Shortage Solutions 15: CoverCrow

Similar to Shortage Solution 4.

There are many services to connect court reporters to the people that need them, but in the words of founder Cassandra Caldarella, none like CoverCrow, a free service for court reporters across the country.

CoverCrow connects reporters and agencies.

I asked for some of the features users could expect when using CoverCrow, and was told that there is tons of automation. Beyond its job board, there are email reminders and jobs automatically go back to the board if a reporter cancels, becoming urgent if they are close to the deadline.

CoverCrow will also serve as a document vault, helping keep rate sheets, W9s, resumes, and worksheets in order. It is also complete with profiles and ratings. It has state certification requirements programmed in so that only qualified court reporters can see available jobs. Agency contact information will be listed, but not reporters’ information, allowing for more reporter privacy. The service also features a map and geolocation services that will help reporters “check-in” and pick up jobs close to them. One of the newest features, the “Nest” feature, allows reporters to rate job sites with information about amenities, chairs, temperatures or even pictures. For larger companies, there is an option to bulk upload up to 60 jobs from Excel. There is also a new apprentice/mentor feature releasing next week. As of now only agencies and reporters can utilize the service. There is functionality currently being built to extend the service directly to attorneys and law firms.

This is one of those times where I have to point at all the potential fixes out there other than “we can’t find stenographers.” If CoverCrow isn’t up to an agency’s standards, why not let us all know what’s missing? If it’s a solution going unused, then is it true that stenographers cannot be found, or are agencies not really trying very hard? These are the kinds of questions that people in some markets have started asking. As of writing, the app has over 1,500 freelancer signups. As CoverCrow continues to grow and establish itself, the number of people asking those questions is only going to grow. So sign up today and make sure to give lots of feedback!

3 thoughts on “Shortage Solutions 15: CoverCrow

  1. CoverCrow is building a solution that extends to attorneys and paralegals to allow them to directly place the order so that they can (1) cut down on the agency’s data entry time, and (2) cut down on the time spent with middlemen before reporters are notified re emergency jobs, but it will not be offered as a direct service between attorneys/paralegals and court reporters. Attorneys will only be able to order through one agency or multiple agencies. And in the case of a job that is extended to multiple agencies, the court reporter would choose the agency and then get to leave an anonymous reason for picking the agency they chose to cover the job with. This will bring accountability to our industry and put control back in the hands of the court reporters. One of the problems that is solved by doing it this way is that court reporters will have all of the information when we need it, such as case captions, spelling lists, case names, witness names, etc. By streamlining the case management, improving the communication, and keeping it all in one place for access by multiple reporters, agencies, and attorneys, it can help reduce the stress load on individual court reporters, and in turn cut down on the attrition of reporters leaving the field. And the time agencies will save is money earned. Attorneys would be able to “Favorite” reporters, “Block” reporters, and leave reviews for reporters, and reporters can reciprocally favorite, block, rate, and review attorneys, making the agency’s job easier and reducing the awkwardness of having to manage personalities and individual preferences. If we’re going to turnaround our shortage, we had better start fixing the problems, and this is the way to do it – together, collectively, using one universal system that agencies have to use if they want to hire real court reporters, and then we can send a message, and they’d better rise to the challenge and give us what we deserve and what we’re communicating what we want and need. CoverCrow has great respect for the existing agency channel and does not seek to disrupt the existing market, only to improve on the inefficiencies and strengthen all agencies, from the small one-person agency to the national agency. This platform can, in fact, help to strengthen the little agency, giving them a David vs. Goliath advantage.

  2. Thank you for publishing this, Chris. Cassandra, creator of CoverCrow, is doing an amazing job. I am a definite supporter of CoverCrow while also disappointed that at this late stage of my career I won’t have the opportunity to enjoy its many benefits. In the early 1970s I pioneered the implementation of CAT and my excitement level was over the moon, as the saying goes. I feel the same way about CoverCrow. Reporters, and others, should be all over this.

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