If you’ve ever watched Law and Order, or any other legal drama, you know that courtrooms can be tense environments. Even though real-life court sessions tend not to have as much drama as Hollywood depictions, it’s always serious when money or freedom is on the line.
Whether you’re appearing in court for a human rights, labour law, or criminal case, you must be at your level best. It’s important to know how to compose yourself in the courtroom, even if you’re not a litigator. Continue reading to get some tips that will help you feel confident and prepared for your upcoming court date.
Find the right law firm and lawyer to handle your case.
Whenever you appear in court, you have the right to have an attorney present to represent you. If you’re the subject of a criminal case, the court will provide a legal professional to represent your interests if you can’t afford one. Lawyers are expensive, but the fact that American courts will appoint a lawyer to your case in some cases underscores the importance of having one—a good one!
Not everyone with a law degree is right for your specific case, so you must do your due diligence to find the right lawyer for your specific needs. For example, Malliha Wilson is the founder of Nava Wilson LLP, where she is the Senior Counsel, but her extensive experience practicing different types of law has prepared her for almost anything. She previously served as a special legal advisor to the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario and was the first visible minority to serve as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Ontario Government, and to present cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Malliha’s vast experience in different fields of law is exceptional, so you shouldn’t expect to find many attorneys with her widely varied experience. In other words, you need to find a lawyer with extensive experience handling the type of lawsuit you have. Look for attorneys with a proven track record of success handling cases like yours. You can find leads on great attorneys by asking people you know who’ve had to hire a lawyer and also by looking online.
Adhere to your attorney’s legal advice.
The United States has one of the best judicial systems in the world, however, the courtroom can be a dangerous place for people who tend to give themselves bad legal advice. You don’t want to be the know-it-all client who tries to out-talk their own lawyer.
The point of hiring an attorney is to let them do the heavy lifting for you in the courtroom. The best thing you can do for your chances of winning your case is to adhere to the legal advice your lawyer gives you.
Get plenty of rest the night before your court date.
The courtroom is a sober setting, and nothing goes unnoticed. You want to be as bright-eyed as possible, and it’s important to be sharp so you can give off the right impression and follow what’s going on in the courtroom.
Do you remember when you were in school and had to take standardized tests? Teachers admonished you to get a good night’s rest and have a healthy, energizing breakfast in the morning. You should apply that same wisdom to your court appearance.
What you wear to court is as important to making a good impression as having the right demeanor and energy. Lawyers often advise women to wear women’s professional clothing and their male candidates to dress business casual. It’s as important to look your best, in blazers, blouses, and other workwear, as it is to feel your best.
No one but future lawyers and judges looks forward to being in a courtroom. However, if you find yourself engaged in a lawsuit, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome by hiring the right lawyer and allowing them to do their job, and making a good impression.