Get Paid to Serve on an Online Mock Jury


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 fed too.

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. As one 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 per case.

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 Simply Hired occasionally has mock jury positions that are offline (in person).

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