how does symplicity bid system work?

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somewhatwayward
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how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:13 pm

the title basically says it all. i've read in a couple threads that knowing how symplicity works is important, but i went on it, and there wasn't an explanation.

timbs4339
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:11 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:the title basically says it all. i've read in a couple threads that knowing how symplicity works is important, but i went on it, and there wasn't an explanation.


Do you have a lottery or preselect system?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:31 pm

it's lottery....CLS

timbs4339
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:57 pm

1) You get 30 bids. You rank firms in order of preference, 1-30. Most of the time you can't bid on multiple offices of the same firm, for example you can't bid on Latham NY and Latham LA. You don't have to use all your bids but it is recommended you do.

The trick here is to figure out which firms are in highest demand and rank them highest, and place firms that are not going to be overbid at the bottom. The firms that will be in the highest demand will be the big, non-V10 NYC firms. So a student below median might want to rank those highest and then use some bids 20-30 on midlaw firms or smaller offices. A student right above Stone might want to do the same, but put some V10s in the bottom 20-30 bids as reaches.

2) Symplicity runs their algorithm and spits out schedules. Most people get between 15-20 screening interviews. If you concentrated your initial bids on a secondary market you might get 25-30. You get your schedule before add/drop so you can see what times are open. Usually you can see the name of your interviewer/s before OCI.

3) Add/drop is next. On August 5th (maybe wrong on this, check Symplicity) beginning at noon, you can go on to Symplicity and add any firm that did not get enough bids to fill out their interview schedules. Firms purchase screeners in batches of 20, where 20 is one room for one day of OCI. Satellite offices and midlaw firms might have just 20 screeners (some only do 10), while large NYC firms might have up to 8-10 schedules. Everyone will be doing this at the same time, so it will be a race. You usually have 2 days to add/drop- so check back periodically.

Basically add/drop is a free for all. I added 5 interviews. You can add any firm as long as you have that time open, but you are not allowed to add a firm if their only open time slots are during an interview you have unless you drop that interview. The firms available are usually a) satellite offices, b) midlaw, c) IP firms, d) foreign offices, e) very selective firms like Wachtell.

OCS will send around a list of firms that will have open times before add/drop. Make sure you a) research the firms to make sure they aren't IP firms, because a lot of IP firms often have open slots, b) make a calendar of your interviews and put it next to your computer when you are add/dropping. It just makes it easier to know when you have free time so you don't waste time rechecking.

Generally, if you have not so good grades, it's best to big the high-demand NYC firms the first go around and then try to add firms in your secondary market. Last year I bid all the firms in my secondary market at the top of my list and my NYC firms at the bottom. Many of the firms in my secondary market ended up available at add/drop. That meant I'd wasted my best bids on those firms.

Also, make sure your resume is typo-free and fully updated before you bid. OCS says you can update your resume on Symplicity before OCI. That's bullshit. The first day of OCI, a number of interviewers had a resume I had uploaded before bidding and had since reformatted and updated. Unfortunately I only caught the mistake halfway through the day. If you have to update your resume in between bidding and OCI, make sure to bring enough copies to the hotel to give one to every single interviewer, along with the ones you bring for hospitality suites.

Anonymous User
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:23 pm

I assume that where you rank a firm on your bidlist matters. Can somebody explain why?

Is it different for preselect?

As a top 10% student at a lower T1 should I rank the most in demand firms higher up?

TYIA.

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kalvano
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:53 am

What is the difference between lottery and pre-select?

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Grizz
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby Grizz » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:10 am

Generally:

Pure Lottery - symplicity algorithm assigns interviews based on how highly people rank the firms when they bid. Usually you'll just get the interview if less people bid than the number of interview slots.

Pure pre-select - you select certain firms, and the firms select you if they want to interview to you. Usually you'll just get the interview if less people bid than the number of interview slots.

Hybrid - example: 60/40 preselect/lottery. 60% of the spots are filled by preselect. The other 40% by lottery. Usually you'll just get the interview if less people bid than the number of interview slots.

Implication: Lottery requires you to anticipate which firms will be competitively bid and bid them accordingly if you want to work for them. This might get you screeners you wouldn't otherwise get based on grades. For preselect this this matters less. You may still want to select firms that are underbid, because the pool of people they have to choose from is smaller, but ultimately it's the firm's decision who they interview. Hybrid you have to keep in mind both those concerns.

Also from what I've seen, the higher ranked schools generally have some form of lottery or hybrid. Generally lower ranked schools have pre-select. Firms don't want to pay to sit through interviewing candidates that they have largely no interest in (ex: they may be only interested in the top 10% at a lower T1).
Last edited by Grizz on Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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englawyer
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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby englawyer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:11 am

where you rank a firm matters because the algorithm fills in slots based on preferences. IE it will try to give everyone their #1 choice before moving on to their #2 choice, etc. If you put a popular firm low on your list, you will lose your chance to interview because the algorithm would have filled all the slots with people that ranked it higher.

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Re: how does symplicity bid system work?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:28 am

My school is 85% preselect and 15% lottery. For a typical 20 screener firm, that means just 3 lottery spots. For that reason, at the majority of firms, unless you're in the preselect range, you don't have a shot at a slot unless you rank them 1 or 2.

Example: We have ~400 students -- at the very best firms (say the top 10-20 of the 50+ that visit) the 17 preselect slots are mainly going to go to LR. So if you're outside the top 5-10% and want to interview with a firm whose cutoffs you meet (or nearly meet), you have to bid them high, because up to 360 people (admittedly far fewer - chop off the bottom half and you still have 200-40=160 students bidding on 3x20 60 slots. If these lottery candidates spread their bids evenly among 20 firms, all of the top 20 firms will fill their lottery slots with 60 people who bid them #1. Bidding them #2 won't even get you in the drawing.

So what to make of this? At least at my school: Identify firms that you aren't sure you're going to be pre-selected for, but really want to work for and also that will reasonably consider you should you get screened (don't bid a firm that states that they require top 10% if you're not in the top 20). Then think about the number of slots they have (10, 20, 40...) and the number of OTHER students you think are likely to bid them #1. Finally, make a realistic assessment of whether you want to snag an interview at a lower firm that will have fewer students angling for the interview OR if you'd rather throw the dice for an outside chance at an interview where it'll be harder to be hired (BUT you still get the chance to blow them away if you get a lottery slot).

#2 and down at my school are irrelevant at many of the top firms, but they could matter a lot as you get towards the lower half of V100 or other NALP firms.

Caveat: This assessment holds valid under this specific set of circumstance. a 60/40 preselect/lottery system will function differently, especially for firms that have 40 or more screeners. But at my school, the #1 bid is the only valuable bid in a lot of circumstances and must be used wisely.

This analysis totally fails for students who reasonably can be expected to land pre-select interviews -- LR members with hot resumes -- many of these people can consider all their bids irrelevant, but should think hard about which firm they still want in the event they aren't selected -- at my school, Cleary only has 10 slots, where everyone else has 20+ -- so that's where I'll be bidding. Now, that means to people OUTSIDE the top 10% that even more people will be fighting for 1-2 slots -- bidding would on Cleary for someone indifferent between Cleary and Weil (and who is a reach for either) would be foolish, because Cleary will have 180 bidders for 1-2 slots and Weil will have 160 bidders for 3.




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