Resources for Researching Federal Judge Information

by Matt McGovern

Robert N. C. Nix, Sr., Federal BuildingFor anyone considering applying for a summer externship with a federal judge (which all 1Ls and 2Ls should consider!), it can really help to do some research before you write that cover letter.  Knowing more about a judge’s career path, history, and even articles he or she has written can give you invaluable information to customize your cover letter and make your application stand out above the rest.

Here are some resources that will help you discover more information:

  • Insiders Guide to the Pennsylvania Judiciary and the Courts - 2015 editionInsider’s Guide to the Pennsylvania Judiciary and Courts. Pages 16-32 cover the judges of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The latest edition is available in the Library reference Collection (near the Reference Desk) at Call No.: KFP508 .A19 .P4 2016.
  • Westlaw and Lexis both provide tools with contact information, career history, and in some instances, articles authored by the judges:
    • Westlaw’s Profiler tool – Log in to WestlawNext and look for “Profiler” under the “Tools” tab, or just type “Profiler” in the main search box and click on the first drop-down result.
    • Lexis’ Litigation Profile Suite  – Log in to Lexis Advance and click the arrow in the top left next to “Lexis Advance Research”, then select “Litigation Profile Suite” from the drop-down menu.
  • Leadership Directories is another database providing biographical and contact information.  Most judges can be found here by entering their names in the main search box.
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