Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

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Anonymous User
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Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:13 am

Here's the background:

Interviewed at a small white-collar defense shop in a major city in Boston. They originally turned me down. They just called and said they are sending me an offer letter. In the mean time though, I accepted a position with a DA's office just outside of the city (still a good DA's office to intern for).

My interests are in white collar crime. If it wasn't for this predicament, I would most assuredly pick the white collar firm.

Pay: The firm pays, the DA's office doesn't. But, I (probably) will get a grant from my school for the summer. Working for the firm will earn me about 2K more over the summer. Plus, I won't have to drive, so figure an additional 150/month in gas. All in all, the financial benefit of going with the firm is about $2,500.

What would you do, how would you do it?

(I'm also a 1L if that matters)

270910
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby 270910 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:32 am

You should not decline an offer you have already accepted, no matter what the circumstances.

The world (probably) won't end if you do anyway.

/thread

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kaydish21
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby kaydish21 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:Here's the background:

Interviewed at a small white-collar defense shop in a major city in Boston. They originally turned me down. They just called and said they are sending me an offer letter. In the mean time though, I accepted a position with a DA's office just outside of the city (still a good DA's office to intern for).

My interests are in white collar crime. If it wasn't for this predicament, I would most assuredly pick the white collar firm.

Pay: The firm pays, the DA's office doesn't. But, I (probably) will get a grant from my school for the summer. Working for the firm will earn me about 2K more over the summer. Plus, I won't have to drive, so figure an additional 150/month in gas. All in all, the financial benefit of going with the firm is about $2,500.

What would you do, how would you do it?

(I'm also a 1L if that matters)


I'm just a 0L so what the heck do I know, but I think it would be improper to turn down the DA office position as it is still a good position and maybe you can instead of turning them down try to shorten the commitment and offer to do an unpaid month at the white collar crime firm unpaid to get your foot in the door.

Mostly I just wanted to comment on how amazing it is that you managed to find a major city inside Boston at all as Boston is the only major city in the area.

270910
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby 270910 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:46 am

kaydish21 wrote:I'm [strike]just[/strike] a 0L [strike]so what the heck do I know, but I think it would be improper to turn down the DA office position as it is still a good position and maybe you can instead of turning them down try to shorten the commitment and offer to do an unpaid month at the white collar crime firm unpaid to get your foot in the door.

Mostly I just wanted to comment on how amazing it is that you managed to find a major city inside Boston at all as Boston is the only major city in the area[/strike].

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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:53 am

In a similar situation and would appreciate guidance.

Renzo
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby Renzo » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:04 pm

OP: As discussed in your other thread, there's no right answer, but if I were in your situation I would not renege on the DA. Heres how I see it: The financial upside is relatively small, in the grand scheme of law school and debt.

If you call the firm, tell them that you would love to work there, that they were your first choice, but that you already accepted a job with the DA and you feel honor-bound to that commitment, they are going to think it reflects positively on your character, and I can see no reason why they wouldn't give you a shot in the future. You then go to work for the DA where you dazzle them with your work ethic and intellect, and everyone involved thinks highly of you.

On the other hand, if you turn down the DA, the firm will be dazzled by your work, but the DAs office may think ill of you. You've then reduced your future options by 50%, and for nothing more than $2500.

Mark71121
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby Mark71121 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:53 pm

i personally reneged on an offer when i was deciding between 2 firms.

was it the right thing to do? no. but at the end of the day its your life, you shouldn't put yourself in a situation where you think you won't be happy.

tingles
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby tingles » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:06 pm

Why not split your summer? Ask the DA to work there for a short pd of time. Ask the firm if you can do half the summer since you had already accepted an offer.

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WhiskeyGuy
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby WhiskeyGuy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:15 pm

People should really stop giving their word if they don't intend to keep it.

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McBean
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby McBean » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:14 pm

Based on the pay, I'm guessing that the firm is pretty small. The problem here is that you won't quite get the experience that you would from a large firm with a formal internship program. So this could go three ways:

1. You build a good relationship with an attorney and get to work on substantive case work. You find a mentor, learn a lot, make great connections that can pay off next summer. It's a small firm so you may get to do things that the Big Firm guys won't (go to court with an attorney, meet a client, etc.)

2. You get stuck doing doc. review all summer and get nothing out of it except an extra $2,500

3. A little of both

On the other hand the Middlesex DA's office (your riddle wasn't too hard to crack) has a pretty good rep, and their internship program is known to be pretty exciting. There's a chance you can make good connections there as well. Martha Coakley, John Kerry, and most of the State AGs are alums. The current DA was on the short list to be the Federal Prosecutor for the District of Mass.

In sum, you might have an amazing experience at the small firm, or a crappy one. You won't know which one until you try, but in return you have to pass up a good experience at the DA's. Also, you might piss off the DA's office. Not sure what effect that could have.

As a side note, this was depressing:


WhiskeyGuy wrote:People should really stop giving their word if they don't intend to keep it.

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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:19 pm

I think for unpaid work there is a lower standard for this kind of thing. I personally pulled out of one unpaid position for a better unpaid position. Maybe I shouldn't have, but I honestly didn't feel too guilty about it. Had it been a firm or a paid position of any kind, I don't think I would have even considered it. Just my two cents, never really talked to anybody about the propriety of what I did.

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WhiskeyGuy
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby WhiskeyGuy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:46 pm

McBean wrote:Based on the pay, I'm guessing that the firm is pretty small. The problem here is that you won't quite get the experience that you would from a large firm with a formal internship program. So this could go three ways:

1. You build a good relationship with an attorney and get to work on substantive case work. You find a mentor, learn a lot, make great connections that can pay off next summer. It's a small firm so you may get to do things that the Big Firm guys won't (go to court with an attorney, meet a client, etc.)

2. You get stuck doing doc. review all summer and get nothing out of it except an extra $2,500

3. A little of both

On the other hand the Middlesex DA's office (your riddle wasn't too hard to crack) has a pretty good rep, and their internship program is known to be pretty exciting. There's a chance you can make good connections there as well. Martha Coakley, John Kerry, and most of the State AGs are alums. The current DA was on the short list to be the Federal Prosecutor for the District of Mass.

In sum, you might have an amazing experience at the small firm, or a crappy one. You won't know which one until you try, but in return you have to pass up a good experience at the DA's. Also, you might piss off the DA's office. Not sure what effect that could have.

As a side note, this was depressing:


WhiskeyGuy wrote:People should really stop giving their word if they don't intend to keep it.


I think the merits of each gig are irrelevant because the OP already committed to the DA's office. Unless the OP has some sort of arrangements whereby it is OK for him/her to back out, he should keep his word and work at the DA's office. This isn't only about "doing the right thing"; OP risks tarnishing his reputation for telling someone one thing and then doing another. I'm only a OL, so maybe I'm way off on this one. But having worked for a few years I can say that accepting an offer and then backing out because a better offer arises is definitely foul play.
Last edited by WhiskeyGuy on Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:55 pm

WhiskeyGuy wrote:
McBean wrote:Based on the pay, I'm guessing that the firm is pretty small. The problem here is that you won't quite get the experience that you would from a large firm with a formal internship program. So this could go three ways:

1. You build a good relationship with an attorney and get to work on substantive case work. You find a mentor, learn a lot, make great connections that can pay off next summer. It's a small firm so you may get to do things that the Big Firm guys won't (go to court with an attorney, meet a client, etc.)

2. You get stuck doing doc. review all summer and get nothing out of it except an extra $2,500

3. A little of both

On the other hand the Middlesex DA's office (your riddle wasn't too hard to crack) has a pretty good rep, and their internship program is known to be pretty exciting. There's a chance you can make good connections there as well. Martha Coakley, John Kerry, and most of the State AGs are alums. The current DA was on the short list to be the Federal Prosecutor for the District of Mass.

In sum, you might have an amazing experience at the small firm, or a crappy one. You won't know which one until you try, but in return you have to pass up a good experience at the DA's. Also, you might piss off the DA's office. Not sure what effect that could have.

As a side note, this was depressing:


WhiskeyGuy wrote:People should really stop giving their word if they don't intend to keep it.


I think the merits of each gig are irrelevant because the OP already committed to the DA's office. Unless the OP has some sort of arrangements whereby it is OK for him/her to back out, he should keep his word and work at the DA's office. This isn't only about "doing the right thing"; OP risks tarnishing his reputation for telling someone one thing and then doing another. I'm only a OL, so maybe I'm way off on this one. But having worked for a few years I can say that accepting an offer and then backing out because a better offer arises is definitely foul play.


I think a financial situation is a perfectly good reason to back out. If they were both paid, then I'd agree you should stick with your prior agreement. But a person can only work for free for so long. $2500 isn't a huge difference, but it is relatively substantial. I don't understand some of the people on here who always tell people to take the moral high road and stick with your committment.

Whiskey, what if it was a situation of a 10k+ difference in pay? Would you still stick with this position (morally the right thing to do, don't tarnish your reputation, etc.)? Isn't there a point where financial considerations must kick in? Also, isn't there a point when NOT switching jobs is going to hurt your career more? I mean, what if it was a small unpaid gig versus a prestigious, high paying gig at a firm you REALLY want to work for upon graduation? I can't possibly see how switching positions would be the wrong move in that circumstance.

Again, circumstances are important, and maybe in this particular instance, OP should stick with the original offer. But some of the strict, inflexible responses on here amaze me sometimes.

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WhiskeyGuy
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby WhiskeyGuy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:59 pm

romothesavior wrote:
WhiskeyGuy wrote:
McBean wrote:Based on the pay, I'm guessing that the firm is pretty small. The problem here is that you won't quite get the experience that you would from a large firm with a formal internship program. So this could go three ways:

1. You build a good relationship with an attorney and get to work on substantive case work. You find a mentor, learn a lot, make great connections that can pay off next summer. It's a small firm so you may get to do things that the Big Firm guys won't (go to court with an attorney, meet a client, etc.)

2. You get stuck doing doc. review all summer and get nothing out of it except an extra $2,500

3. A little of both

On the other hand the Middlesex DA's office (your riddle wasn't too hard to crack) has a pretty good rep, and their internship program is known to be pretty exciting. There's a chance you can make good connections there as well. Martha Coakley, John Kerry, and most of the State AGs are alums. The current DA was on the short list to be the Federal Prosecutor for the District of Mass.

In sum, you might have an amazing experience at the small firm, or a crappy one. You won't know which one until you try, but in return you have to pass up a good experience at the DA's. Also, you might piss off the DA's office. Not sure what effect that could have.

As a side note, this was depressing:


WhiskeyGuy wrote:People should really stop giving their word if they don't intend to keep it.


I think the merits of each gig are irrelevant because the OP already committed to the DA's office. Unless the OP has some sort of arrangements whereby it is OK for him/her to back out, he should keep his word and work at the DA's office. This isn't only about "doing the right thing"; OP risks tarnishing his reputation for telling someone one thing and then doing another. I'm only a OL, so maybe I'm way off on this one. But having worked for a few years I can say that accepting an offer and then backing out because a better offer arises is definitely foul play.


I think a financial situation is a perfectly good reason to back out. If they were both paid, then I'd agree you should stick with your prior agreement. But a person can only work for free for so long. $2500 isn't a huge difference, but it is relatively substantial. I don't understand some of the people on here who always tell people to take the moral high road and stick with your committment.

Whiskey, what if it was a situation of a 10k+ difference in pay? Would you still stick with this position (morally the right thing to do, don't tarnish your reputation, etc.)? Isn't there a point where financial considerations must kick in? Also, isn't there a point when NOT switching jobs is going to hurt your career more? I mean, what if it was a small unpaid gig versus a prestigious, high paying gig at a firm you REALLY want to work for upon graduation? I can't possibly see how switching positions would be the wrong move in that circumstance.

Again, circumstances are important, and maybe in this particular instance, OP should stick with the original offer. But some of the strict, inflexible responses on here amaze me sometimes.


Romo, you address the "me" aspects of hiring and ignore the unintended consequences others could suffer as a result of OP reneging. Considering these is why many on this forum advise taking, as you put it, "the moral high road."

First, if OP reneges, the school's reputation may be blemished. Would the DA avoid students from OP’s school in the future? Possibly, especially if OP is not the only one to have done this in recent years. Career services at law schools warn against backing out of acceptances because they know the [strike]value[/strike] necessity of a good reputation.

Second, the DA has invested time and energy into recruiting and offering him the position, and has likely rejected other qualified applicants since they believed OP was confirmed for the summer. Will the DA still be able to find a highly qualified student this late in the game? Probably, but only after scrambling and expending unplanned time and resources.

Obviously there are extenuating circumstances that would permit backing out of an acceptance. This is not one of those cases. OP gives no reason to believe he needs the $2,500; OP accepted at the DA’s and was prepared to work there for free this summer. If OP was living hand-to-mouth, it would be a different story.

OP, if you do end up switching jobs, please be extra polite to the DA and explain the substantive reasons for your switch so that your decision is less likely to handicap future applicants from your school.

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algren
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Re: Do I turn down an already accepted offer, and if so, how?

Postby algren » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:14 pm

WhiskeyGuy wrote:Romo, you address the "me" aspects of hiring and ignore the unintended consequences others could suffer as a result of OP reneging. Considering these is why many on this forum advise taking, as you put it, "the moral high road."

First, if OP reneges, the school's reputation may be blemished. Would the DA avoid students from OP’s school in the future? Possibly, especially if OP is not the only one to have done this in recent years. Career services at law schools warn against backing out of acceptances because they know the [strike]value[/strike] necessity of a good reputation.

Second, the DA has invested time and energy into recruiting and offering him the position, and has likely rejected other qualified applicants since they believed OP was confirmed for the summer. Will the DA still be able to find a highly qualified student this late in the game? Probably, but only after scrambling and expending unplanned time and resources.

Obviously there are extenuating circumstances that would permit backing out of an acceptance. This is not one of those cases. OP gives no reason to believe he needs the $2,500; OP accepted at the DA’s and was prepared to work there for free this summer. If OP was living hand-to-mouth, it would be a different story.

OP, if you do end up switching jobs, please be extra polite to the DA and explain the substantive reasons for your switch so that your decision is less likely to handicap future applicants from your school.


I agree with WhiskeyGuy. I don't have much to add to his argument really; its all there.

I'm not sure the "if" scenario matters either. If it was 10K instead of 2.5K..... well, so what? It's 2.5K and that's the question at hand. Especially in light of WG's response which points out that morality isn't necessarily the main decision making element here.




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