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Trial Boot Camp Day 1: Welcome to the Jedi Academy

Jedi Mind Trick
The first day of the Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program is complete and the staff didn’t waste anytime putting us to work. The program has a Star Wars theme this year so they started the day with a short introduction where the staff described what we’d be doing for the next few days using a lot of Star Wars references. By the time we leave we are all supposed to be Jedi masters.

As I mentioned before the program acts as a trial so the lessons are organized in the same order that an actual trial plays out. We started with sessions on developing your theory of defense for your case then we moved to jury selection. I found this section particularly useful because jury selection is one of the most challenging aspects of a trial and its something I’ve always worried about. The instructors gave a presentation on techniques to use when questioning potential jurors then volunteers were brought in to serve as jurors and we were able to see the techniques in practice.

After jury selection the next phase of a trial are the opening statements. Our homework for the first night (yes we have homework) was to draft an opening statement for our case. It’s only the first day and the program is already really intense and shows no signs of easing up.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on Day 2.

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