We are nearly a quarter into the 21st century. Next year is 2025. That date just looks and sounds futuristic – and that’s because it is.

We are living in a present that is technologically light years ahead of what anyone could have imagined 30, 20, 10…even five years ago. The world is evolving rapidly, and we all have the choice to either let it frighten us…

Or let it exhilarate us.

The tools now available to the legal industry are unlike any time before. Services that used to be available to only a select few of the most expensive firms with the wealthiest clients are now available at costs reasonable enough for everyone. Products that used to be measured in weeks to deliver are now measured in hours.

Sometimes even minutes.

If that’s not the future, then it’s thrilling enough that it will do until the future gets here. Either way it’s reality, and there’s no going back.

But who would want to?

Software, notation strategies, capture devices, transcription – any tools a reporter may use to create a verbatim record of a proceeding – have and will continue to change and evolve over time. It is futile to try to stop that. Maybe even worse, it’s uninspired.

Court reporting can be a job. For those who invest in it, and invest in themselves, it can be a career. For those who see it for what it really is – a profession that requires skill, honor and integrity so that our societal bedrock value of justice can flow – it’s a calling.

Good court reporters never stop learning or pushing themselves to improve. Not after their initial studies. Not after their certifications. And not after adding a new service to their repertoire.

Good court reporters adapt to new technologies and shifting client needs as the industry inevitably evolves.

Great court reporters are the ones who affect the change.

If a court reporter is trained, certified, passionate, constantly learning, skilled, professional and honorable – who cares if they use a pencil, a steno machine or an audio recording and notation software?

There’s a saying that, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”

We should recognize the electricity in the air for what it is and shape it into what it can be: exhilaration.

This present moment is nothing to fear. It’s a gift.

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