Apps for Legal Professionals

Apps for Legal Professionals

Years ago I wrote an article called Time Management Isn’t about Managing Your Time that’s likely still floating on the interweb somewhere. The idea was that we always have 24 hours in a day so it is pointless to manage our time. Rather, we need to manage how we’re using our time. I’ve found one of the ways to do this is to embrace apps for legal professionals.

Increased Efficiency

My favorite tool for running a small business is Google Drive which includes Google equivalents of MS Word, Excel, a calendar, and other tools. Safely store and share documents with multiple parties or share links to documents that includes view-only or editing options. That means using less space on a computer and sharing documents without sending a separate email. I like this because it’s efficient, especially for those working in teams. Other cloud options include DropBox and iCloud.

Words Matter

DragonDiction is a voice to text app that allows users to dictate text messages, emails, and social media statuses. This is the perfect app for the legal professional who is on the go and needs an efficient way to communicate.

Along with DragonDiction is Evernote which allows users to make lists, take notes, and search via smartphone or computer. Pretty slick and easy to use for the busiest of freelancers.

Legal Specific

DroidLaw is a free app providing access to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Appellate, Criminal, Appellate, and Bankruptcy Procedure, and the U.S. Constitution. Available for purchase are state codes and laws and other resources useful to legal professionals. If you’re an iPhone user, LawStack is another option with similar resources.

If you’re a legal news hound, try LegalEdge. This app includes news alerts, updates, and case filings from across the nation. For general news, set up a Google Alert for certain terms and automatically receive news and blog posts about that topic straight to your email on a recurring basis.

It’s worth noting these apps for legal professionals including our Phoenix court reporters, all have free options available if you just want to give them a try. Leave a comment and let us know what you like to use and have fun managing your time!

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Change Your Perspective When You Volunteer Your Time

Change Your Perspective When You Volunteer Your Time

When was the last time you volunteered? Whether it was to build houses, care for shelter pets, or participate in a mock deposition, you can change your perspective when you volunteer your time. For court reporters, there is also the benefit of sharing your experience with others who may be interested in a career in this changing field.

Change Your Perspective

As a volunteer, you see the world through different eyes. Feeding the homeless made me appreciate having food and shelter, luxuries I had taken for granted. Building homes made me appreciate the work my parents did to buy and keep our home. And for one court reporter, the joy was seeing students learn about the deposition process, including a mock deposition. [Source]

Benefits of Volunteering

There’s something positive to be said for spending an afternoon with high school or law students sharing your experience as a court reporter. It connects you not only to other people but to the community. Too often I feel like we’re too busy to pay attention to what is around us when the reality is that what is around us may be even more important than our small world of home, school, and work.

The benefits of volunteering include a feeling of accomplishment, connecting with others, learning new skills, and making a difference in someone else’s life.

Promote Your Industry

If you’re asked to volunteer, think of it as an opportunity to promote your industry and collaborate with others. Whether you like being in the spotlight or not, you’re the center of attention and a representative for other court reporters. Listen to what others are asking, answer them or point them to resources like the NCRA, and connect with them via LinkedIn so you can continue the conversation. Who knows, you might find a new friend, mentor, or client!

If you’re a court reporter seeking new opportunities or an attorney in need of a Phoenix court reporter for an upcoming deposition, we’d love to talk to you. Call us today.

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What does the court reporter shortage mean for earnings?

court reporter shortage mean for earnings

You’re called for a deposition and in the room is your attorney, opposing counsel, and the court reporter. You’re sworn in and asked questions related to the case in question and you provide answers to the best of your knowledge and leave. While the deposition may be over for you, it’s really just beginning for the court reporter who can earn in the six figures for their quiet work at depositions and other venues. There’s just one problem – a court reporter shortage.

According to Ducker Worldwide, there will be a shortage of more than 5,000 reporters by 2018 including 120 in Arizona and 2,320 in neighboring California.

What does the court reporter shortage mean for earnings? It means new reporters start at average annual earnings of $42,000 and median pay is $51,000; it can be even more in urban areas like Phoenix. For those with experience, they can make well into the six figures.

The reason is simple economics and the law of supply and demand. Court reporters are the product and the price is their salary. When the supply is low and demand is high, as it is today, salaries increase.

Because of the court reporter shortage, Arizona courts only require a court reporter at certain types of cases.

According to the Arizona Supreme Court, human court reporters are only required in cases involving a Grand or felony jury trial, death penalty murder cases, some sex crimes, and parental consent for abortion. That leaves a lot of cases without a human court reporter.

Without a person to record the proceedings, courts are forced to use digital technology and then hire freelance court reporters to transcribe from the recording.

The problem is that the technology is good but not great. Often portions of testimony or exchanges is inaudible in a recording leaving the reporter no choice but to mark it as inaudible and move on.

As an industry, we need to be better about communicating not only the opportunities for court reporters in legal, business, political, civic and educational venues, but about the earnings potential.

Interested in becoming a court reporter? Check out the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) list of approved court reporting programs.

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Arizona’s Herder & Associates Delivering New Educational Deposition Program

Whatever you need, whenever you need it.

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) June 23, 2017

AZ’s Herder & Associates Delivering New Educational Deposition Program

Herder & Associates, a prominent AZ court reporting firm, is now offering presentations that help highlight the role of court reporters and how to conduct depositions effectively. Titled “So You Think You’ve Heard it All? Everything you need to know to take a Deposition,” company owner Marty Herder relies on his years of experience as a court reporter to provide information about best practices in the field.

These free presentations are used to assist law firms in teaching young associates the do’s and don’ts of taking a deposition. Think you’ve heard it all? Think again. Marty Herder, President of Herder & Associates, brings 37 years of experience in over 5000 proceedings to your team, sharing nuances and tips that are unique to the deposition arena. Mr. Herder is a Past President of the Arizona Court Reporters Association, Court Reporting Program Advisory Board Member – Gateway Community College, Official Reporter for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Former Arizona Delegate -National Committee of State Associations (NCSA), mentor and guest speaker.

Depositions are often a crucial component of preparing for a case, but small mistakes made by attorneys and firms can prove problematic later in the case.

“All too often,” Herder says, “A law firm can start off on the right foot for a deposition following a proven path for success. Having worked with hundreds of depositions, I’ve had the privilege to see what makes for a smooth and effective process.”

The topics covered in the presentation include:

How to be effective when the other side is aggressive
Rules and procedure lawyers should know
Common traps lawyers fall into
Frequently made mistakes during the depo process
How to conduct witness prep for maximum effectiveness
Controlling your environment during the depo
Setting goals for each deposition and meeting them

In addition to basics of procedure, these presentations also outline tips for success based on Herder’s personal experience working with many cases. For law firms looking for a great adjunct presentation to supplement any in-house CE programs, seasoned veteran Marty Herder provides an innovative and beneficial program to help law firms get the most out of their deposition process.

Herder & Associates is a full-service court reporting firm based on Phoenix. The company has earned a reputation as a local leader and been a popular choice for attorneys who need reliable and experienced court reporting help. To learn more about services offered by the firm, visit courtreportersaz.com

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Social Media and Free Speech

Social Media and Free Speech

The current political climate has lent itself to conversations about free speech, including what people are saying on social media in Phoenix and across the nation. How can we censor ourselves from conversations in which we don’t want to be involved? Can we police who is using social media? How far is too far when it comes to first amendment privilege? The answers are still unfolding in part because social media is relatively new media and with anything new comes a testing of the legal system. 

President Trump and Twitter 

We’ve never had to ask ourselves if the President can use social media on their own private account or if they can, does it count as an official statement, but we are now! President Trump is, at least at the time of the publication of this blog post, using Twitter to directly communicate with the American people.

There are two dynamics at play here.

The first is that his views are arguably not widely accepted, at least not on the left, so many people simply don’t agree with what he is saying. Those that do agree with him are getting in discussions, some heated arguments with the other side, and it’s making some of the media question the President. The other issue at play is the President’s right to interact on social media in a private account and it has the potential to redefine free speech.

The media will likely be arguing whether the President has the right to have a private account until he is out of office which makes for lively debate no matter which side you’re on. The question for the rest of us is how we protect ourselves and what “protect ourselves” really means when it comes to social media. At this point, it’s personal choice and action.

Self-Policing Social Media 

We can’t control what anyone says on social media, no matter what their job title is, but we can protect ourselves. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter allow users to block and unfollow other users. That gives everyone a choice. You choose to listen to the banter or shut it off. 

Personally, I block and unfollow on a regular basis. From political and religious commentary to inappropriate images, I have a standard that I follow. It is my own standard and I don’t make an announcement or message people that I am unfollowing to tell them why. I keep my stress and interaction to a minimum and you can too.

Social Media and Free Speech 

People have the right to say what they choose on social media. They DO have free speech just as much as I have the right and ability to block them. For those that choose to talk about subjects that some of us, including prospective clients and employers, find controversial, they will have to face consequences. For ten Harvard students, they have to face that even though they shared images in a private group, they still got found out and identified, and are no longer able to attend Harvard.

The social media lesson? We don’t know how this will all shake out in court but we do know that what you say, no matter who you are, impacts your future in positive or negative ways and the choice is all yours. Choose wisely.

Using Technology to Serve our Clients

using technology

My father-in-law recently got (another) new cell phone. The reason? He said his smartphone was too smart for him and went with one that was easier for him to use. While that may work for him, using outdated technology, or none at all, in business may not be the best option. Instead, consider how you’re using or could be using technology to serve your clients.

Busy Court System

With 45 jury trials and 254 non-jury trials in Arizona every week, there are a lot of depositions that need to be captured and we’re here to facilitate the process using videoconferencing. Our Phoenix court reporting firm Herder & Associates is streamlining the process by using technology to help our clients.

Why Videoconferencing Makes Sense 

Our clients and court reporters tell us one of the most challenging parts of their jobs is coordinating schedules and getting everyone in the same room for depositions.

Videoconferencing takes the guess work out of who-is-available-when and allows teams to work collaboratively via the internet. Using our videoconferencing suites in downtown Phoenix, legal teams are able to complete depositions faster and more efficiently than their competitors. Not only that but there are less travel costs for all parties involved so it just makes sense to embrace technology.

Benefits of Using Technology

In addition to saving money and time on travel, using technology means teams are more efficient. They’re more likely to stay alert and focused and because they can all see each other like they would if they were in the same room, they’re better able to communicate. Our court reporters can ask questions to make sure we’re delivering the transcript in the format and timeframe needed by our clients.

It is our hope that our tech-equipped conference rooms are a benefit to our court reporters, attorneys and their clients, and the community. It is our belief that if we each do our part, we can keep the court system moving forward as efficiently as possible.

Are you in need of a court reporter or videoconferencing space for an upcoming deposition? Contact us today and let’s get your team on our schedule!

Related Articles:

Arizona’s Herder and Associates Expands Technological Services

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Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

I often utilize social media to connect with other professionals, including being part of a Facebook group for court reporters. I recently asked, “What was your reason to become a court reporter?” and was amazed at the different answers. Here’s a sampling for you. Leave your reason in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!

Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

Family member. Reporters keep it in the family! Some said their father or mother was a reporter while another woman said her sisters were reporters. Still another said her mom didn’t want her to be a teacher like her sister so she became a reporter! Seems it’s a family business. 

Words matter. A love of words and language was popular among the reporters who answered the unofficial survey. It makes sense since reporters need a vast knowledge of industry-specific, legal, and/or medical terms to be able to do their work. 

Money. Quite a few respondents said simply that money was the motivating factor to become a court reporter. I thought that was an honest answer. One said her sister’s standard of living changed when she became a reporter and she wanted the same for herself.

 Second career. After 20+ years in one career, I might consider retiring but for those motivated, they’ve chosen reporting as a second career. They’re back to school and are ready for a new adventure! 

Love of the steno machine. There were some folks who said they love the keys and secret language of the steno. 

Flexible schedule. For those that have a hobby like playing golf or are needing to care for family, court reporting offers a flexible schedule and above-average earning potential with salaries starting at $40,000 or more. 

Variety. Many reported being tired of being tied to an office doing the same work over and over. They love that they cover different types of cases in different places; no two days are the same and they love it.  

Introvert tendencies. If you love being the quiet person in the room soaking up the conversation, consider a career in court reporting! 

Military assignment. Two men said they were assigned by the military to be court reporters. You don’t find many male reporters! While there are approximately 32,000 reporters in the U.S., only about 10% are male. 

Sounded intriguing. 14 years ago I heard a commercial for a fundraising walk that was 60 miles in three days. Sounds crazy but I signed up and completed it that year and again the next because the commercials were intriguing to me. It was the same for the reporters we asked; they heard a commercial and thought it sounded like an interesting career.

If there’s one takeaway in asking the reason someone became a Phoenix court reporter, it’s that they are passionate about their work. I love when people love what they do. It inspires me and I hope it inspires you too!

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Herder & Associates Founder Recognized at Final Meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

Arizona-based Marty Herder, founder of the court reporting firm Herder & Associates, was recently recognized at the final meeting of the AIRC.

The AIRC was created when voters approved Proposition 106 which amended the Arizona Constitution to create a bipartisan commission independent of the state legislature that would be tasked with redrawing congressional and legislative lines following the decennial census, and was mandated to be in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

Along with the Commission, its counsel, and the AIRC administrative staff, covering each twist and turn of this historic process was Marty Herder, a certified professional court reporter and owner of Herder & Associates.   Herder is a past president of the Arizona Court Reporters Association and long-time member of the award-winning Chandler Horizon Rotary Club.

The AIRC for the 2011-2020 cycle started administrative meetings in March 2011. It has held 58 business meetings and 43 public hearings in locations in every corner of the state, for a total of over 359 hours.

The media and thousands were in attendance at these public meetings, and 2,350 speaking requests from the public were granted. Mr. Herder, President of Herder & Associates Court Reporters, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, diligently reported over 10,000 pages of verbatim transcripts of each meeting, which often times included contentious issues and public protest matters. The commission streamed almost every meeting to the Internet, with the eyes of the country watching.

At the final meeting on April 28, 2017, everyone shared a personal thank-you and goodbye. AIRC Commission Chairwoman Colleen Mathis kindly presented Mr. Herder a Commission Medal of Freedom, sharing “I also want to recognize Marty Herder, who also is going to be receiving one of these Commission Medal of Freedom medals. He’s a really great guy. On the back of his medal, I put, “Always ready.””

Herder was recognized for being dedicated to the Commission and the process 24/7 and remaining at the ready for each meeting of the Commission.

After being presented with his award, Herder responded, “If we are lucky in life, once or twice in our career we are blessed with a moment, a moment feeling a part of something far, far bigger than anything we ever imagined, while surrounded by passionate, bright and engaging new characters and new friends. AIRC has been that moment for me.”

To schedule or inquire about the Always-Ready professional court reporting services offered by the elite team at Herder & Associates, call 480-481-0649 or E-mail:  [email protected]

Tips for Heating Up Your Court Reporting Business for the Phoenix Summer

Court Reporting Business for the Phoenix Summer

Have you lost the spark and passion you once had for court reporting? It might be time to take a look at what you’ve accomplished, where you want to take your business, and then step away for time off. Not sure if time off is in the budget? It should be and here’s why. 

Review Year-to-Date

 You can’t know where you’re going until you see how far you’ve come. Sounds like something from an inspirational poster but it also holds truth. Now is a good time of year to review your Phoenix court reporting business since the beginning of the year.

  • What goals did you have in January and what the status of those goals today?
  • How are you holding yourself accountable for professional development goals?
  • What was your earnings estimate? Have you met or beat it? If not, why not?

As you look at what you’ve accomplished year-to-date, give yourself credit where you’ve met goals or made improvements. Adjust the rest so it is attainable or take it off the list. You aren’t going to heat up your business by stressing over things out of your control so control what you can. 

Take Time Off 

When was the last time you took a day or a week off from work? It might sound counterintuitive but one of the best ways to recharge your mind is to take time away from the office. Studies show that when we take vacation time we’re actually more productive when we are at work. It’s akin to needing sleep for our bodies to function properly; our minds need time to relax and refresh. [Source]

Come Back Renewed and Focused

Even when you’re on vacation your mind is solving problems and improving creativity with what you’ve already been thinking about. Need a new office design? Stop thinking about it and the ideas will flow. Not sure how to land your ideal client? Step away from your desk for the afternoon; your mind will connect you with what you need to know to find that client. The truth is that our minds need time off to just blow off steam just like we do. When we return we’re refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the month and year.

Heat up your court reporting business for the Phoenix summer by taking inventory of what you’ve accomplished so far this year, what you want to get done, then relax and return focused on what’s most important in your business and your life. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

Scheduling a Deposition in Arizona?

Herder & Associates provides court reporting services statewide throughout Arizona and enjoys an excellent reputation in both the legal and reporting field throughout the Southwest.

At Herder & Associates, we specialize our services to fit your every need.   Let us streamline your scheduling challenges of your next deposition by calling us now at (480) 481-0649, and you will know the peace of mind that comes with relying on the most professional and respected court reporting and litigation support services available.