I have been practicing law for more than a decade now, and I like to think of myself as an expert in the field. It’s a complicated industry, but it is an absolutely crucial one; without it, some of us may never find justice. And because of my expertise and belief in fighting for what is right, I feel as though it is my duty to pass on my knowledge to up-and-coming lawyers.
For those that are unaware, the jury trial is any case or proceeding that will be determined by a jury as opposed to the judge. This is a very different type of case, and requires practice and tact. The overwhelming majority of cases settle before ever going to trial. Of those that go to trial, only some are decided by a jury. For this reason, one of the most difficult, and nerve-wracking, aspects of being a lawyer is the jury trial. It can be tough and it will always be a learning experience, particularly for novice lawyers.
So, here are a few tips and tricks on how to prepare for your first jury trial.
There Will Be Pressure
Knowing this from the very beginning will help you, at least mentally. Whenever handling a case, there is always a certain amount of pressure, no question about it. However, with a jury trial, that pressure can be amped up to 11. Think about all of the moving variables: you have to speak clearly and concisely, you have to be prepared to handle any and all objections and opposing evidence, you need to be commanding and you need to do this in front of a jury of strangers. People that you’ve never met before, and will likely never see again afterwards, will be deciding the fate of your client. You only have one chance to impress the panel of “judges,” so to speak. In fact, in law If you are not a natural public speaker, then you need to learn quickly. You can know the law backwards and forwards and be one of the greatest litigators in existence, but if you cannot communicate effectively, you are essentially useless in a courtroom. Know the pressure and anticipate it.
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