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Making Your Best First Impression in Court

Making Your Best First Impression in Court

Immigration court judges make their decisions based on how they see you and the facts of your situation. Your appearance and attitude affect their impression of you. A positive impression will show them you are honest and that there are compelling reasons that you should be allowed to stay in the United States.

It is okay to be nervous in court. That is normal. It is not okay to let your anxiety affect your attitude. For example, people in the court system can come across as rude or abrupt. Most of them are overworked and tired. Whatever the reason is, maintain your composure so you can be polite and smile at the people you are interacting with.

If you are normally a shy person, practice in advance to maintain eye contact with the judge and other members of the court. If your voice tends to be low and quiet, think about raising it above normal. The courtroom can be crowded and noisy. It is important for the judge to hear you clearly.

You should choose your clothes for the hearing with care. They do not need to be expensive or fancy. Clothes that are simple, in good condition and clean work best.

Do and Don’ts for selecting your outfits:

Do choose clothes Don’t choose clothes that
Colors and patterns are low-key Have big, bright colors or patterns. For example, choose a white or blue shirt instead of hot pink
Fabrics are in good condition Have noticeable holes or patches
Solid fabrics Are sheer or reveal skin
Tops have buttons or styles that cover your chest Show your cleavage
Tops that reach your waist Are cropped and reveal your midriff
Tops that have shoulders Have thin straps or fit snugly
Skirts reach your knees, or longer Are mini skirts
Pants cover most of your legs Are too short. No short shorts. Avoid capris if possible.
Flat or low-heeled shoes Spiked heels or flashy coverings. It’s best to avoid flip flops.
Use small or no jewelry Avoid big chunky necklaces or earrings. Remove jewelry from body piercings.

You may be able to find free or low-cost items through non-profits in the area If you do not have acceptable clothing. Your attorney may know of places like these, you can ask local residents or ask at the library because they often have listings of area charities.

The way you look, and act is important to how the judge will perceive you. You can get more tips about clothes, makeup and jewelry from this video.

This quick tip is brought to you by Landerholm Immigration A.P.C. If you would like a consultation about your immigration status you can contact us on our website or call us at (510) 756-4468.


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