A New Resource to Study Federal Judges

February 26, 2021 - Reading time: 2 minutes

The Legal Data Lab is proud to announce a new resource for legal researchers today, the BR/MAG Judge Database. BR/MAG is a source for biographical, career, and education data on federal bankruptcy and magistrate judges.

The idea for BR/MAG came after digging around in the data the Federal Judicial Center provides. While the Federal Judicial Center maintains an excellent database of biographical info on Article III judges, there’s nothing comparable for bankruptcy and magistrate judges. This seems like an oversight and, after a little research, it also seemed like something we could fix.

After some time spent identifying sources of data, setting up spreadsheets, and crafting a Python/Django-powered interface to input data and “bake” out flat HTML files, we were ready to roll. The project, initiated early 2020, has been done in our spare time as circumstance and energy allow but it’s at the point now, with ~700 entries, that it can be shared publicly.

It’s been fascinating to learn more about these judges and there’s a diverse set of backgrounds represented here: Peace Corps volunteers, NFL cheerleaders, immigrants, professional soccer players, former school teachers, officers in the JAG Corps, lead guitarists for touring rock bands, assistant U.S. Attorneys and many, many more. If you see any errors in the data provided here or have a judge in mind that we have overlooked please drop us a line at legaldatalab@law.virginia.edu.

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