Before you step into your courtroom

Picture this:
Your left hand is on the pully of your briefcase, your eyes scanning the floor as you navigate around jurists or observers mingling in the hallway. You look up to see the nameplate attached to the wall outside the courtroom, the name revealing the judge chambered inside. Your heart does a momentary flip as you consider who has the power, the confidence, the influence inside these walls.  As your right hand reaches the handle on the door, you smile, remembering you have the power to influence. And today you are about to prove it.

Ever feel this way? If not, it’s about time you do.


I have heard a defense attorney say, “The minute I step through that door my faith wavers. My client is the accused, and quite honestly, I know the strikes are against me. Like it or not, that is my focus when I step into the courtroom. I really wish I could change this.”

Although only one has verbally admitted that anxiety to me, countless defense attorneys demonstrate it. Their meager fumblings on behalf of their clients create a sad disservice to who they represent and to the court. Yesterday I posted about the cowboys of old in my piece called, Display of Confidence. I focused on their need to practice the tough moves. Today, I add to this confidence building the need to strategize for it’s development.

Trained as an actress, I can relate to the jitters, the nervous energy my body generates prior to “curtain” time. Without these jitters that normally translate into bowel discomfort for me, I fear I am missing the energy and passion to carry through my role effectively.

But with this surge in my body I am given the extra boost to be focused, dynamic and in character. I remember my body doesn’t know the difference between anxiety and enthusiasm. If I am prepared, if I know my role and understand the script and actions expected of me, I am properly fueled and eager to “take the stage”.

Before you step into the courtroom, pay attention to your body. Is it charging up? If so, good. See your body’s reaction to this important moment as the fuel which accompanies your preparation for your role. You will then expect instead of fear this physical reaction. Then remember who you are. Recall your unique strengths that assist your thinking process, that help you focus. Review your case strategy and how you will handle the unexpected. Now, grab the handle of that door and enter with confidence.

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On March 20th, 2012, posted in: confidence, defense attorney by