The adventures (and non-adventures) of a marginally seasoned attorney.


Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Prep for Trial

As the outdoor air is transitioning from a mild breeze to a sharp chill, I am reminded that the semester is about to come to an end for law students everywhere. I am reminded of this not because of the weather change, though, but because the law school kiddos have started back up with their "OMG FINALS THEY'RE GOING TO BE HERE SO SOON I MUST GO HIDE FOREVER AND STUDY BUT FIRST I HAVE TO PUBLICLY WHINE ABOUT IT" cries. And that's cool, I did the same thing. I didn't start whining 'til the week before, but I whined a lot, heck yes I did.

Anyway, I used to do my public whining by blogging about finals, and I'd post my study tips every semester. But since I'm all Esquire-y now, I've gotta find a new way to fill the finals-blog void in my life. And since we here at Incidental Justice are all about providing positive learning experiences to readers, I'm going to share some real-life advice to prepare you for your legal career. Because I promise you, they won't teach you anything practical in law school.

These, my friends, are a few of the steps you need to take to properly prep for trial:

  • Stock up on junk food ahead of time - Lots of it. And buy it in bulk. This is a stark contrast from my finals rule, in which I state that one needs to make as many trips to the convenience store as possible. Don't go to the convenience store when you're prepping for trial. You're going to run into someone you know there, and then they're going to start telling you all their legal/emotional/life problems, and then they're going to want you to wave the Attorney's Magic Wand and fix it all. You barely have enough time for your own petty problems, let alone this guy's.
  • Watch My Cousin Vinny -  This is hands down the most inspirational legal movie EVER. Yes, I know that in The Rainmaker, rookie attorney Matt Damon (super delish) won millions of dollars for a family whose son died of cancer. But by gosh, after watching Vinny question a guy, I get fired up and I'm ready to whoop up on some folks in the courtroom. I have a feeling you'll be fired up, too. And If you've got trial this month, you're in luck - basic cable is airing this movie every seven minutes these days.
  • Quietly whine to yourself - You're going to get frustrated at some point while you're prepping for trial. But even if you're thinking "I am truly screwed," you need to keep it to yourself. So feel free to quietly whimper... just don't let anyone hear you. And then eat some of the junk food you stocked up on.
  • Suit up, you sexy thing - After you've done all this prepping and whatnot, you're going to look like you were hit by a truck. But no more of that! Time to put on your pretty face and dress for the best. You, my friend, have worked your tail off for this trial. You're a sharp attorney, and you deserve to be lookin' sharp on your court day. Plus, studies have shown that jurors tend to vote based on which attorney is more attractive.
Of course, in addition to all of this, you should probably be interviewing witnesses, prepping your arguments, and reading documents until your eyes bleed. But you probably already knew that.


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