My mentors taught me everything I needed to know to be successful in my career.
For three months before I took and passed all legs of both the RPR and California CSR the first time (six days apart), I was an apprentice at the erstwhile Oakland Municipal Court across the bay from San Francisco, California.
After receiving my CSR license, I became a freelance pro tem court reporter and reported civil and criminal cases in various courts in five counties, as well as depositions, public hearings, and medical peer reviews. Ten years later, I managed the SF office of a national court reporting firm before transitioning into the role of account executive (sales) for two global reporting agencies.
Subsequently, I took 20 months off to write my ebook 0-225: Your Guide to Writing Mastery and several articles which were published in various legal magazines, e-zines, and blog pages, including the Bar Association of San Francisco's print newsletter Bulletin and Legal by the Bay blog page. I also continued to offer workshops at paralegal, law, and court reporting schools in Northern California; court reporting and legal secretary associations; and law firms about court reporting services, ethics, technologies, and products.
I was recruited and accepted the position of litigation secretary for a 30-year partner at a small law firm in Marin County, and 18 months later as office administrator for a 50-year forensic psychiatrist / expert witness, who testified at depositions and trials globally.
Besides my work, my passion is to serve in some capacity; I have always volunteered my time to uplift others. Thus, in 2008 I began providing reporter-of-record apprenticeship opportunities for high-speed court reporting students and newly licensed reporters to capture the record at mock depositions and mock trials in venues throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
As word spread about these opportunities, reporting students traveled from throughout California and as far away as the East Coast to experience being THE REPORTER. Unlike shadowing a working CSR, my apprentices are the reporter of record and learn how to speak up/interrupt for the record, mark exhibits, and create rough or final transcripts -- with my guidance every step of the way.
Courage derives from the Latin "cor" and French "coeur," meaning heart. Courage is not the absence of fear ~ it is feeling afraid and doing the very thing that scares you.
My courageous apprentices achieve a deep understanding of the legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities of working reporters. These practical skills experiences help them develop crucial professional skills before it counts in the safety of a mock event; gain self-confidence; and achieve mastery in their chosen field. My apprentices also receive coaching, breathwork, and other tools to help them relax, release anxiety, and learn how to face any challenge that arises. Thus, they dubbed me #MockWoman.
I updated my resume in July 2020 after being furloughed due to COVID-19 and acknowledged that I have a wealth of information and lifetime of experiences to share. Working for an expert taught me to "own" my knowledge and expertise, just as my former employer does
Brené Brown teaches us: "Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do."
[Featured on the home page is reporting student Liz Waters Robertson, who flew from Tennessee to participate in mock depositions at BerkeleyLaw in CA. Directly above (from left) are high-speed reporting students/apprentices Esther Au, Tricia Holmes, Pamela Piehler, and Sally Hume at the 2019 San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trials at San Francisco Superior Court. Photo on next page of Esther Au at the 2019 Golden Gate University School of Law final mock trial.]