I always do the fake it till you make it & kill 'em with kindness route. Just big cheesy smile, super duper friendly routine until I feel less like I'm going to barf and more like I can actually say what's on my mind! If this makes sense.
fake it til you make it was my approach to hearings, not that i went to many over the 2 years and 3 months i've been an attorney. it did help a little i guess?
Right before you leave, watch a comedy. Something that makes you laugh. Laughter helps you relax.
gl! you'll be great. i did mock trial through high school and college and as a 1L before i dropped out and i used to pretend to be alex cabot to calm myself the fuck down.
what did you do after dropping out of law school if you don't mind me asking?
Wow. Public defenders must be in short supply.
If you do vomit I'm sure they'll understand.
I smoke the p.o.t.
No. If I'm not relaxed you can tell.
It's not really that they're in short supply, it's that it's part of the learning experience and essentially a modern apprenticeship.
BREATHE. inhaaaaale, exhaaaale.
I get horrible stage fright. Nausea, sometimes even to the point of vomiting, and feeling like I really have to pee. If you find some way to stop that, let me know. The best thing I've been able to come up with is to keep smiling, realize that you know what you're doing, and pretend that it doesn't bother you.
I'm a law student too, and I now work in a Court. Just relax and you will be great - prepare properly of course, and if you have any time go sit in Court to watch before your hearing (I'm sure you've observed Court before, but it's a good thing to do right beforehand I find). I'd assume that the judge will know that you're not qualified, but even if he/she doesn't know, they get a LOT of inexperienced people come in and I find they are - usually - sympathetic to this.
It got dismissed!
I have another for December 3 though that may or may not happen, so I will need to still take all the relaxation advice.
I'm in court almost everyday - but the idea of a jury scares me.
So, how does this work? Is there an actual lawyer on the case too, or is the indigent accused stuck with the results of your inexperienced performance? Is an actual human being's fate at stake here?
I'm supervised the whole time.
The California state bar has a certification process for law students, where we can do a whole lot, so long as it's under the supervision of an attorney. The attorneys in my office allow me to do a lot, but absolutely always make sure the client's rights are really being protected before I do anything.
Since I posted though the DA has decided to not proceed, so there's not going to be a trial Tuesday.
Edited at 2012-11-17 03:03 am (UTC)
Grats on getting the case dismissed! My fiance worked at a PD office his last semester of law school under the Third Year Practice Act so I remember all those things, haha. He was always a mess of nerves when he had to work in court--right up until he got up there. Then you just focus on what you're doing and you'll get through it. :)
i dealt with my nerves by quitting* my job as an attorney because it sucked ;P
but if you're more cut out for it than me, you'll be fine. sorry though, i have no good advice on calming those nerves.
* not really quitting, i just went part time and will be doing paralegal work after the new year