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5 Tips for Your First Court Appearance

Attorneys Appearing in Court

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than making your very first court appearance? You know that you will be judged based on your presentation and how you present yourself to the courtroom. Making a good impression could be key to your overall success in the case or trial at hand.

What can you do to maximize your first court appearance and put your best foot forward? Here are a few tips from experienced attorneys who know their way around the courtroom.

Pay attention to how you treat everyone

The judge isn’t the only person who deserves your respect when you walk into the courtroom. Your first court appearance means it’s time to pull out your very best manners. From the county clerk to the judge himself, you need to treat everyone around you with respect and courtesy. Your presentation and the way others interact with you will be a key part of the judge and jury’s initial impression of you.

Show up early

You may always run late to your appointments, but the first court hearing isn’t the appropriate time to spend an extra five minutes running through the drive-through. Punctuality is paramount for a first court appearance, so plan to show up fifteen to twenty minutes early. This allows you the peace of mind of knowing you are prepared and gives you a little space to calm down and collect your thoughts before entering the courtroom.

Dress nicely

You may be quite the fashion-forward dresser on a daily basis, but the courtroom isn’t the time to try out the outfit you saw on the latest runway. Your best option is to dress in a conservative and sophisticated outfit that remains timeless throughout the years. Don’t experiment with flashy clothes, lots of jewelry, or anything that exposes too much skin. Collared shirts are always a nice option for men and women.

Remain calm

It’s normal for anxieties to rise right before a court appearance but you need to keep yourself calm. Don’t let anxiety get the best of you. You may feel calmer if you know that you are well organized and prepared for this court hearing in advance. When you feel prepared, you could find it easier to take a deep breath and relax.

Keep a steady voice

Keep a steady, calm, and clear voice that isn’t loaded with emotion or frantic energy. This allows the judge and your jury to hear you clearly and to see the rationality of your arguments. Cooler heads tend to prevail in the courtroom, so be conscious of your presentation and the volume of your speech.

Preparing for your first court appearance can be stressful and challenging, prompting you to lose sleep over the potential outcomes. Fortunately, Attorneys on Demand has more than 15 years of experience assigning appearance attorneys to accompany clients to their appearances. We can help you to make a stellar first impression on your first court appearance, no matter how nervous you may be.