OSCAR: Steps to Follow
The Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) was created to streamline the application process for federal clerkship positions. Many, but not all of the federal judiciary have embraced the system, making it the preferred application method for positions. In the Spring of 2008, OSCAR merged with the Federal Law Clerk Information System (FLCFIS). This added a searchable directory of all federal judges to the current system, enabling students to utilize one comprehensive site.
For judges who choose to receive applications electronically, OSCAR streamlines the application process, enabling judges and chambers staff to receive, sort, and screen applications electronically, to print selected application materials, and to communicate with applicants via email. Judges who choose to receive paper applications will use OSCAR to post their clerkship vacancy. Judges who do not have vacancies can utilize OSCAR to note that as well.
OSCAR enables clerkship applicants to search for clerkship positions, select the federal judges to whom they wish to apply, and build and submit their applications online for judges who are accepting electronic applications. Applicants upload cover letters, resumes, grade sheets, and writing samples and submit electronic requests for recommendation letters to their recommenders. OSCAR electronically invites the recommenders to log onto the system and create and upload letters of recommendation on behalf of the applicants. When the applications are complete, judges log in and begin the hiring process.
Steps to Follow/Things to Consider:
- Create Registration. Upon entering the site, users will be able to create an account and view the list of federal judges to determine who is hiring for the season.
- Identify Judges. Applicants should browse the list of judges participating in OSCAR. Judges that indicate participation will only accept materials electronically. Students will need to apply to all other federal judges as they have traditionally, by submitting paper copies of materials via U.S. mail. Reminder: *** Do not send any applications via U.S. Mail to judges that are participating in OSCAR - they will not be accepted.
- Upload Documents. Applicants register to complete a profile and upload documents. The system will hold up to 3 resumes, 25 different cover letters, grade sheets (in lieu of transcripts) and individualized recommendations for judges. Applicants must convert all documents to Adobe Acrobat .pdf format before they are uploaded. If applicants need the Adobe software, it is loaded on the student computers in the Career Services Office. Materials can be saved and revised in the system until they are downloaded by judges on September 8, 2009.
- Set Up Recommenders. Applicants should contact potential recommenders early and thoroughly notify them about all application plans. If an applicant applies to judges who use OSCAR as well as to judges who do not, recommenders will need to complete both on-line and hard-copy recommendations for applicants.
Faculty recommendations for OSCAR judges are housed within the system. Applicants enter the recommender's name and email address when applying to a judge. A drop down menu will appear on the screen. If a recommender does not appear on the master list, applicants are able to add those. The recommender will receive an "Evite" notifying him/her that an applicant has requested a letter of recommendation. Career Services will monitor recommendations and attempt to remind recommenders who have pending requests.
IMPORTANT: When an "evite" is sent to a recommender, the applicant will have the ability to cc: another person in the email. Please be sure to cc: email@example.com. This will enable the Career Services Office to assist students in follow-up with faculty for recommendations.
- Submit Applications. It is vital that applicants verify their application choices, ensure that all documents are in perfect condition, and that all recommendations have been received throughout the application timeline. Once an applicant has confirmed that all information is accurate, they must remember to click on the Finalize Application button in order for it to be released. Once the Finalize Application button is clicked, NO adjustments can be made to any documents. Judges will not be able to download any materials until the release date of September 8, 2009.
For general information regarding judicial clerkships and additional resources, go to http://www.law.msu.edu/career/clerkships.html. For assistance with any portion of this process, be sure to contact the Career Services Office.
Revised: March 2009 Judicial Clerkships/application process/OSCAR 2009