JD Match is a suite of services bringing increased order and efficiency to law firm/law student recruiting.
The two more public faces behind JD Match are Bruce MacEwen and Janet Stanton, President and Partner, respectively, of Adam Smith, Esq., recognized within the legal community for thought-leadership and, yes, more than a touch of contrariness.
It’s no secret that the current system of hiring law students leaves a great deal to be desired: It can be chaotic and frustrating and is clearly inefficient and anxiety-producing for all involved. But despite the system’s admitted flaws, few serious proposals to change it have surfaced.
Enter JD Match. We began from a well-known starting point: It’s safe to say the idea of somehow applying the principles of the algorithm-driven medical matching system to legal recruiting has been around for a very long time. That said, most of the discussions and explorations of how to implement a matching algorithm in the legal sector dead-ended pretty quickly. The reason is that the system used by the medical sector fails to address the distinctive, challenging characteristics of legal recruiting and the entirely different business models of law firms as opposed to hospitals. But we asked if there was anything of value we could learn from.
Rather than trying to jam the medical matching process, per se, down the throat of legal recruiting (a fool’s errand, surely), Bruce and Janet set out to explore how a matching algorithm process could be effectively implemented in the legal sector. They had countless meetings and conducted primary research with the three legal recruiting constituencies: law firms, law students and law schools. Success would only come if all three saw the merits of a new approach; lose one and the enterprise would have been as sound as a two-legged stool. Using these real market insights, rather than relying on the received wisdom, a more-nuanced and layered solution began to emerge, now known as JD Match.
Bruce’s and Janet’s CVs, though certainly respectable, hardly tell the whole story. That said, they’re a place to start.
What these bios don’t capture is their passion and persistence to take on thorny, seemingly intractable problems. Contrarians don’t look at the world the same way most do and generally have somewhat of a stubborn streak. Bruce and Janet qualify on both counts.
Importantly, Bruce and Janet were not so foolhardy as to take this all on themselves. No, they engaged the “best of the best” to take on certain elements of the enterprise they were entirely ill-equipped to do.
These include experienced practitioners in algorithm design, site architecture and secure web site development. Further, to ensure superior marketplace reception, Bruce and Janet engaged with accomplished providers of copy writing, graphic design, public relations and social marketing. They also were the beneficiaries of support and encouragement from notables in the industry.
JD Match may have started as a rational exploration of a broken market. As they delved deeper, however, Bruce and Janet came to appreciate the human toll exacted by the dysfunction of current recruiting practices – for students and those at firms and schools. Solving for this added a sense of urgency which further galvanized Bruce’s and Janet’s sense of purpose.