The list of print resources, available here, will help you identify the names and addresses of federal and state court judges to whom you might want to apply. A number of the print resources, such as the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, are also searchable through Lexis or Westlaw. The Almanac contains brief biographical information on federal judges, in addition to a section listing each judge's "noteworthy rulings" (typically rulings of national significance) and one containing isolated comments from the media and lawyers who have appeared before the judge (typically mentioning the judge's judicial philosophy, intellect and demeanor on the bench). The Judicial Yellow Book contains brief biographical information about both federal and state appellate judges.
Once you have created a working list of judges to whom you want to apply, you can further refine your search by talking to people who know those judges personally or who have clerked for or appeared before them. Please also feel free to consult with University of Wisconsin Law School faculty members who are former judicial clerks.
- Faculty members who are former judicial clerks
- Recent graduates who have served (or are currently serving) as judicial clerks
Another valuable resource for conducting research on judges is the "News" section of Westlaw and Lexis. You can search recent newspaper articles to find out what cases the judge has presided over, how the judge has ruled, and other aspects about the judge that the media deems worth reporting. This resource can be particularly helpful for newly-confirmed judges who have no track record on the bench and may not be listed in the Almanac or the Yellow Book.
An important on-line resource for finding available clerkship opportunities (but not for actually "researching" judges) is the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) (which now houses the former Federal Law Clerk Information System). Designed in consultation with federal judges, administrators at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and law school clerkship advisors, OSCAR is intended to provide prospective clerkship applicants a single, free, accessible source of information on clerkship opportunities. All federal judges have been encouraged by the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States to post information on OSCAR about vacancies in their chambers. However, not all judges do so. Therefore, even if a judge does not have a posting on OSCAR, this does not mean he/she has no vacancies.
You can access OSCAR by going to https://oscar.symplicity.com/ and clicking on "Judges/Clerkships." Within OSCAR, available clerkship positions can be located using various search criteria, including type of court, court location, name and type of judge, starting date, and/or type of clerkship (term or career). The announcements often include useful information such as application requirements, special hiring criteria (if any), and anticipated interviewing and hiring schedules.
Finally, you can reserach pending federal judicial nominations, as well as recent confirmations, by going to: http://www.law.yale.edu/outside/scr/library/nom/index.asp. This site has links to the Senate Judiciary Committee site, as well as the site of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Additionally, if you click on the "DOJ Status Page" link at the bottom, you will be taken to the Office of Legal Policy site, which posts biographical information and endorsements (e.g., newspaper editorials) for pending nominees. There is also a link to the THOMAS (Library of Congress online) search engine for nominees.