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UC Berkeley School of Law Library UC Berkeley School of Law Library BerkeleyLaw Library

Prep for Your Clerkship Interview: Background Sources

Literature search

If your judge has published, you may not have time to read all of it, so just scan titles, subject headings and article abstracts to see what topics your judge has written about. Perform a basic literature search for your judge as author:



Westlaw Profiler (see Basic Prep section of this guide, under Key Resources) - additional features allow you to go beyond the basics:
  • Reports tab > Judicial Reversal Report ... shows outcomes on appeal, cases in which your judge has written in dissent
  • Reports tab > Litigation History Report > tables showing annual number of decisions by industries, companies, and law firms involved ... could be useful if you have committed to a post-clerkship employer.
  • References tab > filter for Secondary Sources ... find publication by your judge or references to your judge in articles, legal news, etc.

Confirmation hearings - for federal judges, or anyone who has been nominated for a federal judgeship, search Proquest Congressional:

  • Library Home page > Top Databases > Proquest Congressional > Advanced Search > select from drop-down menu to search in Witness field > type in first and last name (2-min. video)
    • you can limit the time period of your search to the Congress or year in which your judge was appointed. But note this may miss other hearings of interest!
  • See table of contents for pages where the nominee was introduced, responded to questions from the Senate committee, or provided information on a biographical questionnaire form.
  • Your judge may have appeared before Congress on other issues, which may give you additional insight about your judge's interests, expertise, and other career background.

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