Law Librarian, P.I.

As a reference librarian, I am often asked to find information about people. Usually, I am given a name and asked questions such as – what is this person’s job? Has this person published any articles? Is this person still a member of the bar? Does this person have a criminal record? Does this person donate to any charitable causes?

Whenever I’m asked to do this kind of research, I stretch my fingers, start humming the tune from Magnum P.I. (remember that one?), and start typing. Where do I look? In addition to subscription databases , I find the following places helpful:

The BRB free resources page is a good place to start for state, county and city public records sites. Coverage varies by area, but I like to look here to find criminal records, property records, marriage records.

For information about property and addresses, I usually start with Zillow or Property Shark.

Information about political donations can be found with the Open Secrets donor look up.

Since I am so often researching attorneys, the Compilation of State Lawyer Licensing databases from LLRX comes in quite handy.

And finally, the BlackBook Online links to several places for free public records searches.

Despite the wealth of free information on the web, I generally find “people searching” to be quite challenging. Do you have a favorite place for looking for people information?

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