Law Clerk Hiring: OSCAR: Online System for Clerkship Application and Review

Notice of Adoption of the New Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan
March 2018

The Seventh Circuit has adopted the new Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, as set out below:

Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan

Starting with students who entered law school in 2017, the application and hiring process will not begin until after a law student’s second year.

For students who entered law school in 2018 (graduating class of 2021): Judges will not seek or accept formal or informal clerkship applications, seek or accept formal or informal recommendations, conduct formal or informal interviews, or make formal or informal offers before June 15, 2020.

A judge who makes a clerkship offer will keep it open for at least 48 hours, during which time the applicant will be free to interview with other judges.

This is a two-year pilot plan. Participating judges will reconsider their participation after June 2020. A copy of the plan is posted on the OSCAR website at


Like chambers clerks, staff law clerks conduct legal research and recommend dispositions on a broad spectrum of cases.

In contrast to chambers clerks, they work for all the judges of the court, attend conferences at which three-judge panels deliberate and resolve cases, and assist the judges in resolving substantive motions that address complex questions of procedure or seek preliminary relief.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is accepting applications for staff law clerkships that start in August 2022 and last two years.

Applicants may now begin uploading their applications to OSCAR. Applications will be reviewed beginning in mid-June, 2021 in accordance with the Federal Clerkship Hiring Plan. Interviews will begin in July 2021, and we expect to finish extending offers about six weeks later.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript or grade sheet, two self-edited writing samples containing fact and case analysis, and two letters of recommendation. We accept applications through OSCAR.

OSCAR is the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review at