One of the core responsibilities of the registered voters in the US is the possibility of serving jury duty. Counties and city-based governments often maintain rolls for eligible voters and that pool of candidates are summoned to the court for jury duty. 

Some of them are dismissed immediately, while others can be questioned by a judge or attorneys. Those who survive the initial stages of the interviews are certainly destined to be jury members or can be appointed in the court trial. Hence, jury duty is a civil obligation for every citizen and if you are required to report for jury duty, you first need to fill a questionnaire and then email it. Also, if you want to postpone your jury services, then you should contact the attorneys immediately. 

If you are called to serve jury duty on a specific date, then you should have prepared yourself with a couple of scenarios. You should first inform your employer prior or family members about your new circumstances.  Employers will have to reschedule the meetings or might hire a temporary replacement, meanwhile, you serve your jury duty at the court. Let's explore further how to prepare for jury duty!

Quick facts 

  • If you don't opt for the jury, then don't get offended as lawyers have their legal strategies which is why you could have been struck from the jury duty for several reasons. It is not an indication that attorneys think you are not intelligent or they get biased towards you. 

  • If you have any sort of relation or job directly related to the case then you are more likely to be excused from jury duty. 

What should you expect on the first day?

If this is the first time you have been summoned for jury duty, you'll find well-trained personnel from the court to assist you and to answer any questions which might be asked concerning jury duty. You and other citizens will be notified to directly report to a courtroom. Once all juries have assembled in the courtroom as a jury panel, you will then be questioned through a process known as voir dire (which means that you have to speak the truth) to verify your qualifications to serve as a juror on the individual case. This process is usually carried out by a judge. 

A juror should always memorize that the entire process involved in the selection of a jury panel associated with a civil or a criminal case involves a legal strategy on the attorney's part. One should not feel that there is any discourtesy or unfitness directed towards a juror if challenged, excused, or stricken. An alternative juror can also become a juror member if one of the regular jurors is unavailable or becomes sick to continue as a juror during the trial proceedings of a case. 

Tips on how to prepare for jury duty

Here are some tips on how to prepare for jury duty which might help you in the entire process. Let's dig into it without any further ado!

Tip 1: Dress like a boss! 

Your first appearance makes a long-lasting impression on people. As a juror, you are required to dress up in a suit. However, you shouldn't show up to the courtroom in your pajamas, either. You can think of wearing something business casual: a dress shirt, blouse or slacks with dress shorts. Do not wear anything too casual! 

  • Never wear caps, flip-flops or shorts to the courtroom.

  • Make sure you cover your shoulders, stomach, and back and avoid clothes that have a see-through feature. 

  • You can bring a jacket or a sweater to put on in case it gets too cold inside the courtroom. 

Tip 2: Food 

If you are called for jury duty at 8.30 am then you should focus on having a quick breakfast! As you might have to face rush hour traffic, finding a better parking spot, and overall commute time. If you want to make breakfast then you'll have to wake up even earlier. Bad idea! You should go for something quick and easy as pancakes from scratch wouldn't be a great deal. 

In addition, most of your time will be spent waiting, sitting, or falling asleep. You're obviously going to get hungry. You can take a few protein bars in such cases. 

Tip 3: Entertainment stuff

You should always take something for your entertainment as you might get bored while waiting. Bring your newspaper, book, or even iPad. In DC, the courtrooms are equipped with free Wifi. Most of the courtroom asks juries to turn off their electronic devices before entering the courtroom. In such cases, you can take a book as a backup plan. 

Tip 4: Have patience

The most important tip to be a jury is to have patience. You'll be asked a series of questions inside a courtroom and then call each potential juror to discuss their concerns one by one. It is indeed a tedious process. But you have to embrace it. 

Try these 4 tips and you'll pass through the process diligently. All the best!