Are you a 1L assigned to complete a mock interview before next semester? Or a 2L or 3L who might be looking to make some professional networking connections over the winter break? Or just interested in researching potential employers? You may be wondering how DO you learn more about an attorney, law firm or judge? Not just where they went to school or their contact information but what about their caseloads, practice areas and clients? Things you can actually strike up a conversation about at a cocktail party or during an interview? We have a number of online databases and print resources to help you track down that kind of information!
One great all-in-one resource is the Profiler—Attorney or Judge database on WestlawNext. The database can also be found under the “Directories” link on the main Browse page. You can search by attorney name, firm, location or practice area. The Profiler database gives you the standard bio information such as employers, schools attended, professional organization memberships etc. but it also links you to litigation history reports for that attorney or judge. Just click on the “Reports” tab to view everything that WestlawNext has for that attorney, taken from multiple databases but displayed all on one page in graphical form. It typically defaults to displaying the last 5 years of information but you can change the dates if you wish to see older information or limit your search to a shorter time frame. You’ll see tables for such things as:
- Caseloads (dockets and judicial opinions organized by year)
- Case types (appeals and by practice area)
- Clients/parties represented
- Industries represented
- Courts in which the attorney has appeared
- Judges before whom the attorney has appeared
- Role of their clients (plaintiff, defendant, appellee etc.)
The links in the report take you to the actual dockets, opinions, case filings, and other materials. The Reference tab will give you links to any law review articles or treatise chapters written by that attorney or judge.
Lexis Advance has a similar product available called the Lexis Advance Litigation Profile Suite. It also pulls from multiple Lexis Advance databases and can be reached by logging into Lexis Advance and then clicking on the “Lexis Advance Research” drop down menu in the upper left-hand corner. Clicking on that link takes you to a search page where you will need to select the type of profile you wish to view (expert, attorney, or judge) before entering a name. The Lexis profiles give you a “snapshot” or short biographical overview for that attorney or judge followed by pie charts showing a breakdown of his or her cases by party, jurisdiction, and case duration. You’ll also see “Practice History” links for the attorney or judge which will take you to case dockets, jury verdicts & settlements, case opinions, briefs, jury instructions and secondary materials authored by that person. The Lexis Litigation Profile also pulls in news article about that attorney or judge.
While these two profile tools offer a wealth of information, they do not cover every attorney. It is often harder to track down information for attorneys who engage primarily in transactional work, who are solo or small firm practitioners, who are employed as in-house counsel, or who work internationally. When researching attorneys in those employment settings, you may have to consult multiple databases including the following:
- Directory of Corporate Counsel (on WestlawNext, under “Directories” link)
- Law Firm Representation Analytics on Bloomberglaw.com (on the “Companies & Markets” tab-enter a company name to view firms which have represented that business)
- People search on Bloomberglaw.com (see the “People” link under “Getting Started” on the homepage)
- Leadership Directories—select “Companies” or “Law Firms” from the “Explore Organizations” drop down menu (on the law school library law databases’ page)
- LexisNexis Law Directory—International Practice Profiles (on Lexis Advance)
- We have numerous print directories compiled by local bar associations which will offer listings for more solo or small firm attorneys than what you might find on Westlaw or Lexis. They are located in the Reference section near the library Reference Desk.
There are also additional resources for locating information about judges. Many court websites offer profiles for their judges and there are directories devoted to providing information about judges and their staff. Here are a few sources to check out:
- Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (available on WestlawNext, under “Directories”)
- Federal Judicial Center (biographies of federal judges from 1789 to the present)
- Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System (select a court level first to view profiles for judges assigned to those courts)
- New Jersey Judicial Profiles (Lexis Advance)
- New York Judicial Profiles (Lexis Advance)
- Pennsylvania Judicial Profiles (Lexis Advance)
- Separate judicial profiles database for California, Florida, Georgia and Texas also available on Lexis Advance under Browse –> Sources–> By Category–> Directories then filter by “Judge Directories” under Category in the left column
- Leadership Directories—select “Courts” from the “Explore Organizations” drop down menu (on the law school library law databases’ page)
Still not finding what you need? Stop by the library Reference Desk to discuss additional options!