Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

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quakeroats
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby quakeroats » Fri May 20, 2011 12:11 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
Gideon Strumpet wrote:
Rock-N-Roll wrote:You're right. Not a strong point, but if another law school student may have done this then maybe it hints at the behavior not being totally uncommon.

All sorts of stuff could have happened; sudden severe illness; office gets busy and doesn't get around to hiring until the last minute; they get more busy and decide they want a second intern; it's actually unlikely that the opening was caused by someone just randomly backing out to take another job. What's uncommon is for people to commit to summer jobs and then dump them for something else at the last minute . . . mostly because, well, that would be stupid. And it makes you look like a douche to people who will remember this when you're out looking for a real job.


So far, the reasons we have against taking the new job are:

1. It's bad form/rude/you've already made a commitment/this will come back to haunt you/it will hurt your classmates.
2. Interning might be a less enriching experience than working for the AG.

Only make your decision based on #2. Your conduct either way is perfectly lawful and violates no professional or honor-code rules that I've heard of. Have you looked at your school's honor code? If it's anything like mine, there's a lot of detail for just about every situation you could think of... except this one. Declining/rescinding a job offer accepted without a contract creates no liability for either party. I can assure you that it happens frequently enough to be addressed and that you should take omission as tacit approval. While I wouldn't give the AG much more than a vague sense that something's come up (the passive voice is fantastic here), nothing is going to happen to you. They won't call, they won't write, in fact, they won't know anything more than you tell them in a brief call/email that discloses no details. One of the common criticisms of practicing in major jurisdictions is that there are enough attorneys that the one you're currently opposing is unlikely to be someone you'll see again. This creates a few problems, but occasionally something good comes out of it--e.g. the lack of repercussions of your choice.

So because something isn't illegal and doesn't violate a professional honor code, that makes it acceptable? Why don't people rescind on judges for clerkships after they've been offered even though no legal liability arises or honor codes are breached? There are set patterns and practices of professional behavior, and to suggest otherwise simply because it's not illegal is far too short sighted. The entire first half of your post reads like a legal analysis while completely neglecting the reality that the every individual's career is driven by his professional reputation. While it's very possible that those particular bridges may not matter one bit in the future, sticking with the AG will probably provide just as worthwhile of an experience (this coming from somebody who interned for a federal judge last summer) and gets OP off on the right foot of sticking to his word. I don't think anybody is arguing that he can not rescind the acceptance, but only that he should not. Ramble over whether there's liability or an honor code breach all you want - OP's professional reputation matters, and it's time to be a big boy now.


Yes, that makes it acceptable, but not necessarily advisable. The point of an honor code is to delineate acceptable from unacceptable conduct. The same goes for a code of professional responsibility. However, if you have a compulsion to find additional ways to cut against your own interests, feel free. Part of the problem here is that you seem to assume this behavior is rare. For 1L work I'd suggest that it isn't. The process is ad hoc, the work is unpaid, and the students are new. The more formalized the process the more people will feel a sense of duty to honor gratuitous promises. In the case of clerkships, I'd suggest that people probably do rescind their clerkship acceptances if it's in their interest, but (1) they don't talk about it and (2) it's rarely in their interest. As for whether declining the AG position is advisable, there are two concerns: (1) will the internship provide a better experience, (2) will declining the AG hurt the OP's career? If the answer to (1) is no, then by all means take the AG's position. As I've described, there is no almost no way the answer to (2) is yes. Do you know how many lawyers are in California? What percentage work at the AG's office? What fraction of that have any knowledge of the OP? How many resumes do you think they receive? How many interviews do you suspect they conduct? What do you suspect the odds are of remembering someone you interviewed once and never saw again after 5 or 10 years? If the OP does a good job of giving as little information as possible, the AG's office has no way of knowing what actually happened, nor would have they any reason to follow up. People don't have time to track down unpaid interns to find out if they traded up.

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vamedic03
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri May 20, 2011 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Help.

I've had an internship with the California AG in place since about March. Got a note earlier today from federal judge's clerk asking if I'm still interested. A slot opened up.

I just called and left message that I'm interested. But, um, what do I do here? I don't want to burn bridges, but I really, really want to work for a judge.

Thoughts?

PS
I don't think any kind of split is allowed, since the AG wants me for 10 weeks. Then again, maybe if I tell 'em that I (may) have a fed judge lined up, they'll understand. Surely, they'll understand, right?


(1) Don't be a dick. You shouldn't reneg on a job a couple weeks before you start. Sure, it might be unpaid, but someone else probably didn't get that position because you accepted it.

(2) The practical experience of the AG's office will probably be better than an internship with a judge.

(3) Doing an internship with the judge is really not "better" than the AG's office. Both would be good work experiences for OCI.

(4) Despite what Quakeroats might claim, its generally frowned upon to back out on a job offer right before you begin.

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The Brainalist
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby The Brainalist » Fri May 20, 2011 12:38 pm

Do both - split.

Also, ditching a job you just accepted for a better job is just part of the way things work. The only thing you owe to the other party is to leave in a manner that doesn't damage their reputation or ability to pick up the slack. In this instance, the AG's office probably has a ton of interns and won't be hurt much by you taking another position. If you were doing this to a judge, on the other hand, they may only have one or two interns, and it really affects them if you don't follow through on your commitment.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 12:40 pm

The Brainalist wrote:If you were doing this to a judge, on the other hand, they may only have one or two interns, and it really affects them if you don't follow through on your commitment.

He didn't commit to the judge. He committed to the AG, and the judge's office just called him back to see if he's still looking. His answer should be, "I'm sorry, Judge, I really appreciate your call, but I already committed to a summer job with the AG."

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby The Brainalist » Fri May 20, 2011 1:24 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
The Brainalist wrote:If you were doing this to a judge, on the other hand, they may only have one or two interns, and it really affects them if you don't follow through on your commitment.

He didn't commit to the judge. He committed to the AG, and the judge's office just called him back to see if he's still looking. His answer should be, "I'm sorry, Judge, I really appreciate your call, but I already committed to a summer job with the AG."


"
The Brainalist wrote:Do both - split.

Also, ditching a job you just accepted for a better job is just part of the way things work. The only thing you owe to the other party is to leave in a manner that doesn't damage their reputation or ability to pick up the slack. In this instance, the AG's office probably has a ton of interns and won't be hurt much by you taking another position.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 1:28 pm

The Brainalist wrote:Do both - split.

Also, ditching a job you just accepted for a better job is just part of the way things work. The only thing you owe to the other party is to leave in a manner that doesn't damage their reputation or ability to pick up the slack. In this instance, the AG's office probably has a ton of interns and won't be hurt much by you taking another position.

Congratulations on finding the quote feature. And you have no idea how this works.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri May 20, 2011 1:31 pm

The legal community is smaller than you think. And people remember dick moves.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri May 20, 2011 1:33 pm

The Brainalist wrote:Do both - split.

Also, ditching a job you just accepted for a better job is just part of the way things work. The only thing you owe to the other party is to leave in a manner that doesn't damage their reputation or ability to pick up the slack. In this instance, the AG's office probably has a ton of interns and won't be hurt much by you taking another position. If you were doing this to a judge, on the other hand, they may only have one or two interns, and it really affects them if you don't follow through on your commitment.


This is terrible, terrible advice.

wojo96
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby wojo96 » Fri May 20, 2011 1:48 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
This is terrible, terrible advice.


Agreed. Honor your commitment, especially this last minute. Pulling something like that would be questionable even if job A was clearly > job B. But when you derive almost identical utility from both, why risk sullying your reputation?

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Cupidity
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Cupidity » Fri May 20, 2011 1:50 pm

I can't believe we are still having this discussion. Do not abandon your job.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby quakeroats » Fri May 20, 2011 2:29 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:The legal community is smaller than you think. And people remember dick moves.


It really isn't, especially in large cities. People may remember dick moves directed at them, but they won't remember, "I'm very sorry, but I won't be able to work at the DA's office this summer. Some unexpected circumstances have come up that I wasn't prepared for. Please accept my sincerest apologies, OP." They'll pull the next resume out of the file and hire someone else without a second thought.

I can assure all of you arguing the OP should stick to his gratuitous promise that employers often don't abide by the same rule. See the big law offers revoked/postponed several years back for one just one glaring example.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 2:38 pm

Cupidity wrote:I can't believe we are still having this discussion.

That makes about eight of us.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 2:39 pm

quakeroats wrote:It really isn't, especially in large cities. People may remember dick moves directed at them, but they won't remember, "I'm very sorry, but I won't be able to work at the DA's office this summer. Some unexpected circumstances have come up that I wasn't prepared for. Please accept my sincerest apologies, OP." They'll pull the next resume out of the file and hire someone else without a second thought.

I can assure all of you arguing the OP should stick to his gratuitous promise that employers often don't abide by the same rule. See the big law offers revoked/postponed several years back for one just one glaring example.

^^^ Has no idea how this works.

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quakeroats
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby quakeroats » Fri May 20, 2011 2:54 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
quakeroats wrote:It really isn't, especially in large cities. People may remember dick moves directed at them, but they won't remember, "I'm very sorry, but I won't be able to work at the DA's office this summer. Some unexpected circumstances have come up that I wasn't prepared for. Please accept my sincerest apologies, OP." They'll pull the next resume out of the file and hire someone else without a second thought.

I can assure all of you arguing the OP should stick to his gratuitous promise that employers often don't abide by the same rule. See the big law offers revoked/postponed several years back for one just one glaring example.

^^^ Has no idea how this works.


I think my postings speak for themselves. There's more than enough here for anyone in the OP's situation to choose. You might be interested to know that I think the OP should keep his spot at the AG's office. Judicial Internships can be anything from getting coffee to writing opinions whereas AG works tends to generally be--doesn't it feel good to split an infinitive?-- of good quality. My issue is that I wouldn't justify the decision on quasi-moral grounds. This discussion would be more interesting if an SA was on the table.

micwrecka45
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby micwrecka45 » Fri May 20, 2011 2:57 pm

some schools do not let you participate in 2L/3L OCI if you renege on an accepted offer. check your career services policy.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 2:59 pm

quakeroats wrote:I think my postings speak for themselves.

They do.

wojo96
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby wojo96 » Fri May 20, 2011 3:12 pm

Come on 'oats…flaking out would reflect poorly on the individual, his school, and any recommenders.

This has happened occasionally at the consulting firm at which I work, and in the two cases I recall, we reached out to recommenders chastising the behavior (so there was collateral damage beyond simply the burned bridges with our firm).

Can you do it? Sure. Should you do it? No. Risk != reward.

eth3n
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby eth3n » Fri May 20, 2011 3:28 pm

!
Last edited by eth3n on Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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quakeroats
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby quakeroats » Fri May 20, 2011 3:30 pm

wojo96 wrote:Come on 'oats…flaking out would reflect poorly on the individual, his school, and any recommenders.

This has happened occasionally at the consulting firm at which I work, and in the two cases I recall, we reached out to recommenders chastising the behavior (so there was collateral damage beyond simply the burned bridges with our firm).

Can you do it? Sure. Should you do it? No. Risk != reward.


Your old firm might want to check with its legal department about any consequences of doing that in the future. There's a reason many companies have moved toward only disclosing objective material (start date, end date, etc.).

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri May 20, 2011 4:13 pm

quakeroats wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:So because something isn't illegal and doesn't violate a professional honor code, that makes it acceptable? Why don't people rescind on judges for clerkships after they've been offered even though no legal liability arises or honor codes are breached? There are set patterns and practices of professional behavior, and to suggest otherwise simply because it's not illegal is far too short sighted. The entire first half of your post reads like a legal analysis while completely neglecting the reality that the every individual's career is driven by his professional reputation. While it's very possible that those particular bridges may not matter one bit in the future, sticking with the AG will probably provide just as worthwhile of an experience (this coming from somebody who interned for a federal judge last summer) and gets OP off on the right foot of sticking to his word. I don't think anybody is arguing that he can not rescind the acceptance, but only that he should not. Ramble over whether there's liability or an honor code breach all you want - OP's professional reputation matters, and it's time to be a big boy now.

Yes, that makes it acceptable, but not necessarily advisable. The point of an honor code is to delineate acceptable from unacceptable conduct. The same goes for a code of professional responsibility. However, if you have a compulsion to find additional ways to cut against your own interests, feel free. Part of the problem here is that you seem to assume this behavior is rare.

That's not the problem at all, actually. The real problem is that you believe something is acceptable simply because it's not rare. Once you start practicing, I think you'll discover very quickly that you do not want to be like the vast majority of attorneys. Sure you can do it, but that doesn't mean that you should do it.

quakeroats wrote: This discussion would be more interesting if an SA was on the table.

Agreed. If you rescind and lose potential pay and career opportunities (by way of an offer), I personally find this to be less objectionable than where you've agreed to provide legal assistance to an organization that is not simply operating for profit. It probably won't set a good precedent for the firm's recruitment at your school, but I (for reasons I haven't quite pinned down) don't really think it looks as shady as neglecting your commitment to a not-for-profit agency where you've volunteered your labor to get experience.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 4:42 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
quakeroats wrote: This discussion would be more interesting if an SA was on the table.

Agreed. If you rescind and lose potential pay and career opportunities (by way of an offer), I personally find this to be less objectionable than where you've agreed to provide legal assistance to an organization that is not simply operating for profit. It probably won't set a good precedent for the firm's recruitment at your school, but I (for reasons I haven't quite pinned down) don't really think it looks as shady as neglecting your commitment to a not-for-profit agency where you've volunteered your labor to get experience.

Why do either of you think this matters? Accepting a summer job and dumping it at the last minute makes you appear unreliable, unprofessional, and stupid. One person's failure to perceive the obvious impact of this on their professional reputation does not make this thread either a "discussion" or "interesting."

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Fri May 20, 2011 4:46 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
quakeroats wrote: This discussion would be more interesting if an SA was on the table.

Agreed. If you rescind and lose potential pay and career opportunities (by way of an offer), I personally find this to be less objectionable than where you've agreed to provide legal assistance to an organization that is not simply operating for profit. It probably won't set a good precedent for the firm's recruitment at your school, but I (for reasons I haven't quite pinned down) don't really think it looks as shady as neglecting your commitment to a not-for-profit agency where you've volunteered your labor to get experience.

Why do either of you think this matters? Accepting a summer job and dumping it at the last minute makes you appear unreliable, unprofessional, and stupid. One person's failure to perceive the obvious impact of this on their professional reputation does not make this thread either a "discussion" or "interesting."

I never suggested otherwise. I was just musing that the moral stigma of upgrading between non-for-profit agencies that don't have the money to pay for summer interns makes one look like much more of a douche than upgrading between firms that are paying competitive salaries and are designed to produce profits for the firm.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri May 20, 2011 5:17 pm

I think in this situation op should just stick with his job.

I'd just like to say that the whole "legal community is small" argument is kinda dumb imo. It really isn't that small, and if you handle these things in a professional way, people understand and don't hold grudges.

I accepted an offer for 2L employment then reneged and accepted another offer. Both offers were from my two top choice firms, but one decided to change the way their summer program was structured very late in the process, which caused the two offers to conflict with regards to time. I explained the situation to both firms, tried to work with both of them, then ultimately decided I just had to choose one. They both understood, and there would have been no hard feelings either way. I am still very friendly with the folks at the firm where I reneged, and I'm positive that the CSO didn't even know I accepted an offer there in the first place. No one really cares as much as law students seem to think. Just handle it with some professionalism (read not ditching on people a week before you start work).

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Fri May 20, 2011 5:28 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:I accepted an offer for 2L employment then reneged and accepted another offer. Both offers were from my two top choice firms, but one decided to change the way their summer program was structured very late in the process, which caused the two offers to conflict with regards to time.

Having a split summer turn into a conflict between two overlapping programs is different from what OP asked about. Obviously in that case you have to find some way to make a choice and do it in a professional manner, which it sounds like you did. There's a difference between explaining that someone else changed the rules on you at the last minute, forcing a conflict, and just saying, "Yeah, not so much," because you saw something sparkly and got distracted.

If you think this profession is not a small world, well, whatever. I think you haven't been doing this for long.

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Re: Ditch state AG 1L summer for Fed Judge?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri May 20, 2011 5:31 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
And if you think this profession is not a small world, I think you haven't been doing this for long.


In the sense that someone will track down your new employer and tell on you, it isn't that small.




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