Anonymous User wrote:Just got a D. Ct. clerkship for next year and contemplating not accepting my offer to my firm from this summer. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.
There are a lot of other considerations involved, but I'm 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?
I posted this in the clerkship thread, I think it might lend some insight:
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.