Special courtroom training for LJE students in Porterville

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Among the beautiful hills of Porterville in Tulare County, there is drama brewing.

Young legal minds go head-to-head in the county mock trial competition.

This courtroom is actually a one-of-a-kind classroom!

Granite Hills High School is home to the Law, Justice and Ethics Pathway.

"They're actually practicing in an actual courtroom setting, and you just don't get this opportunity very often," says Deanna Jasso.

Granite Hills is one of two high schools in the nation offering stenography training.

Students let their fingers do all the talking.

"I want to be in the courtroom," says Granite Hill senior Andrew Arroyo.

Madison Thurman is a Tulare County court reporter and "Project Steno" instructor.

"Project Steno is a free introductory course to the world of court reporting," Jasso said.

"It's a six-week course -- by the time they're done with this class, they know how to type on steno machine," Thurman said. That gives them a good idea if they're natural at it, if they like it, if they if it's worth going to school for afterwards."

Court reporting doesn't require a four-year degree, but you do have to learn the language.

"It's unique," says Granite Hills Senior Briseyda Andrade "No one really knows what court reporting is, and I feel special because it's unique."

"I'm really good at my numbers," Arroyo said. "Like with my numbers, I'm able to really remember where everything's at."

Exposing teenagers to this career option comes with benefits.

"There is a nationwide shortage," Thurman said. "There is a need for court reporters everywhere right now. It is a guarantee as soon as you get certified as a court reporter, you will get hired. Reporters are making six figures in their first year."

"A lot of the older reporters have been around for a while," Jasso said. "They're all starting to retire out. We're just finding that we're having a harder time filling those positions."

Maria is already tapping into other advantages.

"It helps me learn," she said. "It helps me type more, faster, which helps me with writing with my assignments and homework. It also helps me with memorization."

Skills can also be used to land a job captioning for television.