All human beings build rapport. They do it daily with strangers and often don’t think much about it. People work to form and develop new relationships. Whether in a job interview, in an elevator, with the neighbors, in a grocery store, or on a date. It’s not any different for trial lawyers working on jury selection. Those attorneys meet 30 to 40 strangers, and those strangers decide their client’s fate.
Developing Rapport is Vital for Success
Building rapport may not be easy, but it’s necessary. The connection allows you to build credibility from the start and maintain it through to the verdict. Believing in your case and your client matters, but you want the jury to believe, too. That can help the jury find in favor of your client. So, how can you build a better connection with jurors during the jury selection process? Here’s what to do.
Making Eye Contact is Essential
It sounds so simple, but the first thing you want to do is make eye contact. Many lawyers have notes and outlines, so they look down at what’s in their hands when they ask a question. They don’t build any connection because they aren’t looking at the people answering the questions. Don’t take notes during your jury selection process. Have someone else do it, and focus your time meeting the juror’s eyes when you talk to them.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Being honest with the jury is another way to build rapport. You want them to be fully and brutally honest with you, so you should give them the same courtesy. Answer their tough questions, even if they’re uncomfortable or difficult. The truth will set you free, and being honest with jurors allows you to see how they react to that and if they have biases and concerns that they might not want to voice to you. It can help you pick a better jury for your client.
Be Sure You Listen to the Jurors
Take time to listen to every word. They’ll tell you subtle things and small details in the tone of their voice and the words they select. That gives you insight into how they might feel about your client and your case. They remember that when you hear them and thank them for their honesty and openness. It’s not easy to do that if you’re not actively paying attention to what the jurors are saying and how they’re saying it.
When focusing on the abovementioned areas, you can build great rapport with a jury. Contact us at Kramer Law today for more about other trial strategies or advice. If you’re ever in need of a consultation or help on an upcoming trial, please get in touch with our team. We can work with you to provide the help and support you need.