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Applicant Resources

Use these links to jump-start your application process.

Register in Symplicity as “Clerkship Active”
Get email notices about programs, events, and judicial clerkship job opportunities. You can also sign up for appointments with a clerkships adviser.

Online System for Clerkship Application and Review
If you’re interested in a federal clerkship, register with OSCAR, the federal clerkship job database. 

Registration required. Here, you’ll find exclusive content such as judge lists and our Columbia Clerks Directory. Please reach out to [email protected] for access to the page. 


Law Library LibGuide for Researching Judges
Information about a judge's past legal and educational background, their prior decisions and current cases, and the types of cases they most frequently hear can help as you create your judge list and prepare for interviews. There are many useful database features and resources available to you as Columbia Law students to help you research judges.

Leadership Connect
Provides useful biographical information about federal and state judges. Due to licensing restrictions, you can only log on automatically from a computer connected to the Columbia network. To access Leadership Connect remotely, please use the virtual library link and log in with your UNI.

Federal Judiciary Website
Contains extensive information about the federal court system, including descriptions of various Article III courts, federal salary tables, a description of the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan, and information about judicial vacancies, nominations, and confirmations.

Federal Judicial Center
Contains biographies of federal judges, as well as descriptions of various federal courts.

Senate Nominations Website
Current listings of recent judicial nominations and confirmations. Click on “Civilian Nominations” pending or confirmed.

Alliance for Justice: Judicial Selection Project
Generate various reports about the federal judiciary. You can create a report of, for example, judges appointed by a particular president, or the demographics of judges on a particular court.

Federal Administrative Law Judges' Post Graduate Clerkship Hiring Information 
A summary of information from various Office of Administrative Law Judges within federal agencies regarding post-graduate clerkship hiring.

Vermont Law School Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures 
Detailed application guidelines for all of the state court systems in the United States. This “Access the Guide” site is password protected. Please contact judicial [email protected] for the CLS login credential.

A digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections at all levels of government.


Diversity on the Federal Bench
The lists in this section provided by the FJC display all current and former federal judges in certain demographic categories. The categories shown here can be combined with other criteria, including court, nominating president, and commission date, using the advanced search feature of the Biographical Directory of Article III Judges.

Just the Beginning Foundation 
Celebrates diversity within the federal judiciary. Contains information about programming as well as lists of African American, Asian American, Latinx American, Native American, and female judges in the federal judiciary.

WEBINAR: Law Clerks Who Look Like the People—Clerkship Tips for Law Students of Color
Webinar on the unique barriers that law students of color might experience when considering clerking and how to overcome them. Sponsored by the Equal Justice Society, California ChangeLawyers, and American Constitution 


Clerkship Recommendation Form
Fill this out before asking for recommendations!  It will provide recommenders with the information they need to draft meaningful and compelling recommendations.

Confidentiality Waiver Form
You must submit an executed waiver form to OJC ([email protected]) for each recommendation letter before OJC or Faculty Support will process your clerkship application.  Failure to submit a waiver may delay the processing of your recommendation letters.

Applicants must coordinate their letters of recommendation (or “LORs”) directly with their faculty recommenders and respective assistants. You may find a faculty’s assistant (or “FA”) on the CLS website.  For all Adjunct Faculty, Dawn Moore ([email protected]) provides adjunct LOR support. 

  • Non-CLS affiliated recommenders, such as internship supervisors or former or current employers (including judges, law firm partners, etc.) should contact OJC for assistance with preparing and submitting their letters through OSCAR, email or paper.  However, they may also submit their LORs independent of OJC.

As a reminder, FAs, not OJC, update and create LORs and, when applicable, directly upload them into OSCAR.  OJC, in turn, will process paper and email LORs in coordination with FAs. OJC works closely with FAs on LORs. FAs are highly familiar with the clerkships process, and are valuable allies to applicants in their efforts. 


Steps to Take for Sending in Applications:

  1. Email OJC at [email protected] with the following information: (1) whether you are a 3L or an alum, (2) that you will be applying for clerkships, (3) the names of your recommenders and (4) your signed Confidentiality Waiver Form. Please also register as a clerkship applicant in the Clerkships module on Symplicity.
  2. Submit to your recommenders the materials necessary for them to write letters of recommendation. Each recommender will need the following materials (and any others they require) at least a few weeks in advance of when you need them to complete their letters of recommendation:
  • A judge list (see the Mail Merge Files section on Courseworks). Although your list of judges will likely change over time, it is helpful for a recommender to have a sense of where you plan to apply.
  • A copy of your resume and transcript; and
  • A Personal Statement (Clerkship Recommendation Form) that highlights helpful information about your candidacy for your recommenders. The form located in Courseworks asks for information that will help recommenders write the strongest possible letter for you.
  • You should also ask your recommenders if you can provide any additional sources to aid in their drafting of your letter, such as your writing sample.

  1. Follow the instructions on Symplicity to create mail merge files including the judges to whom you will be applying (with separate tabs for paper, email and OSCAR judges) and send those files to your recommenders’ faculty assistants and OJC. If you are using different recommenders for different judges, you must provide OJC with a list showing which recommenders go with which judges. Since your judge list is likely to evolve over time, please make sure that you send new merge files for each new group of judges to whom you are applying.

  2. Submit your paper and email applications as single PDF files per judge containing your application materials along with your mail merge file to OJC at [email protected], and include in your email the email address to which the application should be sent and any other special instructions. Please allow at least 3 business days from receipt of LORs from FAs for OJC to process them to Chambers. Please remember to sign your cover letters.


Create a Mail Merge File Using Symplicity 
This document explains how to use the clerkship module in Symplicity to create a merge file (“Merge File”) and compose merged cover letters and envelope labels. You may also want to download a Cover Letter Template. If you cannot find the judge through the Symplicity clerkship module, download a Mail Merge Template and fill in the appropriate information, which can be found on Leadership Connect. If you are applying to the Supreme Court, download a SCOTUS Mail Merge Template.  As a reminder, you must complete your Merge File(s) prior to sharing with your recommender's assistant or the Secretariat, as applicable. Please see our tips for working with Faculty Recommender Assistants for best practices.

If you are a clerkship applicant seeking a post-graduate international clerkship opportunity, please contact the Office of International Programs.   

This guide is an initial reference for Columbia Law School students exploring options for a temporary, post-graduate clerkship or similar position with a foreign court, international tribunal, or international organization. It is not meant to be exhaustive, either with regard to a particular position or the organizations where such positions may be available. Content is drawn from the listed entities’ websites and is periodically revised as new information becomes available.

Download the PDF guide.