Find background info on judges

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No1ustad
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:23 pm

Find background info on judges

Postby No1ustad » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:00 pm

I've been looking around and trying to contact a few judges to just get to know them and break the ice, maybe lead to a possible volunteering situation with them. However, I'm finding it pretty difficult to find out much about them in terms of cases they've represented, their positions on general matters, etc...

How does one go about preparing to contact a federal judge?

Renzo
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:06 pm

I'd try google.

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jks289
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Re: Find background info on judges

Postby jks289 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:08 pm

No1ustad wrote:I've been looking around and trying to contact a few judges to just get to know them and break the ice, maybe lead to a possible volunteering situation with them. However, I'm finding it pretty difficult to find out much about them in terms of cases they've represented, their positions on general matters, etc...

How does one go about preparing to contact a federal judge?


Most published opinions can be found online. You can find out what organizations they belong to by seeing where they speak (judges are always on panels at different legal conferences). In terms of contacting the judge himself/herself my experience is the secretary is the gatekeeper to all things, you may need to win her over to get an email or letter put on the correct desk. The easist, most professional way though is to find someone to make a personal introduction, an alumni of your school or a personal or professional contact who knows the judge you'd like to meet.

twistedwrister
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:02 am

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby twistedwrister » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:34 pm

Almanac of the Federal Judiciary.

2009 Prospective
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:32 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby 2009 Prospective » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:44 pm

You're talking about cold calling federal judges? I'd be extremely weary of bothering a judge's chambers out of the blue to setup a meeting with no other connections otherwise. I'm not saying I know for a fact it wouldn't work, but it seems like you might run the risk of coming off as a pest to the judge's staff. This might ultimately hurt your chances of working with the judge more than help. I haven't worked for a judge though so maybe someone else who has could chime in.

rando
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby rando » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:45 pm

you can search by judge in Lexis for opinions and I think you can search for judges in martindale-hubbel to get personal background like schools attended etc.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:16 pm

Agree with an above post that suggests that this is not a good idea unless there is a clerk position to be filled & you meet all of the qualifications.
P.S. Try too hard or be too persistant & you may find yourself being interviewed by a federal marshall or two.

No1ustad
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby No1ustad » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:42 pm

jks289 wrote:
Most published opinions can be found online. You can find out what organizations they belong to by seeing where they speak (judges are always on panels at different legal conferences). In terms of contacting the judge himself/herself my experience is the secretary is the gatekeeper to all things, you may need to win her over to get an email or letter put on the correct desk. The easist, most professional way though is to find someone to make a personal introduction, an alumni of your school or a personal or professional contact who knows the judge you'd like to meet.


Thanks, I'll also try to get my hands on that almanac that twistedwrister suggested. I know a few attorneys in the area that know specific judges and have already mentioned they wouldn't mind being a professional intermediate for a possible volunteer opportunity. Which is also why i feel i need to be overly prepared and at least have a few of their more influential opinions in my head, so I dont end up embarrassing the attorney or myself!

2009 Prospective
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:32 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby 2009 Prospective » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:14 pm

No1ustad wrote:
jks289 wrote:
Most published opinions can be found online. You can find out what organizations they belong to by seeing where they speak (judges are always on panels at different legal conferences). In terms of contacting the judge himself/herself my experience is the secretary is the gatekeeper to all things, you may need to win her over to get an email or letter put on the correct desk. The easist, most professional way though is to find someone to make a personal introduction, an alumni of your school or a personal or professional contact who knows the judge you'd like to meet.


Thanks, I'll also try to get my hands on that almanac that twistedwrister suggested. I know a few attorneys in the area that know specific judges and have already mentioned they wouldn't mind being a professional intermediate for a possible volunteer opportunity. Which is also why i feel i need to be overly prepared and at least have a few of their more influential opinions in my head, so I dont end up embarrassing the attorney or myself!


Am I correct in assuming you're a 0L and this could possibly lead to you helping out around the chambers over the summer before law school? If so, you're not going to be doing any legal work anyways so I would imagine if you were to speak with the judge he'll just try and make sure you'll be pleasant to have around the chambers.

No1ustad
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby No1ustad » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:00 pm

2009 Prospective wrote:
Am I correct in assuming you're a 0L and this could possibly lead to you helping out around the chambers over the summer before law school? If so, you're not going to be doing any legal work anyways so I would imagine if you were to speak with the judge he'll just try and make sure you'll be pleasant to have around the chambers.


That's right, I would like to build some sort of relationship with a judge, with the goal of a recommendation or even just so they aren't as intimidating for future situations.

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Matthies
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Re: Find background info on judges

Postby Matthies » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:16 pm

Once you're in school a great way to met local judges is to join an Inn of Court. Inns are based on the idea of mentoring young lawyers (and law students). each 'pupilage" (group of lawyers, students, judges who work together as a group) in the Inn is headed, usually, by a judge. The pulaiages will have between 6-10 members with maybe 100-150 members in any one Inn. They try to format the Pupilages so you have 1 or 2 judges, a few "masters" (lawyers with 15+ years of experience), a few barristers (10-15 years) Associates (10 or less years) and 1-2 students so each group has a good mix.

You meet once or twice a month for lunch or dinner as an Inn group, and then if your pupilage is very social outside of the Inn as well. I joined as a 1L and have been in my Inn for about five years now.

I have breakfast every week with a few judges I met from there, lunch at least once a month with a few federal judges. I have become good enough friends with a few that they have had me over to their homes for dinner and even went to Vail for a weekend with a federal judge and his wife and stayed at their house there. Great connections.

The people that join Inns WANT TO mentor, they are giving up a night or two of their lives to be there for you, so you usually get some great mentors out of it. highly recommend for all law students. Check this site to see if they have a chapter in the town you plan to go to school in http://www.innsofcourt.org/

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wiseowl
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: Find background info on judges

Postby wiseowl » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:35 pm

if you're a 0L there isn't a ton you can do other than the Inns of Court.

once you're in LS use the Total Litigator stuff on Lexis to get judge profiles.




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