California trial attorney Martin Grayson, author of The View From the First Chair: What Every Trial Lawyer Really Needs to Know, is the subject of a future profile in Student Lawyer magazine. It’s a wide-ranging interview, but one section caught our attention as it applies to students who see a future for themselves in court. The question put to Grayson went like this, “Are there certain academic courses, clinics, or part-time work that law students should partake to better prepare themselves for trial practice?”
Grayson: “There’s no doubt that any advocacy clinic would be helpful if you’re interested in trial work. Getting actual court experience, dealing with clients … any experience [of that sort] is good. But my advice to students is this: go to court. Walk into a courtroom — a civil courtroom, or a criminal courtroom, if that’s your interest — and sit there for the morning and watch the docket move, watch how the judge handles the attorneys, watch how the attorneys present themselves and their cases, and watch how the clerks handle the procedural flow of the action. As Yankees great Yogi Berra once said, ‘You can observe a lot just by watching.’”
The Student Lawyer profile isn’t scheduled until next year, but Grayson’s thoughts and advice about the art of trial practice are available in his book, which comes with a recommendation from Trial Magazine. The book is available on our site (free shipping) or from Amazon.