What We Do

The Center for Jury Studies is dedicated to facilitating the ability of citizens to fulfill their role within the justice system and enhancing their confidence and satisfaction with jury service by helping judges and court staff improve jury management.

  • To do so, the Center engages in cutting-edge research to identify practices that promote broad participation by the community in the jury system
  • respect jurors' contributions to the justice system
  • utilize jurors' time effectively and make reasonable accommodations for their comfort and privacy, and
  • provide jurors with the decision-making tools necessary to make informed and fair judgments in the cases submitted to them.

The Center for Jury Studies disseminates this information through technical assistance contracts, educational programs, and public outreach on the following topics:

Jury System Management

The NCSC Center for Jury Studies has more than 30 years' experience advising state and federal courts on effective jury system management, including summoning and qualification procedures, juror orientation, jury system automation and jury trial practices.

Juror utilization

Effective juror utilization minimizes the number of jurors who are not ultimately needed to select juries, thus conserving court resources and enhancing citizens' jury service experience.

Fair Cross Section

The Center for Jury Studies has extensive experience evaluating demographic representation of the jury pool in state and federal courts and assisting courts to respond to challenges to the jury pool alleging violations of the Sixth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Jury System Technology

Courts have implemented a number of new technology applications in jury automation to increase efficiency, create more meaningful management reports, and speed communication with jurors.

Jurors & New Media

Internet-based communication technologies generally offer tremendous opportunities for increased efficiency and collaboration, but also pose substantial challenges to judges and lawyers in terms of maintaining the impartiality of jurors before and during trials.

Jurors & New Media Curriculum

The National Center for State Courts developed and pilot-tested curriculum materials for a judicial education program on Preventing and Addressing Internet-Related Juror Misconduct, to help judges meet the new challenges that social media presents.

Innovations in Jury Trial Procedures

Judges and lawyers have adopted a number of innovative practices to improve juror comprehension, performance, and satisfaction.

Voir Dire

The primary objectives of an effective jury selection process are to elicit sufficient information for the judge and lawyers to make informed judgments about each juror’s ability to serve fairly and impartially, to respect jurors’ reasonable expectations of privacy, and to impanel a trial jury in a reasonable amount of time. 

Juror Comprehension, Decision Making and Deliberations

The NCSC Center for Jury Studies has conducted extensive research on the impact of various trial innovations on juror comprehension, performance, and satisfaction as well as providing education and information to various judicial and bar organizations on this topic.

Jury Instructions

The NCSC Center for Jury Instructions convened the first national conference on pattern jury instructions in 2008.

Notorious Trial Management

High-profile trials are among the most difficult to manage. The NCSC Center for Jury Studies provides proven strategies for effective trial management.

Juror Stress, Juror Privacy and More

Proven strategies to minimize juror stress.