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Prep for Your Clerkship Interview: Basic Prep

Bio/Career Outlines

Almanac of the Federal Judiciary online - often includes practitioner commentary about abilities, temperament, and demeanor, and lists noteworthy cases.

Daily Journal's  Judicial Profiles (print only) - 1-2 page articles (sometimes 5+ years old), for state and federal judges having jurisdiction over California (SCOTUS, 9th Cir., Cal. district courts, Cal. state courts) - KFC980 .J83

The American Bench (print only) - for many includes "extracurriculars" such as fraternal or academic societies, civic organizations - KF8700.A19 A54 - like Yelp! for judges; not all judges are covered/rated. There certainly are ranters and trolls, but among the dross you can sometimes find real insight, honest and unbiased evaluations, or interesting bits of trivia about a judge's pet peeves and personality quirks. Worth a look if you have internet access while waiting at the airport.

Interview Prep

Key Resources

Bloomberg Law's Litigation Analytics (federal district court judges).

  • activate your Bloomberg Law login (no activation code needed) using your official law school email address
  • Bloomberg Law > Browse > Litigation Intelligence Center > Litigation Analytics (Judges tab below the heading) > search name
    • Under "Most Cited Opinions," click to View More and compare the top 3 to 5 cases to your list from Ravel Law (above).  Bloomberg Law's "Points of Law" analysis (highlighting passages of the opinion containing key legal points and holdings) and B-Cite service (identifying citing) are available but for purposes of a broad overview are not an efficient way to find out what was influential in these opinions. You may find the case on the Ravel Law list (above), or just look it up by citation on Ravel Law, and use the citation analysis on the left side of the opinion to find out what page of the opinion was cited most frequently.

Westlaw's Profiler - reports show tabular presentation breaking down your judge's written output (decisions issued per year, by case type, industry, law firm, etc.)

  • start Westlaw > type Profiler > select "Profiler" > select Profiler - Profiles of Attorneys and Judges" > type first and last name > select from list of individuals > Reports tab > Litigation History Report > scroll to -
    • Caseload ... shows annual number of written decisions (whether published or not) issued
    • Case Types > Sort by: Total 9-0 ... to see what general case type is most commonly the subject of opinions/decision by your judge (3-min. video)

Your Judge's Docket or the Court's Caseload

See the Caseload/Dockets section of this guide for resources and tips on getting an overview of a federal trial court judge's current docket, or an overview of the caseload of the court (e.g., the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) in which your judge sits.

Legal News

Scan legal news sources to find noteworthy cases decided or pending before your judge; such sources can also sometimes uncover trends implicated by your judge's cases, contextualizing with other cases or legal developments:

  • Law360 - search by your judge's name and filter by clicking on "News & Analysis" at the left; scan the topical filters at the left side of the screen (numbers in parentheses show the number of stories in each category) for the topics (e.g., consumer law, bankruptcy, class actions) your judge's newsworthy cases have involved.
  • US Law Week - widely used for current awareness of legal developments of general interest. Use the simple search box at the top right to search for your judge's name, then click in the results list for "News" items.

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