May Machinations 2020 (Jobs Post)

Plot your course into the future with some of these May 2020 job openings. Of course, this is all with the caveat that things are still closed and that hiring probably won’t happen immediately. That said, this is a good look at the demand for the stenographic reporter in New York and nationwide.

NCRA’s got 93 listings up as of writing. Some of these same listings can be found via the federal judiciary job page and the USCRA job page.  Here in New York, our Southern District and Eastern District Courts both have jobs posted.

DANY’s got a grand jury stenographer job going on in New York County.  Remember, if you’re looking for grand jury work in New York City, check in with the HR people at each of the five district attorneys and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. It might seem like a lot of work, but you might get tipped off to a job before somebody who waits for it to get posted. The DCAS Reporter/Stenographer Exam has not yet been rescheduled. The New York State Unified Court System maintains its statewide posting for court reporters, but it’s my understanding that there is no hiring going on right now.

Assuming all goes well in terms of the state’s reopening, now is the time to be planning, filling applications, or looking up information about certifications available if the job of your dreams requires a test or certification. If you’ve already got your dream job, be a mentor, do what you can to point others in the right direction. For example, one thing a lot of people come to me and ask about is what the heck to study for the Written Knowledge Test of the RPR. They can’t afford the study guide or they want to self-study.  We can’t give them the answers on the test, but we can point at the RPR Job Analysis, and how that breaks down what you should learn about before you walk into the exam room. If it gets somebody one percent higher, and that one percent passes them, it’s worth it. Finally, as a habitual procrastinator, I can tell everyone interested, don’t wait. I waited to apply for a job opportunity ten years ago. Thanks to my “smart decisions,”  I waited four years for another opportunity at that same job.  It’s not always who you know. Sometimes it’s who you are. If you’re the type of person that waits, that’s okay, but you also have got to acknowledge that that can hold you back. You’ve got to make a personal decision whether you want that to hold you back. Everybody reading this has agency. Everyone has some control over their destiny. Embrace that and make yourself shine.

Shortage Solutions 9: Independent Listings

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?