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How to Find Your Judge's Opinions
Advice for Landing a Clerkship
Job Preparation and Practice Tools
Bloomberg (Bloomberg password required)
This database provides some insight into judges’ practices, outcomes, and typical subject matter of cases. You can also search by attorney, court, company, or law firm.
Lexis Litigation Profile Suite (Lexis password required)
This database provides some insight into judges’ practices, outcomes, and typical subject matter of cases. You can also search by attorney to find information on their specialties, educational background, and professional development.
Westlaw (Westlaw password required)
This application can help job seekers gain insights into judges’ backgrounds, rulings, and preferences. Although the database includes more detail on federal judges it also includes state court judges, providing information on the types of cases they hear, their history on appellate review, how they have ruled on motions, how expert challenges have fared in their courtrooms, along with references to the judges in case law and other court documents
In the Law Library Catalog, you can find more advice on landing jobs and performing legal work by searching for keywords such as Law Clerks--United States--Handbooks, Manuals, Etc and Appellate Procedure--United States--Handbooks, Manuals, Etc.
The All-Inclusive Guide to Judicial Clerking (Abigail Purdue, 2017) (West Academic login required)
Providing an overview of the judiciary to help you tailor your resume and professional development to land a dream clerkship, along with insights into professional handling of the clerk's tasks, practical advice for research and writing, and adjusting to your career after your clerkship.
Behind the Bench: The Guide to Judicial Clerkships (Debra M. Strauss, 2017) (West Academic (login required)
This resource summarizes the benefits of clerking for a lawyer's career and how to land a role with the right judge. Judges themselves weigh in on how to land the dream clerkship. Previous edition available in the Study Skills section.
In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Clerks and Externs (Jennifer L. Sheppard, 2012)
Learn how to set out in pursuit of a dream clerkship, with information on research resources, the differences between civil and criminal litigation, professionalism, legal doctrines pertaining to the judicial process, and tips for producing solid written product.
Judicial Clerkships: A Practical Guide (Mary L. Dunnewold et. al, 2010)
this look at the nuts and bolts of why and how to land a clerkship with a judge delves into the application process; refining skills in research, writing, and citation; and managing professional responsibilities such as confidentiality.
OSCAR: U.S. Courts
This recruitment tool for federal judicial clerks and attorneys includes information on judges and employers’ hiring preferences. Applicants can request recommendations electronically and receive clear deadlines for completing their applications.
American Bar Association: Judicial Clerkship Program
ASU Law participates in this program to introduce judges to underrepresented students.
ASU Law testimonials
Arizona State Law professors and graduates reflect on their judicial clerkships and the opportunities the experience of continuing education under a judge opened for them, while dispensing advice for how to set yourself up for a rewarding experience.
National Center for State Courts
Features links to state court resources regarding clerkship opportunities, including information about openings and the applications schedule in Arizona.
In Westlaw, you can use the following formula to narrow search results to particular judges, searching within the relevant case databases: “advanced: JU(O'Connor).” If you search within the United States Supreme Court, you will get search results relating to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, for example. From the “Cases” database, you can also use the Advanced search link underneath the magnifying glass icon in the main search bar to restrict your results to judges—Westlaw will populate the search bar with “JU(O’Connor),” for example. You can also use the panel at the left side of the screen on any search results page and narrow the search to particular judges by clicking on “judge.”
In Lexis, searching for judges(Name) will produce a list of cases and other resources involving particular jurists in the federal and state systems. Many judges will have panels providing information such as their jurisdictions and phone numbers, with links to more detailed biographical information and data on their time on the bench in the Lex Machina tool. The Context tool provides additional data, such as overviews on how judges tend to handle motions as well as a repository of documents, including the opinions the judge has authored. On the advanced search page, enter the name of the judge in the “judges” field. On a search results page, you can filter the results to particular judges by entering the judge’s name in the judge field in the box at the left side of the screen.
In Bloomberg Law, select “Court Opinions,” and in the pop-up box, scroll down until you reveal the “judge” field. You can find more information on specific judges by clicking on the “General Info” icon at the top right beside the text of a particular opinion, and navigating to the live link of the judge’s name. On the judge’s homepage, you get a snapshot of career history, and analytics of their motions and outcomes of their decisions on appeal. The page also includes biographical information and links to news and court opinions relevant to the judge.
From Clerkship to Practice: Leaning on Your Clerkship to Avoid the Problems of Private Practice
For the American Bar Association, a judge describes the ways a clerkship experience can serve as an effective bridge to private practice, building pragmatic legal strategies, interpersonal skills, and organization.
Clerkships: Application Tips from a Former Law Clerk
Three former clerks share advice on applying for clerkships and preparing for the experience in the federal or state systems.