Takeaways from FAWL’s Tips for Young Lawyers in the Courtroom

On February 21, 2019, Legal Lotus was fortunate to attend the Florida Association for Women Lawyers’ (FAWL), Miami-Dade Chapter, annual luncheon and panel discussion: Tips for Young Lawyers in the Courtroom, hosted at Stearns Weaver Miller with the Honorable Judge Diane Ward as moderator. This year’s panel included Kimberly A. Cook, Maria Fehretdinov, Cristina Perez Soto, and Jazime Preston O’Neil–all of which are well-established and successful female attorneys.

The room was full of young female attorneys, positive vibes, and great enthusiasm from the panel. Lunch was served as the panel offered the attendees useful tips to use when in the courtroom, based on the experience they have gained through their practice.

Here are our top 3 tips that were discussed:

Always be prepared. It’s better to be over-prepared. The panel suggested that having a trial notebook is a must and organization is key. It is also important to bring sufficient copies of exhibits, memos, or case law you intend on presenting at trial (this includes having a copy for opposing counsel). Have an outline for your opening, closing, and direct and cross-examination of the witnesses. Go to the courtroom early or the day before to see the setup and to make sure your technical equipment is compatible and/or working properly.

Always be cordial with opposing counsel. All eyes on you, so remember to be on your best behavior.

Be friendly with the Judge’s staff. Be polite; bring them snacks; etc. You will be dealing with the staff during the entire trial process and may need their assistance on things such as gaining access to the courtroom before trial to set up, assistance in setting up your technical equipment, and so on.


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