OSCAR Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Access Dates

Information on the dates when graduating students can have access to OSCAR can be found at this website: https://oscar.uscourts.gov/federal_law_clerk_hiring_pilot.

Accessible Mode

Disables select interface enhancements to ensure users of assistive technologies have full and equal access to all aspects of this website.

Account Expire

For security purposes, the account expire field allows judges and staff attorney offices to either set a date for their staff accounts to expire or to never expire.

Account Tab / My Account

Use the Account Tab / My Account for:

  • Password management.
  • Law school administrators to create and/or manage usernames, passwords, and user rights for themselves, applicants, recommenders, and other law school administrators at their law school.
  • System administrators to create and/or manage usernames, passwords, and user rights for all OSCAR accounts.

Active Judge

Judges are listed as either Active or Senior in OSCAR. Active judges are in full-time service of the court and maintain a full caseload. The judge's status is viewable in the judge, chambers staff, and system administrator interfaces only.

Add New Folder

Applicants, judges, chambers staff, and staff attorney offices can click the Add New Folder button to add a new custom folder. Multiple Add New Folder buttons can be available for each log in role. The ability to create a new folder under different categories (such as “Staff Attorney Folders” and “Clerkship Folders” when logged in as Applicant) is provided for organizational convenience.

Additional Chambers Information

Field available in a judge’s profile that allows the judge to post additional information about the chambers that is not included in the position posting. Staff Attorney Offices often use this field to communicate any specific information on their chambers environment (e.g., chambers use Apple computers, must love dogs, 75+ hours/week). Any information related to hiring preferences must be entered in the Hiring Practices field.

Additional Office Information

Field available in a staff attorney office's profile that allows the office to post any additional information that is not included in the position posting. Staff attorney offices often use this field to indicate hiring schedule and their hiring intentions/processes.

Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO)

Provides oversight, governance, and management of the OSCAR Program Office to include the program funding, program governance through the OSCAR Working Group, design/development of the OSCAR system, PSS (Program Support Service) operations, program communications, and training.

Alternate Graduation Date (AGD)

The AGD condition applies to students who are in dual degree programs, part time law students, and winter graduates. Students with an AGD will be granted different access dates to OSCAR upon confirmation from their law school administrator. Note: This will be effective November 2018.

Alphabetical Search

Judges, chambers staff, and staff attorney offices can search the Applicants List or Folders tab alphabetically (e.g., choose the letter “A” to display only applicants with last name beginning with “A”).

And/Or

And/Or is a setting used in the Advanced Search feature. Choosing "And" will require search results to match criteria for all fields selected. Choosing "Or" will return results that match criteria for any fields selected.

Applicants Tab

A main navigation selection that provides access to the sub-tabs related to applicants. It is located on the top navigation bar on the left of the page for judges, chambers staff, staff attorney offices, system administrators, and law school administrators.

Applicants List

A sub-tab located under the Applicants Tab. It lists applicants that have applied to a position to judges, chambers staff, and staff attorney offices, as well as a list of active applicants for both law school administrators and system administrators. Note: The Applicants List will not display deleted applications.

Application Close Date

Date when applications will no longer be accepted for a position posted by a judge or a staff attorney office.

Application Email Address

This option is available in the profile of judges and staff attorney offices who accept applications via email.

Application Fax

This option is available in the profile of judges and staff attorney offices who accept applications via fax.

Application Methods

Judges, staff attorney offices, and courts can choose to receive applications online through OSCAR, by paper through the mail, and by email. The application method is clearly visible to applicants when a position is posted.

Application Open Date

The date the position was entered into OSCAR by the judge or the staff attorney office, and is available for applicants to submit applications. It is displayed to the applicants on the position details page.

Application Status

The My Applications Tab lists the status of applicant’s applications. D = Draft, F = Finalized, RU = Request Update, U = Update, and W = Withdrawn.

Apply Online

A column in the Search For Positions tab that indicates that a judge or staff attorney accepts applications electronically through OSCAR.

Archiving

The OSCAR Program Office archives closed positions and their associated applications on a yearly basis and notfies all users prior to the archiving taking place. For judges and chambers staff, archived positions and their associated applications are moved to the Archives tab.

Available Positions

Posted positions that are ready to receive applications found in the Search for Positions tab.

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B

Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) Law Clerk

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) law clerk provides legal advice and assistance to BAP judges authorized to hear appeals of bankruptcy court decisions.

Bankruptcy Judge

A bankruptcy judge is a judicial officer of the United States District Court and exercises jurisdiction over bankruptcy matters. Bankruptcy judges are appointed for 14-year terms.

Bar Membership Preferred

Judges, staff attorney offices, and courts can identify in the position posting if they prefer to receive applications from applicants who have bar membership.

Batch Options

A menu of operations that will apply to all of the selected items on the displayed list, (e.g. Mail Selected and Save Selected as Excel).

Build an Application

The Build an Application feature is located under the Search For Positions tab, Clerkship and Staff Attorney Office sub-tabs. This area is where an applicant electronically builds an application to include selecting application documents and recommenders, creating a draft application, and finalizing the application.

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C

Cancel Button

Returns to the previous page without saving changes.

Career Law Clerk

Career judicial law clerks are appointed for four or more years. The minimum length of the commitment that a judge expects is indicated on the position announcement. Career law clerks are eligible to participate in all benefit programs offered to judiciary employees, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage, retirement benefits, judiciary supplemental benefit programs, and the Thrift Savings Plan. OSCAR identifies career law clerk positions in the system as “career law clerk-chambers.” For more information see https://oscar.uscourts.gov/qualifications_salary_benefits#benefits.

Chambers Profile

Part of the OSCAR judge profile that allows the judge to indicate if the chambers only has permanent clerks and/or does not wish to be contacted by applicants and law schools.

Chambers Staff Account

Judges can create additional OSCAR accounts tied to their own accounts for staff within their chambers. These accounts can be assigned different system rights to control the user's level of access.

Change Folders

Copy an item to another custom folder; the Change Folders icon indicates that the application has already been placed or copied into one or more folders.

Choose My Recommender

Select Choose My Recommenders from the My Recommendations tab. Halfway down the page in the Choose My Recommenders section, applicants can choose faculty recommenders from their law school from a drop-down list, search the OSCAR master recommender directory for a recommender’s name, or create a recommender with proper information for verification.

Circuit Codes

Identifies which circuit a judge or staff attorney’s office resides. It can be found in the profile of the judge or staff attorney office.

Circuit Judge

A judge type in OSCAR indicating a United States Court of Appeals judge. Judges serving on the United States Court of Appeals are nominated by the President of the United States and are confirmed by the United States Senate. Circuit judges have lifetime tenure.

Citizenship Requirements

Under a provision in the appropriations bill passed in December 2009, appropriated funds may not be used to pay compensation to noncitizen employees with duty stations in the continental United States, unless they qualify less than one of the following exceptions:

  • U.S. Citizen.
  • Lawful permanent residents who are seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B).
  • Person admitted as a refugee or granted asylum who has filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible.
  • Person who owes "allegiance to the United States" (e.g., nationals of American Samoa, Swains Island, and Northern Mariana Islands, and nationals who meet other requirements described in 8 U.S.C. § 1408).

The appropriations law requirements apply to anyone appointed into a paid position within the judiciary in the continental U.S. The appropriations law requirements do not apply to employees with a duty station in Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, nor do the requirements apply to unpaid volunteers.

Judiciary offices must obtain concurrence from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Office of General Counsel, to appoint an individual who is not a U.S. citizen.

In addition to the above appropriations law, The United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), mandates all federal government agencies in the continental U.S. comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) which states that federal government agencies must hire only U.S. citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States.

For additional information regarding the employment of non-United States citizens, call the Office of General Counsel at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts at (202) 502-1100 or click this link https://oscar.uscourts.gov/citizenship_requirements.

Clerkship Details

Tab on the applicant interface that displays detailed information about a position (e.g. Term Start Date).

Clerkship Position Status

Basic search capability for applicants to search for positions that are Available, Filled, Expired, and/or None (meaning no position has been posted by the judge or staff attorney’s office).

Clerkship Term

The Clerkship Term field identifies the duration of a clerkship position created by a judge. Options include 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year, or permanent.

Clerkship Type

This field identifies the clerkship type in posting a position since OSCAR accommodates judges, staff attorney offices, and courts hiring law clerks and staff attorneys. Options include term law clerk – chambers, career law clerk – chambers, temporary law clerk – chambers, pro se law clerk, death penalty law clerk, and BAP law clerk.

Close Date

The date a position posting will close in OSCAR. Online applications can no longer be submitted after this date. If a close date is not entered when a position is posted, a date six months after the open date will automatically be assigned by the system. If this date passes without action being taken, the position will expire, and applicants will no longer be able to submit online applications.

Close Position

Button available to judges to close a position and list the position as filled.

Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees

Ethics and Judicial Codes of Conduct that apply to all employees of the Judicial Branch except Justices; judges; and employees of the United States Supreme Court, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Federal Judicial Center, the Sentencing Commission, and Federal Public Defender Offices. See http://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/judiciary-policies/code-conduct/code-conduct-judicial-employees

Column Sort/Reverse Column Sort

The presence of small triangles, located at the end of a column header, indicates that an OSCAR column may be sorted (or reverse sorted) by that category. For example, the column sort can be used to sort a list of judges by application method.

Condense Applicants

An option available in a judge or staff attorney office profile. If a judge or staff attorney office posts more than one position, they may receive multiple applications from a single applicant. The condense applications option allows only a single application per applicant to appear on any list of applicants. Using this option will affect the behavior of OSCAR folders.

Confirmation Email for Application Submission

The email that is sent to the applicant after an application has been finalized and submitted.

Confirmation Number

In addition to a confirmation email, applicants will receive a confirmation number for each finalized application and for any application updates to a finalized application. This number indicates that the application was successfully delivered to the appropriate judge or staff attorney office account.

Contact Us

A form used to contact the OSCAR Program Office via email.

Copy Previous Position

For a judge, staff attorney office, or court to copy the contents of a previously posted position into a newly created position.

Copy to Existing Folder

A Batch Options menu item that copies the selected list items to an existing folder.

Copy To Folders

Option available for judges, staff attorney offices, and applicants to copy an item to a custom folder. The presence of the Copy To Folders button also indicates that the item has not been placed in any folder. If the item has been placed, or copied, in one or more folders, the Change Folders button will appear instead.

Copy to New Folder

A Batch Options menu item that creates a new folder and adds selected items to it.

Court Admin Users List

Tab available to system administrators and court unit administrators showing court unit administrator accounts.

Court Profile

Tab available for court unit administrators to identify the clerk of court name and email address.

Court Unit Administrator (CUA)

An administrator account available to a court for managing their law clerk positions; court unit administrators can perform many functions in OSCAR on behalf of the judges in their court.

Create Draft Application

Available to both applicants and law school administrators, the Create Draft Application button stores the documents entered in the Build an Application box as a draft application. Creating a draft application isthe first step in the application process and allows applicants to review all their documents as the receiving judge or staff attorney office, making any changes as desired, before the packet is finalized. The Create Draft Application button also triggers the pending recommendation requests to associated recommenders.

Create Recommender (Master Recommender Directory)

Click to create a new recommender that is not listed on the school’s faculty recommender list or in OSCAR's master recommender directory.

Current Recommenders

Applicants will find a list of their current recommenders under their My Recommendations tab. This list displays all recommenders that an applicant has selected and can associate with an application.

Custom Folders

Folders used to organize items in OSCAR, such as applicants or clerkship positions. Certain users can create custom-named folders for this purpose.

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D

Date Modified

Under the Search For Positions tab, column found on the Judges List and Staff Attorneys List sub-tabs that displays the last date a change was made to the judge or staff attorney office account.

Deactivate Account

An applicant or a law school administrator can deactivate the applicant's OSCAR account. Deactivating the account will withdraw any active applications, delete application documents, and archive the account. The applicant should deactivate the account if access to OSCAR is no longer needed.

Death Penalty Law Clerk

The death penalty law clerk provides legal advice and assistance to judges in death penalty habeas corpus matters.

Delete Applications

An option in the Batch Options menu for judges and staff attorney offices that removes an application to the Deleted Applicants folder.

Delete Folder

An option in the Batch Options menu that removes a folder and all contents within the folder.

District Code

Each district is assigned a district code that is comprised of a two-letter abbreviation for the state followed by the abbreviation for the particular district (e.g., NYS=New York Southern). Applicants can search for positions by district code.

District Judge

A federal judge nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate who serves in one of the 94 U.S district courts (89 in the 50 states). The number of judgeships allotted to each district is set forth in Title 28 of the U.S. Code, § 133.

Document Text Search

For judges or staff attorney offices to perform text searches on all application documents from their list of applicants.

Document Type

Applicants can create and/or upload several different types of documents, including cover letters, resumes, different types of grade sheets, and writing samples. Recommenders can upload letters of recommendation. All documents uploaded to OSCAR must be in PDF format and under 1 megabyte. Documents created in OSCAR using the online editor are converted to PDF before being attached by an applicant to an application.

Draft Application

An application that has been created by an applicant or law school administrator but not finalized. Draft applications are not viewable by judges or staff attorney offices and show a status code of "D" when viewed by the applicant or a law school administrator.

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E

Email Frequency

Select the frequency of email notifications from OSCAR for multiple items such as newly posted positions or reminders of pending recommendation requests.

Expired

The Expired status shows on the Search for Positions tab indicating that a position’s deadline for receiving applications has past and applicants can no longer apply.

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F

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Best Practices

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Best Practices establishes the voluntary guidelines for judges when recruiting and hiring clerkship applicants. See https://oscar.uscourts.gov/hiring-practices.

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan

For information, see the following website: https://oscar.uscourts.gov/federal_law_clerk_hiring_pilot.

Feedback

Click the Feedback link in the upper right corner of the page to provide feedback to the OSCAR Program Office.

Filled

Status shown on the Search for Positions tab to indicate that a judge or staff attorney office has marked a position filled.

Finalize Application

The Finalize Application button changes the status of an application from Draft to Finalized and releases the application to the judge, staff attorney office, or court.

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G

Generate Packet

Generate Packet is a Batch Options function available to judges, staff attorney offices, and courts that compiles and generates PDF files of selected applicants and application documents. Requested packets become available for download on the Printable Application Packets tab under the Applicants section of the main navigation menu.

Grade Sheet

A Grade Sheet is an unofficial transcript entered in OSCAR by the applicant under the My Documents tab. Judges, staff attorney offices, and courts are aware that all grade sheets in OSCAR are unofficial, and they can request that applicants provide official transcripts outside of the OSCAR system. Applicants can upload law school grade sheets, undergraduate grade sheets, and other grade sheets.

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H

Help

Click the Help button to use OSCAR online help - a searchable, indexed help resource.

Hiring Committee Folders

Staff attorney offices can share folders and folder contents with the Hiring Committee Folders feature. Applications copied to the Hiring Committee Folders are only available to staff who have the appropriate access rights.

Hiring Practices Field

A mandatory field in the OSCAR judge profile where judges can inform applicants and law schools of their hiring preferences and schedules. See the judge profile for examples of hiring practices statements.

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I

Import All (Master Recommender Directory)

With Import All, law school administrators can import their school's entire Master Recommender Directory of faculty recommenders into OSCAR. It lists the number of total records imported.

Import Current (Master Recommender Directory)

Law school administrators can import the current (on screen) record of their law school’s Master Recommender Directory to verify the accuracy of the record prior to uploading the entire directory.

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J

Judge Details

Click on a participating judge’s name in OSCAR to view the Judge Details tab, which lists the judge's profile information. Law school administrators have access to this information on the Judge Information tab.

Judge Status

Identifies if a judge is Active or Senior.

Judge Type

Search field for the following types of judges: circuit, district, magistrate, and bankruptcy judges. Applicants and law schools have access to this field.

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L

Last Run (Reporting)

An administrator can click this button to view the last run of a report.

Last Updated

The Last Updated column displays a date/time stamp on the Applicants List to inform judges, chambers staff, court unit administrators, and staff attorney offices that the applicant updated the finalized application. For applicants, the Last Updated column appears on the My Applications tab and displays the date/time stamp and confirmation number of the application updates.

Law School Administrator

Law school administrators have certain administrator capabilities in OSCAR allowing them to manage their school’s applicant and recommender accounts, manage their law school profiles, certify class rank, and run reports.

Law School Profile

Each law school maintains a Law School Profile to provide career services office contact information, law school website, and law school dean contact information. Note: The law school dean contact information is only viewable by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

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M

Magistrate Judge

A judicial officer of a district court who conducts initial proceedings in criminal cases, decides criminal misdemeanor cases, conducts many pretrial civil and criminal matters on behalf of district judges, and decides civil cases with the consent of the parties.

Mail

A Batch Option for administrators, judges, staff attorney offices, and courts to send email via OSCAR to a group of selected recipients (e.g., applicants).

Mail Assistants

A Batch Option for law school administrators to send emails via OSCAR specifically to a recommender’s faculty assistant.

Mail Wizard

Used to create mass emails. For example: Judges can use this feature to send email to their applicants. A mail wizard exists to assist with creating and sending these email messages.

Manage Emails

Tab that judges, chambers staff, and staff attorney offices use to view the emails sent to their applicants and create email templates to be stored for future use.

Mark as Reviewed

For judges, chambers staff, and staff attorney offices to mark applications as reviewed.

Match All

Click Match All when conducting a keyword search from a Basic Search box to ensure that all results match all entered search terms.

Merge Codes/Fields

Customize a single email for multiple recipients using Merge codes/fields. These are placeholders for information stored in the OSCAR database that will be filled in when the email is sent. For example: When creating a recommendation letter in the OSCAR online editor use the merge field [judge_name], and OSCAR will replace the merge code with the last name of the recipient judge.

Message Identifier

The label given to a saved email template. It is similar to the subject of the email, but it will not be viewable to the recipient. Users may want to enter the same label in both fields.

My Documents List

A listing of documents that have been uploaded and saved in an applicant's account.

My Folders

Custom folders created for managing positions and applications. These folders can be named by the user and reside in My Folders.

My History

Click to search for transactions (tasks) performed in an account.

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N

Next Scheduled Run (Reporting)

Administrator users with access to the reporting function can assign reports to automatically run at specified intervals. The date and time of next scheduled run is shown in the column of the same name.

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O

Office Profile

Part of the OSCAR staff attorney office profile where the staff attorney office can indicate if it only has permanent staff attorneys and/or does not wish to be contacted by applicants and law schools.

Open Date

This field is available when creating or editing a position. Enter the date when the position will be visible to applicants, law school administrators, and open for applications.

Options

The Options column is available on various lists in OSCAR and contains buttons or icons to perform actions on the item listed in the row. For example: The Options column in a judges or applicants list will show the Copy to Folders or Change Folders buttons, while the Options column in the My Applications tab for applicants can be used to delete or edit draft applications and withdraw finalized applications.

OSCAR

The Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR), is the Internet-based system for law clerk and staff attorney hiring that is maintained by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. This program is a centralized resource for notice of available positions, position application information, and employment information.

OSCAR Judge

A judge with a profile in OSCAR is considered an OSCAR judge. Judges not participating in OSCAR are listed but do not have a full profile or the ability to post positions in OSCAR.

OSCAR Working Group

The OSCAR Working Group of judges and law school representatives identify current process and system issues, develop recommendations for the new requirements or enhancements, represent the issues in setting priorities and assessing system implications associated with policy issues and decisions, and promote orderly transparent federal law clerk recruitment and hiring practices.

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P

Password Requirements

OSCAR requires all user accounts to have a password that contains:

  • At least 8 characters (20 maximum)
  • At least one number
  • At least one lowercase letter
  • At least one uppercase letter
  • At least one special character (e.g., !, @, #, $)
  • No spaces

Paste As Plain Text

Use the Paste As Plain Text button to copy and paste text into OSCAR's online editor tool to remove extra formatting commands created by word processing software.

Period of Unavailability

Applicants who mark themselves unavailable can indicate a period of unavailability that will be viewable to judges and staff attorney offices.

Positions

Tab in OSCAR where staff attorney offices and judges can create and manage their positions.

Position Status

Positions posted in OSCAR can have a status of available, expired, or filled. Applicants cannot submit applications to positions with a status of expired or filled. A position will show the status of expired if the judge or staff attorney office who posted the position takes no action before the close date passes.

Position Term

The duration of a staff attorney position created by a staff attorney office. Options include 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year, or permanent.

Post Date

The date a position was created in OSCAR and viewable to the position creator and other administrators.

Post Position

Click to post the position in OSCAR after entering the details of the position.

Previously Reviewed (Advanced Search)

Staff attorney offices and judges use this search parameter to display only search results for previously reviewed applications.

Previous Version (Reporting)

Click this tab to view previously generated reports.

Preferred States

Within the Applicant interface on the Profile tab, applicants can choose to receive notifications on new positions posted in OSCAR for judges’ chambers located in specific states.

Preferred Types

Within the Applicant interface on the Profile tab, applicants can choose to receive only notifications on new positions posted in OSCAR for a specific type of judge (e.g., Circuit, District, Bankruptcy, etc.) or staff attorney office.

Printable Application Packet

OSCAR compiles selected application documents into printable, downloadable packets for judges and staff attorney offices. Requested packets become available for download on the Printable Application Packets tab under the Applicants section of the main navigation menu. See Generate Packet.

Pro Se Law Clerk

The pro se law clerk provides legal advice and assistance to the court in connection with prisoner petitions and complaints.

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R

Rating

Column on the Applicants List within the judge and staff attorney office interfaces where applications are rated.

Receive Email Frequency

Select the frequency of automatic email notifications from OSCAR. Available settings are daily, weekly, and never. Email frequency can be set for multiple items, such as newly posted positions or reminders of pending recommendation requests. See also Email Frequency.

Receive Weekly Reminder of Pending Requests

Recommenders can choose to receive a weekly email with a reminder of pending requests for letters of recommendation.

Recent Items

A section on the administrator home page that shows the most recent activity.

Recommender

In OSCAR, any individual who submits electronic letters of recommendation on behalf of an applicant is termed a recommender. Recommenders do not register for accounts themselves, but rather the accounts are created by the action of either an applicant or a law school. The first time that a recommender is identified in OSCAR by any applicant, the system will send an automatically generated username and password to the email address associated with the new account. Recommenders have the option to receive automatic email notification from OSCAR regarding new or pending requests for letters of recommendation.

Regen Report (Reporting)

Administrator accounts with access to the reporting function use this icon to regenerate an existing report to display current information.

Remove from Existing Folder

A batch option to remove the selected item(s) from the specified folder.

Remove Selected Recipients

Click to remove selected recipients from an email list that contains multiple recipients.

Renewable

Judges and staff attorney offices can designate a position as renewable, meaning that it can be extended beyond its original term. This designation is viewable to applicants in the position details.

Replace Resume/Cover Letter

Applicants use this Batch Option to replace application documents in a Draft application.

Reply to

Email address that an applicant will respond to when an email is sent from the Mail Wizard tab within a judge or staff attorney office account.

Request Document Update

A Batch Option for judges, court unit administrators, and staff attorney offices to send an email requesting an applicant to update their applications with a specific document. OSCAR displays a status code of “RU” for request update.

Required Field

This field requires input information to access the Save/Submit buttons.

Reset Settings (Recommender Import)

For law school administrators using the Recommender Import feature. Click this button to return all fields in the Mapping Field column to the OSCAR default settings.

Resources

Click the resources tab to access law clerk hiring information and OSCAR support information including tip sheets, video tutorials, and other important resources specific to the user role.

Reviewed

Judges and staff attorney offices can flag those applicants they have reviewed. This indicator appears in the Reviewed column of any list of applicants.

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S

Save

Click this button to save your work and remain on the current page.

Save as Excel

Save an entire list, selected items, or the current page as an Excel workbook.

Scheduling (Reporting)

Administrator users with access to the Reporting function can schedule reports to run at specified intervals using the Scheduling tab.

School Admins

From this tab, law school administrators can manage accounts for their law school and delete unused accounts.

Senior Judge

Judges are listed as either Active or Senior in OSCAR. A senior judge is one who, after attaining the requisite age and length of judicial experience, acquires senior status; thus creating a vacancy in his previous status. A senior judge retains the judicial office and may cut back his or her workload by as much as 75 percent, but many opt to keep a larger caseload. The judge's status is viewable in the judge, chambers staff, and system administrator interfaces only.

Specialized Work Experience Preferred

Judges, staff attorney offices, and courts can identify in the position posting if they prefer to receive applications from applicants with any of the following specialized work experience: appellate, bankruptcy, death penalty, habeas, immigration, patent, prison litigation, pro se, and social security.

Specialty Court

Bodies within the judicial branch of government that generally address only one area of law or have specifically defined powers (e.g., United States Court of Federal Claims, United States Court of International Trade, and United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims).

Staff Attorney Office (SAO)

The Staff Attorney’s Office is a central legal staff in the U.S. Court of Appeals, serving the court at large rather than individual judges. The office has approximately 60 to 70 attorneys, including career supervisory staff attorneys and staff attorneys who serve staggered two-year terms. The principal task of the office is to assist in the disposition of appeals through the preparation of legal memoranda.

Staff Attorney Office (SAO) Staff Account

A staff attorney office user with administrator rights can create additional OSCAR accounts for their staff. These accounts can be assigned different system rights to control the level of access.

Status (Applications)

Judges and staff attorney offices can view an application's status from the Applicants List or Folders tabs. OSCAR displays four different icons for application status:

  • F - Finalized application (no updates)
  • U - Application updated by applicant or recommender
  • W - Withdrawn application
  • RU - Judge or SAO requested an update of one or more application documents

Status (Judges)

Judges are listed as either Active or Senior in OSCAR. The judge's status is viewable in the judge, chambers staff, and system administrator interfaces only. See Active Judge and Senior Judge.

Status of Clerkship/SAO Recommendations

Tabs under the My Recommendations section of OSCAR's Applicant interface that shows the status of a clerkship or staff attorney recommendation as complete or pending. A green checkmark indicates the recommendation is complete.

Submit

Click to save your work and return to the previous page.

Submit Recommendation

Click to finalize the submission of a recommendation letter to a judge or staff attorney office.

Submitted On

This column on the Applicants List or Folders tab displays the date an application was released to the judge or staff attorney office.

System Folders

OSCAR provides five system folders to judges and staff attorney offices. These folders behave differently than the optional custom-named folders and cannot be deleted.

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T

Template Type

Recommenders can create recommendation letters, save them as a template for future use, and identify the template as either judges or staff attorney offices.

Temporary Law Clerk

Occasionally, emergency situations require a judge to obtain additional law clerk assistance for a limited period of time and with a specific termination date. This is a temporary appointment. If the appointment is for one year or less, the law clerk will not be eligible for health, dental, vision and life insurance coverage, retirement, participation in the judiciary flexible spending accounts, or the Thrift Savings Account. A temporary law clerk appointed for more than one year is eligible for health, dental, vision and life insurance coverage, and participation in judiciary supplemental benefit programs, but is not eligible to participate in the retirement system or the Thrift Savings Plan. All temporary law clerks are subject to social security deductions. If the expiration date of the appointment does not extend to the end of the calendar year and the law clerk has fewer than four years of service with the Federal Judiciary, he/she will not be eligible to enroll in the Health Care Reimbursement Account the last year of the appointment.

Term Law Clerks

Term appointments are the most common. Term federal judicial law clerks serve on an appointment limited to a total of four years, but are generally one or two years in duration. Some judges appoint term law clerks for eighteen months. The length of the term for a position listed in the OSCAR system is indicated in the "term dates" field in the position announcement. Term appointment law clerks are covered by Social Security and are eligible for health, dental, vision and life insurance coverage, and participation in judiciary supplemental benefits programs. If, however, the expiration date of the appointment does not extend to the end of the calendar year, and the law clerk has fewer than four years of service with the Federal Judiciary, he/she is not eligible to enroll in the Heath Care Reimbursement Account the last year of the appointment. Term law clerks are not eligible to participate in the federal employee retirement systems or the Thrift Savings Plan. OSCAR identifies term law clerk positions as “term law clerk-chambers.”

Terms of Use

The OSCAR terms of use identify the conditions in which a user agrees to access and make use of OSCAR.

Tip Sheets

Tip sheets provide step-by-step instructions that assist in performing certain functions within OSCAR. Tip sheets are located in the blue information box within each tab of the user interface pertaining to the function being performed. The tip sheets for each user interface can also be located within the Resources tab in OSCAR.

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U

Unavailable

OSCAR applicants can mark themselves unavailable and indicate a period of unavailability. Marking oneself unavailable will withdraw all of the applicant's applications. Judges and staff attorney offices can view these applicants from the Unavailable Applicants List tab.

Unsubscribe

An unsubscribe link is included in every OSCAR email. Profiles can be edited to choose the frequency of OSCAR system emails. On the Profile page click Edit Profile. In the Email Frequency section, click one of the radio buttons to select the frequency of OSCAR system emails. Options include Daily, Weekly, or Never.

Update Application

Click to update and save changes to an application.

Update Emails (Judges)

In the My Profile tab under the My Account sub-tab, click the Update Emails button to add the email address associated with a judge’s recommender account and merge the account into the judge’s OSCAR account to prevent multiple logins.

Use Saved Search

Searches can be named and saved when created with the Advanced Search function. These saved searches can be accessed from the Basic Search boxes found throughout OSCAR.

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V

Verification of Data

Section on the applicant profile requiring applicants to confirm all information is accurate and true to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. In addition, applicants must certify the accuracy of information in any application updates to finalized applications.

View Printable List

On the Applicants List and Folders tabs, the judge or staff attorney can view a selected list of applicants in the browser window that can be printed.

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W

Withdraw

Button within the applicant interface in the Build an Application box or the My Applications section that withdraws an application from consideration. The application will display as withdrawn within the judge or staff attorney office account. Applicants cannot reapply or resubmit an application for the position once an application has been withdrawn. Law school administrators also have the ability to withdraw applications via the Clerkship and Staff Attorney Applications tabs.