Preparing for Your First Trial

Paige M. Willan
Lawyers preparing for trial.

Lawyers preparing for trial.


Working on your first trial as a new lawyer can be exciting, nerve-wracking, and exhausting. Whether the trial will last for one day or for several months, and whether you will be one part of a large trial team or going it solo, this trial will be one that you remember and tell stories about for the rest of your life. If you are taking the lead on the trial, TYL and the American Bar Association, along with your local and state bar association, have incredible resources to help you plan and prepare for developing a trial strategy, examining witnesses, and making closing and opening arguments. But for many new associates, most of the work you will do on your first trial likely will involve exercising skills other than those required of lead trial counsel. This article offers tips for mastering some mundane details a new associate preparing for her first trial will need to navigate. Believe it or not, those details can have a significant positive impact on the success of your first trial.

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