Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

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Anonymous User
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Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:07 pm

I am a 3L who has accepted an offer at a big firm. A non-legal opportunity [of a life-time] has presented itself. I really do not want to renege and I know it is very poor form. But if it comes down to it - what are the consequences? Thanks in advance for serious responses. Especially if anyone has first-hand experience.

albanach
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby albanach » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 3L who has accepted an offer at a big firm. A non-legal opportunity [of a life-time] has presented itself. I really do not want to renege and I know it is very poor form. But if it comes down to it - what are the consequences? Thanks in advance for serious responses. Especially if anyone has first-hand experience.


Is the opportunity permanent, or for a year or two. Could it in any way help the firm if you were to return their post opportunity? Is the opportunity even law related and do you want big firm work in the future?

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:21 pm

In before people criticize you for bad form.

You only get to go through life once. Props for having something you care enough about to reneg on the offer. The firm will find some other kid looking for a job and give it to him.

Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this. If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:24 pm

albanach wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a 3L who has accepted an offer at a big firm. A non-legal opportunity [of a life-time] has presented itself. I really do not want to renege and I know it is very poor form. But if it comes down to it - what are the consequences? Thanks in advance for serious responses. Especially if anyone has first-hand experience.


Is the opportunity permanent, or for a year or two. Could it in any way help the firm if you were to return their post opportunity? Is the opportunity even law related and do you want big firm work in the future?


OP here. The opportunity is completely open; length depends on how successful I am. Not very related to law. I apologize for being vague about the opportunity; this is a huge life decision and I'm very cautious. Not exactly a startup per se, something to do with venture capital. I would only want to return to work in a big firm if this didn't pan out, and there is a non-negligible risk of this not working out.

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In before people criticize you for bad form.

You only get to go through life once. Props for having something you care enough about to reneg on the offer. The firm will find some other kid looking for a job and give it to him.

Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this. If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.


OP here. Yes, I have a pretty high ethical/moral standard (I like doing "the right thing") so having to renege is huge part of the problem. I am considering working for maybe even a year just to uphold my promise. But the other position will almost certainly be filled by then and I am not sure if there would be additional need. I'm considering simply telling the law firm the truth; they like me so parting ways amicably is possible.

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
albanach wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a 3L who has accepted an offer at a big firm. A non-legal opportunity [of a life-time] has presented itself. I really do not want to renege and I know it is very poor form. But if it comes down to it - what are the consequences? Thanks in advance for serious responses. Especially if anyone has first-hand experience.


Is the opportunity permanent, or for a year or two. Could it in any way help the firm if you were to return their post opportunity? Is the opportunity even law related and do you want big firm work in the future?


OP here. The opportunity is completely open; length depends on how successful I am. Not very related to law. I apologize for being vague about the opportunity; this is a huge life decision and I'm very cautious. Not exactly a startup per se, something to do with venture capital. I would only want to return to work in a big firm if this didn't pan out, and there is a non-negligible risk of this not working out.


You just asked about the consequences, so I'll keep it to that:

The firm you re-neg on will never hire you again. If a recruiter or firm somehow finds out down the road that you re-neg'ed on your offer, they won't hire you either. When you burn a bridge, you can't go back over it.

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In before people criticize you for bad form.

You only get to go through life once. Props for having something you care enough about to reneg on the offer. The firm will find some other kid looking for a job and give it to him.

Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this. If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.


OP here. Yes, I have a pretty high ethical/moral standard (I like doing "the right thing") so having to renege is huge part of the problem. I am considering working for maybe even a year just to uphold my promise. But the other position will almost certainly be filled by then and I am not sure if there would be additional need. I'm considering simply telling the law firm the truth; they like me so parting ways amicably is possible.


I would not assume that telling them truthfully that something else came up that you value more than an offer you've already accepted will lead to an amicable parting of ways. More likely than not, they won't be happy with you. They can't force you to take the job, but they will 100% be upset that you jerked them around (no getting around the fact that you did).

Renzo
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Renzo » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:44 pm

You can set aside the reneging for a second. The consequence of taking a non-legal job straight out of school is that it will make it near-impossible to work in a big firm ever again. Biglaw hiring is a conveyor belt; once you step off, you don't get back on. Firms will see that and assume you don't really want to be a lawyer, and thus will not hire you. Also, they expect you to perform like a third-year associate if you are three years out of law school--which can be difficult if you've never practiced law.

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
albanach wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a 3L who has accepted an offer at a big firm. A non-legal opportunity [of a life-time] has presented itself. I really do not want to renege and I know it is very poor form. But if it comes down to it - what are the consequences? Thanks in advance for serious responses. Especially if anyone has first-hand experience.


Is the opportunity permanent, or for a year or two. Could it in any way help the firm if you were to return their post opportunity? Is the opportunity even law related and do you want big firm work in the future?


OP here. The opportunity is completely open; length depends on how successful I am. Not very related to law. I apologize for being vague about the opportunity; this is a huge life decision and I'm very cautious. Not exactly a startup per se, something to do with venture capital. I would only want to return to work in a big firm if this didn't pan out, and there is a non-negligible risk of this not working out.


You just asked about the consequences, so I'll keep it to that:

The firm you re-neg on will never hire you again. If a recruiter or firm somehow finds out down the road that you re-neg'ed on your offer, they won't hire you either. When you burn a bridge, you can't go back over it.


OP here. Thank you for your response. Do you think reneging would present any issues on the C&F section of the bar?

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this.
Same. It actually angers me to read people go around waving their fingers and gravely warning of the dire, career-ending consequences for anyone who would dare reneg an offer. I've yet to see anyone back such claims up.

If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.

This, however, I very much doubt, unless your credentials are truly exceptional. It is also probable that you will never work in biglaw again (because of the aforementioned recruiting schedule, not some mythical blacklist). Contrarily to TLS wisdom, that doesn't of course mean that you will never be a lawyer.

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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this.
Same. It actually angers me to read people go around waving their fingers and gravely warning of the dire, career-ending consequences for anyone who would dare reneg an offer. I've yet to see anyone back such claims up.

If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.

This, however, I very much doubt, unless your credentials are truly exceptional. It is also probable that you will never work in biglaw again (because of the aforementioned recruiting schedule, not some mythical blacklist). Contrarily to TLS wisdom, that doesn't of course mean that you will never be a lawyer.


Why does it anger you? Seriously? Why is it OK to LIE in professional settings??? I'm not angered by the child-like advice saying go ahead and accept offers and then reneg, but I am seriously dumbfounded.

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5ky
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby 5ky » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this.
Same. It actually angers me to read people go around waving their fingers and gravely warning of the dire, career-ending consequences for anyone who would dare reneg an offer. I've yet to see anyone back such claims up.

If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.

This, however, I very much doubt, unless your credentials are truly exceptional. It is also probable that you will never work in biglaw again (because of the aforementioned recruiting schedule, not some mythical blacklist). Contrarily to TLS wisdom, that doesn't of course mean that you will never be a lawyer.


Why does it anger you? Seriously? Why is it OK to LIE in professional settings??? I'm not angered by the child-like advice saying go ahead and accept offers and then reneg, but I am seriously dumbfounded.


Nobody has lied here. What if this opportunity arose 8 months into his/her job at Biglaw, and he/she left then, would you care at all? No.

Anonymous User
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:29 am

5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also, don't buy the garbage that you will be blacklisted from law for doing this.
Same. It actually angers me to read people go around waving their fingers and gravely warning of the dire, career-ending consequences for anyone who would dare reneg an offer. I've yet to see anyone back such claims up.

If you are what a firm wants, they will still hire you in a few years.

This, however, I very much doubt, unless your credentials are truly exceptional. It is also probable that you will never work in biglaw again (because of the aforementioned recruiting schedule, not some mythical blacklist). Contrarily to TLS wisdom, that doesn't of course mean that you will never be a lawyer.


Why does it anger you? Seriously? Why is it OK to LIE in professional settings??? I'm not angered by the child-like advice saying go ahead and accept offers and then reneg, but I am seriously dumbfounded.


Nobody has lied here. What if this opportunity arose 8 months into his/her job at Biglaw, and he/she left then, would you care at all? No.


That's different. People leave even 2 weeks into jobs all the time. But this is different because he/she was a candidate at both places at once, accepted an offer at one, and now wants to accept the other. If I'm wrong and the second opportunity truly came "out of the blue," that's a different story, I guess. But still, don't expect that firm to wait around for you.

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5ky
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby 5ky » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:That's different. People leave even 2 weeks into jobs all the time. But this is different because he/she was a candidate at both places at once, accepted an offer at one, and now wants to accept the other. If I'm wrong and the second opportunity truly came "out of the blue," that's a different story, I guess. But still, don't expect that firm to wait around for you.


I'll grant you that. But I didn't assume a "venture start-up" was exactly the kind of thing you apply for. I imagine OP was approached without much effort on his/her part.

Anonymous User
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:49 am

5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:That's different. People leave even 2 weeks into jobs all the time. But this is different because he/she was a candidate at both places at once, accepted an offer at one, and now wants to accept the other. If I'm wrong and the second opportunity truly came "out of the blue," that's a different story, I guess. But still, don't expect that firm to wait around for you.


I'll grant you that. But I didn't assume a "venture start-up" was exactly the kind of thing you apply for. I imagine OP was approached without much effort on his/her part.


90% of startups fail. There will always be venture ideas, and being in biglaw for a few years will make you a lot more valuable / able to actually invest and spread risk around. If you wanted to work at a startup you could've done so after UG, without LS. I'd go biglaw.

CanuckObserver
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Re: Consequences of Reneging Full-Time Firm Offer

Postby CanuckObserver » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:06 am

If you really feel the desire to go for the opportunity, go for it. However, it is unlikely you will break into Big Law down the road at that point. Non-Big Law may be possible in a year or two, but the longer you are out of school, the tougher it will be when there are experienced associates and new graduates to compete with. If you want to actually practice law, then the choice may not be so easy.

Are you planning to still take the bar?




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