Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

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T20Hero

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Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

Postby T20Hero » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:51 pm

Does anyone have any information about applying to federal district court judges via paper applications for the 2020 term before the June 9th opening date for OSCAR? I was thinking about applying to district courts that haven't adopted the new hiring plan, and I was curious if anyone had any information about judges that usually accept paper applications. So far neither career services or Google has been helpful.

I am a 2L in the top 10% at a T-20 so I am a little worried about sending in applications so early because I'm not from a T-14, and I know that the students getting clerkships early are generally from the T-14.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:28 pm

T20Hero wrote:Does anyone have any information about applying to federal district court judges via paper applications for the 2020 term before the June 9th opening date for OSCAR? I was thinking about applying to district courts that haven't adopted the new hiring plan, and I was curious if anyone had any information about judges that usually accept paper applications. So far neither career services or Google has been helpful.

I am a 2L in the top 10% at a T-20 so I am a little worried about sending in applications so early because I'm not from a T-14, and I know that the students getting clerkships early are generally from the T-14.

Thanks in advance.


Just apply. I doubt any judge would toss an application from a candidate they would otherwise like to interview because it came on paper rather than by OSCAR. (I believe we’re officially an OSCAR-only chambers, but we get apps in the mail occasionally and we look at the same as any other app.) The bigger barrier may be the Plan—if a judge is on it he or she probably won’t look at your materials until June, but if you have reason to believe a judge isn’t on the Plan you might as well go for it, especially if they’ve hired from your school before.

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Re: Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:51 pm

It might be possible to create a dummy OSCAR account (or just look over the shoulder of a 3L). I've heard some judges on OSCAR expressly disclaim the hiring plan and/or request paper applications. I'm not sure how widely available that information is outside of OSCAR.

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Re: Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:07 pm

Hey - I'm a 2L at a T50 with a fed clerkship who only applied via paper. Our career office monitored OSCAR and let us know when judges were soliciting, but many seem to never post. You should ask if there's someone in your CSO office willing to do that since it will get you info about some.

My biggest piece of advice would be that if you're targetting a particular area to either blanket the state or call chambers to ask if/when they're hiring. You obviously can't do that for the entire country, but if you have a special tie to say, Wisconsin, you can absolutely call or mail every chamber in Wisconsin, and the tie should be in the CL.

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Re: Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
T20Hero wrote:Does anyone have any information about applying to federal district court judges via paper applications for the 2020 term before the June 9th opening date for OSCAR? I was thinking about applying to district courts that haven't adopted the new hiring plan, and I was curious if anyone had any information about judges that usually accept paper applications. So far neither career services or Google has been helpful.

I am a 2L in the top 10% at a T-20 so I am a little worried about sending in applications so early because I'm not from a T-14, and I know that the students getting clerkships early are generally from the T-14.

Thanks in advance.


Just apply. I doubt any judge would toss an application from a candidate they would otherwise like to interview because it came on paper rather than by OSCAR. (I believe we’re officially an OSCAR-only chambers, but we get apps in the mail occasionally and we look at the same as any other app.) The bigger barrier may be the Plan—if a judge is on it he or she probably won’t look at your materials until June, but if you have reason to believe a judge isn’t on the Plan you might as well go for it, especially if they’ve hired from your school before.

I applied via paper and actually had a couple of judges contact me to say that they didn't take paper and I should apply via OSCAR, actually.

I still think paper is a good bet, for the above reason, and agree that you should just apply. If someone tells you to apply via OSCAR, you can just wait and apply then - I doubt anyone will hold it against you that you sent it by mail first.

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Re: Applying via paper applications to federal district courts for 2020

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:52 pm

I cant emphasize enough the upside of applying via paper to pretty much any chambers. I worked in a chambers that explicitly stated on OSCAR that we did not accept paper applications, but half of our clerk hires my year came from people who applied via paper, one before we even opened that slot on OSCAR. Paper resumes catches people's attention in a way that an app through OSCAR cannot (they at least have to glance at it and see what it is before throwing it in the garbage). The chance that you burn a bridge by disobeying a chambers' OSCAR-only instruction seems infinitesimally small. Just apply.



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