Currently, 70 percent of all federal judges have signed-up for OSCAR, the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review, the highest participation rate since 2007. To be considered “participating,” a judge registers for an account and maintains a hiring profile in OSCAR.
On the OSCAR website, judges and staff attorneys can post available positions, and applicants can find positions and electronically submit their applications. On behalf of the OSCAR Working Group (comprised of judges and law school representatives), the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has launched a campaign to encourage all federal judges to use OSCAR to identify their hiring practices so that all applicants have access to the same information about clerkship openings and application dead.lines
On April 9, 2013, the latest version of OSCAR, Version 7, will be deployed with new features to improve this transparency in law clerk hiring.
In FY 2012, 1,632 or 70 percent of all federal appellate, district, bankruptcy, and magistrate judges participated in the OSCAR program, up from the 1,564 participating judges in OSCAR in FY 2011. Ninety percent of all federal court of appeals judges and 78 percent of all federal district judges were OSCAR users in FY 2012. Federal judges posted 1,067 open clerkship positions to OSCAR in FY 2012, a 1.8 percent increase over FY 2011.
Law school students submitted the majority of applications, although there were more alumni applicant accounts than student accounts. Alumni accounted for 56 percent of the accounts, and law students 44 percent.
Eight of the 12 circuit staff attorney offices posted 14 positions on OSCAR in FY 2012, attracting a total of 2,582 online applications.