When Sara Schreiber was in college pondering career choices, lawyer crossed her mind.
As fate would have it, Schreiber, a chemistry major, had an internship with the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory the summer before graduating. The rest, as they say, is history.
Schreiber is among an elite core of government professionals providing and invaluable public service. She’s a forensic scientist. It’s her job to examine physical evidence for law enforcement agencies, maintain detailed records of tests and conclusions, and, if necessary, testify in court about her findings.
There are fewer than 6,000 forensic scientists, often called analysts or examiners, staffing the country’s 351 publicly funded crime labs, according to a 2002 census of forensic crime labs released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in February 2005.
The job is a “good mix between the science and the law,” says Schreiber, a member of the Wisconsin Science Professionals, one of AFT-Wisconsin’s six public employee bargaining units.