JD Match

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Renzo
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Re: JD Match

Postby Renzo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:11 am

gwuorbust wrote:
Renzo wrote: Firms pay headhunter fees. Firms pay for OCI participation. Firms pay for callbacks. If firms aren't paying for this, then they aren't really interested.


as for firms paying for OCI, this raises an interesting point. I wonder if they pay at akl schools. I can imagine is that here at my 50ish school that fee would drive away potential firms that would hire students. I especially worry about small and mid firms. are they having to foot the same bill that large firms do, or do they normally get a break?


You're missing my point. I didn't say that I'm not paying any costs of my job search; I pay tuition, I pay printing fees for fancy resumes, I pay to look good during OCI, etc. But in every other method of recruiting, firms bear the costs. My summer firms spends $5 million a year on recruiting, so firms aren't shy about paying for things they think work. The fact that they aren't willing to bear the costs for this method indicates to me that they don't value it very highly, and that in turn indicates that it probably isn't worth paying for.

I know my school makes the firms bear all the costs of OCI, which is expensive. But even if your school is subsidizing it for the firms, it's still expensive. If an interviewer screens 20 people in a day, each of those screening interviews prorated is costing 1/20th of the travel, lodging, and food for the interviewer, plus lost billable time ($300-500/hr on the low end). This is easily more than $100 per interview, so firms are clearly willing to pay that much for a system they think works.

Renzo
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Re: JD Match

Postby Renzo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:15 am

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:

Just clear this up, firms do pay for JD Match. A lot.


That makes me feel a little better about it, actually. But it leaves the question of why students are being made to pay. I can come up with plenty of guesses, none of them are very reassuring.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: JD Match

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:18 am

Renzo wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:

Just clear this up, firms do pay for JD Match. A lot.


That makes me feel a little better about it, actually. But it leaves the question of why students are being made to pay. I can come up with plenty of guesses, none of them are very reassuring.


I tend to agree with you. Doesnt seem right for students to pay for this. At least not until it is proven to work. We'll have to see how it all works out this first year.

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Grizz
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Re: JD Match

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:19 am

I'm still not sure why this is better than a mass mail with targeted letters.

Sup Kid
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Re: JD Match

Postby Sup Kid » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:51 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:...it could switch to a contingent fee

That's the way to really do this. Have part of the registration be a contract in which a student agrees to pay $500 or like 2% of their summer salary if they get a job through JD Match. That way law students who have no shot to begin with aren't conned into needlessly spending $100, and JD Match will make a bundle down the line if it can revamp the law firm hiring process into a medical-school-like match system, as it claims it could.

timbs4339
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Re: JD Match

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:56 am

.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: JD Match

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:02 am

timbs4339 wrote:Does anyone know how the service will work for 3Ls? Are any big firms considering 3Ls through this?

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: JD Match

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:04 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
lovelaw27 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:What firms do they have?


Around 90 of the vault 100 the last time I checked, and more than 200 firms total, including all of the v25s.

You have no evidence of this and you know it.

Look, Bruce is a bright guy, and he is well respected for his knowledge of law firm economics. But that does not mean that his website will help anybody actually get a job they would not have through mass mailing, for the reasons I gave above.

For those of you who are fans of The Wire, JD Match strikes me a little like Clay Davis. "A guy says, if you pay him, he can make it rain. You pay him. If and when it rains, he takes the credit. If and when it doesn't, he finds reasons for you to pay him more." Full clip here.

Don't get played like Stringer Bell did.


Yeah, there are nowhere close to 200 firms. They allow you to rank that many firms, but not all of them are signed up (more like 5-10%). It seems a little deceptive.

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Grizz
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Re: JD Match

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:05 am

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Yeah, there are nowhere close to 200 firms. They allow you to rank that many firms, but not all of them are signed up (more like 5-10%). It seems a little deceptive.


So you signed up?

run26.2
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Re: JD Match

Postby run26.2 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:07 am

What would be helpful would be if the psychological evaluation could be given to prospective students before they entered law school. Then they could weed out the students that would make "bad lawyers" at the outset. Of course, that would upset the law school racket.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: JD Match

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:10 am

rad law wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Yeah, there are nowhere close to 200 firms. They allow you to rank that many firms, but not all of them are signed up (more like 5-10%). It seems a little deceptive.


So you signed up?


Yep.

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Grizz
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Re: JD Match

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:13 am

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
rad law wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Yeah, there are nowhere close to 200 firms. They allow you to rank that many firms, but not all of them are signed up (more like 5-10%). It seems a little deceptive.


So you signed up?


Yep.


So like twenty firms? Whoa. Are any of them already at your OCI?

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: JD Match

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:18 am

rad law wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
rad law wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Yeah, there are nowhere close to 200 firms. They allow you to rank that many firms, but not all of them are signed up (more like 5-10%). It seems a little deceptive.


So you signed up?


Yep.


So like twenty firms? Whoa. Are any of them already at your OCI?


It's less than that from what I understand. And yeah, I would have had access to about half of them.

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gwuorbust
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Re: JD Match

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:24 am

edit: thoughts changed based on Bruce's answers
Last edited by gwuorbust on Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grizz
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Re: JD Match

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:25 am

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:It's less than that from what I understand. And yeah, I would have had access to about half of them.


I guess this lends credence to what GTL Rev was saying earlier. It might be good if you otherwise didn't have the access or the opportunity, but if you're from a school that people know, it's not so useful.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: JD Match

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:54 am

rad law wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:It's less than that from what I understand. And yeah, I would have had access to about half of them.


I guess this lends credence to what GTL Rev was saying earlier. It might be good if you otherwise didn't have the access or the opportunity, but if you're from a school that people know, it's not so useful.


I agree. It serves a useful purpose for the niche student population who have top grades at schools where firms are not participating in OCI or off campus programs. Someone, say, in the top 3% at Indiana might be able to snag a callback at a SF/NYC firm that they otherwise could only contact via mailers. At least this way they'll actually get looked at rather than thrown into the shit pile with the other thousand applicants who email the recruiter.

For the other 99.9% of the law school population, I don't see it paying off.

BruceMacEwen
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Re: JD Match

Postby BruceMacEwen » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:07 pm

Hi, all: Bruce MacEwen here, President of JD Match and also founder of Adam Smith, Esq. (more about me at: http://www.adamsmithesq.com/about/).

Thanks for the spirited discussion. Just a few points:

My partner Janet Stanton and I started JD Match first and foremost to help students.

We all know firms will basically do fine and schools don’t visibly seem to be hurting just yet either; but when we see train wrecks like two classes piling on top of each other during the great recession we were motivated to try to begin to bring some order, transparency, and efficiency to the OCI process—which pretty much everyone involved admits is dysfunctional.

A fundamental premise of JD Match is that we work entirely alongside conventional recruiting efforts. We provide an additional overlay on top of traditional OCI and everything else you’re already doing and should be doing. We replace nothing; we only give you more options. From that perspective, why would you not be interested in JD Match?

Why have we been asking students to pay? First off, firms are paying too, handsomely—make no mistake! They have real skin in the game. But the strong consensus of advice we got was that firms wanted students to take JD Match seriously as well and therefore wanted it to cost something, not nothing. That said, we are offering substantial discounts (up to half off--$49 not $99) and incentives such as the gift cards you’ve heard about, in order to encourage you all to join. In the larger context of what’s at stake, our prices are extremely modest.

A few specifics.

“Ponzi scheme?”

Nothing could be more mistaken (or, frankly, hurtful to hear). We are serious people working very hard to offer something to improve a broken market. But second, trying to game this market would be an instant career-ender for us. Both Janet and I have serious reputations to protect, particularly among AmLaw 100 and Global 50 firms: Abusing that trust would represent insanity on our part.

Actually, the reality is a lot simpler: JD Match benefits from network effects. The more students who belong the more valuable it is to firms and vice versa.

And yes, this is Year 1 for us. That’s why we need to encourage everyone we possibly can to sign up. Is it a challenge? Obviously. Are we applying every tool we can bring to bear to it? You bet—and if you have other ideas, please let me know (bmacewen at jdmatch dot com).

I said we started JD Match primarily to help students and we did.

How so?

First, JD Match can help you be discovered by more firms, including firms that haven’t visited your campus, interviewed you, or even know you exist.

Second, JD Match can give you timely, unfiltered market information throughout OCI about which firms are truly most interested in you: We’ll be running the matching algorithm once a week from early August through mid-September, and a few more times after that.

Third, after OCI is all over we’ll be running an entirely separate, second algorithm which is a recommendation engine (a la Amazon’s “we have recommendations for you”). This algorithm will automatically draw up a composite profile of students law firm X ranked highly, find other—unmatched—students resembling that profile, and present them to the firm to handle as they see fit. One last chance, as it were, for those without offers after OCI is all over.

Any guarantees?

Obviously, not, as many of you have remarked here. No more than going to law school in the first place guarantees anything, or applying for anything guarantees acceptance.

But JD Match is one more suite of options on top of everything you’re already doing. Have you really got so much to lose by trying it?

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thesealocust
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Re: JD Match

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:16 pm

BruceMacEwen, you have $100 to lose by trying it.

For $100 I can email an unlimited number of cover letters and resumes, or send a few hundred resumes with nice printing. Every time a firm receives such a letter, it gets considered - many people I know have received interviews and jobs that way. So a firm can know you exist, without attending OCI, if you write them a letter saying "I exist!"

It works, and it's cheap.

In a world where there might be legal jobs for two thirds of recent graduates it's obvious that presenting a service based on algorithms and matching and med school models (remember kids, they all get jobs!) is going to attract a lot of attention. Because people are scared, and people are desperate. So good job, you've found a strong market to fleece.

To see you bragging about how much you are also charging firms for your completely untested 'service' is revolting.

Anonymous User
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Re: JD Match

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:39 pm

Bruce- thanks for signing up. A few questions for you...

1. How many firms have signed up for JD Match so far? I'm not asking for specific names, but a specific number would be helpful.

2. How many students have signed up for JD Match so far?

3. When is the first match date set for?

4. For those students who signed up at full price, will you be refunding the difference between the $99 and the $49 discounted price?

Thanks!

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gwuorbust
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Re: JD Match

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:00 pm

Bruce. Thanks for answering questions. I am highly intrigued with your product and think it has potential. At this time, however, I do not know how I could recommend it to anyone when there are less than 20 firms signed up. What are your plans to sign up more firms? Aggressive marketing?

Second, will you recommend firms to students based on where they will most likely be placed? aka, if I'm median will the system recommend against Skadden and for a lower ranked firms? Or is it totally up to the user to assess how he/she should rank bids?

keg411
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Re: JD Match

Postby keg411 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:31 pm

I'd be concerned about what the above poster who signed up said -- while a lot of firms appear to be looking at the service, only an extremely small number seem to be participating and most of them are available via OCI (or at least OCI at the top tier schools). It sounds like something that could be helpful for top-ranked students at schools where the firms don't do OCI, but even then, that's still putting $100 in hopes that the firms actually look at you -- when you could do the same thing through a cheap/free targeted mailing.

BruceMacEwen
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Re: JD Match

Postby BruceMacEwen » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:14 pm

Hi, Bruce here again:

Thanks, all, for your thoughts; we really appreciate your interest and suggestions.

Couple of quick responses:

(1) Can mass resume mailings work? Would we recommend them? Absolutely and positively. In this economic environment you should use every tool at your disposal. (And no, you didn't need me to tell you that.) What JD Match adds to the mix is the ability of firms to search for you online from their desktop or anywhere; it's one more way, and hardly the only way, for them to find you.

(2) Have we considered a screening process for student members? No, for a few reasons. First, our philosophy is that no one knows better than you what's in your own self-interest. We don't second-guess. Second, even if we wanted to screen, where to draw the line? The example offered (bottom 10% at Cooley, no job experience) is at one far end of the distribution curve for sure, but where on that curve do we draw the line saying, "Not good enough"? So much of hiring is subjective, as we all know.

(3) (Related): Contingent/success fee pricing? Yes, thought about this and rejected it. Again, our philosophy is that we stay religiously out of the offer/acceptance decision-making process and we feared a success fee model would raise suspicions that we favored Clearly Hot Property students. We don't, never will, and can't afford to raise suspicions otherwise.

(4) (Also related): Will we recommend firms to students (or students to firms, for that matter)? No, it's at odds with our business model. The essence of our model is we provide a clearinghouse or marketplace, if you will, for students and firms to find each other based on mutually expressed preferences and a lot more. What happens next is entirely between you and the firm.

Besides, we think it would be extremely presumptuous of us to tell student X "don't waste your time with Skadden" when we don't know student X and haven't met them. That's really the job of the law school's career counselors (hopefully) and readily available information sites like Vault and, yes TLS. For us to attempt that would put us in a different business.

(5) How many firms/students have we got signed up? Given that we just launched in May, we've made progress: We have a handful of AmLaw 20's and some AmLaw 20-100's. We're acutely aware it's not nearly enough and we're working 24/7 on increasing those numbers. "Aggressive" would understate our efforts on this front. There is absolutely nothing more important to me and Janet at the moment than building our membership, on both sides of the table. (And yes, since you asked, having more student members is something the firms find very attractive--network effects, again.)

(6) The first match will run the week of August 1. We'll run it weekly thereafter through mid-September and probably every other week after that to the conclusion of OCI in late October.

(7) Nobody asked this directly but it's a theme: Will JD Match be more beneficial to elite students and firms or to middle of the pack students and firms?

Fascinating question because opinion is split right down the middle on this. We believe both groups will benefit, albeit in rather different ways. The elite will find out which elite counterparts are really interested in them, while the middle of the pack firms will be able to (a) discover desirable students in ways that currently don't exist; and (b) use nearly real-time market information to refine and guide their choices, focusing on matches likely to be deemed mutually desirable.

Thanks again for all your thoughtful responses.

Renzo
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Re: JD Match

Postby Renzo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:53 pm

Bruce,

I appreciate your willingness to join the conversation. While I'm not in the "ponzi scheme" camp, I do have some doubts about the model that wold prevent me from parting with $100.

I'm not sure that the comparison with Medical Resident Matching program is apt. Medicine as a labor market has two features that law doesn't, and they are important to making the NMRM work: (1) there are roughly as many jobs as applicants and (2) everyone takes the same board exam. (2) makes it easier for applicants to realistically gauge their chances at various programs, while (1) prevents programs from being as absurdly prestige-obsessed and capricious as law firms can afford to be, given the glut of newly-minted JDs.

Additionally, if the program depends on a network effect to be successful, why are you charging early adopters $100? It seems like a sure-fire way to exclude the highest-value candidates, which in turn seems like the best way to deter the highest-value firms from participation. Why not reach out to the career service offices at top schools and offer free enrollment to OCI strikeouts, or give free membership to students at lower-tier schools who "book" exams? That seems, to me, to be the way to build a network (and get some testimonials in the process).

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thesealocust
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Re: JD Match

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:09 pm

The first time ponzi scheme was mentioned was in Bruce's own post. I mentioned pyramid scheme earlier in the thread, because that's what I think of when I hear that if you pay $100 and convince somebody else to pay $100 you might get $20 (...in giftcard form) back. A lot of people have picked up on Bruce's use of the word ponzi, but nobody has actually leveled that accusation.

Bruce:

Why won't you tell anybody how many firms are signed up? Nothing could be more important to a prospective applicant, and seeing words like "some" and "handful" just make it look like you're trying to dodge the question. If you're trying to fix a system, isn't transparency exactly what you should be providing? Who are you expecting to pay you $100 for an unknown number of jobs, and an unknown ratio of job seekers to available jobs? Network effects is a great buzzword, but even if you have 100 firms that won't do much good to an applicant if you have 20,000 job seekers.

Which, for the record, is the problem the industry currently faces. There are on the order of 50,000 law school graduates each year and on the order of 5,000 summer positions available at large law firms each year.

You claim that JD Match adds value above sending a firm a resume, but you never suggested how. Under what scenario would JD Match result in an increased chance of finding a job with a firm over sending a resume and requesting an interview? In both instances the firm is made aware of my existence and interests. In both instances the firm makes a decision based on its hiring needs and the information presented about me. W

09042014
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Re: JD Match

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:17 pm

What happens when you get matched anyway? It seems like they are just charging 100 bucks to tell me that Nixon Peabody really wants me. Then what? I gotta send them a resume? And you only give me 1 lead?

And it's all set up after we bid for OCI. So that means I gotta bid on firms I want anyway. Making it completely worthless.




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