This took place in the olden days, before there were laptops. For our basic circuits class (the one that separated the EEs from the wannabes) a group of us hired a stenographer to take notes. We talked the prof into giving permission, on the sensible basis that if we weren't copying notes just as fast we could to keep up, then we could actually pay attention to the lecture. I think he got a copy of the notes as well. Cost us all about a dollar a lecture and the stenographer made about $40 an hour, which was a pile of money in those days.