The main differences between focus groups and mock trials

The main differences between focus groups and mock trials

Before you can go to court, you need to know the best trial preparation methods to see which one is best for your case. 

Focus groups vs. mock trials – The benefits of each 

Before we can understand the importance of each of these methods to prepare for your court case, you need to know the similarities and differences of these two preparation methods for your upcoming trial. Let’s see the characteristics that make focus groups and mock trials unique.

Focus groups

  • Keep in mind that when looking at focus groups, this type of trial prep is a method that uses facilitated-driven interviews of jury-eligible participants that can be used to explore specific aspects of your court case. 
  • Focus groups are usually stationed to provide more feedback than you would get in a mock trial. By providing earlier feedback and learning earlier on in the process, you can get a better idea of what to change in your approach.
  • Focus groups are very effective in complicated cases, as you can use the information from this trial to see how jurors can understand complex information. 
  • Focus groups are typically used to learn what your jury will bring to the case, whether through experience or by pre-set bias
  • You can learn the type of education that your jury needs to fully comprehend the details of your complicated case
  • Focus groups let you understand the first impressions set forth by yourself and your attorney and how your jury responds
  • Lastly, you can use focus groups to see what issues in society are currently relevant to your case 

Mock trials

Mock trial research is used to provide an understanding for yourself and your attorney on how your case can turn out in court. By using jury-eligible people to fill the courtroom and see how they react to your argument, your witnesses, and your tone, you can see how they will react to your case. 

  • Mock trials are typically used to present an argument to a jury of your peers to see how they will respond and if they respond appropriately (in the way you thought they would).
  • The most common reason to use mock trials for your court case is to come up with a trial stratagem, the theme of your case, and arguments about how you will argue that you are correct.
  • In addition, mock trials are used to see the reactions of the jury to see if they are responding to your case in the way you thought they would.
  • Mock trials are used to see any misunderstanding or comprehension of your case and your argument by using the evidence put forth by your attorney.
  • Lastly, mock trials are used to see the reactants of the jury to your lawyer – are they doing a good job of conveying the argument or are they falling flat? 


By using both focus groups and mock trials, you can adequately prepare for your court case and see what needs to be done to effectively argue your side of the case. 

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