A jury consultant is someone hired by an attorney to help them select jury members who will likely be in their favor when it comes to court cases. They are human behavior experts, able to analyze people and figure out what makes them tick. They study the case and look for people who can understand where their client is coming from.
For example, if the trial involves a man killing his girlfriend out of passion, the jury consultant might stack the jury with people who understand that passion can make people do crazy things – people who have been in love, done crazy things for their dreams, and have been driven by passion before. They might look at the background and history of jurors, and work with jurors in focus groups to help them before the trial starts.
The jury consultants want to shape the perspective of their jurors during the trial, so stacking the jury is only part of it. They might also look at the body language of prospective jurors and coach witnesses in saying or doing certain things when questioned to ensure that the jury listens to them and puts stock in what they are saying.
They need to be able to have an understanding of both the law and human relationships, as well as the ability to analyze emotions from data and an understanding of statistics. While they don’t have to be right all the time, a good consultant will be able to back up his predictions with facts and evidence. So, years of study and practice are needed to rise up in the industry. However, more attorneys are starting to hire consultants and interest in the field is going up, so it’s a very good time to be a jury consultant in today’s legal field.