Reneging on Accepted Offer

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Anonymous User
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Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:48 pm

Hey TLS,

In a bit of a dilemma here. I am getting a lot of pushback from my summer firm about accepting my offer. Apparently, I am the only summer who has yet to accept my offer and some associates have told me (informally) that my delay in accepting my offer has upset some of the partners, etc. A few partners have even emailed me to ask whats up . . .

Unfortunately, everyone knows that I am not applying for clerkships, so I can't use that excuse. I would like until November 1 to make a formal response . . . what do I tell the firm? Should I just accept and then renege later if I find something else that I'd rather do? Or is that a terrible idea?

This is a major firm in a major market - we have had our offers for about 30 days.

Anonymous User
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:51 pm

Just accept the offer and be glad you have a job

Anonymous User
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just accept the offer and be glad you have a job


OP here. that's not a helpful solution.

09042014
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby 09042014 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:53 pm

What are your reservations?

Anonymous User
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:54 pm

What's the reasoning for wanting to wait until November 1? Are you doing OCI? Do you have other interviews lined up? Questioning your desire to do biglaw altogether?

Another topic on this forum just posed a similar question about reneging on an offer. Consensus is that it's unethical. It will burn bridges and annoy the firm. But if you can live with that, I guess no one can tell you otherwise. But again, I think the reason matters because if you are looking to go to another firm, you likely won't get a good recommendation from this firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the reasoning for wanting to wait until November 1? Are you doing OCI? Do you have other interviews lined up? Questioning your desire to do biglaw altogether?

Another topic on this forum just posed a similar question about reneging on an offer. Consensus is that it's unethical. It will burn bridges and annoy the firm. But if you can live with that, I guess no one can tell you otherwise. But again, I think the reason matters because if you are looking to go to another firm, you likely won't get a good recommendation from this firm.


OP here.

Yeah, I am doing OCI and have several callbacks pending/completed. The CBs are in the same market as the firm. I realize that it is unethical to accept and then renege, but isn't it unethical of the firm to bully me into accepting?

Anonymous User
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I am doing OCI and have several callbacks pending/completed. The CBs are in the same market as the firm. I realize that it is unethical to accept and then renege, but isn't it unethical of the firm to bully me into accepting?


No. It's not unethical of the firm to bully you into accepting. You have 28 days per the NALP guidelines. You indicated that it's been 30 days. Make a decision. Be happy they haven't taken their offer back for missing the deadline.

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sunynp
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby sunynp » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:03 pm

When did you get your offer? What is the deadline for you to accept? Are you getting close to the deadline?

I think the firm wants to know for staffing reasons. They want to know if they need to hire someone else. this is important to them for planning purposes. They aren't bullying you into accepting.

Do not accept the offer and then renege. Just email them and tell them that you love the firm and that you loved the summer, but need until whatever deadline they gave you to decide. You don't have to say much more than that.
Last edited by sunynp on Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

de5igual
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby de5igual » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I am doing OCI and have several callbacks pending/completed. The CBs are in the same market as the firm. I realize that it is unethical to accept and then renege, but isn't it unethical of the firm to bully me into accepting?


No. It's not unethical of the firm to bully you into accepting. You have 28 days per the NALP guidelines. You indicated that it's been 30 days. Make a decision. Be happy they haven't taken their offer back for missing the deadline.


OP is talking about a full-time offer. The 28 day thing is only for 2Ls. S/he has until Nov 1 per NALP guidelines.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What's the reasoning for wanting to wait until November 1? Are you doing OCI? Do you have other interviews lined up? Questioning your desire to do biglaw altogether?

Another topic on this forum just posed a similar question about reneging on an offer. Consensus is that it's unethical. It will burn bridges and annoy the firm. But if you can live with that, I guess no one can tell you otherwise. But again, I think the reason matters because if you are looking to go to another firm, you likely won't get a good recommendation from this firm.


OP here.

Yeah, I am doing OCI and have several callbacks pending/completed. The CBs are in the same market as the firm. I realize that it is unethical to accept and then renege, but isn't it unethical of the firm to bully me into accepting?


Regardless of whether its ethical for them to do it or not, they are in the power position seeing as how they are offering you full-time employment after graduation. They have a good reason to question why you haven't accepted the offer yet- especially without any explanation to them. Have you contacted the firm's recruiting department to ask them how long the offer will stay open? November 1 seems like a pretty late date to get back to the firm. Wouldn't you know by mid September if you have any pending offers with other firms?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:12 pm

sunynp wrote:When did you get your offer? What is the deadline for you to accept? Are you getting close to the deadline?

I think the firm wants to know for staffing reasons. They want to know if they need to hire someone else. this is important to them for planning purposes. They aren't bullying you into accepting.

Do not accept the offer and then renege. Just email them and tell them that you love the firm and that you loved the summer, but need until whatever deadline they gave you to decide. You don't have to say much more than that.

Yeah, this. Except that "whatever deadline they gave you" is the November 1 NALP deadline that ALL firms have agreed to abide by. If that is somehow inconsistent with their staffing plans, then that's on them.

I don't blame you for being perturbed by them pressuring you. It's unseemly and nearly a violation of the NALP rules. You don't owe them a response for two months. You also don't owe them an explanation.

patentlybored
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby patentlybored » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:13 pm

Don't be a reneger.

keg411
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby keg411 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:14 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
sunynp wrote:When did you get your offer? What is the deadline for you to accept? Are you getting close to the deadline?

I think the firm wants to know for staffing reasons. They want to know if they need to hire someone else. this is important to them for planning purposes. They aren't bullying you into accepting.

Do not accept the offer and then renege. Just email them and tell them that you love the firm and that you loved the summer, but need until whatever deadline they gave you to decide. You don't have to say much more than that.

Yeah, this. Except that "whatever deadline they gave you" is the November 1 NALP deadline that ALL firms have agreed to abide by. If that is somehow inconsistent with their staffing plans, then that's on them.

I don't blame you for being perturbed by them pressuring you. It's unseemly and nearly a violation of the NALP rules. You don't owe them a response for two months. You also don't owe them an explanation.


+1. In fact, if I were you, the pressure would make me more likely to go somewhere else.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby ima201 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:47 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
sunynp wrote:When did you get your offer? What is the deadline for you to accept? Are you getting close to the deadline?

I think the firm wants to know for staffing reasons. They want to know if they need to hire someone else. this is important to them for planning purposes. They aren't bullying you into accepting.

Do not accept the offer and then renege. Just email them and tell them that you love the firm and that you loved the summer, but need until whatever deadline they gave you to decide. You don't have to say much more than that.

Yeah, this. Except that "whatever deadline they gave you" is the November 1 NALP deadline that ALL firms have agreed to abide by. If that is somehow inconsistent with their staffing plans, then that's on them.

I don't blame you for being perturbed by them pressuring you. It's unseemly and nearly a violation of the NALP rules. You don't owe them a response for two months. You also don't owe them an explanation.


It's actually a good thing that the firm is communicating. You'd much rather they give you the subtle warnings now than passive-aggressively wait until Nov 1 while lowering their opinion of you.

You're correct that the Nov 1 deadline is technically the deadline. There's no getting around the fact that the firm should observe this deadline in order to behave ethically. However, the business reality is that no one wants to be someone's backup choice. You should probably look beyond the technical rule and recognize that delaying will likely have an impact on your relationship with the firm. Whether or not they hold the offer open is no more important than how they feel about you when you start working for them.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:57 am

Even if the firm is not pressuring you, partners are still forming a bad impression of you. At any big firm, you will piss off people if you accept a day before the deadline. You will piss off even more people if you decline by the deadline. The firm doesn't care about you accepting. They just want to know now as opposed to later.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:59 pm

ima201 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
sunynp wrote:When did you get your offer? What is the deadline for you to accept? Are you getting close to the deadline?

I think the firm wants to know for staffing reasons. They want to know if they need to hire someone else. this is important to them for planning purposes. They aren't bullying you into accepting.

Do not accept the offer and then renege. Just email them and tell them that you love the firm and that you loved the summer, but need until whatever deadline they gave you to decide. You don't have to say much more than that.

Yeah, this. Except that "whatever deadline they gave you" is the November 1 NALP deadline that ALL firms have agreed to abide by. If that is somehow inconsistent with their staffing plans, then that's on them.

I don't blame you for being perturbed by them pressuring you. It's unseemly and nearly a violation of the NALP rules. You don't owe them a response for two months. You also don't owe them an explanation.


It's actually a good thing that the firm is communicating. You'd much rather they give you the subtle warnings now than passive-aggressively wait until Nov 1 while lowering their opinion of you.

You're correct that the Nov 1 deadline is technically the deadline. There's no getting around the fact that the firm should observe this deadline in order to behave ethically. However, the business reality is that no one wants to be someone's backup choice. You should probably look beyond the technical rule and recognize that delaying will likely have an impact on your relationship with the firm. Whether or not they hold the offer open is no more important than how they feel about you when you start working for them.

This is right, of course, but I would find it off-putting that the firm was taking a delay of one month so negatively. There are plenty of reasons someone might need to take time to decide that have nothing to do with the firm being a backup choice—family issues, for instance. A good workplace would recognize this instead of taking the delay as some sort of insult.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby zomginternets » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:26 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
ima201 wrote:
It's actually a good thing that the firm is communicating. You'd much rather they give you the subtle warnings now than passive-aggressively wait until Nov 1 while lowering their opinion of you.

You're correct that the Nov 1 deadline is technically the deadline. There's no getting around the fact that the firm should observe this deadline in order to behave ethically. However, the business reality is that no one wants to be someone's backup choice. You should probably look beyond the technical rule and recognize that delaying will likely have an impact on your relationship with the firm. Whether or not they hold the offer open is no more important than how they feel about you when you start working for them.

This is right, of course, but I would find it off-putting that the firm was taking a delay of one month so negatively. There are plenty of reasons someone might need to take time to decide that have nothing to do with the firm being a backup choice—family issues, for instance. A good workplace would recognize this instead of taking the delay as some sort of insult.


Yes, but OP hasn't indicated to the firm that any of the "reasonable" excuses (i.e. other than interviewing at other firms) is causing his delay. Absent such an explanation, the firm will assume that he's trying to trade up right now and then leave them screwed on Nov 1. Obviously a firm won't be happy at that prospect.

OP, if you have/can formulate a legit reason to not have accepted yet, then tell them (family is always a good one and no one would really question it). You can only persuade them not to be upset about you not yet accepting, you can't force them not to be upset.

Edit: and I don't recommend you renege, but I'm just basing that on personal moral reasons.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:34 pm

I'd be really worried about burning your bridges, even if you end up accepting the offer in the end. The partners won't forget that you were the 1 summer who had to go through OCI and CB's, which they will take as a sign that you were unsatisfied with your experience, or feel that you can do better. Tread very carefully in addressing this situation.

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ggocat
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby ggocat » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:20 pm

You should ask then if they follow the NALP guidelines to determine if you have until November 1, or ask them when they would like a response. It sounds like a lack of communication between all of y'all about the date.

IMO, NALP is stupid and does not reflect reality. Also, you should reject the firm if you don't want to work there. That's just common courtesy. It's not "unethical" to accept and then renege. If you have a good reason to not work, I think it's fine to renege. But don't do it simply because you want a higher vault ranking or something asinine like that.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:55 pm

Your firm is begining to think you are an asshole, and you sort of are. I don't care about NALP, I care about being a considerate person. In the real world, when someone offers you a job, you either accept immediately, or tell them why you need more time without lying - you've just sort of not responded from what you describe. They spend tens of thousands of lost dollars recruiting you and paying you for the summer, money they view as an investment. And you're waffling and stringing them on - they aren't stupid, they know you're shopping for other opportunities, using their offer as a bargaining chip (and, if you aren't doing that, you should be with the harm to your nacent career you are inflicting). They have a plan for you, and now you're screwing them if they need to recuit a replacement for you - you've thrown off their recruiting plan. Sure, its business - but its also about relationships, the legal community is smaller than you think, and now they may begin to regret ever having spent a dime on you, especially because you seem ungrateful.

If you aren't fricken ecstatic that you got an offer for full time employment from that firm, then just say no. Partners are pissed, emailing you to see whats up? Yeah, you've screwed up before you even began working.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What's the reasoning for wanting to wait until November 1? Are you doing OCI? Do you have other interviews lined up? Questioning your desire to do biglaw altogether?

Another topic on this forum just posed a similar question about reneging on an offer. Consensus is that it's unethical. It will burn bridges and annoy the firm. But if you can live with that, I guess no one can tell you otherwise. But again, I think the reason matters because if you are looking to go to another firm, you likely won't get a good recommendation from this firm.


OP here.

Yeah, I am doing OCI and have several callbacks pending/completed. The CBs are in the same market as the firm. I realize that it is unethical to accept and then renege, but isn't it unethical of the firm to bully me into accepting?


No, it is not unethical to ask the summer associate who took their money all summer to make a decision now. Its not a matter of ethics - its a matter of integrity. You should immediately tell them you need time to consider other offers you are pursuing instead of leaving them to speculate amongst themselves. You should have said this at first - you may not have pissed off anyone if you were upfront and honest instead of a shady-Mc-shaderson. You're not doing that because you will sound like an ungrateful prick and they may even withdraw their offer. But by staying silent, you seem like an ungrateful, shady prick. Actually, everything you're doing reeks of an asshole. If a summer did this at my firm and I had a say, I'd say fuck'em, its a buyers market for law firms looking for law student hires.

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:13 pm

People have a very odd sense of loyalty to these firms. Many of them promise tons of summers that they will receive an offer at the end of the summer as long as there are no problems, and then they no-offer hoardes of them every year for "financial reasons" etc. Further, many get no-offers because their grades dropped after they were hired as summers and many firms even stealth lay-off first years for financial reasons. But people think that students owe such huge loyalties to these firms to the point that they HAVE to accept or decline an offer before a deadline that hasn't passed that the firms themselves agree to :?: :?: :?: Firms care next to nothing about students/associates and will fire them at the drop of a hat. But people think you owe them a fast answer to an offer that's supposed to be open for almost 2 more months...

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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby de5igual » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:17 pm

zomginternets wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
ima201 wrote:
It's actually a good thing that the firm is communicating. You'd much rather they give you the subtle warnings now than passive-aggressively wait until Nov 1 while lowering their opinion of you.

You're correct that the Nov 1 deadline is technically the deadline. There's no getting around the fact that the firm should observe this deadline in order to behave ethically. However, the business reality is that no one wants to be someone's backup choice. You should probably look beyond the technical rule and recognize that delaying will likely have an impact on your relationship with the firm. Whether or not they hold the offer open is no more important than how they feel about you when you start working for them.

This is right, of course, but I would find it off-putting that the firm was taking a delay of one month so negatively. There are plenty of reasons someone might need to take time to decide that have nothing to do with the firm being a backup choice—family issues, for instance. A good workplace would recognize this instead of taking the delay as some sort of insult.


Yes, but OP hasn't indicated to the firm that any of the "reasonable" excuses (i.e. other than interviewing at other firms) is causing his delay. Absent such an explanation, the firm will assume that he's trying to trade up right now and then leave them screwed on Nov 1. Obviously a firm won't be happy at that prospect.

OP, if you have/can formulate a legit reason to not have accepted yet, then tell them (family is always a good one and no one would really question it). You can only persuade them not to be upset about you not yet accepting, you can't force them not to be upset.

Edit: and I don't recommend you renege, but I'm just basing that on personal moral reasons.


To the bolded, since OP is interviewing in the same market as his/her current firm, OP should not fabricate an excuse. Chances are, the firm already knows OP is doing callbacks and at which exact firms. Recruiting people talk and gossip, especially about 3Ls who are shopping around for better offers.

sparty99
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby sparty99 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:48 pm

Clearly you need to learn how to play the game. You have already ruined relationships and have Partners emailing you. Be a damn man. Tell them you need xyz date or accept the offer and renege down the line. You sound kind of greedy. I would have pulled the offer.

keg411
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Re: Reneging on Accepted Offer

Postby keg411 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:55 pm

sparty99 wrote:Clearly you need to learn how to play the game. You have already ruined relationships and have Partners emailing you. Be a damn man. Tell them you need xyz date or accept the offer and renege down the line. You sound kind of greedy. I would have pulled the offer.


FWIW - this is exactly why NALP has the November 1 rule; so that employers can't pull the offer. And there are reasons to see what else is out there for reasons besides "greed", such as wanting to be in a practice area that your SA firm has no room in or indicated you won't be placed in or just doesn't have in general.

Obviously the firm has reasons to want to know, but I don't think OP is in the wrong here. (And this comes from someone who accepted in the first few days).




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