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By Lacey Gardner

Pioneer alum wins court reporting speed championship


280 words per minute at almost 99% accuracy !!

Patricia Orsini Nilsen holds her trophy after winning the NCRA speed contest

From Alfred State College

1995 Alfred State College graduate Patricia Orsini Nilsen recently won the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) speed contest.

Nilsen, who competed for the first time at this national competition in 2004, got serious about winning after finishing fifth in 2015. “After the 2015 competition, I realized that if I practiced, I could do well. I started competing in earnest in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, I placed second overall and after not competing between 2000 through 2022 I returned to compete this year.”

At this year’s contest, held at the NCRA National Convention in Houston, TX, Nilsen, placed first after recording an overall 98.932% accuracy. Forty contestants competed in three five-minute legs: literary at 220 words a minute, legal opinion at 230 words per minute, and testimony at 280 words per minute.

“It was a great feeling. After getting second place twice, it was something I have been on the cusp of for a while. I am glad this was finally my year. The people who compete are the best in the field, so even when you do well, it is not given that you are going to win. There is great camaraderie among us, and most of us practice together. We all help each other to be better reporters, and we are all constantly refining the craft.”

Earlier in the year, Nilsen broke a world record with Mark Kislingbury in Atlanta, GA by completing five minutes at 320 words per minute with over 95% accuracy.

Read more about the NCRA competitions

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