Anonymous User wrote:Anonymous User wrote:Just got a D. Ct. clerkship for next year and contemplating not accepting my offer to my firm from this summer. Didn't love the experience and more importantly it doesn't have a great rep for my desired practice area. I have a couple questions and any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.
For those who went through a similar thought process, how did you decide whether or not to pull the trigger on switching firms? I know I didn't love my firm, but how bad does it have to be to go to another firm permanently w/o the benefit of a summer's worth of knowledge?
There are a lot of other considerations involved, but I'm also curious how much money that decision could cost me. Would a firm I didn't summer with still pay for bar prep, moving expenses, clerkship bonus, etc.? Also, is there a good source for comparing clerkship bonuses firm to firm?
The proper first step is to ask your judge how s/he prefers to handle firm offers. Some judges prefer that you ask the firm to close the offer and to re-extend the offer towards the end of your clerkship. Some judges allow you to have an open offer, but do not allow you to accept it. Some judges allow you to accept an offer, but not to accept any money or benefit from the firm. Finally, a some judges allow you to accept an offer and receive money from the firm prior to the clerkship, but the money cannot be a salary advance (these are considered loans).
The second step is to find out if your firm will allow you to accept/receive money, some will not.
If the firm will allow you to accept, then you need to decide whether or not you want to return there. If, as you say, you are sure that you do not want to return, then you should not accept the offer. You can ask them to leave the offer open. You can also consider trying to get a pre-clerkship SA if you want to try another firm.
I know this was asked in another thread, and to answer the question presented there - it is not ethical to accept an offer from a firm and receive money from them if you know that there is absolutely zero odds of you returning there. That's different, though, from changing your mind - this happens, and the most important thing to do if you accept and change your mind is to be honest with the prior firm and to talk to them well in advance of the start date.
Not OP but thx for the very useful info. Any advice on how to approach other firms? Has anyone had the experience of having a firm they didn't summer w pay their bar expenses?