This past Wednesday, the LEAP Ambassadors hosted the District Attorney’s office, which sponsored a simulated voir dire, to help students better understand the jury selection process. Speaking to student participants from diverse majors, attorneys Stuart Hughes, Malori Martin, Phil Faselar, Taylor Carter helped the students understand the entire jury selection process. With this demonstration and the attorneys’ recaps, were able to see firsthand how voir dire factors into the trial process.
We acted as a group of potential jurors three separate times, each time learning a different attorney’s approach and method of getting to know a jury. An attorney’s job during this time is to find the type of juror they want to serve during the trial by asking broad questions that are relevant to the case. Members took on different personas and, to the full extent of their abilities, tried to answer questions as 56-year-old school district employees, 28-year-old graduate employees, and 45-year-old gas station cashiers–biographies provided to them by the LEAP Center. Members enjoyed the challenge of thinking on their feet and answering questions in character.
After the final voir dire, PLS members were able to ask questions about law school, learn about the different positions our guests held throughout their careers, and inquire about internships. Overall, it was an eye-opening experience for everyone involved. We saw a more in-depth view of the trial process and were able to offer a practice opportunity for the DA’s office coming out of a post Covid-19 world. Thank you to the Walker County District Attorney Office for coming to Sam Houston State University and teaching us about the voir dire process.