A few frequently asked questions:
What is the difference between OSCAR and CARS?
CARS is UVA’s internal system for organizing letters of recommendation. All students who are using faculty recommenders must put their ENTIRE judge list (including OSCAR judges) on CARS by July 28th. This allows the faculty to see a complete list of judges to whom you are applying and allows the secretaries to generate paper letters of recommendation for those judges that require it.
OSCAR is an online information clearinghouse administered by Symplicity on behalf of the Administrative Office of the US Courts. It allows judges to disseminate information about available clerkships and tell students how to apply for them. OSCAR also enables federal judges to accept online applications if they would like to do so. Students who are applying to judges who accept online applications need to create draft applications on OSCAR in addition to adding those judges to their CARS lists. Draft applications on OSCAR will be due by August 8th (exceptions will be made for judges on your CARS list who open online positions after that date)
How do I “read” the judge information on OSCAR?
All federal judges have the option of registering on OSCAR to share clerkship information, but not every federal judge has done so.
Greyed-out judges have not registered on OSCAR. These judges have provided no information about their hiring practices. Students can either assume that the judges are hiring and send paper applications, or they can call chambers to ask about potential openings.
Available judges (tagged with a green Available) are judges who have posted an open position. These judges are accepting either paper applications (marked with a mailbox) or online applications (marked with a globe).
Judges who have posted a profile to OSCAR but have not posted an open position are presumed by OSCAR to be not hiring. If we have received confirmation that these judges are not hiring for 2012, we have marked this information in CARS and you will not be able to request letters for that judge. Otherwise, we have marked those judges as “status unknown” in CARS. If you believe that a judge without a posted position is hiring for 2012 (if, for example, the judge’s status has not been updated since last year), we encourage you to contact chambers to ask about the judge’s status. We will continue to update the information in CARS as we receive updates from OSCAR or from the judges' chambers.
When can judges view online OSCAR applications?
Regardless of when you finalize your applications, OSCAR will not release it to the judges until September 6th. Therefore, there is no reason to rush and get your online applications done, as they will not be viewable by judges until after Labor Day.