Court Reporters Give Back by Sharing Veterans’ Stories
Court reporters play a vital role in a wide range of legal proceedings, and most of it’s pretty time consuming. From long days spent in a conference room or courtroom recording complicated depositions or testimonies to all-nights spent transcribing those interviews, it’s hard to figure out when court reporters have time for anything else. But court reporters across the nation have committed thousands of hours to record a different kind of public record.
Benefits to the public
The Library of Congress teamed up with the National Court Reporters Association industry group and its National Court Reporters Foundation to create the Veterans History Project, an initiative that pairs veterans with remarkable stories to tell with court reporters who use their industry skills to transcribe the interviews.
Now in its tenth year, the project started when Wisconsin lawmaker Ron Kind interviewed relatives that served in the armed services at a family reunion. His wife, Tawni, worked as a court reporter and immediately saw how those professionals could help bring these interviews to light.
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Persian Gulf War
- Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts
And the contributions go far beyond stories from individuals’ military experiences. Veterans or their families can submit original photographs, letters, military documents, diaries, journals, two-dimensional artwork and unpublished memoirs.
Benefits to court reporters
Court reporters can get involved in a number of ways, including transcribing oral histories submitted to the Library or Congress or conducting interviews themselves and then submitting the transcripts.
While most court reporters say the rewarding experience of hearing a veteran’s stories or helping to relay their experiences to the general public is their primary reason for participating in the program, there are professional benefits as well. From the NCRA site:
- For every veteran’s story you volunteer to transcribe for Veterans History Project, you’ll earn 0.25 Professional Development Credit, and you can earn up to a maximum of 1.0 PDC for transcribing four oral histories free of charge. There is a limit of 1.0 PDC total per three-year cycle.
- If you’re a court reporting student, you’ll earn a free NCRA Student Membership for transcribing two veterans’ interviews for the Veterans History Project.
Court reporters interested in participating in transcribing an interview can sign up the NCRA’s website. For others interested in interviewing a veteran or the project in general can learn more about volunteering through the Library of Congress website.
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