The Senate has confirmed Louis F. Oberdorfer as a judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, the first nominee by President Carter to fill a vacancy on that 15-member bench.

On being sworn into office, the 58-year-old Oberdorfer will succeed Judge William B. Jones, who took senor status in effect, active retirement - last March.

Since Carter nominated Oberdorfer on Sept. 16 to fill the Washington court's first vacancy since 1971, two other judges of the same court have announced their decisions to assume senior status. They are Judges Howard F. Corcoran and John J. Sirica. Their decisions will open up two more vacancies on the bench.

Oberdorfer, a resident of McLean, was assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's tax division during the Kennedy administration. He is now a member of the prestigious Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering.

Within the legal community, Oberdorfer was regarded as the top choice for the vacancy.

His nomination was delayed, however, after the White House appointed a special commission to produce names of potential replacements for Jones. After starting with a list believed to include 90 names, the commission reportedly rated Oberdorfer as its top choice.

Although the nomination itself encountered no trouble, the Senate confirmation was delayed about two weeks because of the recent filibuster over natural gas prices. With the filibuster ended, the Senate acted over the weekend.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Oberdorfer is a law graduate of Yale University.