Courts follow specific rules and regulations regarding everything.
As such, jurors are expected to dress in harmony with those guidelines.
Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when getting ready for jury duty:
Veteran Trial Lawyer | Published Legal Scholar | Managing Attorney, Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC
Prospective jurors should prepare for the reality of spending a day in a government building, mostly waiting around. In Federal Court, there is a dress code and prospective jurors are informed with their summons. They should follow the dress code. Federal judges take it seriously. Outside a specific dress code, jurors should:
Room temperatures tend to vary in courthouses but can go from cold to hot when a herd of potential jurors gets brought in.
But definitely use deodorant. They may be crammed onto benches with strangers for extended periods. Too many strong smells tend to mix poorly but they don’t really overcome BO.
Jury panels are often left standing in the hall and may do a lot of walking as they get moved around. Parking is difficult near many courthouses so they may have a hike from their car.
Business casual is good. You don’t want to wear your best but you don’t want to be mistaken for a criminal defendant.
It might keep you off the jury, or you might be ordered to turn your shirt inside-out or turn over your property to the bailiff. Some judges may force you to change and return another day.
Your funny Federal Boobie Inspector shirt will be very awkward if you end up in the front row of a child sex trial. Best case, whichever lawyer doesn’t like the message will grill you to establish that you are not a fair person.
Jury duty is a good time to select a wardrobe that lets you fly under the radar.
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When dressing for jury duty, you should always be professional.
Normally the air is on, wearing a blazer or cardigan will give you the ability to take them off if you find yourself getting warm. I prefer wearing layers for this purpose.
If you are not a button-up type, opt for a polo style shirt. You want to be as comfortable as possible. Never know what may happen during the process.
Shoes should be comfortable and clean. Women should avoid wearing high heels. Tennis shoes and shorts have no place in a courtroom.
Chunky, bright or jewelry that may make noise should be avoided. These can be a distraction, not just for the other jurors but for everyone in the courtroom.
A courtroom is a place of business, not the place to show off your personal style.
When I first graduated from college and got called for my first jury duty, I felt very grown-up and tried to dress professionally to fit the concept.
What I have learned is there is absolutely no need to dress up for jury duty. Office casual clothes are perfectly fine including jeans. I am not suggesting ratty jeans and sweatshirt, but a nice casual jeans outfit is fine.
The other important recommendation is something comfortable as you will be sitting around for hours. Again, this is not suggesting old ratty sweatpants.