Dear fellow stenographers and voice writers,
As technology continues to reshape the landscape of our profession, we find ourselves at a critical juncture. The rise of digital recordings and artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal field poses challenges to our traditional role as court reporters. However, let us not view this as a threat but as an opportunity to showcase our unique value and engage with the legal community in an interactive and productive way. In this ever-changing landscape, it is imperative that we continue to hone our skills and adapt to the evolving demands of the industry. Embracing change does not mean relinquishing our expertise; it means harnessing the power of technology to enhance our abilities and expand our reach. Let us embark on this journey together, inspired to educate lawyers and judges about the pitfalls of digital recordings and AI, and showcase our superior skills.
1. Embrace Lifelong Learning
In a world driven by technological advancements, continuous learning is essential for professional growth. Seek out opportunities to enhance your skills, whether it's attending tech trainings, participating in webinars, or exploring new software and tools. In addition, familiarize yourself with AI technologies, understanding their limitations and potential impact on our profession. By staying informed and adaptable, we position ourselves as informed ambassadors of our craft.
2. Engage and Educate
The legal community may not be fully aware of the pitfalls of digital recordings and AI in capturing accurate records. Take the initiative to reach out and educate lawyers and judges about the distinct advantages of human stenography while you are on the job. Use real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the crucial role stenographers play in ensuring accurate and reliable records. Case studies and information about DR pitfalls can be found here through NCRA’s Strong Committee: https://www.ncra.org/home/get-involved/ncra-strong---home/ncra-strong-resource-library.
I would suggest as well that we offer to conduct informational sessions, workshops, or seminars to enlighten the legal field about the nuances and complexities that digital recordings may miss. If this is not your forte, it’s mine, as well as others on your Board. Inform, offer, and then invite us to conduct such informational sessions if you are not comfortable, but we need you to make the initial contact and offer. Educating the legal profession will be invaluable to successfully stay relevant and at the forefront of our profession.
3. Showcase Your Expertise
As ambassadors of our profession, it is vital to highlight our unique value proposition. Demonstrate your expertise and unrivaled accuracy by providing samples of your work, showcasing the level of detail and precision that digital recordings cannot match. Share success stories and testimonials from legal professionals who have experienced the undeniable advantages of having a skilled stenographer present during proceedings. By exemplifying our abilities, we instill confidence in the legal community and encourage them to seek our services.
4. Collaborate and Innovate
In this era of technological convergence, let us not be isolated but seek knowledge we need to stay relevant and educated. Together, we can explore innovative solutions that integrate technology into our workflow while preserving the essence of court reporting. Let us consider engaging in constructive dialogue, sharing insights and ideas that promote efficiency, accuracy, and the seamless integration of AI technologies into our practice. Let’s do this as a cohesive body and not a divided body. I believe we must re-invent and re-define ourselves as we envision our future and embrace and incorporate new technology. Let us not let technology define our roles as court reporters. It surely will if we do not take the initiative to do it ourselves. I am calling for a volunteer to spearhead this endeavor. We cannot miss this opportunity to take the wheel and steer our future course or we will be stuck in reverse.
5. Emphasize the Human Touch
While AI may excel in certain tasks, it lacks the human touch that is essential in the deposition room, courtroom, or classroom. We need to highlight the value of ourselves as human stenographers in capturing not just words, but emotions, pauses, and non-verbal cues that can significantly impact legal proceedings. Let us emphasize the importance of our adaptability, professionalism, and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Showcasing our irreplaceable presence and expertise reinforces the need for human court reporters in an increasingly automated world.
Fellow colleagues, let us embrace this new era with confidence and resilience. By honing our skills, engaging with the legal community, and leveraging the power of technology, we can ensure our continued relevance and indispensability. Together, let us navigate these uncharted waters, united in our commitment to preserving the integrity and accuracy of the legal record.
Stay inspired, stay connected, and let your voices be heard.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further this initiative to educate the legal profession. We need your help to take this initiative to a higher level.
Michele Eddy, RPR, CRR, CRI, CCR