Information about a judge's past legal and educational background, their prior decisions and current cases, and the types of cases they most frequently hear can help as you create your judge list and prepare for interviews. There are many useful database features and resources available to you as Columbia Law students to help you research judges.
This guide is intended to supplement the many helpful resources offered by the Office of Judicial Clerkships.
Alumni can take advantage of the limited extended access provided by Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg after graduation, make use of the free resources listed in this guide, or request a scan from the print directories listed in this guide.
For librarian assistance with these resources, please email us at email@example.com or visit us during our reference hours.
Search the judge profiles on Westlaw Profiler by name, court, or geographic area. You can add the phrase "Columbia Law School" to search for alumni. While the profile only includes directory and biographical information, click "Explore Analytics" to see that judge's Litigation Analytics page (see below for more details.)
Lexis Litigation Profile Suite
On Lexis+, you can search for a judge in the Litigation Profile Suite. Each profile includes information about the number and type of cases the judge hears, and links to opinions, motions, news stories, and law journal articles involving the judge.
Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, and Lexis+ all offer litigation analytics features that can be very useful tools for researching judges.
Bloomberg Law's Litigation Analytics is helpfully integrated into its dockets system, which pulls docket sheets and court filings from PACER and state electronic records systems. For example, here is Judge Laura Taylor Swain's page. Data visualization tools give interesting information about motion and appeal outcomes, case types, and the judge's most cited court opinions. You can also read news articles about the judge from Bloomberg Law's specialized legal news reporters, Bloomberg News, and various news wires. NB: Can only be used to research federal district court judges.
Search for a judge's name on Westlaw's Litigation Analytics. Here is Judge Jed Rakoff's page. You'll see directory and biographical information as well as recent cases with links to dockets, opinions, and data visualizations about the types of cases the judge hears, the outcomes of motions, the result of appeals of their decisions, and more.
One analytics offering from Lexis is Context. Developed through Lexis's acquisition of Ravel Law, Context provides analytics showing the opinions and other judges that the judge most frequently cites to, in addition to biographical information, links to cases and legal news articles, and motion analytics. Here's Judge Analisa Torres's page.
Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary features biographical profiles with candid, anonymous evaluations, including insights into each judge's style, demeanor, knowledge, and management of courtroom proceedings, as well as financial disclosure statements, Senate confirmation questionnaires, important rulings, summaries of media coverage, and publications listings. Available electronically and in print.
Judicial Yellow Book
Available electronically through CLIO as part of the Leadership Connect database of Leadership Directories, the Judicial Yellow Book is a very helpful tool to use when creating judge lists. In addition to consulting directory and biographical information, use the advanced search options to create a filtered list of results. You can filter by location, gender, associated school, type of court, and past employer. Also available in print in the Diamond Law Library.
Use Court Listener's Advanced Judge Search to search their database of federal and state judges. The database has information about thousands of judges from federal and state courts, including their biographical and educational background, judicial and non-judicial positions held, political affiliations, American Bar Association ratings, campaign finance data, and opinions authored. Search fields include location, "school attended," and "appointed by."