1. Be professional. Dress professionally. Even if you’re nervous, as most new reporters are, go in with confidence. Be assertive, be cheerful, speak clearly, introduce yourself with a firm handshake. A smile goes a long way. Keep your problems at home.
2. Write down everything: Names, orders, location, who was present, reading/waiving, etc. Never rely on your memory.
3. Carry your “emergency” kit: Extra battery, microphone, tapes, snack, tissues, ibuprofen.
4. Make sure you know where you’re going the night before so you don’t spend time circling that block; that includes parking.
5. Expect the unexpected. That two hour deposition could end up being ten. That all day trial could get settled on the courthouse steps. Be flexible. Every day is different and every client is different.
6. Don’t be afraid to interrupt if you can’t hear or can’t understand. If you don’t tell the attorneys there is a problem, they assume there is no problem.
7. Research your transcript. With the Web at our fingertips, no name should be misspelled; no cite misquoted.
8. If you can’t deliver a transcript when the client is expecting it, call the client to let them know when they WILL get the transcript.
9. Don’t be shy about asking your colleagues for help or advice. We’ve all been there and needed a little help in the beginning.
10. Take a deep breath, enjoy your new wonderful career, and remember the people you’re working with are just people, too, and you’re part of the team.