How to Find Attorney Records

By Anna Green
How to Find Attorney Records

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Attorney records comprise a number of documents, including details regarding bar membership, professional disciplinary history, reported cases and academic history. They can be used to verify a lawyer’s credentials before client retention or as a background check for employment. Before you begin to search for an attorney’s records, compile identifying information that will assist you with your research, including her full name, name of the firm where she is employed, the states where she is practicing and where she attended law school.

Inquire with state bar associations. Attorneys must be licensed through the bar association of each individual state in which they practice. If the lawyer you are researching is practicing legally in your state, the state bar association can provide records regarding the status of her law license, history of professional disciplinary actions and current place of employment.

Search court records. If you know the name of at least one party to a case in which an attorney was involved, you can find copies of those records through individual court. Many jurisdictions have made these records available electronically through their court websites at no cost.

Talk to law school alumni associations. If you are trying to confirm the details of an attorney’s education and know where he attended law school, the school’s alumni association may be able to provide you with information on his academic history, extracurricular activities and graduation date.

Ask court officials about state-specific resources. Because the structure of each state’s bar system is different, the Clerk of the Court or a bar association representative can help you find additional resources exclusive to your jurisdiction.

About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.

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