About my work...
Ana Fatima Costa, RPR, CSR (Ret.)
Court Reporting Coach and Trainer
I am a former court reporter, office manager, and sales executive. Since 2008, I have provided hundreds of reporter-of-record opportunities for reporting students and new reporters and have read hundreds of unedited and completed rough drafts.
95% of the transcripts are full of steno errors and untranslates.
There is a CRISIS in the court reporting field because students are not writing cleanly, are encouraged to "read through their slop," and thus struggle to read and transcribe their notes, progress in school, and pass state and/or certification exams.
It is now common for students to take the California CSR exam 5 or more times. Why? Lack of confidence in their ability to read and transcribe their shorthand. They feel nervous, anxious, fearful and worried before stepping foot into the exam.
This crisis arose from an archaic* principle: "Slap something down for everything you hear. Don't worry about accuracy. Go for speed and figure it out later."
This principle DOES NOT WORK.
In school, I honed my practice to develop excellent steno writing skills which resulted in my taking all legs of the RPR one week before taking all legs of the CSR and passing both exams - the first time.
There is a deep need for radical change.
My 4-part comprehensive package of services includes:
#1 - This e-book, 0-225: Your Guide to Writing Mastery.
#2 - 5 Golden Rules to Steno Mastery course based on Part 2 of my e-book (as described above).
#3 - Reporter of Record Internships for new reporters and high-speed reporting students provide real-life experiences so they can feel what it is like to be THE REPORTER in dozens of mock depo and mock trial sessions throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
#4 - Coaching assists students and reporters to overcome obstacles to achieving their goals and dreams.
*ar·cha·ic ärˈkāik adjective
very old or old-fashioned
Synonyms: obsolete, out of date, old-fashioned, outmoded, behind the times, bygone, anachronistic,
antediluvian, old world, old-fangled; More
Testimonials from students (and a former student) ...
Ana is the epitome of professionalism, mixed with kindness and discretion. She fills this unique niche that would be hard to encapsulate in one completely justifiable job title that would do her all the justice she deserves. I appreciate her and am grateful for all the opportunities she has offered me to hone my skills. Being near Ana is calming. I find her influence a good gravitational force for my needs.
Mia Camera, Court Reporting Student
With years of experience in the field, Ana is a fountain of information and sage advice. She has seen the gamut of court reporting brilliance and blunders and has made it her mission to bestow her knowledge onto court reporting students. As an advocate for court reporters, Ana instills in her mentees a sense of pride in and awareness about the profession and is shaping the newest members of the workforce to be capable, professional, and informed.
Katherine Schilling, RPR, CSR 14163 (and book cover designer)
"Today is the first day of my practice based on your e-mail. I now feel as if I have some type of plan to proceed and be successful. I just needed some guidance and structure for my practice. Thank you once again for your expertise and spending valuable time with me on the phone. Your advice was PRICELESS!!! "
Barbara Sanders, Court Reporting Student
From the very beginning of my court reporting school, I was taught to write something for every word, which frustrated me during read-back because I couldn't read my sloppy notes. After interning with Ana, I have learned to write cleanly and drop, and I have seen a huge improvement. Now reading back and transcribing are a breeze.
Tobiya Abhaya, Court Reporting Student
In the 5.5 years I attended school, no teacher ever showed me how to improve my writing. I’ve taken the CSR five times. Teachers told me to write 240 to 260 words per minute to prepare for the exam. I have never had anybody tell me - ever - to practice writing slow. But in just three weeks since I began following your 5 Golden Rules to Steno Mastery practice program, I’ve learned so much about my writing and am having fun.
I work two jobs and have put in 14 hours of practice this week. I was #3 nationwide on RTC for practice hours! I have never been near the top. Before beginning your program, I'd come home from work exhausted and didn’t want to practice because I knew I was writing slop. Now I want to do it! The practice is phenomenal. It's helped my focus. For the first time, I'm not suffering from exhaustion. Every time I do a take, I want to do it again. I'm excited!
I've learned how to really, really listen and am now able to hear all the little words and phrases I used to miss. Instead of being stressed out and aggravated, I’m enjoying it. It is truthfully massively helpful to me. I'm a different writer from before I began working with you and following your plan. I know that this is going to push me over the top. All the naysayers who keep saying, "You're never going to be fast enough because you're writing slow," they'll see. I know that eventually I will pass the CSR and am going to be a phenomenal writer. I will follow Ana for life and spread the word about her program to everyone!
Bridgette Rast, CSR Candidate