Started out as CR, now scopist and paralegal, etc., but thinking of going back...

Hello, guys, I'm hoping to get some opinions from some different perspectives.  I started out as a CR back in the day and I'm seriously considering going back to school.  That said, the question becomes how old is too old...???  I'm not a teenager; however, I'm not ready to be put out of my misery quite yet either. 

Would love to hear some opinions from folks with respect to this.  I recall being almost in the 200s speed when I got sidetracked, but I'm pretty sure it'll be like starting over if I do decide to do this and that probably won't really matter or make much, if any, kind of difference. 

Would love to hear some opinions...




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And I apologize if I posted this in the wrong place, I don't come in here very often because I'm really busy.  If it's posted in the wrong area if someone can tell me how to move it I will move it. 

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to give me their opinion on this, it's something I have been considering and playing with for a little while now and have recently become more serious about doing.



Hi, Susan.  Hope all is well.  You're never too old, in my opinion.  And since I know about how old you are, I can tell you I definitely think you're not even close to too old to start again.  I watched a gal start court reporting school the same time I did who had been a reporter 20 years prior and wanted to get back into the field.  She breezed through school in less than two years, and I'm sure she was a fantastic reporter.  Scope your way through.  You can do it, and the time will fly by once you're in the program.

Court reporting takes a huge toll on your body.  You have to be ready for that committment.  You get sucked in because the money is so good and then you realize your body cannot keep up with the demands, but at the same time you'll have the bills accumulated to where you have to make that kind of living.   If you're telling us you are an older individual and thinking about going back into the field, please keep in mind that the toll it is going to take on you.  I started reporting at 21 and didn't have any problems till I turned about 35.  Now I'm 47 and I do have a lot of pain issues when I go out into the field to work. 

I absolutely love the profession of court reporting but it's just like being a boxer.  Your body cannot take that pressure of being hammered on or you hammering on something else for years and years on end.  It starts to take its toll.  Fortunately for me, I let my husband go into a new field and I supported him and all of our bills for six years.  Now he's making a great living and I'm in a position where I can cut back.  Thank goodness.  Otherwise, I don't think I could continue. 

I wish you the best, but I wanted to be honest as to what you'll be up against.

I have had similar issues with body breaking down.  My mind still wants the big cases, but there's no way my body is going there!  Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a test out there to predict who will be able to take the physical grueling or not.  I sat out ten years and then went to a rural court, loving reporting, and thinking this is better than no reporting at all.  Near the end of the ten-year hiatus, I felt better and began scoping and proofing.  That was truly a lifesaver, because picking up the writer  again was so easy after looking at steno for a few years.  Really helped get the speed back quickly.  So it seems you've got a great setup there with the scoping, and returning to school would be wonderful for you.  It seems like you are basically getting paid to practice (in your head as you scope).  How cool is that!

I don't know how old you are, but I was 28 when I went to CR school and got through it in a little over two years.  If you were already in your 200s when you quit, I bet you'll pick it back up really quick.  I love this job.  Can't imagine doing anything else. 

Hi, Suzi!  It's Wynne.

Hey, if you do, be sure to take Mark Kislingbury's online program......don't waste your time on any of the other theories.  Realtime ability is so important!

Great advice.

Thank you so much, everyone who has responded.  You guys all make really great points.  I think my next step in this process is to research online schools that focus more on just the machine and theory and that sort of thing.  I don't think getting into a program that offers an actual diploma would really benefit me.  Does anyone have any thoughts on that one? 

Again, thanks so much for responding, you guys are great and are really helping me to clarify my focus on how to best approach this. 



I agree that the older you get the more toll it takes on yoru body; however, you CAN negate some of the damage by taking care of yourself along the way - stretch, do yoga, get massages regularly, keep fit, work your abs.  Get a scopist to take some of the pressure off.....and most importantly IMHO only, do not get yourself in such a lifestyle of debt to where you feel pressured to work.  just my opinion, take it for what its worth.


D. Sanders is so correct!  take care of your body and it will take care of

you.  you might want to take a closer look at your bed.  is it good for your

back and body??

I'm 50 and I'd never start in this profession brand new.  I've built up an amazing dictionary over the last 30 years and I cannot imagine starting from scratch.  You're going to be working your ass off and nothing will be easy.  All the great jobs will go to the experienced reporters and you'll be left proving yourself and taking Workers' Comp jobs or little PI jobs.  If that's okay for you and you want to stick with it, good for you. 


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