After months of preparation, the lawyers at Sanders, Simpson & Fletcher had their case almost ready for trial. The Springfield, Mo., plaintiff’s firm of 11 lawyers had worked hard to fine-tune the civil case. Their client had the potential of being awarded significant damages. But the allegation — sexual misconduct against a church pastor — was tricky. Would the facts of the case resonate well with jurors?

The best way to find out would be with a mock jury trial. But rather than spending several days away from the office working with a live mock jury, last spring, the firm decided to take the case online, to a virtual jury. And in just a few days, says attorney Sophie Woodworth, it had responses from more than 50 “jurors.”