Even after spending five years working as a deputy court clerk in Milwaukee County, Janelle Schmidt is still learning something new every day.
Schmidt, who is assigned to Judge David Borowski, always intended to pursue a career in the criminal-justice system after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She first worked in the Milwaukee Justice Center as a volunteer to help pro se litigants make their way through the justice system.
That experience helped her learn about the role played by deputy court clerks.
“I knew the challenge of running a courtroom was the next step for me,” Schmidt said. “The high-pace environment, the interactions with district attorneys, court reporters, defense attorneys and judges were what piqued my interest.”
Schmidt calls Borowski and Carole Serota-Bodi, a court reporter, her “work family.”
“We know what each other’s thinking with just a look and probably could even finish each other’s sentences,” she said. “It’s something special that not all courtrooms have, but it’s definitely something that makes my job that much better and more enjoyable every day.”
Borowski said Schmidt is an excellent court clerk and also a good friend. Part of her job has her overseeing the management of his day-to-day calendar, and Schmidt also works with attorneys, bailiffs, court reporters and other courthouse personnel on a daily basis.
“In her daily interactions she is always friendly, polite and efficient,” the judge said. “She has been asked on many occasions to train other clerks and always is willing to help. She does not let the daily grind of courtroom process get her down. My courtroom would not be the same with without her help and patience.”
Schmidt said her parents, John and Sue, set the examples she has always sought to follow.
“They have been there for me through every moment of my life, supported me through thick and thin, encouraged me to chase my dreams, pursue opportunities and to live my best life,” she said.