Get Paid to Serve on an Online Mock Jury
By Steve Gillman
When a case is serious enough and clients can afford the extra
cost, lawyers hire what is called a "mock jury" (sometimes
also called a "surrogate jury"). They present their
case to this group of mock jurors in order to test various strategies
and to see what the outcome of the case might be based on the
current information and witnesses they have. Sometimes being
a mock juror can be worth the time. When I had my
surrogate jury experience I was paid $150 for the day, and
I did this in the fall of 2013, and on a live, in-person jury,
but the online mock jury has become the tool of choice for many
attorneys. There are even websites that facilitate putting trial
lawyers together with people who want to serve as mock jurors.
They do this on a geographical basis, so the case is "tried"
before the defendants "peers" just as it will be in
the real trial.
An online "trial" typically consists of the presentation
of the evidence, which is usually on a webpage, sometimes with
photos and videos. Questionnaires normally follow that. A juror
reviews the facts and renders a verdict. Usually more jurors
are used than the standard six or twelve that serve in the courtroom.
mock jury website explains;
...each case is tried to a minimum of 50 people. This provides
the attorney with a tremendous amount of feedback which he/she
will use to establish a settlement value, find strengths and
weaknesses in the evidence, learn "public" attitudes,
improve jury selection, discover the most effective arguments....
How Much Can You Make as a Mock Juror?
While in-person mock jurors are typically paid from $50 to
$150 per case, the online version doesn't often pay more than
$30. In fact, the pay starts as low as $5
On the other hand, you will not spend an entire day on a case
when doing this online. Once you know the routine you should
be able to complete a case and render a verdict in 30 to 45 minutes.
If you work for companies that pay $30 per case that could result
in a decent hourly wage.
Work more cases and you make more money. It helps to live
near a large city. Mock juries are selected from the same geographical
area that the real jury will be selected from, so a bigger population
means more cases.
Given the small number of cases available in any one place,
this is an interesting way to make extra cash, not a real job
or regular source of income.
Qualifications / Requirements
The requirements to be hired for a mock jury are up to the
lawyers in a case, but it is typical for them to include most
of the basic criteria for being a real juror, which means:
- You have to be at least 18 years old
- You have to be a citizen
- You have to be of sound mind
- You have to be able to read and write
- You can't be a felon, nor under indictment.
Each company which provides this service to attorneys has
their own requirements. Some do not want jurors who have a lawyer
in the immediate family (although my father being a retired attorney
did not prevent me from recently filling one of these positions).
Finding the Jobs
You can visit one of the sites that lawyers use to arrange
mock juries, to see if they are hiring. Here are a couple to
get you started:
Sign up and wait for the next case to be posted. Apply right
away before the available slots fill up. The employment website
occasionally has mock jury positions that are offline (in person).