7 Things Lawyers Look for In Jurors
If you haven’t already, at some point in your adult life, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be called for jury duty. However, the odds that you’ll actually be selected as a jury are much lower. To some, that’s a big relief, to others, it’s a potential vacation with free lunch.
But what exactly are lawyers looking for in a group of random people? Of course, that answer depends on the type of case they’re dealing with, but there are a few general traits attorneys take into consideration when trying to decide whether you’d be a good candidate to hear their argument or not.
Using a combination of intense questioning, keen observation, and (you guessed it) stereotyping, lawyers will begin to pick apart and eliminate people they don’t think will end up taking their side. Essentially, the process is not about who they want, it’s about who they don’t want.
Here are a 7 things lawyers take into consideration when trying to figure you out:
- YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Attorneys will want to know who you surround yourself with in life. For example, if it’s a medical malpractice case and you come from a family of doctors, it’s going to alter your perspective. And forget it if you have friends or family in law enforcement, because a defense attorney will automatically assume that you’re biased toward the prosecution.
- YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE LAW
Whether or not you are related to the judicial system in any way, you can still have opinions about law enforcement based upon your own personal experiences and beliefs. The defense is going to look for people who are more open-minded about the law, and don’t always believe in the justice system to do the right thing. The prosecutor, on the other hand, will look for people who are generally inclined to trust authority.
- YOUR INTERNET FOOTPRINT
Yes, lawyers will check your social media. Any public activity on various social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fair game. Attorneys will look for the kinds of articles you share to get a sense of your opinions. They may check where you’re from and what education level you have. Often, and especially in recent years with a severely divided country, they’ll even try to figure out your political affiliations and whether you’re more liberal or conservative.
- YOUR RELIGION
Lawyers often ask if you have any religious beliefs that may prevent you from passing judgment on another person to eliminate people whose faith might interfere with their ability to view a case objectively.
- YOUR ATTITUDE
What’s your demeanor in the courtroom? Do you seem like a pleasant person or are you grouchy and pouting? If you come into jury duty with a positive attitude, you’re more likely to be chosen as a juror. But if a lawyer doesn’t like you and you don’t like them, they’ll assume you’re more likely to side against their argument.
- YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Leaders can be pivotal in a verdict because they have the ability to rally the rest of the group behind a unanimous decision, which is a bonus for the plaintiff or the prosecutor. However, they also won’t have a problem disagreeing with everyone else, which can result in a hung jury, and is great for the defense. If you show leadership skills, or they see that you’ve held leadership positions in your career, they’re more likely to feel you out to see if you’re more likely to help their cause or not.
- YOUR CLOTHES
Lawyers pay attention to what you’re wearing and will make superficial judgments about your character based on your outfit. Often, the more conservatively you dress, the more likely you are to make it on a jury. Flashy outfits usually mean flashy people, who may have strong opinions and are less open to objectivity.