I read the blog from Crystal about being discouraged in finding work.  I understand completely.  I am entering deposition setting after working as official reporter for the last seven years.  I have been "out of circulation" and am willing to report last-minute, emergency, and regular-scheduled depositions. I have contacted about nine agencies, have not heard word one the last month.  I am pretty desperate.  Any good words of advice, anyone?

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Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on October 3, 2013 at 15:32

Ida, I see you only joined one cover depo group - San Bernadino.  There has to be other areas that you'd cover.  You should be getting at least two to three job offers through this website a day if you're in enough groups.  There's LA, Long Beach, Riverside county, Ventura county, etc.  Join them and be available. 

Comment by Janiece Young on October 3, 2013 at 12:57


You are welcome.  I would say in my opinion a resume is good but you will need to make some personal contact, hit the street so to speak as far as the attorneys go.  I looked and Keith is in the Bay area, I think.  If you can contact a reporter that works with certain firms that will get you "in" the door, that will help you.  You just have to get on their list and into their system the first time.  If you do a good job, they will keep calling you.

Also, try to build your own book of business and go directly to the attorneys for that.  There is business out there, but you have to go find it.  You don't need that many customers, just a few will be enough.

Comment by Ida Appleby on October 3, 2013 at 12:52

Janiece, thank you for the great advice.  I do have a smart phone and will stay constantly connected.  I will contact Keith Rowan as well.  I just completed a resume' and plan to send to numerous agencies.  Thank you, all, for the support and encouragement! 

Comment by Janiece Young on October 3, 2013 at 12:04


If you don't have a smart phone, you will need one.  You have to snatch those jobs up right away.

Comment by Janiece Young on October 3, 2013 at 12:03


You might contact Keith Rowan.  He is a reporter that had been working pro tem in the courts and had to go into freelancing because of the cutbacks last year in the California court system.  He is doing great.  He is on this site every once in a while and he is also on Facebook.  The reason I suggest Keith is he is in California.  I'm in the midwest.  He will probably have some good tips for you and could even contact you and pass jobs to you when he is double booked.

Comment by Ida Appleby on October 3, 2013 at 11:59
Thank you, Mary Jo and Janiece, for the pearls of wisdom. Will do!
Comment by Janiece Young on October 3, 2013 at 11:56

I just thought of one more thing.  Did you have a good relationship with the judge/judges you worked with?  Contact them and see if they have some attorney friends that they will put in a good word for you.

I went through what you are going through a year ago.  If you reach out to people for help, you will find some good people out there that will help you.  Some people will totally blow you off but there are good people out there that will reach out their hand to you and help you.

Also, join the groups on this site that send out job offers for your area.  That is a good place to get work.  :-)

Comment by Janiece Young on October 3, 2013 at 11:54

I agree with everything Mary Jo said.  

Are there any official reporters you were friends with that have gone out into the freelance area that you could call?  I would keep in contact with them even if they don't give you something at first, some day they will need help.  I would say, "Just touching base."

Also, you could go out and market yourself.  Did you have any long trials where you got acquainted with the attorneys?  Make up some marketing materials and go visit those attorneys that you liked.  Package up some small treat kits and hit the street.  Drop off the treats.  Call back a few days later and find out who sets up the depos.  Go back a second time if you need to.  You will get a yes from about 1 in 3.  

You can run your own shop with a cell phone to start if you need to.  I happen to have a production house in my area where I send my transcripts/exhibits.  Of course, when you do that, you have to pay them something, but if you are not busy, you could do the back office stuff too.  You could even end up starting a company that does the back office work for other reporters that are small and can't afford to hire an office staff.

If you need to you can always scope until you can get your deposition business cooking.  It is so hard to find a good scopist that I can rely on.  I know it's not a lot of money but it is something.

Good luck to you.  You can do it!!!

Comment by Mary Jo Cochran on October 3, 2013 at 11:35

Call every single court reporting owner/manager in the area you are in or that you are willing to travel to.   Be polished and upbeat.  Send them your resume.  Call them every week, to remind them you are available.  Have a 15 second friendly chat.


If you are not on Linkedin, do so.  No guarantee there, but you may get connections.

If you have a court reporter association in your area or state, join it and go to their meetings.

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