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IBA: Holidays - Time to Network

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Whether it’s your first or twenty-fifth holiday networking season, every member of the legal community can gain a great deal from leaving the desk behind and hitting the party circuit. To maximize the opportunity we’ve compiled some tried and true tips from the Networking Gurus and other industry professionals.

Have a plan. Set a goal for each gathering. For example, if you know an event will have 50 guests, introduce yourself to at least five new people.

Ask…Know who you want to meet and don’t be afraid to ask your friends, relatives, and old and new acquaintances for introductions. If someone shows interest in your services, don’t hesitate to ask for their contact information. You’ll be surprised how many people will give it out – if you ask.

Focus on other people. Listen as much as you talk. Attentiveness is memorable.

Don’t forget your business cards AND a pen. When you hand out your card take a second to write a note on the back. A reference to something you were discussing, a recommendation to a restaurant, anything that personalizes the contact is good.

Don’t cling to your friends… or the buffet. Friends and good food can distract you from your mission: to meet prospective clients. Make the effort to break free from what’s comfortable to gain face time with prospects.

Have fun, but don’t eat or drink too much. It’s the holidays, so relax and enjoy yourself. It’s fine to have a good time, but you don’t need to be the life of the party. Act like a professional at all times.

Thank the host/hostess. Send a hand-written thank you note. Sadly, this happens so seldom that your effort will stand out.•

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  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

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