Jennifer Jacob’s passion for court reporting began early in her life. As a 16-year-old typing 90 wpm in keyboarding, a teacher recommended she look into court reporting. After doing a little research, she made up her mind: that’s what she was going to do. "I feel I am made for court reporting. The way my brain naturally works vibes perfect with everything you need to do as a court reporter."
Jennifer began attending The Court Reporting Institute of Dallas in 2007 after finishing theory in Oklahoma two years prior. A career opportunity in Dallas led her to move here in 2005, and quit school altogether. She took the job in Dallas and fell in love with the city. After a particularly rough patch at work, a light bulb went off and she thought, "What am I doing here? All I’ve ever wanted to do was be a court reporter!"
After enrolling at CRID, she began school with more fire and passion than ever. She set goals for herself and wrote them on her machine every day. Her goals were to promote into a new speed every quarter, to practice every day, and to pass a test every week. But unmet goals never got her down. She quickly realized that not meeting your goals isn’t something to be disappointed about. "By setting goals, you’re pushing yourself and will achieve so much more than if you hadn’t set them at all. You have to set goals and truly believe that you can achieve them. You have to work like they’re really going to happen. Focus on your goals with laser determination. You have to get passionate about this."
School had its challenges, though, including car troubles, personal distractions, and of course, test anxiety. Test anxiety for her was a confidence issue, one she could only overcome by finally passing a test. She coped by being persistant about studying briefs, always listening and practicing to faster material, and writing "in her head" all the time. "It’s something I can’t turn off!"
Jennifer passed the Texas CSR in May of 2009 and interned in Civil District Court before finding full-time work as a freelance court reporter. She now works for a large firm here in Dallas. One of her favorite things is how technologically up-to-date her firm is in the world of court reporting.
Jennifer is also Apprentice Historian for the Dallas Court Reporters Association and recently spoke at the TCRA convention to students on what her first year of court reporting has been like.
"My first year has been an incredible rollercoaster. I’ve learned a lot and cried a lot, but I’ve finally reached a point where I feel great about what I do. To know you’re realizing a dream you’ve held onto and strived for is an amazing feeling. I love it more and more all the time. I can think of a hundred reasons why court reporting is the perfect career for me. "