ASAP Featured court reporter

Cynthia Y.

Featured Court Reporter


Cynthia Y.Cynthia Y. has been a court reporter since March 2010 and currently writes at speeds of up to 225 words per minute. She was looking for a career change back in 2007-2008. While thinking about completing an MBA, Cynthia saw a documentary on court reporting and CCVS. By the end of the documentary, Cynthia had already decided to call the Canadian Centre for Verbatim Studies and set up an informational interview. “I was intrigued by the idea of working on different court cases and the different opportunities. From there, I visited the courthouses at 361 University Ave and Old City Hall, and hunted down and talked to different court reporters. I liked what I heard and I was ready to take the leap into court reporting.”

When asked for advice she would give aspiring court reporters, Cynthia says “Be persistent and you’ll make it! While you will definitely come across many different challenges while learning theory, developing steno speed, and difficult subject matter while on the job, each of these obstacles provide the opportunity for you to learn and grown to become a better reporter.”

When Cynthia isn’t reporting, she enjoys baking, crocheting, and traveling.


Lisa N.

Featured Court Reporter


Lisa N. ASAP ReportingLisa N. has been a court reporter since 2008, working with ASAP Reporting Services since 2012. It was suggested to her by a client of her mother’s that she should look into court reporting after “learning of my love for grammar, editing, and law.”

The ability to travel is one of Lisa’s favourite parts about being a court reporter. “Court reporting offers me ample opportunities to travel for work. Sometimes I’ll only be home a week out of the month – and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love the flexibility and the constant change of pace.”

When asked for advice for aspiring court reporters, Lisa says, “Fundamentals are important. Sometimes we rush through things just for the sake of completeness, but forget to absorb and practice/apply what we learn. Don’t practice until you get it right; practice until you can’t get it wrong!”

When Lisa isn’t working, she’s also an adrenaline junkie and bookworm. “If you can’t find me snowboarding on the slopes, rock climbing at the gym, or cheering on my Toronto Maples Leafs, I’m probably tucked away in a library corner.”


Jenn F.

Featured Court Reporter


1380617_10151725061788598_1693677359_nJenn has been a court reporter since mid-2011 after graduating from the Canadian Centre for Verbatim Studies. After having a hard time deciding on what to do after high school, her dad introduced her to his friend, Teresa F., who told Jenn all about the world of court reporting. Currently, Jenn is writing between 200 and 225 words per minute.

When asked for her advice for aspiring court reporters, Jenn says “Never turn down an opportunity to try something new.  Whether it is a new case or working somewhere out of town, it is a way to build experience and might open even more exciting doors in the future.”

When asked about her favourite aspect of working with ASAP, Jenn says “I enjoy the opportunities I get to be a part of with the ASAP team.  I get to be involved with many law firms, court houses, and different venues all over the city making each day something new and interesting.  I have the opportunity to do some travelling as well which adds even more excitement to the job.  It is such a friendly environment at the office…and it has the best snacks!”

When she’s not on the job, Jenn loves to “travel, dance, cook, spend time with friends and family, see concerts, and shop — always with Starbucks in hand.”


Valerie B.

Featured Court Reporter

Valerie B. ASAP Reporting ServicesValerie began her work as court reporter in 2011 immediately after finishing her studies at the Canadian Centre for Verbatim Studies. Currently, Valerie is writing at 180 words per minute with the goal of increasing her speed over the next several months. After beginning her career as an interior designer, she saw a subway ad with an image of a steno machine and thought she could possibly enjoy a new career as it would be something she would excel at.

When asked what she loves most about working as a court reporter, Valerie says, “I love the fact that it’s a job where you can expect the unexpected. It definitely keeps me on my toes and challenges me every day. You never know where the job will take you, who you’re going to meet, what you’ll learn or what things will come out of people’s mouths.” For practice, Valerie enjoys writing to TV shows, movies, and podcasts.

When asked for advice for aspiring court reporters, Val says, “just keep pressing on, literally and figuratively. You never know what you can accomplish if you give up. It’s definitely hard to get motivated to practice but you just have to do it!”

When she isn’t working, Valerie enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling, watching movies, camping, and dining out.


Marion L.

Featured Court Reporter

Marion L. court reporterMarion has been working as a reporter for nearly 4 years, reaching speeds of 200 words per minute. She was looking for a career in something exciting and challenging at the same time and ever since she was young, she had enjoyed playing the piano. Naturally, she thought becoming a stenographer would make perfect use of those skills.

When asked what she loves about being a court reporter Marion say, “I love the fact that every job I cover is unique and exposes me to a lot of topics ranging from trademark law cases to human rights law. I enjoy the challenges that come with the job because it allows me to consistently learn and build my dictionary allowing me to gain experience for future jobs. It’s a satisfying feeling at the end of the day to know that the transcripts that I produce are valuable and is the official record for years to come.”

Marion also shared her advice for aspiring court reporters. “Don’t be afraid to take on new job opportunities that may seem daunting to you at first because every bit of experience that you can get will only help make things easier for you in the future. There will always be something new to be learned on the job and the best way to learn is by enduring through new experiences.”

When Marion isn’t working, she can be found watching basketball games and following the Toronto Raptors, biking, watching movies, grabbing coffee with friends, and spending time with family (when she’s not editing transcripts!).


Deborah E.

Featured Court Reporter

Deborah started court reporting in 2011. A graduate of the Canadian Centre for Verbatim Studies, she is currently writing at 180 wpm. Formerly an editor of specialist business magazines in Australia, Deborah emigrated to Canada in 2000.

Court reporting seemed a natural transition given her editorial background and skills because, she says, “It requires a facility with language and the adaptability to work with changing constellations of people, cases and settings. These are my strengths.”

What are Deborah’s favourite aspects of court reporting? “I get to witness some of our country’s best legal practitioners at work and to participate in the legal system on which Canadian society is founded. I see human nature in all its variations. It is fascinating, meaningful work. At the end of the day, it is my job to produce clean, reliable transcripts which have a life of their own in the legal system, and I am really proud of my finished product.”

When she isn’t working, Deborah indulges her passion for art history by visiting galleries and museums and generally appreciates the panoply of quirkiness that is life in West End Toronto. “Things I Have Seen on the TTC” is a possible title for her as-yet-unwritten first book.


Lisa B.

Featured Court Reporter

Lisa has been a certified court reporter for over 30 years. Currently, Lisa is certified under the National Court Reporters’ Association as a Certified Realtime Reporter, Certified CART Provider (Communication Access Translation for persons who are deaf of hard of hearing), Registered Professional Reporter, and Chartered Shorthand Reporter of Ontario and writes at speeds of upwards of 300 wpm constistently.

When she started, Lisa was the youngest court reporter at the District Court at 361 University Avenue in downtown Toronto. Lisa cut her teeth doing criminal jury trials and civil trials. She has spent 18 years in the Ministry reporting on trials in Toronto, Newmarket, Barrie and has the immense honour of reporting on the longest criminal jury trial in the history of Canada, which was two years. “I provided realtime to the hearing impaired defendant otherwise he would not have been able to fully understand the proceedings and have full accessibility.”

Lisa’s two older sisters both took court reporting, which inspired Lisa to get into the field at 19 years of age when she started court reporting school. Neither of her older sisters were able to get their speed to the required levels.

When asked about her favourite part of being a court reporter, Lisa says, “Hands down, I love the challenge. I love the steno machine and pressing those plastic keys every day at super-fast speeds and nailing it! What a great feeling! Writing realtime is intense, like being a concert pianist and hitting a wrong key. Everyone can “see” your mistake. She recommends all reporters should hone their skills to be able to do realtime and pass all their certifications. “Realtime is the future of court reporting. Realtime is cutting edge. Tape/audio recording reached its zenith in the ’60s.”

My profession has allowed me to live and work in Singapore for 14 months and work all over Southeast Asia, in High Court and deposition settings. What an amazing career it has been and still continues to be to this day.”

Lisa also shared some advice for aspiring court reporters. “Just stick with it. There’s no easy way to increase your speeds levels, other than by practicing. If it were easy, there would be many more court reporters in the field. High speeds and professionalism will always pay off! With so many baby-boomers becoming late deafened adults and hard of hearing adults, our profession has never been more at the forefront! We act as peoples’ ears. The joy I get when a person who is deaf is able to fully participate in an event because of my captioning, is an incredible feeling! I can’t even describe it.”

When Lisa isn’t reporting, she enjoys traveling, shopping, gardening and her dogs.




Christal C.

Featured Court Reporter

Christal C. - ASAP Featured ReporterChristal officially began as a court reporter in February of 2010 after completing the court reporting program at the Canadian Centre for Verbatim Studies.

She was first introduced through a television special featuring CCVS on her local Chinese channel.  The interest developed as she spent more time on the machine learning this new language. Christal was hooked when she wrote her first sentence, “The cat is black.”

When practicing, Christal uses an eclectic playlist ranging from audio of different matters she has attended, to YouTube videos, to PVR recordings of red carpet interviews. When asked about her favourite part of working as an ASAP court reporter, Christal says, “What I enjoy most about working with ASAP are the opportunities:  the opportunity to work in a different location from one day to the next; the opportunity to brainstorm through a challenge with ASAP’s support team; the opportunity to meet new or reconnect with reporter friends and talk shop.”

When Christal isn’t on the job, she enjoys reading, taking long walks, and relaxing in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal. Her advice for aspiring court reporters? “Whether it is the beginning of the job, or five hours into the job, the mantra repeating in my head is ‘Stay on the speaker’.”

Amy H.

Featured Court Reporter

Amy Harkness PicAmy has been working as a court reporter since 2011. Before becoming a court reporter, Amy worked for eight years as a magazine copy editor. In 2008, she decided that she wanted to try something completely new, and the challenge of learning to use a steno machine very much appealed to her. Currently, Amy is writing at roughly 200 words per minute.

When asked what she loves most about being a court reporter, Amy says “I love the variety of jobs and learning new things—and I love the occasional shock of hearing a witness or lawyer say something completely unexpected. I also love the versatility of the schedule, of working hard for a few days and then having several days off.”

Amy also has advice for prospective court reporters: “As for court reporting students, the best advice I could give is to practice as much as possible. Carve out extra time in your day by getting up super early and sitting down at your steno machine.”

In her spare time, Amy enjoys being outside, spending her time camping, kayaking, hiking and exploring.

Chris S.

Featured Court Reporter

chrispic_for siteChris has been working as a court reporter for two years. While looking for a career change, he saw an advertisement on the subway for a local stenography school and hasn’t stopped since. Currently, Chris is writing at speeds of over 200 words per minute.

When asked what he loves most about being a court reporter, Chris says, “All of the challenges and unique experiences, the variety the constantly meeting new people and the flexibility of the job.” For practice, Chris goes back to the textbook and uses his student drills as well as drills found on YouTube.

When asked for advice for aspiring court reporters, Chris doesn’t mince words. “Be prepared to push yourself beyond any limits that you think you have. If you identify that you are avoiding something, you need to stop everything and focus on that. Focus on the day to day. Get from today to tomorrow. Try to add something to your “kit” each day.”

When he isn’t working, Chris enjoys watching movies and working on his ’86 Cutlass

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