Queens Court Reporting Students Compete for Speed and Accuracy in Contest to Prepare for Jobs
By: Plaza College
Court Reporting students battled the clock and each other as they deployed their specialized skills in recording dictation in stenographer's shorthand. Winning students had to qualify with the fastest times and a minimum 96 percent accuracy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/
Stenographers don't use QWERTY keyboards during court proceedings. Instead they use a stenotype to type with fewer keys that record syllables, words, and phrases in one hand motion.
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Students transcribe using a specialized shorthand machine which interfaces with a customized laptop computer, taking dictation at various speeds as they train to join the ranks of court reporters, who keep vital records for legal hearings and trials; grand juries; depositions;
"We are the guardians of the record. Our role is crucial because we record and preserve the accurate accounts of trials, depositions, grand juries and other crucial aspects of the legal system which are essential to ensuring the fair administration of justice," said Plaza College Court Reporting Program Chair and Vice President of the NYS Court Reporters Association, Karen Santucci. "We are extremely proud of the professionals who graduate this program and go on to not only work in the courts but also perform closed captioning and provide services for the hearing impaired. Our students are well prepared for these crucially important well-paying jobs in which they can build their careers."
"Keeping a record is extremely important because if something goes wrong in the trial you need to have a record of that. An accurate record is important to life and society as we know it and it is beneficial for the future" said Bianna Lewiss, Plaza College NCRA Student Speed Competition Winners and Court Reporting Student. "In big ways it changes lives and in little ways it changes lives."
According to the United States Courts, millions of cases are filed each year and there is no room for error in a transcription of a proceeding.
While automation and Artificial Intelligence technologies take over more workplace functions in the American legal system, the human record keepers outperform the machines in important ways, beating them in accuracy, speed, and reliabilit
Court reporters' records are key to ensuring fair trials, serving as the basis for appeals and other cornerstones of our entire American legal process. These professionals – 90% of whom are women –are responsible for preserving the historical record of legal proceedings and serving as the crucial documentarians that ensure the exacting reliability.
Salaries for this profession can reach over $100,000 a year.
Winners of the 2019 National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Student Speed Contest include: Bianna Lewis, of Brooklyn; Dishawn Williams, of New Jersey; Taylor Mascari, of Staten Island; Letizia Yemma, of Staten Island; Paula Mullen, of Queens; Christina Penna, of Staten Island; Alexandra Bourekas, of Queens; Emily Nicholson, of Staten Island; Rachel Salatino, of Long Island; Tikiya Etchison, of Staten Island; Michelle Paluszek, of New Jersey, and Maia Morgan; of Bronx.