Preparing for the Interview: Using Legal Analytics to Research Law Firms & Attorneys

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Despite the sudden chill in the temperatures, things are just starting to warm up for Carolina Law students seeking summer employment. 1Ls, in particular, will soon enter their first season of OCIs (“on-campus interviews”), and the law library is here to help with recommended resources for putting your best foot forward when interviewing with a potential future employer!

While today’s blog post will focus on researching law firms and attorneys, most of these strategies can also be used to investigate government agencies, courts, and businesses. A little research before your interview can bolster your confidence and provide you with additional talking points to use during your interview.

Why Use Legal Analytics in Interview Prep?

Legal Analytics tools provide a wealth of information on law firms, companies, attorneys, and judges. You can use these tools to identify recent cases (or deals) handled by a specific attorney and/or law firm, note general trends in the types of cases handled, and also view the filings/documents for ongoing cases or deals of interest.

Remember that the typical last question in most interviews is, “Do you have any questions for us?” To avoid the dreaded silence that comes from a lack of preparation, use this time to ask targeted questions about practice areas, major cases or deals handled by the firm, or even an attorney’s past experiences in handling a specific case of interest to you. These types of questions help you understand the interviewer and the law firm a bit better, but they also signal to the interviewer that you’ve done your research.

The following is a brief review of the three major legal databases and their legal analytics tools.

Lexis Advance and Westlaw Edge: Using Litigation Analytics to Learn about a Law Firm

Lexis Advance’s Litigation Profile Suite allows you to review biographical information, news stories, dockets, and a collection of filings attributed to an attorney. When reviewing the docket material, you see graphs that highlight the jurisdictions in which the majority of an attorney’s cases are filed and also the general duration of individual cases. Unfortunately, law firms are not yet searchable through this tool.

Westlaw’s Litigation Analytics allows you to search for both attorneys and law firms. In addition to providing biographical and case history information about attorneys, this tool also allows you to view analytics for law firms. When viewing a law firm’s analytics page, you will typically see overviews of the types of cases that the firm handles, along with information about outcomes for cases, motions filed, and dockets.

Bloomberg Law: Transactional Practice and Litigation Research

Bloomberg Law provides multiple search options for students interested in either transactional or litigation practice. Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics provides another option for reviewing the case histories of specific firms or attorneys. Much like the programs in Westlaw and Lexis Advance, you will see visualizations of the data that allow you to track trends over time for law firms and practicing attorneys. You can also access underlying filings for cases that spark your interest.

For law students interested in transactional practice, Bloomberg Law’s Dealmaker is one way to review documents from past deals filtered by law firm or attorney. Reviewing the documents associated with past transactional deals highlights the types of clients and deals that the law firm and/or attorney handled in the past.

Deal Analytics provides another option for reviewing major transactions by law firm or attorney; look for the options to search by “Advisers” or “Adviser.” There aren’t any fancy graphs or analytics here – it’s just the documents and the background information on the deals themselves.

If you have specific questions about using any of these databases, please feel free to stop by the reference desk. Best of luck as you enter interview season!



Posted by Melissa M. Hyland on Mon. January 27, 2020 10:00 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


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