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How to Research Judicial Clerkships: Directories and Profiles

Print Directories

The Law Library's Reference Collection contains several print directories for the American judiciary. While the courts may be consistent, each title contains slightly different information about the judges, the court systems, and the other staff.

Federal-State Court Directory

The Federal-State Court Directory is the most simple of these print directories. Like a standard phonebook, this directory has contact information of state and federal courts organized by organization. It also has basic visual charts explaining each jurisdiction's court system. Published once a year, this is a no-frills source of numbers, addresses, and email information for most federal courts and for state courts of last resort.

Judicial Yellow Book

The Judicial Yellow Book includes basic contact information for state and federal courts, including that of clerks and other staff. This directory also indexes persons by name, alma mater, and organization. For example, if you wanted to look up any judge, clerk, or staff who attended Michigan Law, you could find them by looking in the Law School Index. Updated twice a year, the Judicial Yellow Book includes contact information for state courts both of appeal and of last resort.

The American Bench: Judges of the Nation

Of these print directories, The American Bench includes the most information about judges. Judge biographies include work history, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, social civic activity, awards, and teaching positions, so you can get a very preliminary sense of the judge--as opposed to a name and phone number. Also included are gender breakdowns for each court (covering the current and one previous years), an alphabetical name index for each judge (paired with court but not page number), judicial boundary maps, and explanations of court structures. Judicial biographies are not organized by court, but by general jurisdiction (federal or state).

Online Profiles

Leadership Connect

Leadership Connect provides online access to the directory information available in the print Judicial Yellow Book. Conduct an Advanced Search for judges, clerks, courts, and other filters to find contact information, office structure, and other up-to-date directory info.

West Legal Directory: Judges

West Legal Directory: Judges provides office profiles and profiles of individual full-time judges from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Find a judge by name, court, city, county, state, or keyword. Each has three tabs: Profile, References, and Reports. Profile includes extensive contact and biographical information. References draws on the massive Westlaw legal database to link to cases, dockets, secondary sources, and other documents with which the judge is involved. Different judges will have different Reports available, including Expert Challenge Reports, Judicial Motion Reports, Judicial Reversal Reports, and Litigation History Reports. 

Litigation Profile Suite

Lexis Litigation Profile Suite

Search Lexis's Litigation Profile Suite by judge's name to find all kinds of information about their practice and history. Using the full power of Lexis's legal database, you will find sections called Ruling History (dockets, cases, motions, etc.), Publications (e.g., law review articles), and In the News (traditional, legal, and web sources).

To access from the Lexis Advance homepage, click the box in the top-left corner and select "Litigation Profile Suite," as pictured.

Biographical Directory of Article III Federal Judges, 1789-Present

Look up brief biographies of federal judges for free online using the Federal Judicial Center's Biographical Directory of Article III Federal Judges, 1789-Present.

OCP Judicial Clerkship Database

Don't forget to use the Judicial Clerkship Database for actual feedback on judges across the country written by Michigan Law grads.

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