Many lawyers vividly remember their first jury address—the moment when a “litigator” becomes a “trial lawyer.” For many, a trial is something they’ve worked toward since the first year of law school. That first trial can be thrilling and unlike anything else in the law. Below, I offer some advice for young lawyers approaching that career milestone.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. When trying your first case, preparation is key. Think through the story you want to tell the jury and script every moment to advance that narrative. Identify the questions you intend to ask, collect the exhibits you intend to introduce, and anticipate the objections you expect from the other side. Thorough planning will help you develop a mastery of the case and build your confidence as trial nears.