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Today I shadowed a NY Daily News reporter while she attended trials at Brooklyn Criminal Supreme Court. The following are some things I learned while running around with her.
  1. Listen carefully!
    You can't record audio in a courtroom and there's a lot of background noise (creaking benches, ruffling paper, snoring). Everyone generally speaks quickly and often times quietly. You also can't just interrupt a trial ask a judge or witness to repeat things. So sit on the edge of your seat, single out who you got to hear, and listen.
  2. Take good notes
    Trials can begin and end within minutes, and usually when they finish, you have to get up and run to the next one. Because of how swiftly everything unfolds, be sure the notes you take are legible and clear. You may not have much time to clean them up before the next trial.
  3. Research before you go in
    You want to know exactly who's who and what's going on while the trials in session. You don't want to waste time trying to understand what the charges are or what they mean when you could be jotting down good quotes and details.
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