Court Observation

Whenever I can I try to observe court. It's a good way to network, think fast, and see what reality looks like after law school. Over winter break I observed a lot of criminal and juvenile hearings. Today I observed what is known here as child abuse court.

It was not fun. Not only were the cases difficult to hear, it was also difficult to try and remain impartial as an observer. I suppose I didn't have to remain objective but I'm still trying to figure out what "side" I prefer and thus I try to challenge myself to see both sides.

Otherwise things went well.

When I observe court I always do the following things:

  • let the baliff know I'm a law student observing. He/she usually informs the judge, who has several times invited me up to the stand to talk about law and law school.
  • take business cards to exchange. Yes, I don't like doing it but attorneys love giving them out and it's easy to just hand one back. Tip: always write something about your conversation on the back to remind them of who/where/how you met, etc.
  • have questions ready to ask the judge or attorneys. Most of the time the questions aren't answered, but it does set things in motion to get an interesting conversation going.
  • thank the judge and baliff for letting me observe.

My favorite judge is out of town for the rest of the week which is a blessing in some ways as I should spend more time outlining...

I hate outlining...


  1. Tokyo Kiss said...
    Hmm. I never thought about doing this, but maybe I'll try during my spring break.
    Shelley said...
    It's a great way to learn what you do and don't want to do, that's for sure!
    Almost a Law Student said...
    Cool tip, I never would have thought about doing this. Added in my "to do" file! :)
    Anonymous said...
    Hah. I love it!

    I haven't ordered business cards yet. Do you order them from a website?

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