advice for paralegals

What does our ever-changing world teach us about running a law practice? For many, it means being open to change, even if the change is thrust upon us like it has been this year. For court reporters, lawyers, and paralegals, it means having to adapt processes to continue to serve clients while keeping everyone safe. To say this year has been challenging is an understatement! We’ve got advice for paralegals to continue to serve clients with regard to depositions and client management.

Disaster Planning

In Phoenix and all of Arizona, the worst disasters we’ve experienced are likely related to weather – snow, rain, and dust storms. While these are an inconvenience, they don’t cause work stoppages or force changes to how business is done. COVID-19 changed the landscape. If you’ve been forced to work from home or modify the office schedule, you understand the importance of disaster planning.

We often think of disasters as huge events like 9/11, but there are procedures that can be put in place for events like COVID-19.

  • Does your firm have a plan to move people, phones, computers, and internet access? Does the plan keep client data confidential? VOiP services for phones and data and Zoom for meetings will help your firm stay connected. Get the team trained before there is another disaster.
  • Business Continuity. Even if the team is working from home, at least part-time, does it feel seamless to clients? If you’re not sure, ask them. Even during a disaster, it is important to continue to serve clients at the level you’ve done in the past. It can make all the difference as the world gets back up and running.
  • Stay Connected. How will your team stay connected to each other? How will they stay connected to clients? Pick up the phone and call employees and clients. It can be as simple as checking in to say hello, ask if they are okay, or more personal like a birthday message. It is especially important to stay connected; no one likes to feel alone.

Advice for Paralegals: Once the disaster plan is in place and operating, sit back and take note of what is working and what is not.

Having trouble working from home? Establish a routine, even if that means an open/closed sign on your home office. Communication with family and your team is also important. They need to know when you’re working and, for your family and friends, they need to know when you’re available for social time. The routine will help you stay focused and productive.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Take a walk. Meditate. Listen to music. Watch less of the news. Video chat with friends. Whatever helps you wind down, do that.

At Herder and Associates, we are focused on continuing to deliver high-quality service to our clients, as we have always done. We’re all in this beautiful chaos together and we are dedicated to assisting you with depositions and are continuing to offer video depositions so that you can continue to serve your clients. 

Call Herder & Associates at 480-481-0649 to schedule a remote video conference deposition today!

Today we are mesmerized by the 50th Anniversary of the first walk on the moon. Our young newly-blended family lived in Central Florida, with “new Dad” a bright engineer working in the space program. He was delighted to wake us up at dawn to gather in the front yard so he could show his new sons “dad’s rockets” as each satellite and Gemini project launched. I miss Dad, the son of non-English speaking Ellis Island immigrants, who learned to speak English in first grade, “from the wrong side of the tracks” who respected the importance of totally assimilating into the country that he loved dearly and later proudly served as a Navy man. Dad went on to become a Villanova graduate and the epitome of the opportunity, freedom and greatness that America has to offer. I’m blessed that the memories are still crisp of the summer of 1969, standing there beneath the palms with my older brother, holding my new baby sister, engulfed by the humid Florida air permeated by the aroma of the citrus groves. We sometimes struggled to keep up as Dad enthusiastically explained jet propulsion, gravity and orbital circumnavigation. We were in awe in many respects, as a family and as a country. We were finally a whole family, reunited, static, safe, loved. And, the country was healing, united for an electrifying snapshot in time as Americans were authoring a new chapter in the history of mankind. Strangers from every walk of life, background, race and religion gathered around TVs everywhere, in stores, offices, restaurants and homes. For a moment, people were uniquely united and proud to be a part of something bigger: Being American.

I’m proud of dad, of his peers, his industry and of our country. They pursued greatness and achieved the impossible. They brought diverse groups of people together through their efforts, even if only for a moment. My heart and respect goes out to all the men and women of the space program who have dedicated their lives to this amazing and noble pursuit.

 

Best Court Reporters in Phoenix

Just this week I saw a post on social media asking where current phone books could be acquired and the comments were hilarious. While one response was to set up a time machine and go back a few decades, most were along the lines of, ?check Google,? and, ?as long as you?re here in this neighborhood group, just ask us.? While I don?t know why they wanted the yellow pages, I suspect they were a student conducting research or someone seeking a simpler way of finding information. If they were looking for the best court reporters in Phoenix, I would?ve recommended they call Herder and Associates!

Our full-service court reporting agency specializes in utilizing state of the art technology and certified professional court reporters for every aspect of litigation, hearing and arbitration testimony, and audio transcription.?

If you?re an Arizona attorney in need of a court reporter, keep these qualities in mind.

Technical Expertise

We specialize in large, complex cases which means there is no room for technical errors. Our court reporters use the latest technology to capture and transcribe testimony and are familiar with industry-specific vocabulary and medical terms. While this should be the standard, it isn?t always the case; we?re dedicated to making sure you?ve got the best court reporter for your case.

Accuracy?

Whether you?re calling someone from the yellow pages or you?re an attorney reviewing witness testimony, what you?re reading has to be correct right down to the last word. In addition to being the record of exactly what was said at the legal proceeding, our work must be free of errors, typos, and grammatical errors.

Speed?

When it comes to the best court reporters in Phoenix, it?s not enough to have a high rate of accuracy. Our court reporters are also able to type quickly while listening and capturing all of the speakers throughout a case. When legal teams talk over one another or when a witness simply points to answer a question, it can make for a challenging day!

Focus

A distracted court reporter isn?t nearly as effective as a focused one for the simple reason that in order to capture what is happening, they need to concentrate. There?s no checking messages or updating social media when they?re working. Not only that but proceedings can be long and tedious so reporters need to be on their game and able to effectively deliver the transcript on-time and accurately to our clients.

Whether you found us in the yellow pages, Google, or another way, we?d love to work with you. We strive to work with the best court reporters in Phoenix who have a combination of qualities that include speed, accuracy, technical expertise, focus, and experience. If you?re looking for the best of the best, give Herder and Associates a call to schedule your next deposition.

Court Reporter Shortage

It?s estimated, by Ducker Worldwide that by this year there will be a court reporter shortage of 5,000 within five years meaning that demand will exceed supply. The combination of many court reporters being close to retirement age and a dearth of younger people pursuing the profession is leading the shortage.

What does this mean for the courts and for attorneys?

This shortage highlights the need to recruit younger people to the field. To retain the highest level of customer care for attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona and their clients, the profession literally cannot afford any of the current court reporters to retire early.

Recruiting new court reporters to the profession is not as easy as it once was because court reporting schools are also going out of business. This is especially true in rural areas which might not only experience a shortage of court reporters, but a complete lack of them.

The shrinking base of court reporters and a smaller pool of potential candidates to replace them has many court officials seeking options to ensure accurate records of court proceedings are captured and maintained.

What can be done?

Phoenix, Arizona attorneys and the courts themselves need to find ways to support and help regrow interest in the career. The salary and the flexibility the career offers should potentially lure new professionals into the career.

The starting salaries for court reporters is estimated at $43,000. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 14% growth in salary per year through 2020. The reason for the salary growth is because the supply of court reporters is low and the demand remains high and that leads to salary increases. It is hoped that the salary level for even beginning court reporters will be an incentive for them to pursue training in the field.

Many court reporters work on a contract basis with various courts and this means they can work as often, or as infrequently, as they like. They are essentially able to set their own earning potential. Some court reporters, on certain cases, could earn more than six figures.

Why is there a court reporter shortage and what does it mean to the public?

A shortage of court reporters means a dearth of qualified professionals available to deliver service to attorneys who are representing their clients in courtroom proceedings.?

While electronic recording devices have been introduced into some courtrooms they are no replacement for an experienced court reporter who can pick up on nuances in conversations and request something be repeated it if wasn?t clear.

Technology is no a solution to the court reporter shortage, though because with technology comes technical problems. Additionally, even if the proceedings are recorded, the record still needs to be transcribed. Litigation firms do not anticipate a decline in the need for court reporters.

Court reporters provide service during court proceedings and they also prepare transcripts for appeals and other judicial review processes.

To entice a new crop of court reporters to the field, current court reporters in Phoenix, Arizona should be urged to communicate what they enjoy about their careers. It is up to those in the legal profession to help the public understand the need for these professionals in courtroom proceedings.

Mentor

Leadership: Building Leaders of Tomorrow

Did you start as a clone of an excellent leader from your past? ?We all have that one mentor that completely changed the landscape of our career path.? Have you run with that assistance and become an average or excellent leader?? Which do you believe will bring you the most success?? What defines the two?? Quickly the conversation turns to mentoring.

Excellent team members, (future leaders) are no accident.? They are also?not the result of being led by tyrants, bullies or self-serving misogynists.? The strongest team members are groomed by those who take the time to be excellent leaders.

Rising stars are rarely created by senior leadership that is too vested in barking out directives, duties and deadlines week after week, but rather by superiors who invest the time to engage in an interpersonal relationship with a team member’s professional success.?? You’ve seen it time after time, a leader that rules without positive reinforcement and coaching falls short of his peers, is unliked, and often miserable.

If your objective is to lead a dynamic team of successful rising stars, like yourself, start with the objective to clone yourself, one person at a time. ?Define your own strengths and gifts, what you bring to the table, as well as the pitfalls that you’ve had to maneuver through to get to where you are today. ?Focused talent development is an efficient and effective tool to drill down on each teammate’s strengths, and takes a selfless leader, willing to care about those he is charged with leading.

Bringing 35 years/4000+ proceedings to your team: Marty Herder, CSR, CCR,

President Az Litigation Support, LLC.? [email protected]