This guide includes directories of federal and state court judges and selected court personnel. All items in this guide are currently received by the Goodson Law Library or available online.
I. General Directories & Profiles
Almanac of the Federal Judiciary. (KF8700 .A19 A4 until 2012 & up-to-date online in Westlaw & Wolters Kluwer)
A biographical directory of all active federal district and appellate court judges. In addition to standard biographical information, entries include noteworthy rulings, media coverage, publications, lawyers' comments on the judge's behavior and demeanor, judge's special guidelines, and case management statistics. The library's print looseleaf is no longer updated, but the Almanac is available in Westlaw (AFJ database) for active judge profiles or via Wolters Kluwer for both active and inactive judge profiles.
American Bench: Judges of the Nation. Biennial. (Ref KF8775 .A1 A43 & online)
This directory contains biographical information on current state court judges as well as federal. It also provides information on each court, including location, jurisdiction, method of selecting judges, and maps of judicial divisions. It is arranged alphabetically by state, with a separate section for the Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. Information on federal district court judges is provided in the state section in which the judge presides.
Bloomberg Law. "People" search suggestions link to biographical profiles of current state and federal judges, as well as recent news items. For current U.S. District Court judges, "Litigation Analytics" (linked under Litigation & Dockets) includes profiles and analysis of opinions and orders, such as frequently-cited opinions, motion and appeal outcomes, and average length of case.
BNA's Directory of State and Federal Courts, Judges, and Clerks. Annual. (current ed. Reserves KF8700 .A19 B15)
This is a comprehensive listing of names, addresses, and telephone numbers for judges, clerks, and court administrators at the top three levels of the court structure in the federal and state court systems. For each state, there is a diagram showing the structure of the court system. Telephone numbers for state court electronic bulletin boards and federal court public access services are listed where available. In addition, URLs for federal and state court web sites are also provided.
Directory of State Court Clerks & County Courthouses. Annual. (Reserves KF8700 .A19 D547)
This directory lists the name, address, and telephone number of each state's supreme court, appellate court, trial court, and county clerks. It also lists addresses and telephone numbers for state governors, attorneys general, and offices of vital statistics. For each state, there is an organizational chart depicting the court structure. Information regarding the method of selection and length of terms for state trial court judges is included.
Judicial Yellow Book. Twice a year. (Ref. KF8700 .A19 J82 & online via Leadership Library on the Internet)
This directory is divided into two sections: federal courts and state courts. The federal courts section includes coverage for the Supreme Court of the United States, United States Courts of Appeals, United States District Courts, United States Court of Limited Jurisdiction, The Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Federal Judicial Center, and the United States Sentencing Commission. The state coverage includes coverage of all the appellate courts for the fifty states and the District of Columbia. The directory includes addresses and telephone numbers for the judges, as well as names and telephone numbers for staff, law clerks, and support personnel. General coverage also includes appointment and election information and a short biographical sketch of each judge.
Lawyer's Almanac. Annual. (Ref. KF190.L38)
This almanac is a compendium of information on the legal profession, judiciary, and government agencies. The section on the judiciary lists the location of every federal court and the names of all federal judges and chief justices of state supreme courts. The almanac sets forth the terms and qualifications of judges on the lower state courts, data on the selection process, and results of an annual judicial salary survey. Federal litigation statistics, such as civil and criminal case filings and pending case loads, are also included.
Lexis Advance, Litigation Profile. Litigation Profile Suite (linked from the Lexis Advance drop-down research menu) includes biographical profiles of federal and state judges, as well as links to opinions, court filings, and secondary sources. Where available, profiles include charts on Ruling History.
National Directory of Tribal Justice Systems. Maintained by the National American Indian Court Judges Association, this free site provides links and contact information for individual tribal courts.
Ravel Law, Judge Analytics. Provides biographical profiles of federal and state judges, linked to analysis of opinions and orders. Analytics include most-cited opinions, judges, and courts. Duke Law students and professors are eligible for free Ravel access through the "Request Educational Account" link.
United States Tribal Courts Directory. 4th ed. 2011 (Ref. KF8224 .C6 S39 & online)
This directory contains a state-by-state listing of the contact information for tribal courts across the county with background information provided for selected courts. The online version includes indexing for the 4th edition and the full text of all prior editions.
Westlaw Profiler: Profiles of Attorneys & Judges. Includes more than 1,000,000 biographical profiles of law firms, courts, judges, and lawyers from U.S. as well as international jurisdictions. Available reports for judges include Litigation History, Judicial Reversal, and Expert Challenge.
II. Nominations and Appointments
Federal Judges and Justices (Ref. KF8776.F42)
This loose-leaf service contains a listing of nominations, confirmations, elevations, resignations, and retirements in the federal judiciary. For each nominee, a brief biography is included. Coverage dates from the 99th Congress (1985) through the 107th Congress (2001).
Judicial Nominations (Justice Department)
This site is provided by the United States Department of Justice. The site includes name, nomination date, and confirmation date for recent federal court nominations submitted to the Senate for confirmation.
Judicial Nominations (U.S. Senate)
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary also provides information on judicial nominations, which is searchable by congressional session. The nomination materials include the nominees’ ABA record and committee questionnaire.
Judicial Vacancies (U.S. Courts)
The U.S. Courts website maintains a list of current and future federal judicial vacancies, as well as recent and archived confirmation data. Information is available back to 1981.
III. Historical Directories
A. U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court, Biographies of Current Justices
The official site of the Supreme Court of the United States contains brief biographies of current members of the Court.
Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 5th ed. (Ref. KF8742.C66 2010)
This book contains two volumes on the history of the Supreme Court and the justices who have served on the Court. Volume one includes a detailed history of the Supreme Court and its development. Volume two addresses the impact of public opinion on the Court's decision making process, reviews the structure of the Court, and contains brief biographies, arranged in chronological order, of each justice who has served on the Court.
The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary, 2d ed. (Ref. KF8744 .H35 2001).
This book contains biographies of all Supreme Court justices from 1789 to 2000, focusing on how their pre-judicial careers may have influenced their judicial tenure. In addition to biographical information, the book also contains a detailed bibliography at the end of each article. The book is arranged in alphabetical order.
The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies 1789-2012, 3d ed. (Ref. KF8744.S86 2013 & online).
This book contains biographical information on all Supreme Court justices from 1789 to 2012. Each article includes information on why the justice was selected for appointment, the justice's educational background, the major constitutional issues addressed during the justice's tenure, and a brief description of each of the justice's major opinions. A selective bibliography on the history of the Supreme Court and on each of the justices is also included. The book is arranged in chronological order.
B. Federal Judges
Biographical Dictionary of the Federal Judiciary 1789-2000 (Ref. KF 8700 .A19 B48 2001)
This book contains brief biographical sketches of all federal judges from 1789 to 2000. An appendix lists judges by appointing president from Washington to Nixon.
Federal Court Locator
This site from Villanova University School of Law provides links to federal judiciaries and opinions of federal courts. While the information provided by the individual links varies, a number of sites include the names of the judges serving on a particular court and contact information, such as address and telephone number.
History of the Federal Judiciary
This site from the Federal Judicial Center provides historical biographical information and professional resumes of federal judges since 1789. The site also provides information on other selective judicial topics such as notable records of judicial service and judicial impeachments.
Judges of the United States, 2d ed. (Ref. Doc. Ju 10.2:J 89/4/1983 & online in HathiTrust)
This directory contains biographical information on all federal judges from 1789 to 1981. It contains indexes by appointing president and year of appointment.
IV. Individual States
Directories of courts, judges, and court personnel are available for many states. These directories are often published as a section of a directory of attorneys or members of the bar in a given jurisdiction., and usually list the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all judges, state and federal, in their jurisdictions.
Many state court and judge directories have moved to an electronic format or otherwise discontinued print publication. To locate historical print directories in the Law Library's Superseded Reference collection, search the online catalog for the subject keywords law and directories and [state].
North Carolina Legal Directory. Dallas, Texas: Legal Directories Publishing. Annual. (Ref. KF 192.N67).
V. Further Information
Duke Law students who are interested in researching judicial clerkship opportunities should visit the Career Center for access to the Law School's internal application system, Symplicity, as well as OSCAR (Online System for Clerkship Application and Review). This website enables clerkship applicants to select the federal judges to whom they wish to apply and build their application online.
The Goodson Law Library collection includes several titles on the clerkship interview process, skills, and day-to-day responsibilities:
- Mary L. Dunnewold, Judicial Clerkships: A Practical Guide (Ref. KF8807 .D867 2010). Comprehensive overview of the work of a judicial clerk, beginning with the application process and providing "refreshers" on writing and research skills.
Federal Judicial Center, Law Clerk Handbook: A Handbook for Law Clerks to Federal Judges, 3d ed. 2017. Extensive e-book for federal law clerks.
Jennifer Sheppard, In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Clerks and Externs (Ref. KF8807 .S527 2012). Practical guidance for judicial clerks, covering the application process as well as necessary skills such as research, writing, and ethics.
Debra Strauss, Behind the Bench: The Guide to Judicial Clerkships, 2d ed. (KF8771 .S77 2016). Guide covering all aspects of clerkships, including the interview process.
The Goodson Law Library collects judicial biographies for federal and state judges. Biographies of judges can be found in the online catalog under the following subject headings:
- African American Judges--[jurisdiction]--Biography
- Women Judges--[jurisdiction]--Biography.
For biographies of a particular judge, search the online catalog using the judge's name as a subject heading.
rev. 07/2017 jlb