This section of the Clerkship Manual discusses how to use OSCAR, the online application system for federal clerkships. To download a full copy of the Clerkship Manual, click here.
The OSCAR website includes a detailed User Guide that will describe the application process for you. Please consult this resource, but a few additional comments are included here to get you started.
- You must create an account on OSCAR. Once you have created an account, you can begin applying to judges.
- OSCAR allows you to use an “online editor” to compose cover letters that will be automatically personalized (“mail-merged”) for each judge to whom you apply. All other documents must be in PDF form. Even though the letters are not specially formatted and do not appear on letterhead, judges are who accept applications through OSCAR are used to receiving cover letters generated with the online editor and it is acceptable and in fact recommended that you prepare your letters in this way.
- You can have as many recommenders as you like listed in your pool. Use the pull-down menu to find both UConn faculty and non-faculty recommenders; only type in the recommender’s information if he or she is not already listed. If you add information manually, make sure the contact information is correct or OSCAR will not be able to communicate with your recommenders. All recommenders on your list are defaulted to appear on every application; you can change the defaults in your pool or edit individual applications. You must begin an application to a given judge in order for recommenders to be able to upload your letters of recommendation. The application can be in draft form, but until you actually create an application, the recommenders cannot do their part. The Career Planning Center will coordinate with faculty recommenders to upload letters to OSCAR.
- Use the search functions in the Clerkships section to create a list of clerkships for which you wish to apply. OSCAR includes information on clerkship vacancies and application requirements for each judge; this data is entered by each chambers. If no information is listed, it simply means that the judge has not posted the vacancy information yet.
You can build your application for each clerkship by designating each document you want to submit to that judge; note that the resume is the only “required” document for purposes of creating an application in the system. Check your default recommenders and make any changes. Once you have finalized your materials and your faculty recommendations have been uploaded, you should click “finalize applications.” After this is clicked, you may not alter your application in any way. Judges will not be able to view your applications until this is clicked.