Many people would agree that jury duty is one of the most inconvenient responsibilities a U.S. citizen is required to do, but for that 1% who loves law and order, and couldn’t wait to nitpick details of a legal case, then this side cash opportunity is for you.
How does earning money to serve as a mock juror sound? Lucky for you, there are several sites that would pay you to participate in mock trials.
Before you sign-up to the sites, here are a few details you should know about mock trials:
- Clients of mock trial websites are often lawyers.
- The cases you’re going to review are not real cases. Instead, these are made-up cases used for practice by would-be lawyers. In order to gauge how a real jury would react to an attorney’s case plan, they consider the comments and input of an online panel.
- Payment as mock jurors range from $5 to $10, depending on the website you joined. It’s definitely lower than real jury duty, since you are paid around $40 to $50 a day for federal jury, and $25 to $75 for state jury (varies from state to state).
- Registration to websites that pay mock jurors is free. The process is often straightforward and can be done under 5 minutes.
- There’s no universal criteria followed for selection of jurors. In some cases, your place of residence may be the only factor considered. In most cases, jurors are selected randomly from a jury pool.
- Once you’ve been picked as a juror, a document, audio or other formats of the trial case would be sent to you. You’ll then be able to listed or read arguments from both sides, decide on the case, answer a questionnaire, and get paid.
6 Sites that Pay People to “Pre-try” Cases:
You can see from its website that eJury is one of the oldest of its kind. Its site design isn’t the most modern, but eJury is definitely legit. It pays jurors $5 to $10 per case, depending on the length of each case. The average length is around 6 pages, which can be finished in as little as 30 minutes. Payment is made via PayPal.
To join eJury, you’d have to be a citizen of the United States and at least 18 years old. You should be able to read and write, have good moral character, and have never been convicted of a felony. Legal assistants, paralegals, attorneys, any employee of a law firm, and family members of a practicing attorney are not allowed to join.
The process of jury selection is a little different with Online Verdict. Here, jurors are selected depending on the county or federal district they are in. So if the attorneys in your area don’t upload cases on the database, you won’t have a chance to sit on the virtual jury. Sometimes, Online Verdict hosts national surveys for everyone registered. Anyone qualified for a particular case will be notified via e-mail.
You can earn anywhere from $20 to $60 per case, depending on the length and difficulty level. Payment is sent once a month via check mailed to your address.
3. Jury Talk
Open to all U.S. citizens above 18 years old, JuryTalk lets ordinary people participate in one-day legal focus groups and mock trials. You simply need to fill up a very detailed registration form, which includes political affiliation and religion, so would-be jurors are filtered according to these factors.
Jury Talk is part of the Wilmington Institute Network, a nationally recognized trial and settlement psychology firm that’s been around for over 40 years. Most of the research cases can be read or listened to online, but others require you to participate at their research facility in Dallas or Houston, Texas. You receive an email if you’re considered as a mock juror.
Resolution Research is more of a survey firm because it targets experts from a wide range of specialties such as finance, education, medicine, IT, and more to serve as mock jurors for different projects. Mock jurors can be hired for online or in-person pretend trials, depending on the requirements of its law firm clients.
Basic requirements are needed for research jurors (18+ years old, US citizen, not a convicted felon, etc.), but some law firms may also require other factors (college grad, certain political affiliation, etc.). Pay is super low, around $3/hour, but Resolution Research claims it depends on the length of time to complete each case.
Jury Test caters to lawyer clients, who use the reviews and insight of online jurors to develop their case. It was developed by an attorney who teaches at Harvard Medical School.
The premise of JuryTest is similar to other sites on this list. You’ll be e-mailed with all details (including payment info), and you have the option to accept or decline the case. Payments range from $5 to $50 per case, depending on the complexity of cases. They are released via check or PayPal.
6. Virtual Jury
Dubbed as a legal focus group, virtual jurors are notified via email if a case is available in their respective areas. The registration form on Virtual Jury is in-depth, requiring would-be jurors to indicate job status, political affiliation and age, among others. Pay varies from case to case. You’ll receive a check within two weeks, after the end of the focus group.
The Bottom Line
You’re not going to be rich participating in mock trials, but it can be enough to pay for your monthly internet bills, or a similar expense for people who have some extra time in their hands. The downside, however, is that you’ll never know when you are qualified for a case, so income isn’t consistent.