OSCAR Update: Letters of Recommendation, Application Confirmations and Withdrawals, LSA Positions List




How Letters of Recommendation Work
If you are new to OSCAR, it’s important to understand how the system handles recommendations. The online recommendations process mimics the one used in the paper world, except that the applicant simply generates a recommendation request that is then sent by email to the recommender through OSCAR. The email contains a secure link that takes recommenders directly to the screen in OSCAR where they upload their letter. Alternately, a recommender can log into their OSCAR account to see pending requests and submit letters of recommendation. OSCAR then sends the letter to the judge or staff attorney office as part of the application. Submitting a recommendation in OSCAR is as easy as one-two-three:
Applicants generate a recommendation request by selecting a recommender as part of creating their application. Note: Recommenders do not register for OSCAR; an account is created once they are identified as a recommender in the system by applicants.
OSCAR sends the recommender an email with a secure link. The link takes the recommender directly to the screen in OSCAR where they submit their recommendation letter. The secure link expires after 14 days, but recommenders can log into their accounts to view and fill requests for letters of recommendation at any time.
Once the recommender submits the letter, OSCAR will attach the document to the application packet for the requested position. Note: The applicant can see that a letter has been submitted but can never view its contents.
For more information on how OSCAR handles letters of recommendation, please review the following help articles and also see the Training & Resources section below:
Use Caution When Withdrawing Applications
Some applicants are withdrawing their applications if they add the wrong documents instead of just editing them. However, if you withdraw an application, you cannot reapply to that position. So think twice before clicking the withdraw option. If the application was withdrawn in error, you must contact the OSCAR Program Support Service desk to completely delete the application to be able to reapply.
How Do I Edit My Application?
  • On the My Applications page, you’ll see the clerkship position you’ve started applying for.
  • Click the Edit icon underneath the judge’s name. OSCAR will open the application stepper, and you can make any changes to your attached documents.
What If I Already Applied?
If your application is finalized, you can still update the application documents. OSCAR will alert the judge that your application has been updated.
Is It OK to Delete an Application?
Yes, you can delete an application still in draft by clicking the Delete icon under the judge’s name and clicking OK in the popup window. If you decide that you do want to apply to the position later on, simply create a new application.
Information about application release dates and future access dates to OSCAR can be found in the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan. To get the most out of your OSCAR experience, check our Training Resources.
Change to Application Confirmation Email
As of April 12, 2021, you will find a key change has been made to the confirmation email that applicants receive when finalizing an application. Because the maximum document size for transcripts increased to 8MB, completed application packets might be too large to send by email. So, confirmation emails will no longer include attached copies of full application packets. Instead, applicants can download full packets directly from their applications list.
How to Download Packets
1. On the left navigation bar, select Applications to display the My Applications list.
2. You’ll see a row of documents to the right of the application information. Click the first icon, which looks like an envelope, to open your complete application packet with all your documents.
3. Save the document.
New Feature: The LSA Positions List
As part of the recent system upgrade, LSAs gained access to a stand-alone Positions List in OSCAR. The Positions List is a new feature that originally debuted in the Applicant Interface. Now available to LSAs, the Positions List shows all available, filled, and expired clerkship and staff attorney positions, which means that you no longer need to search the entire Judicial Directory just to find open positions.
How Do I Use the Positions List?
The Positions List is most useful for viewing open positions and judges that hire, as well as for filtering by Term Start Year, Judge Type, and other filters more commonly used when searching for open positions. To access the Positions List, select Positions in the left navigation of the LSA Interface. Like most lists in OSCAR, you can search the Positions List by keywords, use filters like “Term Start Year” to narrow down the list, and change the sort order of the list. You can also easily view Position Details by clicking on the name of the judge or staff attorney office that posted the position.
Should I Continue to Use the Judicial Directory?
Yes, the Judicial Directory is the best tool for things like viewing information for non-participating judges or exporting a spreadsheet with court mailing addresses.
And remember, you can share your saved searches with your applicants from either list.
How Do I Learn More?
To find out more about the Positions List and related features like creating saved searches and exporting search results to an Excel spreadsheet, login to OSCAR and review the following online help entries:
You can also go to your resource pages and review the video tutorials and the LSA Quick Reference Guide.
Training & Resources
Resource Highlight: Apply to Positions
Do you need help applying to positions online in OSCAR? Have a look at our ever-growing library of short, animated videos that take you through OSCAR’s functionality, including:
OSCAR Resources
We are conducting a series of webinars to familiarize users with OSCAR’s newest capabilities. Be sure to check our Training Pages for information about upcoming training sessions. And don’t forget: many training resources are available in OSCAR to help you learn to use the system, including:
Message from OSCAR Management
The 2021 law clerk hiring season is well underway, and the application release date for rising 3Ls is just around the corner. Despite the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the OSCAR Program Office is working hard to ensure that the clerkship hiring process proceeds smoothly. The newest version of OSCAR is one of the tools that will make that happen, so we encourage all our users to log in, poke around, and review our training resources. We have quick reference guides, videos tutorials, help articles, recorded webinars, and more right at your fingertips. As always, we hope everyone continues to stay healthy and safe.
By Office of Career Development and Opportunities
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