There are a number of different legitimate ways to get out of jury duty, and if you fall into one of several categories, you might easily be able to avoid the job. The acceptable reasons depend on your location, however, and you should consider that your state or country may have somewhat different laws regarding jury duty. The most common ways to avoid jury duty typically include financial hardship or extreme inconvenience, working in a field that already acts as a civic duty, being a public official, and in some regions, age and educational obligations.
One of the first things you should consider is the fact that lying to get out of jury duty is often considered fraud and may result in heavy fines or even jail time. You should be honest in dealing with the courts, especially once you are sworn to honesty. Avoiding an inconvenience like jury duty is no reason to end up in jail or pay a fine.
The most common ways to get out of serving on a jury are to make a claim of financial hardship or extreme inconvenience. Financial hardship can often be used as an excuse by someone whose employer will not pay him or her to serve on a jury, and who is financially responsible for other people. The sole financial provider for a household, for example, may be able to use hardship as a way to avoid serving. Similarly, extreme inconvenience often refers to a situation where getting to the courthouse to serve on a jury would be very difficult, such as if you did not have a car and would have to travel several hours to reach the court.
If you are a public official, such as a politician or sitting judge, then you will likely not be called to serve on a jury. Many public officials cannot perform jury duty even if they wanted to, as dictated by law. Members of the armed forces on active duty can also use that as a way to get out of jury duty, as well as people like police officers and members of fire departments. If you are a volunteer firefighter, you may also be able to avoid jury duty, as may people over a certain age.
Some states and areas will also excuse a person from jury duty if he or she is a student and the time lost would severely disrupt his or her studies. This is not true of all areas, so you should look for specific information about your region. The court clerk is well within his or her rights to deny your request and require that you come to jury duty, but you can make any honest attempt to avoid the process.