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Researching Lawyers & Legal Employers

Introduction

The page on "Finding Lawyers Who . . ." gives you tips about finding lawyers with certain characteristics--practice area, geographic area, schools attended, etc. The page offers tips about how to find out more about lawyers you already know something about. Either you found them through searches or you've been told you'll be interviewing with them—or maybe a friend or mentor suggested you look them up.

Legal Directories

Once you've used legal directories to find lawyers who [practice a certain type of law, went to your college, speak French, or whatever], turn to other directories to fill in more information. Maybe one directory lists practice area but not education; maybe another directory has ratings. The WSBA directory includes section and committee memberships. Look at them all.

Web Pages

Check out organization web pages—law firm, public interest group, government agency. What can you learn about where the lawyer works?

Does the website have profiles of attorneys? (Most firm sites do; public interest groups and government agencies often don't, but it doesn't hurt to look!)

Litigation

If the lawyers handle any sort of litigation, you can check Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law. In addition to opinions (generally appellate cases), you can check for jury verdicts and pleadings.

Both Lexis and Westlaw offer services that collect and aggregate data about litigators and judges.

In Lexis, click on the 9-square icon in the upper left of the screen, then choose Litigation Profile Suite. Searscreen snip pie chart from Lexis Litigation Profilech for the name of an attorney, expert witness, or judge. For example, searching for Wampold, Mike (I searched for Michael but Mike was the one that worked), a UW Law graduate, I found a pie chart indicating most of his cases have been in King County and the Western District of Washington, with a good slice of appeals to Division 1 of the Washington Court of Appeals. There was also a bar chart indicating the mean and median values of verdicts he obtained for his clients.

In Westlaw, choose Litigation Analytics from the list of Specialty Areas on the main screen. You can find data analytics for judges, courts, attorneys, or firms. For Michael S. Wampold, screen snip Westlaw Litigation Analytics bar graphthere are several screens of information. For example, a bar graph summarized outcomes. The longest bar is for Torts/Negligence, and includes Uncontested Dismissal, Settled, Dispositive Motion, Verdict, and Docketed Elsewhere.

Most of the Westlaw data comes from federal dockets. The filter for this attorney has 19 W.D. Wash. cases, 1 from E.D. Wash., and 1 from S.D. Fla.—omitting the big pie slice in Westlaw showing lots of cases in King County.

As is often the case, you are well advised to try both Lexis and Westlaw. They might give you different information, sometimes breaking down the data in different ways.