In a piece for the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys (CATA), entitled “Connecting to Millennial & iGen Jurors,” our very own Meghan Lewallen provides insight into rising generations and their courtroom preferences.
Meghan’s article is well-researched, fascinating, and informative. It begins with the question: “What Defines a Generation?” which Meghan answers by exploring the shared experiences that form each generation, shaping their values, attitudes, worldviews, and behaviors.
To begin the discussion, Meghan summarizes past generations like Traditionalists (The Silent Generation), Baby Boomers, and Generation X. She then goes on to acknowledge the advances in technology that define the millennial generation, stating:
“Members of this generation grew up with social media and experienced the fastest evolution in technology the world has ever seen.”
In describing millennials, Meghan highlights their need for knowledge and expertise, their preference for open dialogue and expressing opinions, and their propensity to work in a team. She also discusses their short attention span and need to be entertained, encouraging the use of media and digital aids in the courtroom.
While these strategies help millennials understand and remember a case, they may prove even more valuable for Generation Z or iGen, whose oldest members are just now starting to graduate from college and, thus, join jury pools. According to Meghan’s research, iGen has an attention span of 8 seconds and is deeply cynical.
Building a Case for Today’s Jury
By breaking down each trait associated with millennials and making comparisons with past and future generations, Meghan outlines strategies for a successful presentation.
Her points include:
- Structure and instruction – millennials like to be taught and learn about complex topics.
- Embrace technology – multisensory input and technological aid are the best strategies to present to millennials.
- Use visuals to communicate – Crisp and simple pictures and videos can help communicate the themes of oral presentation and reinforce memory in millennial jury members.
- Checklists and timelines – Keeping communication open, laid out, and organized can lend structure and transparency and enhance the jury’s ability to process information
- Animation – Simple animation and innovative presentation can give the case a competitive edge by adding excitement but should be used in moderation.
Fortunately, adjusting a case for millennial jurors adds countless benefits for jurors of other generations as well. It also prepares attorneys for what to expect in the future.
What Can We Expect Next?
Just like members of any other industry, the legal community must continue to innovate and adapt to be successful. Attorneys must build their cases with modern influences and perspectives in mind and make efforts to understand and connect to new and upcoming jurors.
At the Mellino Law Firm, our lawyers are at the forefront of the legal industry. Partner Meghan Lewallen has an intimate understanding of the past, present, and future of connecting with jury members. She applies her knowledge to real-world situations, factoring juror values into high-stakes medical malpractice trials, an example which she illustrates in her article.
Each of the attorneys at our firm benefits from Meghan’s insight and develop unique strategies of their own. To put over 30 years of experience and innovation on your side, call us at (440) 333-3800 or request a free consultation online.