“Do you have any questions for us?” Make the most of your response to this interview question with a little bit of legal research into the firms, attorneys, and judges you’re meeting with. After you’ve read the firms’ websites, here is how to get to know your prospective employers’ work even better:
- Litigation Snapshot – Get a visual overview of the types of cases a firm or attorney has worked on in Westlaw’s and Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics (click the link from the databases’ main screens). Search by name and you’ll see graphics categorizing cases they’ve handled, jurisdictions they practice in, corporate clients, and links to case dockets.
- Clerkships – Read your judges’ case opinions in Westlaw or Lexis:
- Go to “Cases.”
- Narrow to your judge’s jurisdiction.
- Click the “Advanced” search link near the searchbox.
- Scroll down the template to fill in the judge name box. When constructing your name search, try proximity connectors and wildcards to account for middle initials and abbreviations (s! /3 alito for Samuel Alito), or try just the last name.
- Run the search. You can sort the results to focus on the judge’s most cited opinions using the sort dropdown in the top right of Westlaw’s results list and the lefthand filter in Lexis’. Bloomberg Law’s federal district judge Litigation Analytics links to their most cited court opinions and shows top case types.
- Your jurisdiction – Bar journals give inside scoop on law practice in a particular jurisdiction. Hein has more than 130 listed by state, and some bar association websites provide free access to recent issues. Daily and weekly newspapers like the Virginia Lawyers Weekly, New York Law Journal, and Fulton County (Atlanta) Daily Report track important cases and local legal news.
- Your practice areas – Have more to say at callback lunches by signing up for Bloomberg Law and Law360 practice area news alerts. Bloomberg Law has email newsletters for Mergers & Antitrust, Health Law & Business, IP Law, and more. Sign up by going to “News & Analysis” > Bloomberg Law News, choosing your topic areas, and clicking the “subscribe to newsletter” link. Law360 has sixty topic and jurisdiction email newsletters including White Collar, Environment, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas. Access Law360 via Lexis (click the tic-tac-toe in the upper left of the main screen) or LawWeb. Click the link under the main page’s logo to “see all 60 sections” and subscribe to individual newsletters.
- SCOTUS – Stay up to speed on the cases everyone will be talking about this year by perusing SCOTUSblog’s list of U.S. Supreme Court pending cases. The case pages link to filings, commentary, and email update sign-ups.
Need a Bloomberg Law account? Register here (use your @virginia.edu address). Forgot your Westlaw or Lexis law school account sign-in information? Click the links under “Law Databases” on our homepage to reach sign-in pages with forgotten password instructions, or see our FAQ with representatives’ contact information.