So um.... jury duty

Possibly in wrong forum. Mods, feel free to move

I had recently received an “invitation” (lol) for jury duty. This was my first ever, so I was entitled to a deferement, which I used up - citing class and work schedule as an excuse. My deferement was accepted and they have postponed my duty until January.

This sounds a bit selfish on my part, but I’d rather not have to miss a full week (or more) of class on account of this. I believe in our democratic institutions and processes, etc etc, but I have to balance that with Organic II, Organic Lab, and Physics II next semester.

Should I just plan to take the whole semester off? I understand that just because I received the letter it’s not a 100% indication that I’ll actually be selected for a jury, but this is really stressing me out.

After next winter semester, I’m done with my prereqs and will be planning on taking the MCAT on June 08… so if I take a semester off (or am forced to get straight W’s) it really sets me back considerably.

I was wondering if anyone had a similar experience. Note, I’m not really comfortable to go into the whole process and say things on purpose to get me disqualified from selection (like some of my colleagues have done in the past :), since I consider that sort of behavior disgraceful.

Any suggestions on what I should do is appreciated.

Maybe you can call the registrar and find out your chances? Or find out how to get an additional deferment? I know that every jurisdiction is different… I originally was notified that I’d be “eligible” to be called for jury duty sometime during my post-bacc years and then did not end up getting summoned until near the end of my intern year. In my jurisdiction, I was able to tell them when I’d be able to serve instead, and you better believe they called on me at the time I’d designated. But each locale probably does this differently.

Good luck. It seems ridiculous to contemplate skipping the whole semester because of the possibility of jury duty!


I wouldn’t worry about it if I was you. They ususally call way more people than they need, so there is a good chance you can get off/not get picked. I got called for jury duty about a year ago. The judge asked if anyone had a reason they should be excused, then he asked each person for more details. He granted everyone that asked to be excused. Even after sending 10 or so people home, I still didn’t get picked. Like Mary said, I’m sure it depends on where you live. The only time I missed was about 4 hours for the jury picking. I would not consider missing an entire semester just for jury duty. Even if you do get seated, they don’t always need you for the whole week.

In Illinois, if you are a full-time student, you are exempt from jury duty. You just have to notify your circuit clerk, and sometimes they ask for an official letter from the school.

I’m not sure what state you’re in, but it’s probably the same.

BTW - I got a grand jury call in December

Jury duty came up for me a couple of times during the trip… I just phoned the clerk and explained the situation (followed by a letter outlining the conversation) and was excused without any question!


It’s completely anectodal, but the only time I was called to jury duty, the entire process lasted less than a day. I was one of the lucky few who actually made it to a court-room, but I wasn’t selected to even be questioned for the jury.

I think the odds of serving on a jury are pretty slim. And the odds of serving on a jury for a long, drawn out, OJ style case are very, very rare.

I wouldn’t let a summons deter me from enrolling!