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Symplicity & Mail Merge

Symplicity

Symplicity is our online career management system. It requires a username (your student ID) and password, which was emailed to you during the fall of your 1L year. You can use this system for several things including:

  • Searching and applying for job postings
  • Creating a data file of judges you would like to intern and/or clerk for
  • Signing up for on campus interview programs
  • Participating in resume collections for various employers
  • Signing up for appointments with a CP&P counselor
  • Participating in our Mock Interview Program

You can log into Symplicity by clicking here.

About Mail Merge

Mail merge is a word processing tool that takes a single document, such as a cover letter, and converts it into multiple documents addressed to different recipients when combined with a data file (i.e., a file that contains all of the address information you will merge into your letters and/or labels). Using the mail merge tool when applying to a large number of employers simultaneously can save you a great deal of time, as you will not have to manually input addresses for each letter or envelope you’d like to send. Please note that in order to avoid generic-sounding letters, we recommend that you individualize your letters as you see fit once the address details have been merged.

Before you can complete a mail merge, however, you’ll need the data to plug into the data fields in those letters; you will store this data in a data file. A data file is a chart where each column represents a field common to all entries, and each row represents an individual employer or addressee. Data files can be exported to Excel from Symplicity; please view the Symplicity tutorial video available above for detailed instructions.

It’s important to keep good track of all your contacts. You may wish to follow up with employers you’ve applied to through a mail merge two or three weeks after sending your materials to verify whether they’ve received your materials or would like any additional information in order to evaluate your candidacy and to inquire where they are in their hiring process.

Below are mail merge instructions for various operating systems as well as templates that will be useful to you during the mail merge process. If you need assistance with completing a mail merge, please contact all-cpp@law.upenn.edu.

Creating a Data File

Using NALP to Create a Data File of Law Firms
Using Symplicity to Create a Judge List Data File

Mail Merge Instructions & Templates

 

Mail Merge Instructions for Word Mac 2015 on Apple Computers 

For Cover Letters:
  1. Open your cover letter template for either judicial internships or NALP/other employers.
  2. Click on Mailings, then a Mail Merge toolbar box will then appear.
  3. Click on Start Mail Merge and choose “Letters”.
  4. Click on Select Recipients and choose “Use an Existing List” and select your Excel data list from Symplicity, press “Open”, and click “OK” twice.
  5. For cover letter merges, copy and paste your cover letter into the document template at this point. If you are using the template document, placeholders (Ex. <<The_Honorable>>, <<Full Name>> etc…) should already be in the document.
  6. Click on Finish & Merge, at the top right of the mail merger toolbar and choose “Edit Individual Documents”. A new document will be created containing all of your letters which you may edit and add on to.

NOTE: For judicial internships in state courts, remove the <<Court_General>> Field

For Labels:

To create mailing labels for your cover letters, follow the same steps as above but choose “Letters.” Use the template of either judicial internship labels or NALP/other employers. (Remember for state courts, remove the «Court_General» field)

The label templates are formatted to fit Avery 5163 mailing labels, which you can pick in the CP&P office.

Mail Merge Instructions for Word Mac 2011 on Apple Computers 

For Cover Letters:
  1. Open your cover letter template for either judicial internships or NALP/other employers.
  2. Click on the Tools menu and choose “Mail Merge Manager”.
  3. A Mail Merge toolbar box will then appear.
  4. Click on “1. Select Document Type” and choose “Create New”. Then select “Form Letters.” This will choose the current open document (the template).
  5. Open your Excel data list form Symplicity.
  6. Click on “2. Select Recipients List” and choose “Get List”. Then select “Open Data Source” and select your Excel data list from Symplicity. Then press “Open.”
  7. For cover letter merges, copy and paste your cover letter into the document template at this point. If you are using the template document, placeholders (Ex. <<The_Honorable>>, <<Full Name>> etc…) should already be in the document. If you are not using the label template document, drag and drop the placeholders from “3. Placeholders” anywhere you need them.
  8. When you are satisfied with the format and content of your cover letter or labels go to the second icon below “6. Complete Merge,” entitled “Merge to New Document.” A new document will be created containing all of your letters which you may edit and add on to.

NOTE: For judicial internships in state courts, remove the <<Court_General>> Field

For Labels:

To create mailing labels for your cover letters, follow the same steps as above but choose document type “Letters.” Use the template of either judicial internship labels or NALP/other employers. (Remember for state courts, remove the «Court_General» field)

The label templates are formatted to fit Avery 5163 mailing labels, which you can pick in the CP&P office.

Mail Merge Instructions and Templates for PC

For Cover Letters:
  1. To create individualized cover letters, first make sure that you have a cover letter drafted and an Excel spreadsheet of addresses data exported from Symplicity or a data file of addresses exported from NALP saved on your computer.
  2. Then open the appropriate template document for either a Judicial Internship Cover Letter Template (Please note: for state courts, remove the «Court_General» field) or for NALP Cover Letter Template (Firms) or other employers and then copy and paste the information/fields from the “Cover Letter Template” to the appropriate place in your letter.
  3. Select the Mailings tab in your letter, click on the “Start Mail Merger” button, and choose the “Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard”. This will open up the mail merger panel on the right side of your screen.
  4. Choose document type “Letters” and click “Next: Starting document” at the bottom right of your screen. Choose “Use the Current Document” at the top right of your screen and again click “Next: Select Recipients” at the bottom right of your screen. Click on “Browse” and find your excel spreadsheet or data file containing your addressees. Select “Open”, then click “OK” three times, and then Click Next two times at the bottom right of your screen (“Write your letter” & “Preview your letter”).
  5. You will now see a preview of your letter. Then click “Next: Complete the merge” at the bottom right of your screen and choose “Edit Individual Letters” at the top right of your screen, click “OK” to open your cover letters. You can adjust anything as necessary, then save your cover letters.
For Labels: 

To create mailing labels for your cover letters, follow the same steps as above but choose document type “Letters.” Use the template of either judicial internship labels or NALP/other employers. (Remember for state courts, remove the «Court_General» field)

The label templates are formatted to fit Avery 5163 mailing labels, which you can pick in the CP&P office.