RHINELANDER - Lynn Penfield sits in a courtroom every day listening and typing. The Oneida County Branch II court reporter considers it the best job she's ever had, and she wants to get more people interested in her field.
Penfield will help teach a six-week court reporter course starting next month. It's part of a nationwide program called "A to Z," which is spearheaded by the National Court Reporters Association.
Anyone in the Northwoods who is interested in learning more about court reporting can sign up, although you should at least be a junior or senior in high school.
"Even though we live in the Northwoods, there's a lot of opportunities for court reporters and, unfortunately, we don't have enough court reporters," Penfield said.
Penfield says there are eight openings statewide for reporters right now, but it's not an incredibly popular field, and one many don't even think about unless they're in court.
"Otherwise you don't run into us anywhere, so I just think it's kind of fallen off the radar for people," Penfield said.
The course will teach some of the basics: keyboard layout, finger positions, and some simple phrases. Penfield says anyone who takes the course will have a leg up to getting their degree. The class enrollment will be capped at 10 students.
Penfield says the verbatim logs that court reporters draft and save help ensure our legal system is fair.
"It really is kind of the cornerstone of the judicial system, to be able to have that appeal process," Penfield said. "And so, this is how you appeal things: you order transcripts and the Court of Appeals reads the transcripts. It's the only way they know what happened at trial or whatever it may be."
The class is free and runs on Tuesday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. starting October 17. To sign up for the course, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about the field via the link below.
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