7 Tips For Getting Through Jury Duty
1) Bring your Phone, Laptop, and a Book.
Bring communication tools, some work supplies, and materials with which to entertain yourself.
2) Be Prepared to Wait.
A lot of jury duty is waiting for a decision to be made about what room you will go in for selection, or if you’ll even go forward with the selection process. Once you enter the selection process, there are no electronics allowed. You’ll have to wait to check Insta!
3) Know Your Rights to Postpone.
Do you take care of a child or elderly person? Are you a freelancer? If so, serving on a jury and being unavailable during the day might be a burden for you, and if so you should find out how you can postpone.
Note: if you postpone, you may have to come back in six months to postpone again. Sometimes, if you’re able, it’s nice to serve one day and go through the selection process – that way you have technically served and have pushed the time until your next jury duty summons to years ahead instead of just months.
4) Bring Water and Snacks.
See Tip #2. There’s lots of waiting involved, and the courthouse may be far from places to get snacks. The vendor inside the courthouse may be cash-only. Avoid getting hangry and dehydrated by bringing your own snacks and lunch. Doing so will also save you money.
5) Get Ready for the Gender Binary!
Things are still a little old school at most court houses, so you’ll probably have to fill out some forms that include “Male” and “Female” as the only two options for gender.
6) Listen to the Jury Duty Liaison.
There will probably be someone who announces updates and instructions from time to time. Try to listen to them when they start talking, because then you’ll know what’s going on. They usually break things down into pretty digestible chunks, and tend to be available for questions after they’re done speaking.
7) Keep All Documentation.
If you postpone, you will get a new date. Write that date down, so you can plan ahead to make time to go back. If you serve, you will get a Proof of Service letter. Keep that letter, in case you get summoned to serve sooner than you should (sometimes this happens due to a name change or marriage). You’ll need that proof of service to correct errors in the jury duty system, so don’t lose it!