Going to court can be a nervous experience, particularly if it’s your first time. You might feel overwhelmed and stressed about the pressure of being under the spotlight, dealing with lawyers and having the eyes of the judge and jury on you.

How to remain in a positive mindset while taking in all the new information and experiences? You prepare for it. Doing so can ensure that your experience isn’t as overwhelming as it could be. With advice from leading Albertan criminal lawyer Dunlap Law, we have five valuable tips to help prepare you for your first day in court.

1) Get Yourself Organized

We touched on it above, and it makes plenty of sense. Be prepared as possible, getting everything in order ahead of time to ensure that you haven’t missed anything in the process. Items like paperwork and documentation should be taken care of by your lawyer (if you’ve hired one), but if you represent yourself, organize it to have all the crucial information in front of you ready to go. If you have hired a lawyer, speak to them to ensure that they have all the information they need to represent you.

2) Plan Your Court Day Outfit

Appearances matter in the courtroom. Anyone that tells you otherwise is wrong. The jury, judge and the lawyers are all going to be looking at you, and you need to represent your best self. As for the outfit itself, always go for a professional yet conservative look with neutral tones and traditional styles. The best way to think of it is that you’re going for a job interview and need to look the part. Just make sure that you aren’t uncomfortable wearing these clothes. The last thing you want is to feel out of place and twitchy in court. It doesn’t look good.

3) Schedule Your Court Day


Plan your day around the court appearance. Your whole day is about it, so don’t put anything around it or near it. Give yourself time to get to the courtroom, as you won’t know how bad traffic will be on the day (it’s best to visit the courthouse before your day so you can get acquainted with it) and don’t plan anything after it. Court cases can drag on and run late, so you don’t want to be under the pump to run out at the end of it. Remain entirely focused on your courtroom appearance.

How To Prepare For Your First Day In Court

4) Speak To Your Lawyer About It

Is there anything you missed? Is your dress or suit not making the right impression? Are you concerned about not being able to make it in time or being prepared enough? Your lawyer can address any questions or concerns that you might have. Remember, they’re experts in the field and can guide you through the whole process. They can give you tips on what to wear, why, what to say and not, and how you can manage the entire experience. As a tip, ask them to educate you on courtroom etiquette, so you know the standard when entering and speaking in the courtroom.

5) Try To Remain Calm & Composed

Okay, this might be more difficult than expected, but it is achievable. Feeling nervous and on-edge is very common when you have to go. The anxiety of unexpected situations might drive you to the point of madness and cripple you severely. So how do you remain calm and composed? Firstly, follow these steps and be as prepared as possible. This will alleviate some stress, as you’ll feel more in control. Secondly, seek support from your friends and family; they can help you compose yourself. Finally, let your lawyer know how you’re feeling, as they can guide you through the entire process. 

We understand that going to court for a case can be stressful and nerve-racking, but if you follow these five steps, you’ll quietly be confident to handle it.

Join the Discussion