What NCRA means to me

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR

Lynette Mueller

I love gathering inspiration from others and notable quotes from strong individuals. When I was asked to provide my insight for an article about membership, the following quote from Colin Powell sprung to mind and resonated with me:

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”

Now, you may ask: What does that famous quote have to do with membership?

My court reporting career has spanned over 35 years — a long one, for sure. My path has seen many obstacles and wins throughout that time. Providing realtime reporting was my number one goal in my professional life, and it’s definitely taken a lot of “sweat, determination, and hard work.” One of the major influences and constants over the last 35 years has been, and always will be, membership in my professional association — the National Court Reporters Association!

Were it not for NCRA and the many benefits it offers, I would not be the court reporting professional I am today. As we all know, court reporters can sometimes lead a solitary path at times, because a lot of us work from our home-based office. Sure, we have interaction with legal professionals and witnesses. But, for the most part, it is definitely a solitary environment, as the bulk of our transcript production is done at home.

NCRA offers many additional benefits to its members. Some of the most important reasons, in my opinion, for maintaining membership in our organization are the following:

Networking
While most may think of networking as a means of garnering future business, I look at it a little bit differently. I view “networking” with my fellow NCRA members as an excellent resource to gain advice, information, and guidance about many subjects that we face on a daily basis as court reporters. This guidance has helped me greatly to be the successful reporter I am today.

Professional Development
My national certifications are very important to me, and I’ve worked hard to earn them! Those “three little letters” behind my name are a conversation starter with potential new clients. It’s my opportunity to tout my skills and professionalism and to educate the public about court reporters. The testing for certifications has helped me validate my skill as a court reporter and carries clout in our profession.

Updates on Industry Information
NCRA does a fantastic job with recruiting volunteers (myself included) to serve on committees and bring the membership relevant and up-to-date information on technology and other industry standards. It’s so refreshing to be able to have a go-to source for current information. The NCRA.org website, JCR print, and TheJCR.com are fantastic sources of information!

Continuing Education Opportunities
NCRA brings the best and brightest professionals in our industry to share their knowledge and expertise at their Annual Convention, live webinars, and online webinars. NCRA is my go-to source.

I chose my profession when I was a sophomore in high school — best decision ever! I urge every court reporter to choose membership in our professional association, the NCRA. Choose your organization wisely. It can further your career in ways beyond your expectations, give you the tools and resources to set you up for future success, and gain a leg up over the competition!