How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

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HillandHollow

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How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby HillandHollow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:24 pm

Question for clerks and former clerks who have helped review apps for their judges:

For any given clerkship opening, how many applications do judges actually receive?
I am primarily interested in the numbers for secondary and flyover district numbers, but any insight is appreciated. Some sources indicate the number could possibly be 1,000+ per opening, even for backwoods districts, but this sounds really high to me.

Not a particularly important question, just curious. Thanks!

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:20 pm

HillandHollow wrote:Question for clerks and former clerks who have helped review apps for their judges:

For any given clerkship opening, how many applications do judges actually receive?
I am primarily interested in the numbers for secondary and flyover district numbers, but any insight is appreciated. Some sources indicate the number could possibly be 1,000+ per opening, even for backwoods districts, but this sounds really high to me.

Not a particularly important question, just curious. Thanks!


Sounds correct. Our OSCAR post, for a secondary market, yielded a little over 700 apps. And we get another hundred or two hundred paper apps throughout the year.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:33 pm

for reference, roughly 40,000 law grads each year.

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/ ... eckdam.pdf

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:34 pm

Of those apps how many would you say are credible candidates?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:39 pm

you could pretty easily discount about 95% of the apps, but then narrowing within the 5% was where things got tough. judges are very idiosyncratic, but in our chambers each clerk picked about 15 resumes to send to the judge. if he wasn't happy with those then we just kept going in iterations.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:28 pm

what about for judges taking only alums? I can't imagine there are thousands of big law associates looking to clerk every year (but waht do I know).

I have far less than impressive stats but I've had a decent hit rate for interviews with apps by targeting judges who only want clerks with 2+ years of experience.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:49 pm

I clerk for a DJ in a relatively undesirable city who only takes alums and only hires for 2 years. We also tend to have off-cycle openings and keep the posting open only for about a month. So, it's pretty atypical. Another DJ in the court operates similarly. Both chambers generally gets anywhere from 50-300 applications.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:51 pm

C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby HillandHollow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I clerk for a DJ in a relatively undesirable city who only takes alums and only hires for 2 years. We also tend to have off-cycle openings and keep the posting open only for about a month. So, it's pretty atypical. Another DJ in the court operates similarly. Both chambers generally gets anywhere from 50-300 applications.



That is closer to what I expected for the type of chambers you describe. Some sources were claiming that even those chambers would be receiving 500-1000 for a given cycle.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby HillandHollow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.



That is a fascinating insight into the process, thank you! I didn't realize that OSCAR provided such functionality.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:58 pm

(Above anon) Addendum: filtering by Top 10%, Law Review, and "Legal Work Experience Post-Law School" gets the number down to 112 applicants, only a subset of whom are presumably at biglaw.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Lincoln » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:12 pm

My judge has senior status (but a full docket), is not on Oscar, only accepts paper apps, only hires clerks who will have at least one year's (but preferably more) experience when they start, and is full for the next three terms. We still receive about one application per week for "any future term."

ETA: Not in a fly-over district.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:16 pm

HillandHollow wrote:That is a fascinating insight into the process, thank you! I didn't realize that OSCAR provided such functionality.

It's really helpful if you're looking for candidates with a particular background, although I think it leads some people to file paper applications to stand out. I was juuuuust barely outside the top 10%, and some people (not really anyone with insider info, though) said that I should send paper copies so that the distinction between me and someone much further outside that cutoff wasn't lost via an OSCAR filter.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:18 pm

My judge, in a relatively less prestigious district, will receive around 600-800 applicants via OSCAR and mail for one opening. I don't know how many of those are credible candidates since I haven't yet gone through the process with my judge.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Lincoln » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:21 pm

mjb447 wrote:
HillandHollow wrote:That is a fascinating insight into the process, thank you! I didn't realize that OSCAR provided such functionality.

It's really helpful if you're looking for candidates with a particular background, although I think it leads some people to file paper applications to stand out. I was juuuuust barely outside the top 10%, and some people (not really anyone with insider info, though) said that I should send paper copies so that the distinction between me and someone much further outside that cutoff wasn't lost via an OSCAR filter.


Irrelevant non-sequitur: Analyses have shown that men under 6'0" end up with much fewer matches than those who at 6'0" or above on online dating platforms (for straight people) that allow women to filter by height. Most women wouldn't think 5'11" is too short if meeting a man in a bar, but if they get to set the minimum in advance, many choose 6'0".

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.


This might be a dumb question, but how does OSCAR find that information? You said that you can filter by top X%, Law Review, and legal work experience. How does OSCAR determine a person has those credentials? Is it just scanning the application materials for those phrases?

I'm maybe being paranoid, but I have my ranking on my resume in the form of X/XXX. So it isn't expressed in percentage form. I'm wondering if I should add top X% to that. I also am curious how it determines the legal work experience.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:30 pm

Lincoln wrote:
mjb447 wrote:
HillandHollow wrote:That is a fascinating insight into the process, thank you! I didn't realize that OSCAR provided such functionality.

It's really helpful if you're looking for candidates with a particular background, although I think it leads some people to file paper applications to stand out. I was juuuuust barely outside the top 10%, and some people (not really anyone with insider info, though) said that I should send paper copies so that the distinction between me and someone much further outside that cutoff wasn't lost via an OSCAR filter.


Irrelevant non-sequitur: Analyses have shown that men under 6'0" end up with much fewer matches than those who at 6'0" or above on online dating platforms (for straight people) that allow women to filter by height. Most women wouldn't think 5'11" is too short if meeting a man in a bar, but if they get to set the minimum in advance, many choose 6'0".

Apparently I'm just barely losing all over the place.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:34 pm

The profile section in OSCAR has you fill out class rank, whether you're on law review, and whether you have post-graduate experience.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby HillandHollow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:35 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.


This might be a dumb question, but how does OSCAR find that information? You said that you can filter by top X%, Law Review, and legal work experience. How does OSCAR determine a person has those credentials? Is it just scanning the application materials for those phrases?

I'm maybe being paranoid, but I have my ranking on my resume in the form of X/XXX. So it isn't expressed in percentage form. I'm wondering if I should add top X% to that. I also am curious how it determines the legal work experience.


It has been a minute since I filled it out, but doesn't OSCAR ask you in the transcripts page what your rank and percentage is?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby HillandHollow » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:39 pm

Lincoln wrote:My judge has senior status (but a full docket), is not on Oscar, only accepts paper apps, only hires clerks who will have at least one year's (but preferably more) experience when they start, and is full for the next three terms. We still receive about one application per week for "any future term."

ETA: Not in a fly-over district.



I have heard that a fair number of judges opt out of the OSCAR system. How are people supposed to find out about an opening like this for a judge who is not on OSCAR, but also not so in demand that people already know who they are/will seek them out? I have discovered a lot of intriguing judges just by doing research as openings came up, but I would never have discovered them otherwise. Do judges ace themselves out of potentially good candidates by skipping OSCAR?

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:41 pm

I just sent (paper) applications to all the judges in my circuit, whether they were on oscar or not. Got a bunch of "we're not hiring" responses, but also got a clerkship.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:41 pm

HillandHollow wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.


This might be a dumb question, but how does OSCAR find that information? You said that you can filter by top X%, Law Review, and legal work experience. How does OSCAR determine a person has those credentials? Is it just scanning the application materials for those phrases?

I'm maybe being paranoid, but I have my ranking on my resume in the form of X/XXX. So it isn't expressed in percentage form. I'm wondering if I should add top X% to that. I also am curious how it determines the legal work experience.


It has been a minute since I filled it out, but doesn't OSCAR ask you in the transcripts page what your rank and percentage is?


EDIT: Just checked. I don't see anywhere to put rank. I only see cumulative GPA.
Last edited by lavarman84 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:42 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.


This might be a dumb question, but how does OSCAR find that information? You said that you can filter by top X%, Law Review, and legal work experience. How does OSCAR determine a person has those credentials? Is it just scanning the application materials for those phrases?

I'm maybe being paranoid, but I have my ranking on my resume in the form of X/XXX. So it isn't expressed in percentage form. I'm wondering if I should add top X% to that. I also am curious how it determines the legal work experience.


I am pretty sure its all self-identification on OSCAR. It does not scan your resume. In your My Profile section, there is a spot for you to select whether your school ranks, whether you were in top 5%, Top 10%, etc., whether you were on the flagship journal, whether you have post-law school work experience, clerkship experience, judicial externship/internship, etc. All of those check-boxes on the My Profile section are things which the reviewing judges can then filter by.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:46 pm

HillandHollow wrote:
Lincoln wrote:My judge has senior status (but a full docket), is not on Oscar, only accepts paper apps, only hires clerks who will have at least one year's (but preferably more) experience when they start, and is full for the next three terms. We still receive about one application per week for "any future term."

ETA: Not in a fly-over district.



I have heard that a fair number of judges opt out of the OSCAR system. How are people supposed to find out about an opening like this for a judge who is not on OSCAR, but also not so in demand that people already know who they are/will seek them out? I have discovered a lot of intriguing judges just by doing research as openings came up, but I would never have discovered them otherwise. Do judges ace themselves out of potentially good candidates by skipping OSCAR?

There's always just calling chambers if you notice that a judge isn't on OSCAR to see if they hire. (Complete lists of all senior and active judges are publicly available; if nothing else, you can just go to the court website or Wikipedia page for a district you're interested in.) Some districts also post job openings on their websites but not on OSCAR.

I doubt that even judges like this are hurting for qualified applicants - even if they only get five percent of what other judges get, they still probably have quite a few people who will suffice.

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Re: How many applications do D. Ct. judges *actually* receive?

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:C.D. Cal clerk here. Our OSCAR account shows 798 applicants (some may have been deleted already, and some only submit paper versions). Checking the "Top 10%" and "Law Review" boxes filters it down to 393, (oddly, checking "Top 5%" only filters it to 337.) (Note that OSCAR's Top X% filter feature does not filter out applicants from schools that dont rank, so checking that box really just gives you a list of applicants who went to T20-30 schools (which dont rank) + applicants from Tier 2 or 3 schools who are in the Top X%). From there we generally sort by law school, and pick resumes to review from the schools we like/have had success with in the past (NOT always synonymous with T6, T14, etc.). If it is later in the clerkship hiring season, I will occasionally check the "Recent Applications" folder, and visually inspect for the above criteria. If its REALLY late in the season, and I am concerned that I may be reviewing resumes of people who already have clerkships at this point but just haven't updated their OSCAR applications, I will go to the "All Applicants" folder, and filter by "Submitted On" and "Last Updated," to ensure that the people I am looking at are still on the hunt for a clerkship (again, visually inspecting for the above-mentioned criteria, focusing on schools).

The only way I would even see a resume that is otherwise filtered out using the above methods is if the application is sent by mail (the clerk opening the envelopes will usually glance at the resume before tossing it into the circular filing basket), or if somebody impressive enough calls/emails on your behalf, prompting us to search for your name in OSCAR/keep a lookout for your name in the stacks of manila & priority-mail envelopes that the mailman delivers every day during peak clerkship application season.


This might be a dumb question, but how does OSCAR find that information? You said that you can filter by top X%, Law Review, and legal work experience. How does OSCAR determine a person has those credentials? Is it just scanning the application materials for those phrases?

I'm maybe being paranoid, but I have my ranking on my resume in the form of X/XXX. So it isn't expressed in percentage form. I'm wondering if I should add top X% to that. I also am curious how it determines the legal work experience.


I am pretty sure its all self-identification on OSCAR. It does not scan your resume. In your My Profile section, there is a spot for you to select whether your school ranks, whether you were in top 5%, Top 10%, etc., whether you were on the flagship journal, whether you have post-law school work experience, clerkship experience, judicial externship/internship, etc. All of those check-boxes on the My Profile section are things which the reviewing judges can then filter by.


Glad you mentioned this. This is where it was. I needed to update this for my new applications. Thanks!



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