Are you interested in working in a courtroom but don’t want to be a lawyer? Keep reading as we outline how to become a jury consultant!
Those who want exciting work in the legal field may consider becoming a jury consultant.
A jury consultant is a jack of all trades when it comes to trials and the courtroom. Jury consultants do exciting work that keeps you on your toes and gives you the opportunity to interact and engage with different people.
As a jury consultant, you will ask potential jurors questions to gauge their biases and analyze their behaviors to identify any potential judgments or beliefs that may influence the outcome of a trial.
If this sounds like something up your alley, then keep reading! We will explain the path to becoming a jury consultant and outline the profession’s responsibilities, lifestyle, and career outlook.
People from different fields of study and experience can become jury consultants. There is no defined path to becoming a jury consultant. There are, however, some steps you can take to beef up your resume and impress potential employers.
While there is no degree specific to jury consulting training, people who work in this field often have degrees in Communications, English, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Behavioral Sciences.
While a JD is not necessary to become a jury consultant, you should consider looking into good pre-law schools. The best jury consultants are well-rounded individuals with strong communication and research skills, legal knowledge, and great attention to detail.
In addition to getting a degree in a relevant field, you should also consider getting a Master’s degree in a similar area.
Many jury consultants possess Master’s degrees, and while it is not necessarily a requirement, employers will most likely favor those with higher education qualifications. So, to increase your desirability as a candidate, getting your Master’s is something to seriously consider.
A Master’s will allow you to fine-tune your writing, research, and critical thinking skills, which are key to working in the legal field.
Most employers will ask for at least one year of professional experience. There are many job and employment opportunities that highlight critical skills you need for the legal field and look great on a resume.
You should also take advantage of volunteer opportunities that will give you legal experience and establish your professional skills.
Volunteering is also a great way to make connections and network with others in the legal profession. Building relationships will come in handy down the road when applying for jobs!
In essence, a jury consultant provides various services and support for jury selection and can work for the defense or the prosecutor. In short, a jury consultant is a behavioral analyst. They help legal teams select the best jurors for their cases and provide helpful insight to attorneys on jurors and their behaviors.
A jury consultant may also help the attorney develop questions to ask potential jurors to phase out those that may have biases or are likely to rule against their case.
A jury consultant may also help attorneys frame questions to ask potential jurors, help write opening and closing statements, and help prepare witnesses for the stand.
Jury consultants make, on average, $60,000 to $65,000 annually. However, earnings can vary as jury consultants can work as independent contractors or with a company.
While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specify career outlooks for jury consultants, they have estimated that there will be 116,600 new jobs in the legal profession in the next ten years. This represents a 9% job growth within the field, which is the average for most other occupations.
Overall, the career outlook for jury consultants look good! You can expect stable, continuous growth.
If you still have questions about becoming a jury consultant, we’ve got you covered! We answer some frequently asked questions below.
This all depends. As there is no specific path or degree to take to become a consultant, the time it takes can vary from person to person greatly.
On average, becoming a jury consultant takes about five to eight years.
Typically, most people will complete their bachelor’s degree in a discipline like criminal justice or psychology, which takes four years. If you pursue a Master’s, that is an additional one to two years. Typically, employers like to see at least one to three years of working experience, which adds at least another year to the timeline.
However, this timeline will be different for everyone. You may take a shorter amount of time or a longer amount of time. Pick the path that works best for you and your journey!
As jury consultants are behavioral analysts, critical thinking skills and attention to detail are essential. Interpersonal and strong communication skills are also necessary to be a successful jury consultant.
You will need to make convincing suggestions and arguments to the attorney and legal team to direct them in selecting the right jury members for the case.
Decision-making skills are also crucial. As a jury consultant, your job is to make decisions and recommendations for your clients. A good jury consultant should be assertive and confident in their decisions.
Other important skills you need to be a jury consultant are:
A jury consultant's work involves a lot of research, writing, communication, and analytical skills. Having a thorough understanding of legal terms and court procedures is also crucial to ensure you make the best decisions for your clients.
Overall, you will need to be an effective verbal and written communicator and possess a high level of emotional intelligence.
There are no specific education requirements to become a jury consultant other than a bachelor’s degree. However, as mentioned before, most people who go on to be jury consultants do get their Master’s degree as well.
If you have your Master’s degree, finding employment with less experience may be easier. You can also negotiate a higher salary with higher education.
With stable job growth and a promise for dynamic, fascinating work, becoming a jury consultant is definitely worth looking into!