The application process is explained in detail in the Judicial Clerkship Handbook and Appendices. You will have access to these materials once you’ve completed the steps below. The Clerkship Committee recommends that you follow the timeline outlined in the handbook, though you may start the process at any time throughout the year.
Please note: Stanford Law School uses Box (an online file sharing and cloud content management service) to track your Letters of Recommendation. This is also where you’ll have access to the clerkship handbook, appendices and other useful resources.
To get started:
- Fill out the “Intent to Apply for Clerkships” form*. After submitting the form, a Student Clerkship Folder will be created for you in Stanford Box and you will receive an email notification when your account has been created. This will start your application process.
- Sign up for the Clerkship Listserv to receive announcements and information pertaining to the clerkship application process* (you may want to use a non-SLS email address to continue to receive announcements post-graduation).
- Read the Judicial Clerkship Handbook cover to cover. Access to the handbook (and other resources) is granted once you’ve completed step one of this process and your alumni status has been verified.
*We will need to confirm your alumni status before processing your request.
Alumni Application Resources
Current appropriations law prohibits the use of appropriated funds to pay the compensation of any employee of the U.S. federal government where the duty location is in the continental U.S. unless such person:
- is a U.S. citizen;
- is a person who owes allegiance to the U.S. (i.e., nationals of American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and nationals who meet other requirements described in 8 U.S.C. 1408);
- is a person admitted as a refugee or granted asylum who has filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or
- is a lawful permanent resident who is seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)(B).
The appropriations law requirements apply to anyone appointed into a paid position within the judiciary in the continental U.S. The appropriations law requirements do not apply to employees with a duty station in Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, nor do the requirements apply to unpaid volunteers. Judiciary offices must obtain concurrence from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Office of General Counsel, to appoint an individual who is not a U.S. citizen. In addition to the above appropriations law, The United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), mandates all federal government agencies in the continental U.S. comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) which states that federal government agencies must hire only U.S. citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. All individuals appointed by a judiciary office must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) certifying their eligibility to work in the U.S.
To find a court location, use the United State Courts' interactive map.
The Symplicity clerkship database includes all federal court judges (and some state court judges). Use this database for the following:
- basic research on judges such as a judge’s hiring practices and preferences, former clerks, contact information, etc.
- to find Interview Evaluations and Clerkship Evaluations
- to create your mail merge files
Use the OSCAR database to:
- find out which judges are hiring
- find out how to apply (e.g. in OSCAR, by mail, via email etc.)
- submit your applications online
- find out about a judge’s hiring criteria and what to submit
Due to limited resources and time constraints, SLS does not prepare or upload LORs from recommenders not affiliated with Stanford Law School. OCS has prepared materials to help you work with outside recommenders to prepare, merge, and upload or mail their LORs.
For paper letters of recommendation (LORs) from outside recommenders:
- Create an Excel mail merge file of the judges for whom you need paper LORs and email it to your outside recommenders along with the mail merging instructions and cover letter template found in your Judicial Clerkship Application Tools folder in Box.
For OSCAR letters of recommendation (LORs) from outside recommenders:
- You must first create a draft application in OSCAR in order for your outside recommenders to receive an email notice with his/her username and password.
- Email your recommenders the OSCAR cover letter template found in your Judicial Clerkship Application Tools folder in Box along with a link to the OSCAR website. Once signed in, they'll be able to use the Resources tab towards the top of the screen. The Resources tab provides access to tip sheets and video tutorials on how to perform certain functions.
- OSCAR Technical Support is also available to you and your outside recommenders Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST at 1-866-666-2120. OSCAR also provides online help available on the Help tab located toward the top of the screen.
The forms and instructions below can be used to start your application process. Please note: all other application templates will only be available to you in your Judicial Clerkship Application Tools folder in Box. Your Box account is created soon after you submit your "Intent to Apply for Clerkships" form.
Fillable Forms and Instructions