Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

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Anonymous User
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Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:50 pm

I got an offer last semester from a mid size firm in a small town. Since then, my grades have drastically improved and several large firms have posted on our simplicity that I would like to apply to. Is that off limits? I really do not want to work in that small town over the summer, and furthermore, by the way the firm sounded during my interview, it seemed like they were scraping by for work so I may not even get an offer.

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IAFG
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby IAFG » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:52 pm

morbid tag

anna11
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby anna11 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:07 pm

You absolutely should feel free to do that without any qualms at all. Also, be sure to include the small town firm on your resume as expected employment and mention in your cover letters that you are willing to renege your offer at the small town firm if offered a different position. The resume will show your prospective firms that you are in demand and the cover letter will demonstrate your level of interest, i.e., you're so interested that you're willing deliver a low blow to small town firm for the chance to work at prospective firm. Sounds like a win-win to me.

:roll:
Last edited by anna11 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:10 pm

Talk with your career services office.

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kalvano
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Talk with your career services office.


I think that depends on whether or not OP received the job through OCI / Symplicity, or on his/her own through mass mailings. If you got the job on your own, then I don't think Career Services should have any say in the matter.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:21 am

Are you a 2L? I suspect you are, since you're concerned about "getting an offer." If so, then that's a tough question. (Though the official, correct answer is: No, you shouldn't do this.) But if you're a 1L—definitely stick with your first commitment.

Anonymous User
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:09 am

Original OP here. I'm a 2L. I got the job through mailing on my own, although the firm did post on symplicity at some point. I emailed career services and I will see what they say. I'm now top 20% at a T-30 so I feel like I have a decent shot at some of these bigger firms that have positions. I'll let you all know what happens

Geist13
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Geist13 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:48 am

dude, it's 1 out of three semesters, your GPA couldn't have improved that drastically.

c3pO4
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby c3pO4 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:33 am

i think you are overvaluing your gpa improvements. its too late in the game for any large firm to hire you at this pt. you probably won't get anything beyond ur existing offer.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:Original OP here. I'm a 2L. I got the job through mailing on my own, although the firm did post on symplicity at some point. I emailed career services and I will see what they say. I'm now top 20% at a T-30 so I feel like I have a decent shot at some of these bigger firms that have positions. I'll let you all know what happens

Should we all take turns trying to exactly reproduce what his CSO will tell him?

Top 20% at a T-30 is nothing to sneeze at, but it's also not a sure thing. It also entirely depends on which T-30, Minn. places at a dramatically different rate than BC.

Lastly, unless an offer fell into your lap from something you applied to long before you accepted the small firm, I would never even think of what your proposing and even then not do it. GTL has it right.

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sunynp
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby sunynp » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:33 am

I think you need to see if you will get another job. If the small firm is going to leave you a jobless 3L, then you should see if you can find something better. I understand taking that job if it was the only one you could get. If you can find something else with low no offer rates, then you should explain to the small firm that your plans have changed and you won't be living in the area this summer.

BUT, don't count your chickens. Better ranking +symplicity listing doesn't equal a job. You probably won't have to make this choice.

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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Grizz » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:54 am

Image

seatown12
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby seatown12 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:35 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:And if you think the rules for the firm's behavior differ from those governing your own, explain why.

The stakes are much higher for him than the firm. The firm could lose him as a summer and would be able to get by even if they couldn't replace him--but of course they can easily replace him because there are thousands of law students begging for jobs. If the firm just took his job away he would be in a terrible position from which his career might never recover. The unequal bargaining power is what makes the rules different for him.

Also, since this guy got the job on his own, I agree with the poster who said Career Services should have absolutely no say in his decision.

lawhawk
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby lawhawk » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:45 pm

IMO you need to do what's best for you. You only live once. Previous poster is right, you're less important to the firm than the firm is to you. It's not like you're starting an office somewhere and the firm is relying on you.

People renege on "commitments" and go to where is best for them. National Signing Day was yesterday, if you need an example.

Do what you want and don't feel bad about it. Again, just my opinion.

slsplease
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby slsplease » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:40 am

I agree that the firm is in a much different position than you are. The firm will likely hire someone else if you renege so at worst you will cause their team HR some inconvenience.

Be sure that you don't want to work at this small firm, though. That's definitely a burned bridge.

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romothesavior
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:55 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What should the small firm do if they get some apps from people with better stats than you? If you think the firm should hire them and kick you to the curb, then go nuts and apply to the larger firms. If you think the firm should not hire them and keep their word to you, don't. And if you think the rules for the firm's behavior differ from those governing your own, explain why.

I really respect and value your opinion on TLS and usually agree with you, but I couldn't disagree more with this analogy. I agree with your conclusion (he probably shouldn't bail), but to suggest that the employer and OP have the same leverage, interests, power, etc. is kind of silly. They aren't on a mutual plane. If OP backs out, yes it is horrible etiquette and the firm would have to scramble, but they'd move on. If the firm backs out, OP would be far more screwed. Or more likely, if this firm no-offers OP at the end of the summer as many small firms are inclined to do, then OP is screwed. I'm all for keeping your word, but at what cost? If OP sacrifices a shot at a six-figure job to go to a firm that ends up no-offering him, then that loyalty was misplaced and got him nowhere.

OP, when this firm was recruiting you, did they make it sound like this was just a summer gig, or that this was intended to lead to full time employment? A lot of smaller firms have a "make you earn it" attitude and view the current employment situation as more of just a summer job than an offer that is yours to lose. I think this dynamic is important in how you decide to proceed. Personally, I would have trouble backing out on a firm that is making a clear commitment to me and has made it clear they want me to come on. On the other hand, if this is just a "let's see what happens this summer and maybe you'll get a job and maybe you won't" situation, I would say you'd be justified in heading to a firm that is hiring you with an eye towards post-graduate employment.

This is all very speculative though. 2L SA hiring at big firms is pretty much over, so your odds of landing something are slim to none. Your best bet (and most likely option) is to work for this firm and then try your hand at 3L OCI. If your grades continue to improve and you have an offer in hand, you can at least give 3L OCI a shot. It's a long shot from a T30, but you might get lucky and find some success.

Keep us posted though. I am interested to hear.

seatown12
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby seatown12 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:28 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Romo and others make a pretty compelling argument that OP and the firm are differently situated, thus justifying differing rules of conduct for each. I understand and agree with that point. But I also strongly believe that one should keep his word. Agreements -- promises, really -- are not just temporary arrangements meant to last until something marginally better comes along. OP seemed to be giving that consideration short shrift. The notion is not outcome determinative, but some of the posts above proceeded as if it did not matter at all.

Romo is also absolutely right that all of this is likely moot.

Employment at will is what it is. Like others have mentioned this firm would have no compulsion about no-offering OP were that to become expedient. For better or worse the employer/employee relationship is, in fact, just a temporary arrangement and we shouldn't pretend otherwise.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:36 pm

seatown12 wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Romo and others make a pretty compelling argument that OP and the firm are differently situated, thus justifying differing rules of conduct for each. I understand and agree with that point. But I also strongly believe that one should keep his word. Agreements -- promises, really -- are not just temporary arrangements meant to last until something marginally better comes along. OP seemed to be giving that consideration short shrift. The notion is not outcome determinative, but some of the posts above proceeded as if it did not matter at all.

Romo is also absolutely right that all of this is likely moot.

Employment at will is what it is. Like others have mentioned this firm would have no compulsion about no-offering OP were that to become expedient. For better or worse the employer/employee relationship is, in fact, just a temporary arrangement and we shouldn't pretend otherwise.


There is a slight error in that analogy. A firm would have no compulsion about no-offering if it became expedient, but it would not look for a way to no-offer. If it discovered it's profits were down, it would decide the need to maintain its profits superseded its duty to OP. It would not say though that it should look for a better qualified 3L to replace OP if he is already doing satisfactory work. That's the difference here. If OP was saying his fiancee got a job in another town and he needed to renege to move with her, that would be fine. But saying he wants to go looking for a better firm and will renege on the first firm is the moral problem.

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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:37 pm

romothesavior wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What should the small firm do if they get some apps from people with better stats than you? If you think the firm should hire them and kick you to the curb, then go nuts and apply to the larger firms. If you think the firm should not hire them and keep their word to you, don't. And if you think the rules for the firm's behavior differ from those governing your own, explain why.

I really respect and value your opinion on TLS and usually agree with you, but I couldn't disagree more with this analogy. I agree with your conclusion (he probably shouldn't bail), but to suggest that the employer and OP have the same leverage, interests, power, etc. is kind of silly. They aren't on a mutual plane. If OP backs out, yes it is horrible etiquette and the firm would have to scramble, but they'd move on. If the firm backs out, OP would be far more screwed. Or more likely, if this firm no-offers OP at the end of the summer as many small firms are inclined to do, then OP is screwed. I'm all for keeping your word, but at what cost? If OP sacrifices a shot at a six-figure job to go to a firm that ends up no-offering him, then that loyalty was misplaced and got him nowhere.

OP, when this firm was recruiting you, did they make it sound like this was just a summer gig, or that this was intended to lead to full time employment? A lot of smaller firms have a "make you earn it" attitude and view the current employment situation as more of just a summer job than an offer that is yours to lose. I think this dynamic is important in how you decide to proceed. Personally, I would have trouble backing out on a firm that is making a clear commitment to me and has made it clear they want me to come on. On the other hand, if this is just a "let's see what happens this summer and maybe you'll get a job and maybe you won't" situation, I would say you'd be justified in heading to a firm that is hiring you with an eye towards post-graduate employment.

This is all very speculative though. 2L SA hiring at big firms is pretty much over, so your odds of landing something are slim to none. Your best bet (and most likely option) is to work for this firm and then try your hand at 3L OCI. If your grades continue to improve and you have an offer in hand, you can at least give 3L OCI a shot. It's a long shot from a T30, but you might get lucky and find some success.

Keep us posted though. I am interested to hear.


Original OP here, the firm specifically told me that they were not positive if they had a position to give me at the end of the summer. They also only gave me 1 week to decide on whether or not to accept the offer, so I really had to make a quick and rash decision. I talked to someone who worked there as a summer associate last summer, and out of 2 summers, they only gave 1 offer because of a lack of $. So I know they have the capability to no-offer again. I am absolutely not the type of person who goes back on my word in promises, but at the same time, I feel that I need to look out for my best interest which may mean exploring my options at other firms.

Of course, like all of you said, there is a VERY small chance of me getting another offer. But I just wanted to see what everyone thought before I even wasted my time applying.

Renzo
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Renzo » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:44 pm

seatown12 wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Romo and others make a pretty compelling argument that OP and the firm are differently situated, thus justifying differing rules of conduct for each. I understand and agree with that point. But I also strongly believe that one should keep his word. Agreements -- promises, really -- are not just temporary arrangements meant to last until something marginally better comes along. OP seemed to be giving that consideration short shrift. The notion is not outcome determinative, but some of the posts above proceeded as if it did not matter at all.

Romo is also absolutely right that all of this is likely moot.

Employment at will is what it is. Like others have mentioned this firm would have no compulsion about no-offering OP were that to become expedient. For better or worse the employer/employee relationship is, in fact, just a temporary arrangement and we shouldn't pretend otherwise.



You are conflating the legal enforceability of an at-will employment agreement and the moral/social responsibility to keep your word.

Yes, circumstances might come up that would cause a firm to rescind an offer; and, similarly, there are circumstances where a candidate would be justified in reneging. But. "we don't have any work, so we can't afford to pay you and we need to rescind your offer" and "I got a better grade and now I think I can do better" are not equals on scale of justifiable reasons for breaking an agreement. I think GTL's comparison is an apt one: if you don't think the employer should keep reviewing applications on the chance that someone better might apply, then the applicant shouldn't keep looking for jobs after accepting one.

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romothesavior
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Original OP here, the firm specifically told me that they were not positive if they had a position to give me at the end of the summer. They also only gave me 1 week to decide on whether or not to accept the offer, so I really had to make a quick and rash decision. I talked to someone who worked there as a summer associate last summer, and out of 2 summers, they only gave 1 offer because of a lack of $. So I know they have the capability to no-offer again. I am absolutely not the type of person who goes back on my word in promises, but at the same time, I feel that I need to look out for my best interest which may mean exploring my options at other firms.

Of course, like all of you said, there is a VERY small chance of me getting another offer. But I just wanted to see what everyone thought before I even wasted my time applying.

If this is true, then I'd say you need to look out for you. If they are already setting you up to get no-offered and were so TTT that they strong-armed you into taking a gig with a one week turnaround, then it sounds like this is not a good place for you to go. You are probably not going to get anything with a biglaw firm now, but I'd certainly be looking if I were you. You don't want to be jobless next year and look back and think, "What if I'd tried?" They can and probably will no-offer you and not even bat an eye, which could have a devastating effect on your career. I don't think you should feel bad for bailing if a more permanent opportunity comes along.

Danteshek
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:56 pm

All these firms will fuck you the first chance they get. They will use and abuse you, lie to you, and wreck your self esteem. Have some balls and do what is best for you.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:12 pm

Danteshek wrote:All these firms will fuck you the first chance they get. They will use and abuse you, lie to you, and wreck your self esteem. Have some balls and do what is best for you.


Yes, they'll do all of those things and be shocked if you ever utter so much as a peep back to them. It feels awesome strutting into your dick of a boss who's made you work 80 hour weeks the last year and thrusting your resignation letter in his fat face. It sucks when he gets you blacklisted from that dream job you wanted because he's a petty SOB and still has the power to tell his SOB friends on the golf course about what a loser you are.

mrloblaw
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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby mrloblaw » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:18 am

Forget the principled ethical debates. OP's top 20% at a T30, and he already has a job. How much further up can he possibly expect to go?

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Re: Reneging on Summer Associate Position?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:54 am

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Danteshek wrote:All these firms will fuck you the first chance they get. They will use and abuse you, lie to you, and wreck your self esteem. Have some balls and do what is best for you.


Yes, they'll do all of those things and be shocked if you ever utter so much as a peep back to them. It feels awesome strutting into your dick of a boss who's made you work 80 hour weeks the last year and thrusting your resignation letter in his fat face. It sucks when he gets you blacklisted from that dream job you wanted because he's a petty SOB and still has the power to tell his SOB friends on the golf course about what a loser you are.


IMO the decision to reneg depends on your risk tolerence. It is possible that small firm partner could blackball you by telling all his law friends. However, I don't think it is that likely. The partner is probably far too busy to care about that.

In contract law, there is an efficient breach of contract. Just because you breach a contract doesn't mean you are a bad unethical person.

I was in a similar situation last year. I took one of those small law firm jobs with a week or so deadline on the offer and with a historically 50% or lower chance at getting hired back. My grades increased to top 10% 2nd semester and I didn't actively look. I ended up getting no offered and I really regret not actively looking around for more SA positions. 3L OCI is tough even at T10 schools. Add in the fact that you are at a T30 and not top 10%, the search becomes even more bleak. A "no offer" on top of everthing would just seal the deal on your future shitlaw career.

IMO I think you should keep networking, and applying to firms. To be honest, I think your chance of getting a midlaw/biglaw at this point is probably pretty low absent language or other special skills. I think it also depends on whether you are at IU or BU/BC.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.




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