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Employer Research

Find all the resources you will need to research employers whether for EIP, judicial clerkships or any other job search.

Get Started

Getting Started

If you are looking for information on legal careers, preparing for an interview or applying for judicial clerkships, there are a number of sources provided by the Harvard Law School that can help.

Judicial Clerkships

Judicial Clerkships

While applying for a judicial clerkship has some similiarities to applying for a law firm job, in many ways it is very different. Moreover, the application process for many clerkships is quite rigid, making it important to start your research early so you don't miss any important deadlines. The steps below will help you to get started with the research component of any clerkship search.

Before Applying

Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with the Clerkship Process - The Harvard Law Office of Career Services offers information on the clerkship interview process on its Judicial Clerkships page. This page will give you an overview of the clerkship application process and well as resources to help you decide whether clerking is right for you.

Step 2: Research Specific Judges - Researching individual judges is important both as a way to decide which clerkships to apply for and so that you can be an confident and impressive interviewee. The library has a number of judicial directories in print and online that provide helpful information about judges:

  • The Judicial Yellow Book (online or in print at the Reference Desk)
  • The American Bench (in print at the Reference Desk). The American Bench includes representative publications and leading cases for each judge.
  • Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (online via CCH, online via Westlaw or in print on Reserve at the Circulation Desk). The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary includes publications, blurbs about leading cases and lawyers' comments.

You can also try searching HOLLIS for "Judges--United States--Directories" to find additional directories, or for the Judge's name if you are interested in finding any books they may have written. Additional resources for researching judges have been compiled in this helpful guide from the University of Cincinnati Law School.


Before Interviewing

Step 1: Find Opinions Written by the Judge - Judges will frequently want to discuss their opinions during your interview to get your opinion on the rulings and to listen to your analysis of legal arguments. You can easily find representative opinions for almost any judge by using the advanced field search functions in Westlaw or Lexis. Try these sample searches as a starting point:

Westlaw (search in the appropriate case database):   JU(lastname) or JU(firstname /3 lastname)

WestlawNext: advanced:JU(lastname) or advanced:JU(firstname/3 lastname)

Lexis (search in the appropriate case database): JUDGES(lastname) or JUDGES(firstname w/3 lastname)   

Step 2: Learn About the Judge's Court  - Judges may also want to make sure that you understand their court and their place within the court structure. Make sure to check the court's web page for this additional information about the court structure, contact information and the most recent cases. Even if the judge your plan to interview with was not involved in all of the recent cases, it may make sense to review them, so that you can discuss them if they come up in conversation and to get a sense of the types of cases the court has been hearing recently.

Law Firms

Lawyer and Law Firm Data

Preparing for a law firm interview requires research, both to decide which firms to interview with and to prepare to ask intelligent questions during the interview. The steps below will help you through the research process and ensure that you feel comfortable by the time you start your interview.

Step 1: Get an Overview of Relevant Law Firms - The Harvard Law Office of Career Services offers a number of resources on their Researching Employers page. For a general over view of the key statistics for each law firm, start with the NALP guide either online or in print (most recent edition at Reference KF190.N327).

Step 2: Focus on Your Practice Area (if known) - If you are planning to work in a more narrow field, be sure to check out the additional resources on the Rankings & Guides page, which offers not only ranking information but also guides to law firms in specific fields and markets, such as corporate law, intellectual property and finance to name just a few. This page also offers resources on international law firms.

Step 3: Research Interviewers and Current Firm Cases, Clients & Rankings - Lexis and Westlaw are also rich sources for lawyer and law firm research. Directory information on law firms and individual attorneys can also be found in Martindale Hubbell (available via Lexis or on the web at or via the WestlawNext Profiler. You may also want to search legal news and case databases to identify recent transactions and representative clients for the firms with which you will be meeting. For rankings and reviews of law firms, try law firm guides like the Vault Guides, ALM, American Lawyer. OCS has provided several on their Law Firm Rankings and Guides page, or you can search HOLLIS for the subject "Law offices -- United States -- Directories".

Step 4: Check Out Past EIP Statistics - Finally, if you are interested in seeing information about this firm's hiring practices at EIP in past years, you should refer to OCS's EIP Statistics and Evaluations page which will give you information about the past several years of EIP at Harvard Law.


Litigation by Practice

Leadership Directory 

This is a highly valuable source for finding information on all sorts of potential employers. Search by organization type, such as Law & Lobbying Firms, Government (Federal, State or Local), Associations, Nonprofits, among others.

Create customized lists of law firms or individuals. For some ideas on how to find lawyers by region, law schools, and other criteria, check out: Job Searching on Leadership Directory

Transactional Law

Transactional Law

Firms Advising on SEC Transactions, includes:  M&A and Financing

Bloomberg Law Dealmaker (Bloomberg Law Account)

Bloomberg Law Dealmaker is a well curated list of SEC filings (EDGAR).  These filings, often contracts, provide precedential language for deals and other transactions, including for M&A, equity issuances, and governance issues (e.g., corporate proxies).

Search the Dealmaker template by law firm advisor.  From near the bottom of the template, select Search by Law Firm, Party, Industry, and More.  Searching by firm will allow you to see recent deals and types of documents created for transactional practice areas.

Firms Advising in Private Equity, Venture Capital & Hedge Funds:

Zephyr (HUID & PIN)

Once in, select the middle bubble for Advanced Queries.  

Zephyr allows you to create lists of firms who advise start-up.  Learn which firms advise on funding to angel investors, private equity firms and venture capital firms.. 

Search, for example, for Deal types & methods of payment; this includes Financing stage.  And then under Deal advisors, add limiters on Role (law firm) and Region (global and domestic).

Preqin (HUID & PIN)

Get to the Advanced Search (from the left navigation), and then use the template to set up customized searches.

Preqin allows you to set up searches on financing (stage, region, etc.), but not specifically by role (such as by law firm advisors). However, once you narrow the deals by stage and region, the specific deals give information on the firms and lawyers.

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CC License

CC License

Creative Commons License

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included and it is shared in the same manner.