Applicant Prep Kit Prepare for Your Legal Career with the United States Courts


The Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) is a secure, user-friendly, web-based system for federal law clerk and appellate staff attorney hiring. OSCAR's extensive set of features allows users to easily manage every aspect of the hiring and application process. Judges display their hiring practices in OSCAR, providing applicants with transparency to their hiring schedules and preferences.


You are eligible to work for the United States Courts if you meet both citizenship requirements and the qualifications of the law clerk or staff attorney position:

  • Citizenship Requirements. For a paid position, must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident (green card holder) seeking citizenship, or meet the requirements specified for employment in the judiciary provided in detail here.
  • Qualifications. Must be a law school graduate or awaiting a degree, and meet the qualifications as specified here.

Overview of the OSCAR Application Process

Using OSCAR, you can complete your entire application process online. Although the process may seem daunting upon your first login, applying to positions can be completed in four easy steps: (1) search for positions, (2) upload application documents, (3) identify your recommenders, and (4) submit your applications.

Scroll down to learn more about each step.

Step 1: Search for Positions

To begin your application process, create an account at www.oscar.uscourts.gov. Once logged in, complete your profile under the “My Profile” tab. Now that your account is set up, you can begin searching for positions. OSCAR allows you to search for both law clerk and appellate staff attorney positions, with tools at your disposal for narrowing the field to positions that fit your particular goals and interests. Once you've found positions that fit your search, you can save them into folders in OSCAR to better organize and manage your application process.

You have two basic options when searching for law clerk or staff attorney positions: (1) use the basic search, or (2) use the advanced search.

More Information:

How to Search for Positions

Step 2: Upload Application Documents

Before you can create any applications, you will need to upload the documents you plan to submit under the "My Documents" tab (typically cover letter, resume, grade sheet(s), and writing samples). The number and type of documents you submit with any given application packet will vary depending on the position requirements; however, a resume is always required.

More Information:

How to Upload Application Documents

Step 3: Identify Recommenders

Selecting your recommenders is a crucial part of the application process. You must identify your recommenders before submitting applications just as you must upload your application documents before applying for a position. Please note that simply identifying your pool of recommenders does not generate recommendation requests. Because recommendation letters are associated specifically with each application, only after you create a draft application for a position will your recommendation request be noted on your recommenders' pending recommendation requests list.

More Information:

How to Identify Recommenders

Step 4: Submit Applications

When you’re ready to apply to positions, you can begin building your applications. With all your documents and recommenders prepared ahead of time, building the application is a simple and straightforward process.

More Information:

How to Build Your Application

Want to search and apply for a law clerk or staff attorney position? Create an account in OSCAR!

More Information

Contact the OSCAR Program Office

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This page is maintained by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on behalf on the Federal Judiciary.