When you're developing your network, you often want to find lawyers who practice in a certain city or practice a particular type of law. You might be able to break the ice if you have something in common with them: same law school, same college, same military experience.
The sample searches below can get you started putting together searches of your own.
Note: when you search for "university of washington," you'll often pick up records for "American University - Washington, D.C." or for "George Washington University - Washington, D.C." The easiest way to deal with this is to skim past the false hits. You can create searches to exclude the schools you don't want, but you might exclude too much. What if someone got a B.A. at American University and a J.D. at the University of Washington?
Directories tend to spell out the name, but news stories and websites might say someone "went to law school at the UW" or "graduated from "UW Law." Be aware that the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wyoming both go by "UW" as well. Again, skimming past the false hits is probably best.
As of August 2018, there are 5,167 listings. (UW Law has over 10,000 living alumni, so this isn't comprehensive.)
You can filter by area of practice, location, peer review (number of stars), client review (percent score), languages, law firms, and bar admissions.
The search template lists the most common areas of practice (Litigation, Business Law, Commercial Law, Real Estate, Corporate Law). You can search for others. For example, typing in "family" gives the options "Family Law," "Family Business Law," "Family Mediation," and "Family and Medical Leave Act."
The search template also lists the most common locations, but you can search for others. For instance, 59 UW Law grads are listed in Anchorage, AK.
Search for "university of washington" /2 j.d. or ll.m. After you run the search, you can filter by state or practice area. You can also search within the results.
Method 1: Run a search in West Legal Directory, looking for anything. Then on the left, select Law School and type in university of washington. Click Apply Filters.
Method 2: Search for ls("university of washington"). This uses the "law school" field restrictor, which doesn't appear in current documentation but still works. As of August 2018, this yields 4,706 entries. UW Law has over 10,000 living graduates, so the search is not comprehensive.
In the LinkedIn search box, select People, then click on All Filters. In the School box, enter "university of washington school of law."
(If you don't use quotation marks, you get a lot more results, but they may not be relevant.)
Follow the University of Washington School of Law Group. It includes employees as well as students and grads.
Sample searches in West Legal Directory:
In the LinkedIn search box, select People, then click on All Filters.
Sample searches in LexisNexis Attorney Directories:
Sample searches in West Legal Directory:
LinkedIn Groups can help you connect with people from your organizations. Some UW Law student organizations already have LinkedIn groups (although they might not be active). If there isn't a group already, you can start one. Whether there's an existing group or you start a new one, you can help it by being an active participant.
Some existing groups:
The Washington State Bar Association's Legal Directory includes on option for searching by practice area. You can combine the search with other fields, like city or county.
Avvo's main search box lets you put in a practice area. If the area you type doesn't fit its data, it gives you something close—for example, if you type in employment discrimination, it searches for discrimination.
You can combine a practice area search with a city or state.
You can search for practice areas when you put together your keywords search in LexisNexis Attorney Directories. Or you can search for something else (e.g., city) and then filter.
The list of Practice Areas & Topics that appears in the Filters column seems to depend on the context of your search. It's a good idea to try several searches.If you're curious about this quirk, read on. Otherwise, just know the database has more Practice Areas than you see in the Filters column.
Sample searches (Aug. 27, 2018) led to different filtering options.
|Search||Practice Areas & Topics Filters||Search||Practice Areas & Topics Filters||Search||Practice Areas & Topics Filters|
|"san francisco"and intellectual property"||Antitrust & Trade Law
Business & Corporate Complaince
Business & Corporate Law
Computer & Internet Law
International Trade Law
Labor & Employment Law
Trade Secrets Law
Workers' Compensation & SSDI
|"new york" and "intellectual property"||
The Findlaw Lawyer Directory lets you type a practice area and city into the search box. Results give lawyer or firm profiles and link you to firm websites.
The results can be surprising. A search (Aug. 21, 2018) for intellectual property seattle resulted in a couple of family law firms and did not turn up some prominent IP firms.
One way to find out about lawyers who are excited about an area (admiralty, high tech, real estate, or . . .) is to see who is taking the time to blog about it. Of course, not all lawyers have blogs—but when they do, the blog gives you a great window into what interests them and how they think. Some write to attract potential clients, others to reach other lawyers.
If you're interested in high-profile civil litigation or criminal trials, check news sources (e.g., Washington papers in Lexis or Westlaw).
Suppose you want to connect with the lawyers in the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office who handle murder trials—not the elected prosecutor, but the line attorneys. Searching in Washington News in Westlaw for spokane & homicide murder /s trial & prosecut! can lead you to stories like Jonathan Glover, Spokane Man Convicted of Attempted-Murder After Five Years and Two Trials, Spokesman-Review, June 27, 2018, 2018 WLNR 19560617. The article mentions Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Kyle Treece. From there you can look up Kyle Treece in LinkedIn and find his contact information in the WSBA directory.
In Lexis, choose Jury Verdicts & Settlements, then choose jurisdiction or practice area.
Note: These searches will find government lawyers as well as lawyers in private practice.
In Lexis, choose Briefs, Pleadings & Motions. Narrow your search by choosing a content type, jurisdiction, or practice area—or search the whole collection of documents. Either way, go to Advanced Search and use the template.
In Westlaw, choose Jury Verdicts & Settlements. Choose jurisdiction or area of law—or search the whole collection. Click Advanced to get a search template.
Note that the side bar gives you options for filtering—e.g., by the dollar-amount of the award.
Choose Trial Court Documents. If you want, select type of document (motions, pleadings, etc.), jurisdiction, or topic. Or search from this page. Click on Advanced to get a search template.
Note: searching Washington trial documents is limited to civil documents. But if you choose Criminal Law as a topic, then you can choose Washington (or another jurisdiction).
In Bloomberg Law, choose dockets. If you choose "Dockets & Documents," it will search the words in the documents (when available). If you choose Dockets Only, it will search just the headings in the dockets. Bloomberg has lots of documents for federal cases (harvested from PACER), but few for state cases. Even the dockets for state cases are often skimpy, not even listing the parties' attorneys.
Sample searches in federal dockets: