Speed Contest will be held at the NCRA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas from August 10th to the 13th. Consisting of three five-minute dictations: literary at 220 wpm, legal opinion at 230, and two-voice testimony at 280. This is always an exciting event. Contestants are given 90 minutes for each segment to transcribe, and the combined scores are averaged to determine the champion.
  • Also at the NCRA Convention & Expo, CRR and Merit writing conference goers will be able to compete in a Realtime Competition, consisting of two five-minute dictations: straight matter at 180 wpm and a two-voice at 225 wpm.
  • Those who endorse the most new members and contribute to the continued growth of the NCRA are eligible for Endorser of the Year.
  • The Distinguished Service Award honors distinguished service by members of the NCRA for the benefit of the reporting industry. The deadline for nominations is February 12, 2017.

Another idea for starting 2017 off with intention is becoming a mentor to a court reporting student or beginning court reporter that may need some encouragement or guidance. Whether you’re a student, new professional, or a reporter who has enjoyed a rewarding career, contact The Virtual Mentor Program (mailto: and make a real difference!

To keep your skills current, sign up for a variety of continuing education offerings, like live webinars and e-seminars that fit easily into your hectic schedules. Or play NCRA’s Courting Disaster Game, the first online interactive learning game to simulate the challenges of a career in court reporting. This is a tremendous and fun resource for those contemplating a career in court reporting.

Finally, consider adding some fresh resources to your library, like the newly released Deposition Handbook, a copy of the Realtime Troubleshooting Pocket Guide , or even Susie King Luthy’s fictional thriller “A Court Reporter’s Nightmare.” Our favorite resource right now is “8,000 Soundalikes, Look-Alikes, and Other Words Often Confused.” (See: Cached or cashed? Canon or cannon? Caret or karat?)

There are many opportunities to not only achieve our 2017 goals, but also strengthen and grow our profession. Our ambitions are big enough to include the goals of those around us, so that we leave our community better than we found it. Cheers to a prosperous 2017 for us all!

Contact First Choice Reporting to learn about the resources we offer our staff and clients. We are accessible 24/7 with a full set of online services to remain connected to our community.