Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

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Anonymous User
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Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:11 pm

I told my former #1 choice that I would accept an offer there if extended. Got an offer. Also got an offer from a V5 that I totally didn't expect to get an offer at.

How bad is it to renege? Consequences? Firms are in different cities if that changes anything.

Thanks.

kahechsof
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby kahechsof » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:13 pm

Take the one you want. They were number one, but now they're not. Nobody thought it was a guarantee.

But your taking a hit to your honesty.

agm82
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby agm82 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:19 pm

I mean, what the hell does #1 mean anyway? We're not in kindergarten. This is not rocket science. I'd just move on with your life. I guarantee you - nobody cares where you end up, not even the firm you're actually going to. Just like nobody cares whatever happened to John Doe, that aspiring doctor in Germany from the 1720s. Nobody. Cares.

In fact, if you REALLY think about it - even YOU don't care. You just think you care. You really don't.
Last edited by agm82 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:22 pm

OP here- I emailed the recruiter after my CB and wrote "If XXX were to extend an offer, I would accept."

Does that mean anything?

Also- how bad is the reputational downside?

agm82
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby agm82 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here- I emailed the recruiter after my CB and wrote "If XXX were to extend an offer, I would accept."

Does that mean anything?

Also- how bad is the reputational downside?


No. This means nothing. Your job means nothing. Your "reputation" doesn't exist because that firm has already forgotten you. As has the firm you're going to work at.

In fact, don't be surprised if you go to work next summer and the people who did callbacks with you have no recollection who the heck you are.
Last edited by agm82 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:23 pm

Peoples preferences change all the time. You would b doing nothing wrong in accepting the offer you desire. You owe that firm nothing and you didn't say anything that would be in stone. You merely expressed what was your preference at the moment.

agm82
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby agm82 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Peoples preferences change all the time. You would b doing nothing wrong in accepting the offer you desire. You owe that firm nothing and you didn't say anything that would be in stone. You merely expressed what was your preference at the moment.


+1 People say worse shit at the altar when they get married.

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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here- I emailed the recruiter after my CB and wrote "If XXX were to extend an offer, I would accept."

Does that mean anything?

Also- how bad is the reputational downside?


Is this that common? Had a CB on wednesday, HC doesn't meet until Tues-Thurs; the recruiter sent me a wonderful email last Thursday, seriously considering sending the bolded tomorrow.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:38 pm

It's shit like what OP says that make firms not take what this guy wants to say seriously: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=164990

Aqualibrium
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:40 pm

agm82 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here- I emailed the recruiter after my CB and wrote "If XXX were to extend an offer, I would accept."

Does that mean anything?

Also- how bad is the reputational downside?


No. This means nothing. Your job means nothing. Your "reputation" doesn't exist because that firm has already forgotten you. As has the firm you're going to work at.

In fact, don't be surprised if you go to work next summer and the people who did callbacks with you have no recollection who the heck you are.


+10

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Lawquacious
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here- I emailed the recruiter after my CB and wrote "If XXX were to extend an offer, I would accept."

Does that mean anything?

Also- how bad is the reputational downside?



This is kind of different than saying the firm is your 'number one choice' IMO. I'm not saying you are obligated or that there will necessarily have any problems if you reneg, but I think maybe at least saying 'I apologize--something unexpected has come up and I will not be accepting your offer as anticipated' to the firm you told you would accept an offer at may be appropriate.

It sounds like there are some hardcore trolls in this thread (unless people were being sarcastic about the 'it means nothing' spiel). Maybe it is just people running hard with the standard TLS mentality of 'screw em cause they would screw you' that seems to be pushed pretty hard by a number of TLS regulars when anyone even hints at the concept of ethics in these types of situations.

Good luck with whatever you decide--you're in a better position than the vast majority of us (law students) in any case.

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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here- I emailed the recruiter after my CB and wrote "If XXX were to extend an offer, I would accept."

Does that mean anything?

Also- how bad is the reputational downside?


Is this that common? Had a CB on wednesday, HC doesn't meet until Tues-Thurs; the recruiter sent me a wonderful email last Thursday, seriously considering sending the bolded tomorrow.

Anonymous User
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:02 pm

True in the long run this probably won't have a serious impact on your career. That said, it is not a professional thing to do and I would just be prepared to get an earful from your career services people. This will reflect poorly on students from your school and the firm very well could tell your career services that you have left a bad taste in their mouths. (Not saying it will happen- totally depends on firm/school) I'm assuming you were told pre-OCI explicitly not to do something like this and they will understandably be pissed. However, if this is what you really want then it's probably worth it as long as you are willing to deal with the negative reaction.

ResIpsa21
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby ResIpsa21 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:40 pm

I think everything said so far in this thread is legit. There are ups and downs, and you just have to weigh them.

Pro-renege: you work where you want, and ultimately, this is probably the most important thing to you. I doubt you'll be happy with your "honesty" intact if you are working somewhere you don't want to. Also, many people on TLS claim the firm doesn't care about you, so you should just do what's best for you. These people are practical and understand that the firm has 10 other people lined up to take your spot.

Neutral: you have been dishonest. but professionally, this will almost certainly not matter for you. You don't have to wear a scarlet letter around the office, and your paycheck won't be cut. You won't be no-offered, and it won't keep you from making partner. Frankly, the firm that you told this to might not even care -- as stated above, because of people like you, firms don't trust students when they say "you are #1" so in all likelihood, it never came up.

Anti-renege: you have been dishonest, and this may make you feel bad and it may hurt others. You might feel bad because good people tend to be unhappy when they've gone back on their word. You might feel bad because other people (career services, perhaps) will yell at you. This may hurt others because it could harm the reputation of your school. Also, the many people on TLS who say the firm doesn't care about you are borderline unethical, and you might not want to turn into one of them.

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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:49 pm

Yikes. You should not have told them that unless you were 100% committed to them.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby pleasetryagain » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:53 pm

ResIpsa21 wrote:
Anti-renege: you have been dishonest, and this may make you feel bad and it may hurt others. You might feel bad because good people tend to be unhappy when they've gone back on their word. You might feel bad because other people (career services, perhaps) will yell at you. This may hurt others because it could harm the reputation of your school. Also, the many people on TLS who say the firm doesn't care about you are borderline unethical, and you might not want to turn into one of them.


great advice... put your OCS (who doesnt care about you in the least), your school (who doesnt care about you in the least), and the firm (who doesnt care about you in the least) ahead of your own preferences/best interests/future. This is a surefire way to always "finish last."

Also, firms are dishonest and dick people around all the time - no sense in not returning the favor.

PeanutHead
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby PeanutHead » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:58 pm

pleasetryagain wrote:Also, firms are dishonest and dick people around all the time - no sense in not returning the favor.


You're under no obligation at all. If they had given you an offer on the spot you would have taken it. They chose not to. Chose the firm you want and don't look back.

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minnbills
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby minnbills » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:01 pm

If you were dishonest in telling this firm they were your #1 you're just going to have to bite the bullet. If you have a legitimate reason to have changed your mind just let them know and apologize. Also, just because some firms are disrespectful to applicants doesn't mean you should return the favor.

Whatever you do, make a timely decision so people who are waiting can receive an offer.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby UCLAtransfer » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:15 pm

pleasetryagain wrote:great advice... put your OCS (who doesnt care about you in the least), your school (who doesnt care about you in the least), and the firm (who doesnt care about you in the least) ahead of your own preferences/best interests/future. This is a surefire way to always "finish last."

Also, firms are dishonest and dick people around all the time - no sense in not returning the favor.


Reading comp fail.

That poster wasn't giving the "advice" you selectively quoted. If you read the whole thing, they just laid out in pretty decent and thoughtful detail all the potential implications of the best case scenario, the likely scenario, and the worst case scenario. It's all pretty well thought out, actually, and just gave OP all the relevant things to think about in making their own decision.

OP: I personally think you're in the clear on going with the firm that you want to. The likelihood of it having any real impact is so remote in my opinion that it really isn't worth considering too much.

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kurla88
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby kurla88 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:21 pm

I would just be polite and honest - tell them you really liked the firm but you received another offer that you just don't feel you can refuse.

They will not have any problem filling your spot - not a huge deal.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby pleasetryagain » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:58 pm

UCLAtransfer wrote:
pleasetryagain wrote:great advice... put your OCS (who doesnt care about you in the least), your school (who doesnt care about you in the least), and the firm (who doesnt care about you in the least) ahead of your own preferences/best interests/future. This is a surefire way to always "finish last."

Also, firms are dishonest and dick people around all the time - no sense in not returning the favor.


Reading comp fail.

That poster wasn't giving the "advice" you selectively quoted. If you read the whole thing, they just laid out in pretty decent and thoughtful detail all the potential implications of the best case scenario, the likely scenario, and the worst case scenario. It's all pretty well thought out, actually, and just gave OP all the relevant things to think about in making their own decision.

OP: I personally think you're in the clear on going with the firm that you want to. The likelihood of it having any real impact is so remote in my opinion that it really isn't worth considering too much.


I wasnt attributing this to the poster.. I was attributing it to the hypothetical "anti-reneg" advice giver.. feel free to continue to herpderp though bro

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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:03 pm

Non-Anon Below
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PeanutHead
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby PeanutHead » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You knew you had another application out there when you told them you would take them over all other firms. So, there really is a huge problem here. Bifurcating the rationale behind your next move into what is "professional" or "ethical" and what is "practical" essentially throws professionalism and ethics under the bus.

People who are suggesting it's no big deal to lie about a firm being your #1 choice are either
a) lacking in any serious business experience
b) purposefully leading you astray because they are trolls
c) not appreciative of the value of professionalism

I think the implication to lying to an employer may be more than just getting yelled at. Check your law school professional handbook and really examine all the possible consequences in terms of academic disciplinary action. Is this a job through OCI? I have no idea, but maybe by participating you've agreed to play by their rules, with a large impact on breaking them. What if OCS was forced to tell the other firm what happened by an academic disciplinary committee? I know, a long shot. But, check it out.

Professional integrity goes a really long way in business. Compromising it can damage your reputation, which, at the end of the day, is all you have. Seriously. It's hard to have that kind of perspective at the beginning of your career, but it only takes a few hits to your reputation to really start seeing an impact on your career.

Why did you tell them they were your #1? Presumably, not just to get an offer. Maybe, those reasons still mean you should take this firm over the other.

Of course, as we learn well in law school; breaking promises, even legal ones, is sometimes a cost-benefit decision. If it's a different city, the effects probably won't spill over. But I wouldn't assume that the firm won't care. You've given them a reason to care.

If you are planning on renegging, do it right away. As soon as you realize you've made a mistake, correct it so that the firm doesn't operate under the assumption that you are going to accept their offer.


Why is this anonymous?

meshtdagn
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby meshtdagn » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:44 pm

You knew you had another application out there when you told them you would take them over all other firms. So, there really is a huge problem here. Bifurcating the rationale behind your next move into what is "professional" or "ethical" and what is "practical" essentially throws professionalism and ethics under the bus.

People who are suggesting it's no big deal to lie about a firm being your #1 choice are either
a) lacking in any serious business experience
b) purposefully leading you astray because they are trolls
c) not appreciative of the value of professionalism

I think the implication to lying to an employer may be more than just getting yelled at. Check your law school professional handbook and really examine all the possible consequences in terms of academic disciplinary action. Is this a job through OCI? I have no idea, but maybe by participating you've agreed to play by their rules, with a large impact on breaking them. What if OCS was forced to tell the other firm what happened by an academic disciplinary committee? I know, a long shot. But, check it out.

Professional integrity goes a really long way in business. Compromising it can damage your reputation, which, at the end of the day, is all you have. Seriously. It's hard to have that kind of perspective at the beginning of your career, but it only takes a few hits to your reputation to really start seeing an impact on your career.

Why did you tell them they were your #1? Presumably, not just to get an offer. Maybe, those reasons still mean you should take this firm over the other.

Of course, as we learn well in law school; breaking promises, even legal ones, is sometimes a cost-benefit decision. If it's a different city, the effects probably won't spill over. But I wouldn't assume that the firm won't care. You've given them a reason to care.

If you are planning on renegging, do it right away. As soon as you realize you've made a mistake, correct it so that the firm doesn't operate under the assumption that you are going to accept their offer.

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drylo
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Re: Told a firm #1, now reconsidering

Postby drylo » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:17 pm

minnbills wrote:If you were dishonest in telling this firm they were your #1 you're just going to have to bite the bullet. If you have a legitimate reason to have changed your mind just let them know and apologize. Also, just because some firms are disrespectful to applicants doesn't mean you should return the favor.

Whatever you do, make a timely decision so people who are waiting can receive an offer.


Agree with all of this.




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