Welcome to the World of Judicial Clerkships!
 
Behind every great judge is his or her law clerk. The value of a judicial clerkship is substantial. A key credential for future law practice in any area, judicial clerkships are an incredible life experience. A judicial clerkship offers a unique opportunity to glimpse behind the scenes of a judge's chambers and courtroom, to impact the law through the judge's decision-making and, ultimately, to gain a lifelong mentor!
With the goal of obtaining a prized judicial clerkship, this website helps law students successfully navigate the maze of courts and judicial clerkship opportunities. We offer valuable information and advice about judicial clerkships, as well as links to key court sites and judicial clerkship listings.

This site further provides a forum for students and judicial clerks to exchange information about applying for a judicial clerkship and to share their judicial clerkship experiences.

We also serve an important function as a centralized resource with services for judges and students in posting their resumes for possible judicial clerkship positions.

If you have any comments or suggestions for things you would like to see included on this website to best serve your judicial clerkship needs, please feel free to contact us below.

       
Updates:
 

Strategies for Success: The Quest for Your Judicial Clerkship -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Tuesday, March 4 2014

For a closer look at the application process, the components of the application, and strategies you can employ to increase the chances of success in your quest for the prized clerkship, see my latest article on AbovetheLaw.com:

http://abovethelaw.com/career-files/strategies-for-success-the-quest-for-your-judicial-clerkship/

It's official -- The Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan is over! -- Introducing the FEDERAL LAW CLERK HIRING BEST PRACTICES! -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Friday, January 10 2014

Here is the final word:

"NOTICE: The Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan has been discontinued, and no further dates are being set. Each judge determines his or her own recruitment and hiring schedule, although judges may wish to coordinate hiring activities and efficiencies, such as setting court-wide interview dates. The OSCAR Working Group judges developed a list of best practices, listed below, for judges' consideration."

In addition, the OSCAR system is being opened to "rising second-year students" -- with read-only access on June 1, 2014 and full system access to build and submit online applications on August 1, 2014. 

See the OSCAR website for what is now being called the "FEDERAL LAW CLERK HIRING BEST PRACTICES" -- a list of voluntary guidelines for all federal judges, including circuit judges, district judges, bankruptcy judges, and magistrate judges (but not Supreme Court Justices):

https://oscar.uscourts.gov/hiring-practices

Putting it in Perspective – Understanding the History of the Timing Issue and Making Lemonade -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Friday, November 8 2013
For the context on the latest developments in the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan and tips on how to make the best of the situation, see my article on Abovethelaw.com --

http://abovethelaw.com/career-files/from-the-judicial-clerkship-files-putting-it-in-perspective-understanding-the-history-of-the-timing-issue-and-making-lemonade/

BIG OSCAR NEWS -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Monday, November 4 2013
Here is the latest development—as of Nov. 4, 2013—OSCAR has just been de-linked from the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, meaning that second year applicants may now apply online any time and the judges have been asked to add their own individual hiring preferences. In addition, the OSCAR working group will consider at their annual November meeting making OSCAR available to first year students! As for the plan itself, the judges will be reviewing it at the November 25 meeting and any changes will be posted thereafter...

(See https://oscar.uscourts.gov/blog_post/_1/21/OSCAR_De-links_from_the_Hiring_Plan)

IMPORTANT 2013 Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan Date Change! -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Sunday, May 12 2013
The OSCAR Working Group judges announced that they have decided to move up the first date when applications may be received from third-year applicants (Class of 2014) from August 19, 2013 to June 28, 2013 and "revert to a single date to receive applications, schedule and conduct interviews, and make clerkship offers."

The OSCAR system will release all online third-year law school student applications on:
June 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm Noon (EDT).

This is now the first date to receive applications from third-year law school applicants. Judges may schedule and conduct interviews and make clerkship offers on that date to third-year law school applicants.

The judges reiterated that: "the Hiring Plan does not cover applicants who have graduated from law school. Judges may accept applications, interview, and hire law school graduates at any time."

(See https://oscar.uscourts.gov/)

IMPORTANT Update on the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Friday, February 22 2013
The Judges on D.C. Court of Appeals have officially split from the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan! See
Notice Regarding Law Clerk Hiring By D.C. Circuit Judges for the 2014-2015 Term
.

Note that although NALP supports the FLCHP and encourages judges to continue to follow its timing guidelines, NALP acknowledges that:

"A growing number of federal judges have chosen not to participate in the voluntary plan. As a result, some law schools have elected to facilitate the applications of students applying to off-plan judges. NALP understands that each law school must apply its own policies and rules for assuring that the recruiting activities involving its own students are as fair as possible." See NALP Guidelines.

Several commentators view these recent developments as the end of the FLCHP. Stay tuned!

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2013 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Friday, February 8 2013

Here are the Critical Dates For the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, 2013 Season:

First date when applications may be received from third-year applicants:
Monday, August 19, 2013
(12 noon EDT)

First date and time when judges may contact third-year applicants to schedule interviews:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
(12 noon EDT)

First date and time when interviews may be held and offers made:
Monday, September 9, 2013
(10:00 a.m. EDT)

For more information, see https://oscar.uscourts.gov/

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2012 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Sunday, February 5 2012

Here are the Critical Dates For the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, 2012 Season:

First date when applications may be received from third-year applicants:
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
(12 noon EDT)

First date and time when judges may contact third-year applicants to schedule interviews:
Friday, September 7, 2012
(12 noon EDT)

First date and time when interviews may be held and offers made:
Thursday, September 13, 2012
(10:00 a.m. EDT)

For more information on the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, please visit the new website maintained by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts at
https://oscar.uscourts.gov/drupal/content/federal-law-clerk-hiring-plan
.

If you are interested in statistics on OSCAR use both within and outside of the Judiciary, including total number of judges participating in OSCAR, total number of positions posted during the fiscal year, and number of applications submitted, or to find out more about the OSCAR program, see this article published in the December 2011 edition of The Third Branch newsletter:
http://www.uscourts.gov/News/TheThirdBranch/11-12-01/OSCAR_More_Popular_Than_Ever.aspx
.

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2011 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Sunday, February 6 2011

Here are the Critical Dates For the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, 2011 Season:

First date when applications may be received:
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
(OSCAR release: 10:00 a.m. (EDT))

First date and time when judges may contact applicants to schedule interviews:
Friday, September 9, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT)

First date and time when interviews may be held and offers made:
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT)

For more information, see http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/lawclerk.nsf/Home?OpenForm

Best wishes to everyone!

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2009 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Thursday, January 8 2009

 
Here are the Critical Dates For the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, 2009 Season:

First date when applications may be received:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
(OSCAR release: 10:00 a.m. (EDT))

First date and time when judges may contact applicants to schedule interviews:
Friday, September 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT)

First date and time when interviews may be held and offers made:
Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. (EDT)

For more information, see http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/intern...f/Home?OpenForm

To discuss the clerkship application process, or anything else about judicial clerkships, visit our forums -- click here!

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan 2008 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Wednesday, February 20 2008

Here are the critical dates for Fall 2008:

First date when applications may be received:  Wednesday, Sept 3

First date and time when judges may contact applicants to schedule interviews:  Monday, Sept 8, Noon (EDT)

First date and time when interviews may be held and offers made:  Thursday, Sept 11, 8:00 am (EDT) 

For more information, see the official website:

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/lawclerk.nsf/Home?OpenForm

Best of luck, everyone!

New article on clerkship interview frenzy -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Tuesday, October 16 2007

"Law Students Navigate Interviews and Cross-Country Travel to Get a Clerkship"

Joe Palazzolo
Legal Times
October 16, 2007

http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter/lawArticleCareerCenter.jsp?id=1192439006187

Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2007 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Friday, November 10 2006

Here are the critical dates for Fall 2007:

First date when applications may be received:  Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First date and time when judges may contact applicants to schedule interviews: Noon (EDT), Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First date when interviews may be held and offers made:  Wednesday, September 19, 2007

For more information, see the official website:

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/lawclerk.nsf/Home?OpenForm

New Student Lawyer Article -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Monday, October 9 2006

Here's a new article on clerkships with a focus on the opportunities in the state courts:

Schneider, Deborah, “Judicial Clerkships for Everyone,” Student Lawyer, Vol. 34, No. 10 (American Bar Association Publishing, Oct. 2006), online at http://www.abanet.org/lsd/studentlawyer/oct06/clerkships.shtml

SUPREME COURT MEMO: Women Suddenly Scarce Among Justices' Clerks -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Sunday, September 3 2006

Everyone knows that with the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the number of female Supreme Court justices fell by half. The talk of the court this summer, with the arrival of the new crop of law clerks, is that the number of female clerks has fallen even more sharply.

Just under 50 percent of new law school graduates in 2005 were women. Yet women account for only 7 of the 37 law clerkships for the new term, the first time the number has been in the single digits since 1994, when there were 4,000 fewer women among the country’s new law school graduates than there are today.

To read the complete article, or to post a reaction, go to the forums at:

http://www.judicialclerkships.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2049#post2049

This article was originally printed at:

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/linda_greenhouse/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Judges not participating in OSCAR this year -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Thursday, July 13 2006

For those of you confused by the notation on OSCAR of participating judges who are not accepting applications this year, here is additional information.  The NALP Judicial Clerkship Committee's OSCAR Working Group has called these judges and put together a chart with the details:

http://www.nalp.org/assets/410_oscarjudgesnothiring.pdf

A few updates on OSCAR are periodically listed on the NALP website here.

For additional information on these and other OSCAR issues, you can also check out our ongoing discussion at the Forums.

Interesting Article Online -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Tuesday, August 30 2005

FYI, here is an interesting new feature article on clerkships:

Furi-Perry, Ursula, “Working in Chambers: Judicial Clerkships Provide a Unique Career Experience,” LawCrossing.com, Aug. 22, 2005, online here.

UPDATE on OSCAR -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Monday, June 6 2005


The list of participating judges is up -- click here to view!

Note also the updated FAQs, particularly these interesting facts:

Q. How many judges will be participating in OSCAR during the pilot year?
"The current number of judges signed up is 258 (as of May 24, 2005). Judges ha[d] until May 31, 2005 to sign up." 
 
Here is the latest word, as of June 6: "We are very pleased to report that 385 judges have signed up to participate in the OSCAR pilot. We are in the process of getting the judges into the system and will get all the law schools in after that." (email to participating schools from OSCAR Support; Phone: 202-354-3005; oscar-support@dcd.uscourts.gov)

Q. When will participating judges have access to applicants’ uploaded materials for the Fall 2005 application season?
"Judges will have access to third-year students’ materials about noon EDT on September 7, 2005 (the Wednesday after Labor Day). Law school graduates will be able to submit applications via OSCAR during the summer; those applications will be available to judges immediately."

The law schools have been required to complete the administrative steps by now, so be sure to check with your school.
 
For more information and/or to comment, visit the Forums here!

Applying for Judicial Clerkships Online: The Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Thursday, March 24 2005

FYI, a group of federal courts, with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, has contracted with Symplicity to create the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review. As part of the development process, the Administrative Office has prepared "A First Look at OSCAR" which includes answers to some frequently asked questions. This information is currently accessible on the NALP website at www.nalp.org/schools/oscar.pdf.

Here is some of the background info provided:

"The Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) is a pilot project funded by a grant through the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. For the Fall 2005 hiring season, OSCAR will offer an internet-based application system permitting applicants to file their federal clerkship application materials online and designate those judges to whom they wish to apply. Federal judges and chambers staff will be able to read, sort, and manage those applications on-screen; they will also be able to download and print those applications. OSCAR will allow letters of recommendation to be placed confidentially in applicants' online files, either directly by the recommender, or through the applicant’s law school.

. . . OSCAR is still in development, and will be reevaluated at the end of the pilot year. . ."

The contract calls for the system to go live on April 15, 2005. Federal judges are currently being surveyed to determine their participation in OSCAR, and the final number is not yet known. In June 2005, participating judges will be posted on the Federal Law Clerk Information System https://lawclerks.ao.uscourts.gov.

You can go to www.dcd.uscourts.gov/OSCAR.html, where you may take a look at OSCAR and review the answers to Frequently Asked Questions. 

Here is an additional website with technical info from the company that has been developing OSCAR: https://oscar.symplicity.com/

For additional information or to comment, go to the Forums here.

Federal Judges Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2005 and 2006 -- Posted by clerkship_guru on Friday, January 7 2005

The Ad Hoc Committee on Law Clerk Hiring has announced the Federal Judges Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2005 and 2006, posted on the court website:

* The hiring of law clerks will be done no sooner than the Fall of the third year of law school.

* Law schools and law faculty members will discourage potential applicants from submitting applications for clerkship positions before the day after Labor Day of their third year of law school. The law schools will do nothing to facilitate the release of official transcripts and they will discourage faculty members from sending letters of reference or making calls on behalf of law clerk applicants before the day after Labor Day of the third year of law school.

* Law clerk applications from third year students, and letters of reference on their behalf, may not be sent before the day after Labor Day.

* Law schools are strongly encouraged to continue bundling applications (including cover letters, resumes, recommendations, transcripts, and writing samples), so that each applicant’s materials arrive together and all applications from a particular school arrive at the same time.

* There will be a "reading period" between the day after Labor Day and the second Thursday after Labor Day during which law clerk applications and letters of reference can be received, sorted, and reviewed by chambers.

* Judges may begin scheduling interviews at noon (EDT) on the second Thursday after Labor Day. No arrangements for interviews may be made before then.

* Judges may not conduct interviews or extend offers before the third Thursday after Labor Day.

* The critical dates under the Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2005 & 2006 are as follows:

Fall 2005 --
First date when applications may be sent (“postmarked”):
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
First date when Judges may begin scheduling interviews:
Noon (EDT), Thursday, September 15, 2005 Noon (EDT)
First date on which interviews may be held:
Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fall 2006 --
First date when applications may be sent (“postmarked”):
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
First date when Judges may begin scheduling interviews:
Noon (EDT), Thursday, September 14, 2006
First date on which interviews may be held:
Thursday, September 21, 2006

* The Plan does not cover applicants who have graduated from law school. Therefore, judges may interview and hire law school graduates at any time.

* Offers may be made as soon as interviews are permitted under the Plan. Generally, it is for the judge to determine the terms upon which an offer is extended. However, judges are encouraged not to require an applicant to accept an offer immediately without reasonable time to weigh it against other viable options that remain open to the applicant. This would not prohibit an applicant from accepting an offer on the spot.

* In appropriate circumstances, judges may wish to consider using video conferencing in lieu of personal interviews.

* The current Law Clerk Hiring Plan will remain in effect during 2005 and 2006. The Plan will be reviewed again by the Ad Hoc Committee after the fall 2006 hiring season.

See also: FAQs Note that this plan is "designed for all federal judges, including Circuit Judges, District Court Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Bankruptcy Judges. The Plan does not involve Supreme Court Justices." The Administrative Office has been asked to prepare a list containing the names of all of the participating judges. It will be available as part of the Federal Law Clerk Information System ("FLCIS") on the FLCIS website.

In addition, the National Association for Law Placement ("NALP") is currently revising the NALP Guidelines for Clerkship Hiring Plan Implementation, which will be posted to NALP’s website upon approval by its Board of Directors. NALP is also evaluating and gathering feedback on this year's application process, and will post this information in the spring on the NALP website.
 
To discuss this plan, go to the Forums here.


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