The application procedures and timelines vary
depending on the type of clerkship you are applying for.
Clerkships: You should begin researching federal clerkship opportunities by
the spring of your 2L year. Most federal
clerkship positions are listed on OSCAR (Online System for Clerkship
Application and Review) which is a single, centralized resource for notice of
available clerkships, clerkship application information, and law clerk
- OSCAR. This system indicates which judges are hiring
and which judges are not, as well as the application materials each judge
requires, and the method they wish to receive your application (e.g., electronically through OSCAR or
hardcopy via U.S. Mail). If you have any
questions about the OSCAR system, please contact OCP or the OSCAR Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Timing. Federal judges typically follow the timeline
set forth in the “Federal Judges Law Clerk Hiring Plan,” which sets the critical dates for application submissions, when candidates can
be contacted for interviews, when interviews can begin and offers made. All of these dates typically occur within the
first couple of weeks in September. Be
prepared for a fast-paced clerkship application process.
to apply only to clerkships that you are prepared to accept. Unlike other offers of employment, there is
an expectation that if you are offered a position in a judge’s chambers you
will accept that position.
State Clerkships: Unlike federal court judges,
state court judges typically do not follow a nationally defined outline for
clerkship applications, and may accept applications at any time during the
judges hire clerks one of two ways: You
apply (1) directly to the individual judge, or (2) centrally to an office that
facilitates hiring for judges. Deadlines
vary from court to court and state to state, from the spring of your 2L year to
the fall of your 3L year and beyond. Consult the “Vermont Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures” for hiring practices and
deadlines (contact OCP for online access), and also
check court websites and call court administrators.
Staff Attorney Positions: Circuit courts now use OSCAR and announce
open staff attorney positions on their websites. Application deadlines vary from court to
Judicial Clerkship Timeline
your grades as high as possible.
for opportunities to develop your research and writing skills, and craft a
great writing sample.
2L Fall & Spring
clerkships and determine application deadlines and materials required.
OCP Judicial Clerkship programming, and speak to an OCP Director about your
application plans and materials.
applying for state judicial clerkships with spring deadlines.
yourself with the federal clerkship application process (OSCAR).
professors and employers to write your letters of recommendation, and work
with the Faculty Services Office to facilitate the processing of your faculty
on your state and federal clerkship applications.
OSCAR and federal circuit court websites for staff attorney application
deadlines and apply.
federal clerkship applications and upload to OSCAR for distribution by
the deadline (usually the day after Labor Day), or send applications via U.S.
Mail to be received by this date.
to apply to state judicial clerkships with fall deadlines.
federal circuit court websites for staff attorney application deadlines and
3L Winter & Spring
to apply to any remaining clerkship opportunities.