It occurred to me not long ago that one of our biggest issues with the shortage is that we are allowing many other groups to dictate what is true. Big companies or companies that sell audio equipment profit from spreading the belief that the stenographer is on its way out and that their product is the future. Because of this, we can no longer trust companies and organizations that are not by steno and for steno to represent us.
Perhaps this serves as a time for associations to shine. Many stenographic associations across the country maintain member rolls and directories. The most prominent of these directories is our NCRA Sourcebook. It is a powerful tool that, used correctly and advertised frequently, can serve as a gateway for the outsider into finding a qualified stenographer. We are so familiar with it — how often have we told lawyers and bar associations it exists? I admit that I personally have not told a single lawyer about the Sourcebook. Perhaps after today, I will get the opportunity.
Indeed, there are many associations that maintain public directories. My own state of New York has a public listing of stenographers on the NYSCRA website. It needs a little work. Some stenographers, like myself, have disappeared from the listings on occasion. But this is understandable, and I am sure that as members look to independent listing to assist with the shortage, associations will answer the call. Perhaps there will even be individuals and companies that take up the task of creating their own listings or listing companies in order to deliver stenographic services. A lot of direct market apps like Expedite or NexDep function on this very principle, and it’s exciting any time another player brings a new idea to the game.
Now it comes down to you, reader. Does your state have a listing? Are you and your colleagues in the Sourcebook? Are we advertising independent listings so that consumers can find qualified stenographers? NCRA and so many state associations are working hard to maintain these tools for us, and I find this to be just one more way that we can give back by keeping the legal profession aware that we’re not going anywhere and are easy to find. Will you take the jump and bring up Sourcebook at your next dep?