JD Match: An idea whose time is long overdue
It is no secret that the current system of hiring law students is seriously flawed. For years, law firms, law students, and law schools alike have decried a chaotic and frustrating process—a source of high anxiety for all parties.
Enter JD Match, an idea whose time many thought would never come.
Finally, a more rational process
JD Match builds on the current recruiting process, using an advanced algorithm to optimize the preferences of member firms and member candidates. The algorithm matches firms’ preferred students with students’ preferred firms, maximizing both parties’ chances for a strong, lasting relationship.
JD Match is not a replacement for the existing system. It’s an enhancement. It complies with—and complements—all applicable NALP and school guidelines, improving results across the board.
How it works
JD Match is an online membership service open to all law firms, law students (1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls and judicial clerks) and law schools. A key benefit of membership is participation in the Match Days that occur during OCI.
Leading up to each Match Day:
• Firms specify the number of slots they have available
• Firms rank the students they’d most like to hire, in order of preference
• Students rank the firms they’d most like to work for, in their order of preference
On each Match Day, the JD Match algorithm compares the firms' preferences for students with the students' preferences for firms, giving both firms and students their best chance of arranging a preferred hiring situation.
Other ways to connect
With the understanding that firms can never know every student or visit every school, JD Match offers three additional features designed to make firms aware of desirable candidates they might otherwise miss:
• JD Reach allows firms to specify general characteristics desired in candidates (school tier, GPA, LSAT, language proficiency, etc.), then identifies all student members who meet those criteria
• JD Guide lets firms know which students ranked them highly, allowing both firms and students to focus on their most promising opportunities
• JD Recommends gives firms and students a “second shot” at finding each other, once OCI is over, using a different algorithm to compare the attributes of unmatched member students with the needs of member firms
Credit where credit is due
JD Match owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the underlying intellectual insight and the ceaselessly inspiring personal support of Ashish Nanda, Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School as well as being Faculty Director of Executive Education and Research Director at the Program on the Legal Profession and the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry.
Ashish was one of the first to write convincingly of potential mechanisms to improve the dysfunctional law student recruiting marketplace; we have followed where he led.
If you have been waiting for a more rational way to go through the law student/law firm recruiting process, this is your chance. Go to the JD Match Signup Page right now
The robust JD Match algorithm can generate a wide range of recruiting data that has never before been available.
From this data comes JD Reports, which provide entirely new types of reports that firms and schools can use to track their progress and refine their strategies. Firms can know, among other things, how well they fared against their competition—which firms they lost candidates to and which firms they bested. Law schools can track their students’ progress online over the course of OCI, and can help them adjust their strategies based on real-time information.
Over time, as historical data is acquired, JD Reports will grow in scope, sophistication, and its ability to spot trends,
Matches, not mismatches
Under any recruiting system, the consequences of a mismatch are inevitably costly, to both the firm and the new associate. JD Match reduces the likelihood of such a mismatch by delivering real-time market information that allows firms and students to more accurately assess their marketability and adjust their expectations accordingly.
The algorithm brings a new transparency to the process, helping both parties focus on their more likely matches—the ones with the best chance of succeeding.
JD Match is brought to you by Bruce MacEwen and Janet Stanton, who are also the two people behind Adam Smith, Esq., one of the most widely read online publications in the legal industry, and a consultancy addressing the economics of law firms including strategy, finance, compensation, cultural considerations, leadership, and more.
It's easy to become a JD Match member. At Signup, here is what you do: