Who hasn’t watched a scene from “Law & Order” when legal counsel asks a court reporter to read back testimony? I’m sure you’ve seen the camera cut to the reporter seated in front of a curious looking stenotype machine.
While the court reporter will always be essential to proceedings, I’m pleased we’re helping the judicial system evolve with our new Digital Court Reporter program at Fox Valley Tech.
The program was developed after department chair Jeff Meverden learned Wisconsin is facing a court reporter shortage. Within the next three years, two-thirds of our stenographic court reporters will either be retired or eligible for retirement.
Jeff clearly understands our mission and how important it is to work with employers to solve employee shortage challenges. Jeff and his team created this curriculum to not only address the gap, but also address evolving technology. Courtrooms are now being equipped with new hardware and software to digitally record cases. As a result, our students are no longer learning speed typing on a stenotype machine. They’re learning the fundamentals of court reporting, but also how digital hardware works, how to record proceedings and how to store digital transcripts.
Our Digital Court Reporter program is the only one in Wisconsin and one of only two in the nation. It’s a great feeling to help fill such an important need for the judicial system of the future. And significant advancements such as this can only happen with this level of responsiveness by our faculty and staff.