You’re nervous. Your palms are sweaty. Your heart won’t stop pounding.
I know what you’re thinking…
The judge hates me. He’s probably just jealous that he doesn’t have young, tight skin like I do anymore. And he probably lost his retainer, so his teeth aren’t post-braces straight like mine are now. But don’t hate me ‘cause you ain’t me.
I get it. You’re probably right. But since your judge isn’t going to admit to any of these thoughts, you need to remain chill. How? Here’s the trick: imagine this person, who went through years of law school, is an overpriced liquid in a classy cup. Imagine your judge is just a drink at Starbucks.
Because if your judge was, in fact, a drink from Starbucks, they’d probably be one of the following:
A Mocha Frappuccino: He/she is super sweet. They don’t care about time limits, and they’ll pour on the help when you’re struggling with objections. Ultimately, it’s clear that they want you to get a good taste of what court is really like. You should want your judge to be a mocha frap in the mock trial world.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: This one is harder to read than most. Just when you think you won them over, you have to second-guess yourself. They keep you on your toes. They’re sweet, but a little bit salty if you overstep your boundaries (i.e. move about the well freely, but don’t approach the witness without remembering to ask permission). They’re certainly not going to let you see their warm side until after the round is over.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Holiday drink, beware. This judge could potentially go either way, so thankfully, they’re not on your menu of judges all year. But if you do happen to get a good PSL (one with whipped cream), don’t be afraid to show off a little. They can handle your heat, even when opposing counsel can’t.
Double shot of espresso: You only want this judge when you know your team is in need of a wake up call. Most of the time, this judge thinks he’s still an attorney in the round, so don’t be surprised if they’re constantly speaking for you, rather than leaving arguing up to the pros (that’s you). A common result of a double shot of espresso is e n d l e s s talking. * silent ugh until after the round *
Chai Tea Latte: Very calm. In fact, their voice is so soothing that they could’ve easily recorded audio books for some extra dough. At first, you’re not sure what to make of him or her. These judges are the best at remaining straight-faced, so you know for sure one side isn’t going to be favored over another, even if you’re destroying opposing counsel. You have no idea how that ballot is about to be filled out. But when all’s said and done, you might see what she’s really like, and you wish you were able to figure out she was an angel during pre-trial.
Black coffee. No milk. No sugar. Take note of the warning label: Caution when hot… It’s there for a reason. Don’t push your boundaries with this judge. Both you and Taylor Swift should be singing, “I knew you were trouble when you walked in.” Good luck.
Even when you’re not sure what to expect, and you forgot to get your favorite pick-me-up before the round, try to remember that you’ve probably already had a taste of what this judge is like. If all else fails, keep calm and don’t burn your tongue.