Ethical Dilemma

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anti-hero09
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Ethical Dilemma

Postby anti-hero09 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:39 pm

I accepted a position as a law clerk for a state entity and I made a commitment to work there for a year. Two months have passed and I have received an offer from a private law firm that pays significantly more. My dilemma is that I really need the extra cash to pay bills and the firm really needs me to work there. On the other hand, I feel guilty leaving the state entity when the attorneys there have spent so much time and effort training me. At the state entity I am in court a lot getting a lot of great experience, but I only practice one area of law. At the private firm I would be practicing different types of law but I would not be going to court very often. What is the ethical thing to do in this situation?? Your input is much appreciated.

jkay
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby jkay » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:05 am

Is this the state you are going to practice in?

Is the private law firm likely to lead to permanent employment?

In the same state?

anti-hero09
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:54 am

Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby anti-hero09 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:17 am

Yes to all of those questions, both the state and private clerkship may lead to employment offers. The private firm seems more likely to make an offer of permanent employment.

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kalvano
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby kalvano » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:18 pm

The state would fire your ass in a second if they had a budget cut. Why are people even still hung up on this sort of thing? Employers no long have any loyalty to employees. Do what's best for you.

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MischiefMayhemSoap
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby MischiefMayhemSoap » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:48 pm

OP, look at your post. Read it out loud to your state employers.

rad lulz
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:57 pm

MischiefMayhemSoap wrote:OP, look at your post. Read it out loud to your state employers.

Then take the private firm job

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laotze
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby laotze » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:41 am

kalvano wrote:The state would fire your ass in a second if they had a budget cut. Why are people even still hung up on this sort of thing? Employers no long have any loyalty to employees. Do what's best for you.


^ This. Some of us are hung up on a weird, guilt-driven double-standard wherein which we feel it's somehow OK that employers make decisions based on simple economic motivators with no regard for employee welfare, while for employees to do the same would somehow be disloyal.

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Skye
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby Skye » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:53 am

anti-hero09 wrote:I accepted a position as a law clerk for a state entity and I made a commitment to work there for a year. Two months have passed and I have received an offer from a private law firm that pays significantly more. On the other hand, I feel guilty leaving the state entity when the attorneys there have spent so much time and effort training me.

You would feel guilty? Really? You mean because of the part where they trained you in good faith. That part? You already know the ethical thing to do. The only question, will you do it.

kaiser
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby kaiser » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:57 am

You owe them absolutely nothing. They would fire you in a second if it was in their best economic interests to do so. This is purely a business relationship, it would be nothing personal for you to seek out the best next step for your career.

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laotze
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby laotze » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:59 am

Skye wrote:
anti-hero09 wrote:I accepted a position as a law clerk for a state entity and I made a commitment to work there for a year. Two months have passed and I have received an offer from a private law firm that pays significantly more. On the other hand, I feel guilty leaving the state entity when the attorneys there have spent so much time and effort training me.

You would feel guilty? Really? You mean because of the part where they trained you in good faith. That part? You already know the ethical thing to do. The only question, will you do it.


Good faith? In a free market system without legally-ensured employment security? There is no such thing. One year "commitment" or no, they would fire him in a heartbeat if they had a budget cut.

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Skye
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby Skye » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:04 am

laotze wrote:
Skye wrote:
anti-hero09 wrote:I accepted a position as a law clerk for a state entity and I made a commitment to work there for a year. Two months have passed and I have received an offer from a private law firm that pays significantly more. On the other hand, I feel guilty leaving the state entity when the attorneys there have spent so much time and effort training me.

You would feel guilty? Really? You mean because of the part where they trained you in good faith. That part? You already know the ethical thing to do. The only question, will you do it.


Good faith? In a free market system without legally-ensured employment security? There is no such thing. One year "commitment" or no, they would fire him in a heartbeat if they had a budget cut.

So would the law firm. Now back to the ethical part.

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laotze
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby laotze » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:12 am

Skye wrote:
laotze wrote:
Skye wrote:
anti-hero09 wrote:I accepted a position as a law clerk for a state entity and I made a commitment to work there for a year. Two months have passed and I have received an offer from a private law firm that pays significantly more. On the other hand, I feel guilty leaving the state entity when the attorneys there have spent so much time and effort training me.

You would feel guilty? Really? You mean because of the part where they trained you in good faith. That part? You already know the ethical thing to do. The only question, will you do it.


Good faith? In a free market system without legally-ensured employment security? There is no such thing. One year "commitment" or no, they would fire him in a heartbeat if they had a budget cut.

So would the law firm. Now back to the ethical part.


Ok, I'll just assume this is the same kind of "ethical" thinking that gets people with $200k law school debt to pursue PI over biglaw. Because it makes about as much sense.

kaiser
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby kaiser » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:15 am

Skye wrote:
laotze wrote:
Skye wrote:
anti-hero09 wrote:I accepted a position as a law clerk for a state entity and I made a commitment to work there for a year. Two months have passed and I have received an offer from a private law firm that pays significantly more. On the other hand, I feel guilty leaving the state entity when the attorneys there have spent so much time and effort training me.

You would feel guilty? Really? You mean because of the part where they trained you in good faith. That part? You already know the ethical thing to do. The only question, will you do it.


Good faith? In a free market system without legally-ensured employment security? There is no such thing. One year "commitment" or no, they would fire him in a heartbeat if they had a budget cut.

So would the law firm. Now back to the ethical part.


If its ethical for them to fire him anytime during that one year commitment (and yes, that would be ethical), it is ethical for him to leave anytime in the middle. They aren't stupid. They understand that they are working with young law students at the beginning of their careers, and that people do indeed sometimes go with other opportunities, even if they have to cut things short.

Trained in good faith? Not sure what makes you think they did him some kind of favor. A worker is a commodity, but useless until you show him how to use the tools in his hand. You teach him and train him so that you get productivity out of him. They weren't training him out of the charitable goodness of their hearts.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:48 pm

Food for thought: The Bar contacts every one of your previous legal employers and asks about you during C&F.

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cinephile
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby cinephile » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:25 pm

kalvano wrote:The state would fire your ass in a second if they had a budget cut. Why are people even still hung up on this sort of thing? Employers no long have any loyalty to employees. Do what's best for you.

lolwat
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby lolwat » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:49 pm

This isn't really an ethics problem. I also doubt you signed any contract to work for a year, so that's not an issue either.

It's just up to how you feel about it. I personally don't like committing to something and then backing out of that commitment just because something better came along. It just doesn't sit right with me. It's not because I think the employer (as an entity) has any loyalty to me, but more that I might be burning some bridges with the people that I'm working with/for, that hired me with the expectation that I would be there for a year.

Objectively, in your case, I would leave the current position and accept the offer from the law firm. Just know that there are possible consequences to doing so in terms of your reputation. No ethics violations, nothing like that, but your reputation might suffer among some people there, maybe short-term, maybe for a while if it's a small community.

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kalvano
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby kalvano » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Food for thought: The Bar contacts every one of your previous legal employers and asks about you during C&F.



No, they don't, and even if they did, there's nothing wrong with quitting a job.

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20160810
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby 20160810 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:48 pm

You're not running a charity dood, you're trying to start a career. Just take the better job, explain the situation as nicely as possible, try not to burn any bridges, and you're good.

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guano
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby guano » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:08 pm

SBL wrote:You're not running a charity dood, you're trying to start a career. Just take the better job, explain the situation as nicely as possible, try not to burn any bridges, and you're good.




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