The OSCAR Working Group recently recommended de-linking OSCAR from the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan.  OSCAR is now open to second-year law students, and the system will release their applications when finalized rather than holding them until a specific release date.  Through these changes, we hope to encourage a transparent recruitment process as well as increased participation by judges in accepting online applications using OSCAR’s powerful search capabilities.

As part of promoting transparency in law clerk recruitment, OSCAR provides a Hiring Practices field in the judge profile where chambers identify the judge’s hiring preferences to provide potential applicants with recruitment information, such as whether a judge uses OSCAR to hire, which applicant qualifications a judge will consider, and any special requirements.  Even judges who do not use OSCAR to accept applications are encouraged to maintain a profile to broadly communicate clerkship openings and hiring preferences.  The Administrative Office of the United States Courts will work with judges and chambers staff to ensure that these profiles are informative and up-to-date.  We provide some example Hiring Practices statements below.

We recommend that all OSCAR participating judges log into OSCAR at their earliest convenience to ensure that their OSCAR judge profile is up-to-date with their current hiring practices.  If you are a judge who does not currently have information under Hiring Practices in your profile, OSCAR will prompt you to enter text upon login. 

If you are a non-participating judge and wish to register for an OSCAR account, please send an email to the OSCAR Program Office at or use the judge registration link on the OSCAR home page.  The OSCAR help desk will set up your account and contact you to guide you through completing your OSCAR profile and posting clerkship positions.

Hiring Practices Examples

The following provides a list of examples to consider when updating your hiring practices in OSCAR:

  • “I currently have two openings for the 2015-2016 terms with a term start date in August and one in September.  Please see the position description section of the clerkship posting for further instructions about my application requirements.”
  • “I am hiring for the 2015 term.  I prefer to hire clerks who have at least one year of law experience (e.g., clerking or working at a firm).  Applicants should be in the top 25% of their class if the school ranks.  Law journal experience is a plus.”
  • “Chambers is accepting applications to fill one, one-year term law clerk position.  Applicants must have two full years of law school grades.  Chambers may contact applicants to schedule interviews at any time after receiving applications.  Chambers is willing to conduct interviews via video conference.”
  • “The judge is hiring for the 2015-2016 term and only accepting applications through OSCAR.  Prefers top 10 percent, law journal experience, and ties to Iowa.”
  • “Chambers is accepting applications from attorneys with at least 1 ½ years of post-law school work experience.  Applicants must have a background in patent law and science.”
  • “I have filled my clerkship positions for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 terms.”
  • “Chambers has one law clerk and does not have any clerkship openings.”
  • “The judge is retiring in June 2014.  Do not send unsolicited applications.”
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