Todd Olivas, CSR, Agency Owner

How Not to Make the Mistakes I Made as a Court Reporting Student

It’s been ten years since I’ve been licensed as a CSR.  Yes, a whole decade has elapsed since my time in court reporting school. So I thought it might be appropriate to look back at some of my experiences (and mistakes) and share those with you over the course of some guest blogs here on the RobertsWalshGonzalez website.

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

I don’t know about you, but many times during my court reporting school experience, I thought I had it all figured out.  It would happen right after completing a speed or passing a test.  I would get complacent and, the truth be told, a little lazy.  Okay, a lot lazy.  My entire path through school was subsequently a series of quick bursts followed by coasting.  Pass a test or two, then slack off for a few weeks… then hit the gas for another burst, then relax for a spell.  I enjoyed 170s so much, in fact, that I spent one full year “visiting” that speed.  And the crazy cycle would continue. 

Things don’t have to be that way.  And I’ve learned it is a rather inefficent distribution of energy.  When driving a car, for example, don’t you get better gas mileage if you apply consistent and even pressure on the gas pedal rather than “gunning” it and then slamming on the brakes in the nick of time?  It’s the same thing with court reporting school.  The best way to survive court reporting school, and my #1 tip on the subject, is to be consistent in your efforts throughout.  If you come to school every day in the beginning, keep it up even (or especially) as you begin to advance through the speeds.  If you can practice a couple hours per night during theory, then don’t slack off when you’re in speed building.

Be consistent and you’ll not only finish the program on time or before but feel less “burned out” by the experience.

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and agency owner.  He can be reached through or Riverside Court Reporting.