By Callie Sajdera
I am proud to introduce this month’s New Professional Spotlight as, not only my friend and mentee, but now my colleague Shelby Brown, a 2020 graduate from Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn. She has started her career as a freelance reporter while also doing per diem work as an official. Brown didn’t hesitate when an opportunity arose in the First Judicial District in Scott County, Minn., where she starts her journey as an official in March of 2021.
JCR | How did you become interested in court reporting?
SB | I actually found court reporting completely by accident via Google and was hooked on the idea. For a full year, I couldn’t stop thinking about the career. That’s when I quit my job and went to court reporting school!
JCR | What do you love most about being a court reporter so far?
SB | This might sound arrogant, but I love how important I feel in this career. I’m seeing more and more that we are an absolutely essential piece of any legal proceeding.
JCR | Looking back, if you could give yourself one piece of advice as a student, what would it be?
SB | Do not overwork yourself because you’ll burn out. It’s OK to take a break from the machine.
JCR | What’s your next goal? What are your long-term goals?
SB | I would actually like to understand the proceedings I’m reporting a bit more. I plan on reading up on the rules of criminal procedure for my state so I can better navigate through the hearings of my officialship. My long-term goal is, of course, to obtain my RPR.
JCR | What’s the best and most useful piece of advice you’ve gotten from another reporter?
SB | Let your fingers go where they want to and stop thinking so much!
JCR | Professionally, who do you look up to and why?
SB | Oh, man. That’s tough. I have so many great mentors in my life. A few would be Denyce Sanders, RDR, CRR, a freelancer in Houston, Texas; Sandy Burch, RPR, CRR, a freelancer in Minneapolis, Minn.; you [Callie Sajdera]; Mary Johnson, RPR, CRR, CRC, an official reporter in Shakopee, Minn.; and Sheila Smith, RPR, a freelancer in Minneapolis, Minn. I honestly have the best network!
Callie Sajdera, RPR, is an official in Lakewood, Colo.