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FAQ/SUPPORT: General

Contents
What is JD Match?

How is JD Match different versus the historical way firms hire?

What are the benefits of JD Match?

What does JD Match offer outside recruiting season and OCI?

How does the match algorithm work?

What is JD Reach?

What is JD Guide?

In JD Guide, what does it mean when you say a student ranked us highly?

What is JD Recommends?

What are JD Reports?

How does JD Match change the dynamics of the recruiting process?

Isn’t this like the medical student matching system?

Can JD Match provide advice specific to firms or students?

Does JD Match cover public sector jobs or judicial internships?

Can 1Ls join JD Match?

Can 3Ls join JD Match?

How does JD Match help recent grads who are jobless?

What happens on Match Days?

How will we be informed of matches?

What if we don’t fill all our seats on a Match Day?

Are members obligated to make or accept offers if they are matched?

How long must offers remain open?

What are Adam Smith’s credentials to run JD Match?

How do we know the system isn’t rigged?

What guarantees does JD Match offer?

Does JD Match favor top-tier firms or schools?

How does JD Match intersect with on-campus interviews?

How will this process affect call back interviews?

Who can access which pages?

Who can see rankings?

How can our firm access student pages?

What are important due dates?

How do I sign into JD Match?

What security precautions has JD Match taken to protect our information?

Are firms or students under any obligation as a result of membership in JD Match?

What is JD Match?

JD Match, LLC is an independent company dedicated to improving the process of recruiting law students into law firms through an online suite of services. We have developed and implemented new processes, such as a centralized matching algorithm and other services to help drive a more rational, efficient and effective recruiting process. This provides firms, students and schools a more orderly overlay that integrates with current practices. JD Match is presented by Adam Smith, Esq., an acknowledged thought leader in the legal sector, although the two firms are legally unaffiliated.

How is JD Match different versus the historical way firms hire?

First of all, JD Match works within and along side the current hiring system. Nothing about that changes. Firms and students conduct on-campus interviews, and do all their other research, including sending and screening unsolicited resumés or whatever else you’ve done, the same as always.

What JD Match introduces to the mix that’s new are additional services to help firms find students they otherwise wouldn’t find today and new ways for students to communicate their interest in firms, and details of their own background and experience, to firms.

In short, JD Match fully integrates with current hiring practices; we provide additional resources and services to optimize more effective hiring.

What are the benefits of JD Match?

The Matching Algorithm

Match Day will occur several times during the fall 2011 on-campus interview season starting in August and running through October. Multiple Match Days will serve two purposes: First, to give firms and students regularly updated, real-time market feedback as they learn more about each other and refine their rankings, and second to accommodate different law school schedules.

We have a great deal of flexibility on how frequently we schedule Match Days. For example, they could run as frequently as once a week, certainly at the outset of OCI in August and early September.

Two Other Services to Help Firms Discover Potential Candidates

JD Match offers two new and efficient ways for firms to discover candidates firms don’t know, but who closely resemble students firms have expressed interest in. This also provides greater visibility of student candidates to firms and improves the likelihood that schools will place more of their students.

#1: JD Reach

First, during OCI, firms can specify certain criteria they find desirable (LSAT, tier of law school, tier of undergraduate college or university, etc.) We will be able to identify students within JD Match with those or similar characteristics and provide this list to each member firm. Firms have the option of reaching out to these candidates.

#2: JD Recommends

Second, at the end of OCI we run an entirely separate algorithm we call JD Recommends. This automatically analyzes the profiles of students each firm has identified as preferred and draws up a composite profile. The algorithm then searches the student membership of JD Match to find other students closely resembling students each firm expressed interest in.

Increased Transparency

Finally, JD Match provides a high degree of transparency in that we can let law firms know which students ranked them highly. This allows firms and students to focus their energies on opportunities more likely to lead to a match. We call this JD Guide.

There are no analogues to JD Reach, JD Recommends and JD Guide in traditional recruiting practices.

What does JD Match offer outside recruiting season and OCI?

Using the data generated by our system, we will be able to provide new types of reports to firms that will help them refine their recruiting strategies. Using aggregated, data, we can tell firms how they fared versus their competition; which firms they lose candidates to and which firms they best, as well as their yield by law school, and other performance metrics. Over time, we’ll be able to identify trends as our historical databases develop.

These new offerings called JD Reports are available after OCI.
JD Match also provides insights into recruiting issues and trends from credentialed 3rd parties as well as sharing our knowledge and insights on legal recruiting.
Other elements that appeal to firms, students and schools will be continually added and updated. We will continue to be in conversations with those three constituencies as to what they would find valuable.

How does the match algorithm work?

One core offering of JD Match is a sophisticated and proprietary algorithm which matches students with firms based on which firms students say they want to work for most and which students firms say they most want to hire.

This is a preference-based algorithm. Its premise is that students and firms are each in the best position to determine what’s in their own self interest.

The algorithm examines students’ ranked preferences for firms and firms’ ranked preferences for students and pairs students with the firm they ranked highest that also expressed a preference for that student, and which has an available slot. To elaborate:
The pairings require mutual interest. Your firm won’t match with a student that didn’t put you on their list and students you didn’t put on your list won’t be paired with your firm.
The students your firm will be matched with are those students who: (a) expressed a preference for your firm and (b) were not matched with a firm they ranked more highly, either because that firm had no interest in them or that firm filled all its available slots with students it ranked more highly.

Match Day will occur several times during the fall 2011 on-campus interview season starting in August and running through October. Multiple Match Days will serve two purposes: First, to give firms and students regularly updated, real-time market feedback as they learn more about each other and refine their rankings, and second to accommodate different law school schedules.

We have a great deal of flexibility on how frequently we schedule Match Days. For example, they could run as frequently as once a week, certainly at the outset of OCI in August and early September.

What is JD Reach?

The reality is that your firm can’t visit every law school or meet every law student. What if you’re missing potentially valuable candidates? Until now, that’s just reality. But maybe it doesn’t have to be.

JD Reach, a unique offering from JD Match, allows firms to efficiently extend their reach to a wider audience of potentially desirable candidates. It is simple to take advantage of this. During recruiting season, you can specify the characteristics of law students you find attractive (tier of law school, GPA, LSAT, language fluency, etc.) and we can identify for you all students within JD Match who fit those criteria. We leave it to you whether you choose to reach out to these candidates; they will not be informed whether they have been included on these lists.

What is JD Guide?

During OCI, firms can learn which students ranked them highly. This will allow firms and students to focus on opportunities that are more likely to lead to a match – and a match that will more likely stand the test of time.

This results from the fact that having a centralized, online service enables us to provide information not previously available, enabling JD Match to help drive further efficiencies and transparency in law student recruiting.

In JD Guide what does it mean when you say a student ranked a firm highly?

“Ranked highly” is a relative measure of interest that a student has for a firm versus other firms they have ranked. As some students may rank many or fewer firms, the algorithm has established protocols that will determine which firms each student has ranked highly.

What is JD Recommends?

After the OCI season ends, JD Recommends will automatically identify unmatched students who have similar characteristics to the students you ranked as desirable. Firms have the option of reaching out to these candidates.

JD Recommends will help firms fill slots that remain unfilled after the OCI process is complete, with candidates with similar characteristics to those each firm ranked.

Even if your firm has filled all its available slots, you might be interested in seeing the profiles of students who closely resemble those you identified as desirable for your firm.

JD Recommends will provide more than one potential match for each unfilled position. As a default, the algorithm will deliver three (3) candidates for each open slot. You can specify a different number, from 1 to 10. Further, in fairness to students, they may be matched with multiple firms via JD Recommends. Again, students won’t know which firms they’ve been matched to.

So, if firms have unfilled slots, they don’t have to go back to “Square 1” to fill them; JD Recommends can help.

What are JD Reports?

Importantly, using the data generated by the algorithm, JD Match provides new types of reports to firms and schools that will help them refine their recruiting strategies. Using aggregated data coming from the algorithm, we can tell firms how they fared versus their competition. Member schools will be able to track their member students’ progress in real time during OCI. Over time, we’ll be able to identify trends as we develop historic databases.

Individual reports for specific firms or schools will never be shared elsewhere. Any reports developed for broader purposes will always be based on aggregated data; no firm’s or school’s name will ever be explicitly attached to any particular finding.

How does JD Match change the dynamics of the recruiting process?

JD Match is integrated with current recruiting practices and all guidelines in place by NALP and those at individual schools. Firms, students and schools proceed through the recruiting process as they always have. Firms and students should continue find out as much as they can about each other. Where firms choose to interview is unaffected. School practices regarding on-campus interviewing are entirely in each school’s purview. All NALP guidelines in effect for any hiring cycle are unaffected. There are no mandatories in our system; firms and students are free to act on any matches they may receive via JD Match, as they choose.

Firm policies regarding, say, accepting unsolicited resumés are similarly unaffected. For example, firms can continue to hire firm-wide or by office; whatever is their current practice. Further, Match Day will occur several times during the coming 2L Fall OCI season – starting in August and running through October . This accommodates different segments of firms, students and the various OCI schedules at law schools. This also provides the opportunity for students and firms to refine their choices during OCI.

What JD Match does improve is the likelihood of securing acceptances from students you most desire and who want to work at your firm. Further, two of JD Match’s features, JD Reach and JD Recommends may allow firms to discover desirable candidates they may not have met or know.

Isn’t this like the medical student matching system?

Superficially, yes, but actually they are extremely different. Basically the similarity begins and ends with students picking where they’d most like to work, on one side, and employers picking students they’d most like to hire, on the other.

But the differences are far more important, including:
The medical system is mandatory: Students have to go to work at hospitals they’re paired with and those hospitals have to give them jobs as residents. In the JD Match system, nothing is mandatory.
The medical system runs only once, after all interviews have been completed and all due diligence finished. By contrast, JD Match provides several Match Days during the course of OCI, starting in August and running through October.
The medical system is run under the auspices of (among other organizations), the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Hospital Association, and the AAMC Organization of Student Representatives. In other words, it is managed by the stakeholders in the medical student/hospital residency world.
By contrast, JD Match is independent of and unaffiliated with any law firm, law school or law student organization. We do not require anyone to take any action based on the matches and information we provide.

Can JD Match provide advice specific advice to firms or students?

In a word, no. JD Match must remain impartial regarding the choices firms and students make. We encourage firms and students to continue their rigorous due diligence process. We also strongly encourage firms and students to be realistic in assessing where they fit in the marketplace.

Does JD Match cover public sector jobs or judicial internships?

Not yet.

Can 1Ls join JD Match?

Yes. 1Ls can benefit from membership in JD Match in securing summer internships at law firms that offer internships after the first year. We offer the same suite of services for the Spring OCI recruiting season for 1Ls as we do for the Fall season for 2Ls and 3Ls.

Can 3Ls join JD Match?

Yes. 3Ls looking for permanent positions can join as members of JD Match for an entire year. Membership in JD Match covers both the Fall and Spring OCI seasons, giving 3Ls the best shot at permanent employment.

How does JD Match help recent grads who are jobless?

Currently, we can’t. That said, we are working on this and should have news shortly. Therefore, recent grads without a job can send an email to support@jdmatch.com indicating they are a recent grad and that they’d like to be notified when this service is available. We’ll send out emails to that list when we can offer that service.

What happens on Match Days?

Both firms and students will be given ample notice of when Match Days are coming up on the calendar.

48 hours (two days) before the matching algorithm runs, firms and students will have their rankings frozen.

The algorithm runs over the next day. Within three days following that, emails are sent to all member firms and students alerting them to sign in and access their page on JD Match where the individual match status of firms and students is found.
How will we be informed of matches?

Three days following each run of the algorithm, emails will be sent to all members to access their Page on the JD Match site.

What if we don’t fill all our seats on a Match Day?

First, the algorithm will be run several times during this Fall’s 2L OCI season, starting in August and running through October. This will allow firms to manage their yield with candidates most interested in those firms.

Further, JD Match has a unique offering called JD Recommends which will run following OCI. These matches identify students with similar characteristics to those firms did rank, but whom they may not know about. It is up to the firms to decide if they wish to reach out to any of those students.

Are members obligated to make or accept offers if they are matched?

No.

Neither students nor firms are obligated to do anything with JD Match pairings.

How long must offers remain open?

All NALP principles and standards, including the time guidelines of acceptance or rejection of offers, apply to a match or an offer that may result from membership in JD Match. Please refer to their Principles & Standards on their site

What are Adam Smith’s credentials to run JD Match?

Adam Smith, Esq. is recognized as an innovator and thought leader within the legal industry and is uniquely suited to bring these services to the legal sector. They are highly attuned to the issues facing the legal community, including firms, schools and students. Yet they are entirely independent of any of those constituencies. Further, they augmented their extensive domain expertise with significant primary research among firms, law schools and students on the issues specifically related to recruitment.

To provide the matching benefits of JD Match, they engaged the “best of the best” to develop the matching algorithm and the secure website. Further, due to their quality reputation and high visibility in the legal sector, they are able to partner with the most well-informed and credentialed third-parties to provide the highest-quality added-value content to the JD Match site.

How do we know the system isn’t rigged?

Students and firms may wonder if others may obtain better matches by somehow gaming the system by strategically misrepresenting their preferences.

The short answer is that any participant who misrepresents their true preferences will typically end up worse off. Why? First of all, the system is designed to give all participants optimal responses based on their stated preferences. If you misrepresent your preferences, you will get responses based on inaccurate information, which will not provide helpful guidance to you in achieving your real goals.

Second, because of the nature of the algorithm, to game the system effectively requires nothing short of knowledge of the stated preferences of all the students and all the other firms. Not just some of them; all of them. Due to the high degree of security with which JD Match protects all the data in its system, this is unlikely in the extreme.

What guarantees does JD Match offer?

As in life, so with JD Match: We cannot offer guarantees either to firms or students. We do offer a more rational and efficient system to help firms and students with mutual interest find each other.

Does JD Match favor top-tier firms or schools?

No; in fact, the algorithm doesn’t even “know” which firms are which or, which students are which. Each firm and each student is represented by a randomly generated number, not a real name.

The result is that all are treated equally by the match. JD Match takes firms’ and students’ rankings at face value and runs the algorithm based on those rankings. Firms and students should be realistic in assessing who they include in their rankings.

How does JD Match intersect with on- campus interviews?

JD Match fully integrates with all current recruiting practices. Further, at JD Match, we are keen proponents that firms and students learn as much as they can about each other. On-campus interviews are a critical element in deciding who to include on your rankings and where to place them on the list.

How will this process affect call back interviews?

JD Match will have no impact on call backs. At JD Match, we encourage firms and students to learn as much as they can about each other in as many available venues.

Who can access which pages?

Firms can access their page and those of students and schools. They cannot access other firm pages. Students can access their My Page and firm and school pages. They cannot access other student pages. Schools can see which of their students have joined JD Match, but cannot access their pages.

Who can see rankings?

Rankings cannot be seen by anyone else.

How can our firm access student pages?

JD Match has a robust search function for firms to search for students. You can search by a variety of criteria. The list of criteria is available by choosing the “advanced search” option on your firm’s search tab.

What are important due dates?

All important due dates will be communicated to members. For example, we will give ample notice as to when rankings need to be finalized and “frozen” before each match.

How do I sign into JD Match?

On the home page (www.JDMatch.com), the sign-in button appears at the top right. Clicking on it unfolds a new screen area where you can enter your username (the email address you used to sign up with) and your password.

What security precautions has JD Match taken to protect our information?

Security has been and remains a top priority at JD Match:

Site construction, protocols and safeguards are identical to precautions taken by online financial institutions

Students can only see firms pages; they cannot see other students’ pages

Similarly, firms can only see student pages; they cannot see other firms’ pages

No member can see another member’s rankings

The algorithm “knows” members only as randomly generated numbers

All industry reports use aggregated data. Specific analyses about a firm or school will be shared with that firm or school, only

JD Match does not include matches or any other sensitive information in emails; members can only see their match status on their own page on the JD Match site.

Are firms or students under any obligations as a result of membership in JD Match?

There are no mandatories in the JD Match system. The matches and other features of JD Match are overlays to current recruiting practices, intended to bring greater efficiency, order and transparency to the recruiting process. It is at the discretion of firms, students and schools use the information provided.