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In September 1993 the Judicial Conference of the United States unanimously adopted the following resolution:

The Judicial Conference recognizes as the Benchmark Starting Date for clerkship interviews March 1 of the year preceding the year in which the clerkship begins.

As submitted to the Judicial Conference, the resolution contained the following explanatory note:

The Benchmark Starting Date is not meant to be binding. The Conference expects that judges will make a good faith effort not to interview candidates before that date, but special circumstances might sometimes call for an earlier interview. This Benchmark Starting Date will be made known to the law schools, with the suggestion that faculties be urged not to transmit letters of recommendation until approximately February 1, which is about the time when third semester grades are available. The suggestion will also be made that law schools advise students that they are not obliged to accept the first offer tendered (there being widespread confusion on this point).

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