Reneging on Public Interest Position

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Anonymous User
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Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:35 pm

Hey all, wanted some advice.

1L at HYS, top 1/3 grades here. I had some callbacks with firms, but still haven't been able to secure a position. I'm still interviewing, and I definitely, absolutely would take any firm over any PI position.

That said, I also applied for some PI, and got a pretty decent offer. They gave me 2 weeks to accept. If at the end of the 2 weeks I still haven't found something (firm), I would accept.

How terrible would it be if I reneged on the PI offer if I got a firm offer after the deadline? I never want to go into PI again, and don't care about burning bridges. Would there be repercussions?

the lantern
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby the lantern » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:04 pm

I think, in general, it is a bad idea to accept an offer knowing full well that you would renege upon receiving a better offer. If, however, you accept the PI offer (because its the best option you have) , and then two months later, a firm decides it would like to hire one more SA and calls you for an interview (i.e. you didn't submit a new application after accepting the offer), that isn't so bad. I think actively looking for work after accepting an offer is poor form, and has the potential to sour your reputation (although how widely this bad reputation would spread is debatable).

At the same time, you have to look out for yourself, or no one else will. Personally, I find nothing morally/ethically objectionable to accepting an offer and continuing to apply for "dream job" type stuff. If you're still continuing a full scale job search though, I think that would be wrong, and you would be better off just declining the PI offer and keeping your options open. Something tells me that a 1L at HYS (and top 1/3) should not have trouble finding work at "any firm" (your words)....

ALSO!!!!! This is kind of important, depending on what kind of person you are.

I had the opportunity to hang out with some career services people at an event once, and we were talking post-grad employment. These CSO people were from schools of your calibre or similar-- so don't think this is just some problem that affects us plebes outside of the t6/14. I told them I was recently hired by a certain PI employer. A couple of them said that some of their students had reneged on offers with that employer before, and they were pretty sure that no one from their school would get hired ever again until the hiring person changed. So I guess all I'm saying is that there is a potential that you could be screwing over future classmates by showing your ass as a representative of HYS.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:34 pm

the lantern wrote:I think, in general, it is a bad idea to accept an offer knowing full well that you would renege upon receiving a better offer. If, however, you accept the PI offer (because its the best option you have) , and then two months later, a firm decides it would like to hire one more SA and calls you for an interview (i.e. you didn't submit a new application after accepting the offer), that isn't so bad. I think actively looking for work after accepting an offer is poor form, and has the potential to sour your reputation (although how widely this bad reputation would spread is debatable).

At the same time, you have to look out for yourself, or no one else will. Personally, I find nothing morally/ethically objectionable to accepting an offer and continuing to apply for "dream job" type stuff. If you're still continuing a full scale job search though, I think that would be wrong, and you would be better off just declining the PI offer and keeping your options open. Something tells me that a 1L at HYS (and top 1/3) should not have trouble finding work at "any firm" (your words)....

ALSO!!!!! This is kind of important, depending on what kind of person you are.

I had the opportunity to hang out with some career services people at an event once, and we were talking post-grad employment. These CSO people were from schools of your calibre or similar-- so don't think this is just some problem that affects us plebes outside of the t6/14. I told them I was recently hired by a certain PI employer. A couple of them said that some of their students had reneged on offers with that employer before, and they were pretty sure that no one from their school would get hired ever again until the hiring person changed. So I guess all I'm saying is that there is a potential that you could be screwing over future classmates by showing your ass as a representative of HYS.

I'm pretty sure every PI organization deals with 1Ls reneging every year (especially the ones that extend offers extremely early). They are used to it.

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JO 14
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby JO 14 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:47 pm

If the organization reached out through the school, it could get sticky. Schools abhor being placed in this embarrassing situation.

the lantern
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby the lantern » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:09 pm

Yeah, maybe with 1L internships (like the above poster said), it isn't as big of a deal to renege as opposed to a post-grad offer of employment, for example. Still, I think most of my concerns would still apply.

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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:46 am

Thanks for the responses! Really appreciate it.

I agree with what the lantern said--I won't be applying to any more position, but I have many that are still "open". For now I will keep them open and see what happens.

Unfortunately, as I've been finding with sending out over 150 resumes/cover letters, even someone at HYS with top 1/3 grades has trouble finding any kind of paid work for the summer. I did go straight through, not a URM, and no significant family/contacts. Guess I just didn't apply broadly enough.

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arkansawyer
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby arkansawyer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:53 pm

Hey dude, how do you know that you're top 1/3? Not trying to call you out, I've just been trying to figure where I sit. I'm a 1L at HLS and the unknown curve is killing me.

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Objection
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:32 am

Gotta love how many of our best and brightest treat PI jobs like pieces of shit, and want to rush to defend these mammoth corporations.

Not entirely the students fault, but still sad.

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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:38 am

arkansawyer wrote:Hey dude, how do you know that you're top 1/3? Not trying to call you out, I've just been trying to figure where I sit. I'm a 1L at HLS and the unknown curve is killing me.


figured the median right now is between 1 and 2 (since the median for the whole year is 3), and I had more than that.

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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:40 am

Objection wrote:Gotta love how many of our best and brightest treat PI jobs like pieces of shit, and want to rush to defend these mammoth corporations.

Not entirely the students fault, but still sad.


If you believe that I'm one of the best and brightest, don't you think I deserve to be paid for my work?

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romothesavior
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:43 am

Objection wrote:Gotta love how many of our best and brightest treat PI jobs like pieces of shit, and want to rush to defend these mammoth corporations.

Not entirely the students fault, but still sad.

Spare us the moralizing about biglaw vs. PI, it's not the purpose of this thread.

As for the OP, I agree with thelatern as well. I wouldn't continue putting out apps, but if a paid gig with a possibility of long-term employment comes along, then an employer at an unpaid gig with little intention of post-graduate employment can't really be too upset about that. But at the same time, you're likely pretty safe for a biglaw job post-graduation, so don't be too upset if you don't get a 1L SA. Even at HYS, they are by no means a lock.

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Objection
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:45 am

romothesavior wrote:
Objection wrote:Gotta love how many of our best and brightest treat PI jobs like pieces of shit, and want to rush to defend these mammoth corporations.

Not entirely the students fault, but still sad.

Spare us the moralizing about biglaw vs. PI, it's not the purpose of this thread.

As for the OP, I agree with thelatern as well. I wouldn't continue putting out apps, but if a paid gig with a possibility of long-term employment comes along, then an employer at an unpaid gig with little intention of post-graduate employment can't really be too upset about that. But at the same time, you're likely pretty safe for a biglaw job post-graduation, so don't be too upset if you don't get a 1L SA. Even at HYS, they are by no means a lock.


I beg to differ. He's asking a question that calls for moralizing, and I'm simply pointing out that his treatment of his PI job is shitty.

Honor your word or don't give it.

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romothesavior
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:51 am

Objection wrote:I beg to differ. He's asking a question that calls for moralizing, and I'm simply pointing out that his treatment of his PI job is shitty.

Honor your word or don't give it.

His/her PI employer isn't paying him/her. Unpaid internships are TTT as hell, and I'm so sick of this notion that we law students should just bend over and take it from employers. Yes, keeping your word is important, but turning down a 30k internship with long-term job potential so you can slave away in some unpaid job where you have no shot at (or interest in) post-grad employment, all so you can say you kept your word is asinine. We're up to debt in our eyeballs and staring down a shitty market. Law students should be allowed to balance these various factors instead of being forced into a black vs. white world.

And my issue with your post wasn't so much an issue of injecting morality, because the "Reneging is bad, keep your word, etc." schtick comes up in these threads every time, so that's fine. It was more this pitting of the good PI folks against those who "defend mammoth corporations" that I found unnecessary.

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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:01 am

romothesavior wrote:
Objection wrote:I beg to differ. He's asking a question that calls for moralizing, and I'm simply pointing out that his treatment of his PI job is shitty.

Honor your word or don't give it.

His/her PI employer isn't paying him/her. Unpaid internships are TTT as hell, and I'm so sick of this notion that we law students should just bend over and take it from employers. Yes, keeping your word is important, but turning down a 30k internship with long-term job potential so you can slave away in some unpaid job where you have no shot at (or interest in) post-grad employment, all so you can say you kept your word is asinine. We're up to debt in our eyeballs and staring down a shitty market. Law students should be allowed to balance these various factors instead of being forced into a black vs. white world.

And my issue with your post wasn't so much an issue of injecting morality, because the "Reneging is bad, keep your word, etc." schtick comes up in these threads every time, so that's fine. It was more this pitting of the good PI folks against those who "defend mammoth corporations" that I found unnecessary.


OP here, thanks for this.

I just wanted to also add that I have no interest (personally) in working for this organization, at least in the short-medium term. Wouldn't it be better for someone else who actually wants to work there to get it than me?

There's also something ignorant about the perception that all PI is wonderful and all biglaw evil. Not that it would change things for me if I did, but I have no interest in white-collar defense, or any litigation in general. I would spend my days helping companies raise money to undertake projects or merge with each other--don't see why that's morally "bad".

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for this.

I just wanted to also add that I have no interest (personally) in working for this organization, at least in the short-medium term. Wouldn't it be better for someone else who actually wants to work there to get it than me?


I think you found your answer.

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Objection
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Objection wrote:I beg to differ. He's asking a question that calls for moralizing, and I'm simply pointing out that his treatment of his PI job is shitty.

Honor your word or don't give it.

His/her PI employer isn't paying him/her. Unpaid internships are TTT as hell, and I'm so sick of this notion that we law students should just bend over and take it from employers. Yes, keeping your word is important, but turning down a 30k internship with long-term job potential so you can slave away in some unpaid job where you have no shot at (or interest in) post-grad employment, all so you can say you kept your word is asinine. We're up to debt in our eyeballs and staring down a shitty market. Law students should be allowed to balance these various factors instead of being forced into a black vs. white world.

And my issue with your post wasn't so much an issue of injecting morality, because the "Reneging is bad, keep your word, etc." schtick comes up in these threads every time, so that's fine. It was more this pitting of the good PI folks against those who "defend mammoth corporations" that I found unnecessary.


OP here, thanks for this.

I just wanted to also add that I have no interest (personally) in working for this organization, at least in the short-medium term. Wouldn't it be better for someone else who actually wants to work there to get it than me?

There's also something ignorant about the perception that all PI is wonderful and all biglaw evil. Not that it would change things for me if I did, but I have no interest in white-collar defense, or any litigation in general. I would spend my days helping companies raise money to undertake projects or merge with each other--don't see why that's morally "bad".


It would be better for someone else who wants to work there to get it. So turn it down and move on with your life.

If you have no interest in it, all you're doing is screwing over the employer, your classmates, your colleagues, and the clients (who will likely be getting less than passionate representation).

In other words, it is incredibly selfish to not just decline it outright. It was pretty selfish to even interview knowing you had no interest, tbh.

Then again, that seems par the course at HLS.

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romothesavior
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:09 am

Objection wrote:It would be better for someone else who wants to work there to get it. So turn it down and move on with your life.

If you have no interest in it, all you're doing is screwing over the employer, your classmates, your colleagues, and the clients (who will likely be getting less than passionate representation).

In other words, it is incredibly selfish to not just decline it outright. It was pretty selfish to even interview knowing you had no interest, tbh.

Then again, that seems par the course at HLS.

Yeah, OP should just flip burgers this summer if they can't find a firm job doing exactly what they want to do. :roll:

First the big firm jobs, now the HLS jab? Uh okay. Judge much?

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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:14 am

It would be better for someone else who wants to work there to get it. So turn it down and move on with your life.

If you have no interest in it, all you're doing is screwing over the employer, your classmates, your colleagues, and the clients (who will likely be getting less than passionate representation).

In other words, it is incredibly selfish to not just decline it outright. It was pretty selfish to even interview knowing you had no interest, tbh.

Then again, that seems par the course at HLS.


Well I do need to work SOMEWHERE this year or firms won't want me next year, and paid work is hard to come by. Why shouldn't I have backups?

And I think you misunderstood me when I said "interest". I am very passionate about what the organization does, but I just don't see myself working there. The reason is very simple--they can't pay me even a fraction of what a firm would, and in fact can't even guarantee that the internship would turn into a job at all (they explicitly told me this at the interview).

Tell me what I'm doing that's wrong?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:35 am

I am selecting interns right now for an NGO. The final spot was between two candidates who were pretty close and both of whom told me working at this place was their dream job. I gave it to one of them and she accepted. Told the other person no, but apply next year. Person who accepted it then withdrew 3 weeks later. The other person who was told no already accepted another offer. Now the place has an open intern spot, and a person who could have had their dream summer job can't have it without screwing up another organization, and I get to sort through more applications to see if there is someone else for it.

So yeah, reneging can screw a place over. If you really can't make a decision, either decline it or ask for an extension of the deadline.

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romothesavior
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby romothesavior » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:09 am

worldtraveler wrote:ask for an extension of the deadline.

OP, if you still have stuff open at the close of your two week window, this might be TCR.

And honestly, the fact that you're a 1L at Harvard makes me think a renege is a little less necessary than if you were somewhere else. Its only a 1L job, and you're at H. Your odds of getting a 2L SA are almost 100% as long as you interview well.

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Objection
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Re: Reneging on Public Interest Position

Postby Objection » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
It would be better for someone else who wants to work there to get it. So turn it down and move on with your life.

If you have no interest in it, all you're doing is screwing over the employer, your classmates, your colleagues, and the clients (who will likely be getting less than passionate representation).

In other words, it is incredibly selfish to not just decline it outright. It was pretty selfish to even interview knowing you had no interest, tbh.

Then again, that seems par the course at HLS.


Well I do need to work SOMEWHERE this year or firms won't want me next year, and paid work is hard to come by. Why shouldn't I have backups?

And I think you misunderstood me when I said "interest". I am very passionate about what the organization does, but I just don't see myself working there. The reason is very simple--they can't pay me even a fraction of what a firm would, and in fact can't even guarantee that the internship would turn into a job at all (they explicitly told me this at the interview).

Tell me what I'm doing that's wrong?


I was using the commonly understood and commonly used definition of interest. My mistake.




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