Based on a number of judges abandoning the Federal Law Hiring Plan (Hiring Plan) and feedback from the law schools, the OSCAR Working Group judges recently recommended de-linking OSCAR from the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan.  As of November 4, 2013, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) opened OSCAR to second-year law school students and now releases their finalized applications at the time of submission, rather than holding them until a specified date.  Additionally, the OSCAR Working Group will carefully consider providing first-year law school students’ access to OSCAR at its annual November meeting. 

As judges are now free to accept online applications from law students at any time, OSCAR will now require judges to populate the “Hiring Practices” field of their online judge profile to inform potential applicants of their hiring preferences.  The Administrative Office will work with judges and chambers staff to ensure that these profiles are informative and up-to-date. 

These changes in OSCAR will contribute to the federal judiciary’s goal of providing a transparent recruitment process in law clerk hiring, which is important to judges, law schools, and applicants alike.  As part of this effort, the Administrative Office Director, Judge John D. Bates, sent a communication to all federal judges informing them of these changes and encouraging judges to use OSCAR to accept applications online, post their positions, and maintain a current judge profile that communicates their hiring preferences.  Even judges who do not recruit through OSCAR are encouraged to maintain a judge profile to broadly communicate clerkship openings and hiring preferences. 

If you have questions or comments about these changes, please contact the OSCAR Program Office at 866-666-2120 (toll free) or send an email to  For information on the OSCAR system, please remember to consult our extensive help resources, including quick reference guides, tip sheets, video tutorials, and online help.

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