Ethical dilemma: backing out of accepted offer

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dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Ethical dilemma: backing out of accepted offer

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:00 pm

I have no experience in this realm, but it seems like it's a bad idea to back out of an accepted offer in the legal world mainly for reputational reasons. This doesn't apply nearly as strongly if you're going from consulting back to law. It sucks no matter what to have bad references or burn bridges. However, if you're later asked why you don't have references there, you could spin it reasonably in your favor in a legal interview, I think: "I accepted their offer intending to work there, but realized that instead of consulting, what I really want to do is the kind of work your firm does, so I rescinded my acceptance." This shows some dedication to working in the law, which is positive; whether it's enough to overcome the flakiness is probably in the eye of the beholder.

ResIpsa21
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:46 am

Re: Ethical dilemma: backing out of accepted offer

Postby ResIpsa21 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:41 pm

Well, by popular opinion it would seem I have this one wrong. All I can say in my defense is (1) my T20 career services office has explicitly told us "if you receive an offer, accept it and then back out, we may have to report that to the bar," so that's where I'm getting the character and fitness issue from. But, maybe that's just because they don't want the school to look bad, rather than looking out for the student's interests (which they rarely do). Shame on me for listening to career services people, I suppose. And, (2) I agree that OP shouldn't stay with the consulting firm out of some misguided sense of justice or ethics or something. I just think TLS is quick to jump to the shallow question of "does this look bad" while skipping over the perhaps more important question "is this the wrong thing to do." And I believe that as lawyers, we should generally try to keep our promises, so maybe we should at least consider the ethical implication. I don't think that's totally naive, but then again, I don't think TLS attracts very ethical people in general.

All told, though, I agree that it makes little sense to hold oneself to a high ethical standard in service of a law firm that would just as soon poop on someone than give them the time of day.

Black-Blue
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:46 pm

Re: Ethical dilemma: backing out of accepted offer

Postby Black-Blue » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:48 pm

(1) my T20 career services office has explicitly told us "if you receive an offer, accept it and then back out, we may have to report that to the bar," so that's where I'm getting the character and fitness issue from. But, maybe that's just because they don't want the school to look bad, rather than looking out for the student's interests (which they rarely do). Shame on me for listening to career services people, I suppose.

Well then I guess Career Services these days know neither how to get people a job, nor how to get people out of a job. :lol:

UCLAtransfer
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:36 pm

Re: Ethical dilemma: backing out of accepted offer

Postby UCLAtransfer » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:23 pm

Black-Blue wrote:Well then I guess Career Services these days know neither how to get people a job, nor how to get people out of a job. :lol:


Sounds about right, haha.

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wiseowl
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: Ethical dilemma: backing out of accepted offer

Postby wiseowl » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:23 pm

ResIpsa21 wrote:Well, by popular opinion it would seem I have this one wrong. All I can say in my defense is (1) my T20 career services office has explicitly told us "if you receive an offer, accept it and then back out, we may have to report that to the bar," so that's where I'm getting the character and fitness issue from. But, maybe that's just because they don't want the school to look bad, rather than looking out for the student's interests (which they rarely do). Shame on me for listening to career services people, I suppose. And, (2) I agree that OP shouldn't stay with the consulting firm out of some misguided sense of justice or ethics or something. I just think TLS is quick to jump to the shallow question of "does this look bad" while skipping over the perhaps more important question "is this the wrong thing to do." And I believe that as lawyers, we should generally try to keep our promises, so maybe we should at least consider the ethical implication. I don't think that's totally naive, but then again, I don't think TLS attracts very ethical people in general.

All told, though, I agree that it makes little sense to hold oneself to a high ethical standard in service of a law firm that would just as soon poop on someone than give them the time of day.


Your "T20 career services office" has a distinct motivation for people not turning down employment. It's....wait for it....their employment.




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