News & Highlights
This has to be the seminal article on the dysfunctional law student recruiting system and how it might be improved upon.
Although it appeared in January 2010 it remains one of the most cogent diagnoses of the current system we have yet to see And we're not just saying that because (full disclosure) we consider Ashish a friend.
In February 2012 the New York-based Edison Awards Foundation selected JDMatch as a finalist in their 25th Annual Innovations & Innovators awards contest, based on the votes of 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing, and education.
We consider this an honor and thank all the dedicated and hard-working members of the JDMatch team; it's their achievement, not ours.
Even before we were quite ready to launch, Ashby Jones of the WSJ’s “Law Blog” revealed what we’re up to:
It’s not often that we write about just-announced products designed for the legal industry.Ashby also seized upon one of the core features of JD Match:
But we’re going to make an exception this morning for a product whose very idea has piqued our interest.
But the service could expose students to firms that they might not otherwise consider, and expose firms to students that they might have a hard time otherwise recruiting.And he offered the perspective of at least one managing partner:
“It’s about time someone took the bull by the horns to address the antiquated method firms are forced to use to recruit students,” said Peter Kalis, [K&L Gates]’s chairman, in a statement. “Change is a necessity, and I, for one, am looking forward to this 21st century solution.”Here's the whole piece.
The next day Ross Todd of The American Lawyer got some time on the phone with Bruce.& Here are a few highlights:
It seems like such a nifty, logical concept that we at The Am Law Daily are kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first. [...]
What was the genesis of JD Match?
People have been kicking around the idea about doing something about the dysfunctional law firm recruiting model for a long time. [Harvard Law School professor]Â Ashish NandaÂ wroteÂ a piece in The American Lawyer last JanuaryÂ addressing this very thing.... And from my perspective, the great train wreck of the 2008/2009 recession really revealed the flaws in the system. [...]
What else do you have in the works?Â
We are creating something called the JD Match Institute which we will fund out of our revenues. And its designed to begin to look at the data we will be gathering and suss out what actually makes for successful lawyers.
Our strong suspicion--confirmed by [University of Indiana professor] Bill Henderson--is it ain’t GPA. In version 2.0 of JD Match we will introduce some psychographic and behavioral testing for students. Voluntary, obviously, but there are very few law firms that are doing this. McKenna Long is doing it. Some firms like K&L are doing it in the U.K....
What we think we can develop in fairly short order is empirical evidence of what makes for a successful lawyer and that would be tremendously exciting for us because law firms could begin to hire a little more rationally. Frankly I think it could only be good for the students. There are 40,000 law students in the U.S. and how many of them are on the Harvard Law Review? But a lot of them could be great with clients, could be responsive, could be team players, could be emotionally intelligent....It could only open up more doors.
Professor Andrew Martin of Washington University School of Law-one of the two designers of the algorithm-talks about his involvement in JD Match. Here's a quick excerpt:
“It is something of a departure for me [compared to my academic work], but Bruce and Janet are very smart and super energetic—and they were very persuasive,” Martin recalls. “It has been really interesting to be involved in a start-up and watch it grow from the idea to the design to being ready for the market.”
Blind interview, rinse, repeat: the popular recruiting method of BigLaw firms, who see countless law students throughout recruiting season in the fall. Add to that months of call-back interviews and chasing after the top candidates with offers, and law firm recruiting is quite the process.
And that's just the start of the piece...
Here's Mary Kate Sheridan's whole piece (she's Vault's law editor).
From JD Match
The San Francisco Business Times writes that "JD Match applies tech to legal recruiting." (September 22, 2011)
Keith Wetmore, Chair of Morrison & Foerster, says "It might expose us to some people we're not currently seeing," and Chris Boyd of Wilson Sonsini adds "We highly commend anyone who wants to make that [recruiting] work better. We can't visit every school in the country. We can't meet with every student we'd be interested in and vice versa. We're interested in anything we can do to extend our reach to the students."
Skadden and McKenna Long Join JDMatch (June 3, 2011)
The founders of JD Match, Bruce MacEwen and Janet Stanton
(Photo 2011: Andrew Fingland/Ritz Camera/New York)