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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Federal Judicial Clerkship Information

Students may apply for federal clerkships using OSCAR, The On-line System for Clerkship Application and Review. OSCAR is a web-based system that enables clerkship applicants to file complete applications and recommenders to file letters of recommendation online. Applicants designate the OSCAR-participating judges to whom they wish to apply.

Over 500 federal judges are expected to use the system this year. Students interested in applying to those judges must do so using OSCAR. All other judicial clerkships may be applied for using the traditional methods.

To use OSCAR, visit and click on the “Application Registration” tab to create a profile with contact, background, and educational information. From that point, you can upload application materials, research clerkship vacancies, request recommendations, and submit applications. A complete user manual for using OSCAR is available here:

If you encounter any problems using OSCAR please visit the help site and look over the web log, FAQs, and user manual. If you still have questions, contact the Career Services Office at or call 617-422-7229.

Do Not Panic About Employment Prior to Graduation

Try not to panic if you have not secured post-graduate employment. As a new law graduate, you may naturally be in a limbo period until you receive your bar results in November. Some employers will wait to see if you have passed the bar exam before hiring you. This is okay! Spend your summer studying and passing the bar exam. When your life gets back to normal in August, then you can resume your job search, networking and conducting informational interviews with anyone you think may be helpful. These things will help when your bar results are available and you are a viable candidate for an attorney position.

In the meantime, there is still some time before graduation. If you want to search for jobs prior to graduation day, then perhaps the following tips can help to ease your concerns:
  1. Log on to the CSO’s Recruitment and Programming Center (RPC) to search for job postings https://law-une April - June is the busy season for small law firms and some government agencies. Contact the if you need a password to log on to RPC.
  2. Consider applying for federal government work. Check out It is reported that 30 – 50% of federal employees will be eligible to retire in the next few years. This is bound to result in a hiring boom.
  3. Consider applying for state government jobs. Check out and other state websites to find state job postings.
  4. Consider applying for public interest jobs. Check out
  5. Consider contacting government and public interest agencies that interest you. All state agencies are listed on state and local government websites. In addition, the Massachusetts Lawyers Diary and Manual is a hard copy directory that can help you find contact information for all state and federal agencies, as well as local courts. Copies of the Lawyers Diary are located in the CSO office and the law library.
  6. Consider initiating contact with legal employers. Martindale Hubble is an on-line directory of lawyers, law firms, government agencies and corporate legal departments. You can use this free resource to search for employers according to specifications such as practice area, location and firm size and then follow-up with them about possible employment opportunities. CAUTION: CSO does not recommend that you send blind mailings to hundreds of employers. Try to focus your search on a small group of employers who may be seeking new associates, but do not have the time to recruit. This is a great tool for contacting small and medium size law firms.
  7. Check job posting sites for legal work opportunities, such as,,, and There is a list of legal job posting links on the CSO website
  8. Continue to network. Nearly 85% of all Americans get their jobs through someone they know. Inform everyone you know that you are graduating from law school and will need to find a job soon. You never know if someone you know has heard of a job opening that would be perfect for you.

Do not get discouraged. There are more legal jobs out there than you realize. For more job search suggestions, contact the CSO, 617-422-7229 or We hope you have a terrific and productive summer!