If you're trying to earn a degree in legal services, you will probably be asked to sit in on court cases at some point during your studies. Writing a report on one of these cases is essential to learn. Think of this report as being little more than describing what went on in the courtroom on the day you visited, then add your own personal insight at the end. .
Pick a day to sit in court. Dress professionally. Arrive early to get a seat in the last two rows of the courtroom, which is the spectator section. Note anything you observe as accurately as possible. Try to note the key figures in the case and their roles as the legal drama unfolds in front of you. Try to right down some of the discussion, especially the key points of the case. Make sure to report the verdict, if there is one, and the reaction of those in the courtroomafterward.
Return home with your notes. Create six sections to your report: Overview/Summary, Prosecution, Defense, Atmosphere, Verdict, and Analysis. Write out an outline for each section before you begin writing the essay.
Begin the overview/summary section with a paragraph or two summarizing the case, who the defendant was and why he or she was on trial. Use a paragraph to simply describe the courtroom and how it felt to be there. Present the entire case from the perspective of the prosecution and defense in the following two sections. These two sections should be the heart of your paper and should detail each side's presentation to the judge. Report the verdict in no more than one paragraph. Then write your analysis of the case. This is the section to put your thoughts down, and what you think the prosecution or defense could have done differently, or what you might have done if you were in their shoes.
Look back through your essay and fix any grammatical errors you find.
Writing an outline is very beneficial because it will help you organize your notes before you begin writing, leading to a better first draft.
- court house image by Ben Twist from Fotolia.com