How Do I Identify BLS Alumni Who Attended My University (or College)?

Recently, a BLS student asked me how to identify graduates of both Brooklyn Law School and the University of Michigan.  (Yes, the student is an alum. of Big Blue!)  I showed the student how to search multiple sources.  With assistance from my skilled colleague, Judy Ganeles, I discovered:

  • martindale.com: This publicly-accessible database developed from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.  Neither the main search box nor the advanced search template allowed me to retrieve a list of lawyers who graduated from both BLS and Big Blue.  This surprised me, because martindale.com’s lawyer profiles include the fields “University” and “Law School.”  I ran multiple  searches (experimenting with capitalization and phrase searching) using Brooklyn Law School and University of Michigan as terms in the search box on the main screen.  I did not retrieve any lawyers who had attended both institutions.
  • LexisNexis database: The Martindale-Hubbell(R) Directory:  In contrast to the free site described above, this subscription database yielded hundreds of relevant results.  (I used the largest database of Martindale-Hubbell listings, and my results did include some duplicates.)  I clicked tab: “Terms & Connectors” and ran the search:  “Brooklyn Law School” and “University of Michigan”
  • Westlaw database: PROFILER-WLD: This database provides profiles of lawyers and judges derived from West’s Legal Directory.  Since the default search template did not include search boxes for schools, I clicked tab: “Terms & Connectors” and ran the search:  “Brooklyn Law School” and “University of Michigan” I retrieved an extensive list of judges and lawyers who had graduated from the two institutions.
  • LinkedIn: This professional social network requires a subscription.  Although certain features of LinkedIn are fee-based, basic membership is free.  Using my basic membership account, I ran the search:  “Brooklyn Law School” and “University of Michigan” LinkedIn provided an extensive list of results.  At this point, the BLS student asked me to add the criterion “entertainment law” to the LinkedIn search query, and, once again, I retrieved “on point” results.
  • LexisNexis database:  The Executive Directories: This database provides biographical information about directors and executives of major corporations.  I clicked tab: “Terms & Connectors” and ran the search:  “Brooklyn Law School” and “University of Michigan” I retrieved a few relevant results.
  • Leadership Library: This subscription database is a collection of Leadership Directories.  I clicked tab: “Search by keyword” and ran the search: Brooklyn Law School University of Michigan I retrieved one relevant result.
  • LexisNexis database: Marquis Who’s Who Biographies: This database is a collection of Who’s Who publications.  I clicked tab: “Terms & Connectors” and  ran the search:  “Brooklyn Law School” and “University of Michigan” Although I did not retrieve any results, I think that this database can be useful when seeking data about professionals.

Conclusion: The most useful tools to identify graduates of both BLS and a particular university (or college) are:  LexisNexis database: The Martindale-Hubbell(R) Directory, Westlaw database: PROFILER-WLD and social network LinkedIn.

Tip: I also encourage BLS students to consult any additional resources that might be available through the  BLS Career Center.

Jean Davis, Librarian & Adjunct Professor of Law

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