The OSCAR Working Group convened its annual meeting on November 25, 2013 to review program performance, discuss policy decisions, and address software modifications for 2014.  The Working Group specifically addressed allowing first-year law students’ access to OSCAR and determining the status of the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan (Hiring Plan) for 2014.  After careful consideration, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Judge John D. Bates, approved the following recommendations from the Working Group. 

There will be a phased approach for opening OSCAR to law school students for 2014.  After receiving feedback from law schools, the OSCAR Working Group recommended allowing rising second-year law school students to have read-only access to OSCAR on June 1, 2014 and full system access on August 1, 2014.  The read-only access will allow rising second-year law school students to view and research clerkship positions and upload their application materials to the system.  Full system access will allow these students to build online applications and submit them for consideration by judges listing clerkship vacancies.  

At the Working Group’s recommendation, the Hiring Plan has been eliminated.  Hiring data gathered by the Administrative Office indicated that federal judges continued to abandon the Hiring Plan in FY 2013, leading the Working Group to conclude that its continuation would detract from the Judiciary’s goal of creating a transparent law clerk recruitment process.  To further this goal, the Working Group developed a list of Federal Law Clerk Hiring Best Practices

On January 13, 2014, Judge Bates sent a memorandum to all federal judges informing them of these new policies and encouraging them to use OSCAR to post their hiring practices.  Judge Bates encourages any judges wishing to register for an OSCAR account to visit the OSCAR registration page and register for an account.

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

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