Court Reporting Internship Experiences


It's been a little while since I last updated you on how my court reporting internship hours are going, so let me me get you up to speed. What I'm working on right now for school is the 40 hours of writing time in court, depos, etc. that I have to get out of the way before I start my official internship.

A few weeks ago, I hauled my steno machine downtown and sat in on a jury trial. It ended up being a really interesting substantial battery case.  If I were to continue working in this town after I get out of school, I suspect that would not be the last bar fight case I'd report.  My writer's memory filled up at about the 2-hour mark, but I stayed and took more testimony down until I had three hours under my belt for the day.  I eventually had to leave to move my car, but it was like trying to get up and turn the TV off when your favorite show is on.The judge in the case spoke clearly and slowly, so I could really keep up during the judge's charge to the jury and with his rulings.

The time after that, I went with another steno student to court for a barrage of motion hearings and pleadings.  That day was really fast-paced, and at times it was hard to hear the parties because we were at the back of the courtroom and nobody was speaking into their microphones.  I just wrote whatever I could and did my best.  The cases were always changing, and it was tough to keep the names and party designations straight, so that was the challenge for the day. We also introduced ourselves to the court reporters and asked them some questions, and they seemed excited for us and wished us success. 

Last week, I wrote another jury trial with the same judge. This time involved a domestic disturbance, and the courtroom was full to the brim. When I first got there, I sat in the media room behind two-way glass where they piped in the audio. People were going in and out the whole time, and once the judge forgot to turn the audio back on after a sidebar, so I moved out into the gallery until the lunch break. I thought I'd give the media room a try again after lunch, but it turned out that a bunch of comedians decided to call a play-by-play of the proceedings in there, so I went back out in the gallery at the earliest break in the proceedings.

Last but not least, I had my first CART experience during the career spotlight day for the judicial reporting program.  Area high school students came to listen to what our profession was all about, and I took down what my teachers were saying as best I could, and my writing was projected on the big screen at the front of the classroom.  I also demonstrated my virtual piano/steno machine abilities by playing Let it Be, Fur Elise, and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga for them, and they completed a code-breaking/steno worksheet that I created. When all was said and done, I felt like I had a big part in the success of the presentation that day.

That's all that's fit to be written for today. If you just can't get enough court reporting internship stories, check out this link to read another student's experiences or this link to continue reading mine. 

4 comments:

Michelle Diehl said...

What a great way to experience what it's like to be a court reporter. Do you do this internship once a week, or every few days? How many hours have you completed?

Jenni said...

Yep, I have a good time whenever I go. I think it's really helping my writing speed too.

I've been going once a week for a 3- to 5-hour stretch at a time. I also have to edit and turn in two pages of transcript and notes per hour of writing time, so that's probably the least enjoyable part, sorting through the whole thing to see what's good enough to turn in.

I've got just about 15 hours done out of 40. Got to get cooking on that, I see. I'll probably live at the courthouse during winter break, haha. They recommend we start going at around the 160 range, but failed to tell us that once we hit 160... Oh well. Better late than never. :)

bumble said...

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Not being a student anymore and not working either, it's really nice to read about your experiences and go to all of the links you post with practice materials. Good luck with the rest of your internship!

Jenni said...

Thanks, Bumble. I enjoy reading your blog too. Good luck on your RPR attempt! It's nose-to-the-grindstone time for both of us, it sounds like. I've got another mock depo lined up for Monday, so I should get cookin' so I can be in top form.

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