An indispensable part of the Reportex team is our group of legal editors and the vital work they do. Legal editors have the important responsibility of transferring audio recordings from legal proceedings and non-court matters into written documents. As our legal editors work from home, many of their faces may be a little less familiar to some of us. But their accuracy, focus and dedication to their work make our legal editors an essential part of producing the high-quality transcripts and documents we are known for, and we’d like to shine the spotlight on one of them this week.
Shawnna is a legal secretary of 19 years turned legal editor. When not at work, Shawnna loves spending time with her family (including her furry daughter, Elsie — a dog), shopping at thrift stores, painting furniture and generally puttering around the house with her endless to-do list.
We recently caught up with Shawnna and asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:
How did you learn about legal editing as a career choice?
I was a legal secretary for about 19 years before I joined Reportex, and I always enjoyed doing the transcription part of the job (which, by the way, is nothing like this job). Funnily enough, my husband worked temporarily as a receptionist for Reportex way back in 2000, so when I decided to work from home, it was Reportex I contacted.
What are your top three tips for those just starting/adjusting to working from home?
I’m a homebody anyway, so it was easy for me. I guess I would just say to make sure you have a space where you can close the door and buckle down. If you can see what’s going on around your house, it can be easy to get distracted. Make sure you stay in touch daily with either people from work or friends and family so that you stay social and don’t become a hermit. And just because you work at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take care of yourself. I’ve never been one to roll out of bed and into my work chair, but that could become a habit for some. You’re still involved in a professional job, so try to keep a routine, if at all possible.
What do you like best about working with Reportex?
I love being able to work from home. Plus sometimes it’s a voyeur’s dream job. (Not always, though.)
You recently recommended the book The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci on Slack. What was the most interesting or unexpected thing you learned from reading this book?
Honestly, I read this book so long ago, but it’s on my reread list. I recommended the book because of these very strange and divided times. I remember it as a very easy read and very uplifting. When you see how little it takes to make a person’s day, it’s a wonder it’s not easier for us to do. The wonder of a small wave when someone lets you into their lane in traffic, for example. Just priceless and so easy!
I remember when I was working in a big law firm downtown, the building manager left a $5 gift card on everybody’s desk to use anywhere in their food court. You would have thought people won the lottery! Everyone was so happy. It’s always stuck with me.
We hear you like to paint furniture. Do you have any projects that you can share with us?
I love painting furniture, but I also love painting, period! I’ve attached a few photos of a dresser I showed at a Port Moody artsy-fartsy event about 10 years ago when I was contemplating whether I could do it full-time. It’s still one of my favourite pieces. I’ve actually done several dressers (because I’ve found so many free ones at the side of the road!). But I’ve also painted nearly every surface in our house as well, and in some instances not just once. I’ve painted our kitchen cabinets, ugly bathroom vanities, every last wall, stair risers, bannisters, doors … Paint is just so versatile, and results are so gratifying!
You’re at a party and offered a cup of eggnog. What do you do?
a. Immediately excuse yourself from the situation. (Can’t stand the stuff!)
b. Accept it excitedly. (Love the stuff! Where’s the bowl?)
c. Smile and drink it. (Neither love nor hate it.)
Most definitely B. Probably ask for the recipe too! Note: The eggnog they serve at The Listel Hotel in Vancouver is the best on earth.