How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

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Nestico87
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How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Nestico87 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:16 pm

How bad is it to accept a summer associate position with a firm and then back out later on?
Would the reason for backing out make a difference?
For example, if a law student backed out for the purpose of accepting an offer from a different firm, that seems really bad. However, what if the law student is backing out for another reason, something crazy, like a newfound decision that he or she does not want to practice law but wants to do something else.
Thoughts?

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splitsplat
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby splitsplat » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:21 pm

if you dont want to practice law, then there are no consequences

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quakeroats
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby quakeroats » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:41 pm

Assuming you're talking about a major market, it's mildly annoying for the firm and you probably won't be able to come back in the future, but that's about it. There's no external list of people who accepted offers but later decided to do something else, so how would other firms know?

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Borhas
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Borhas » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:42 pm

Nestico87 wrote:How bad is it to accept a summer associate position with a firm and then back out later on?
Would the reason for backing out make a difference?
For example, if a law student backed out for the purpose of accepting an offer from a different firm, that seems really bad. However, what if the law student is backing out for another reason, something crazy, like a newfound decision that he or she does not want to practice law but wants to do something else.
Thoughts?


Neither seem bad at all

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hephaestus
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby hephaestus » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:48 pm

Career services seems to perpetuate a myth that you'll be blacklisted or something if you renege. Do what's best for you. Your firm will find someone else.

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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:53 pm

You may want to check any letters they've sent to see if there's some kind of fee for backing out. But honestly, if you don't want to practice law, I think they'll be glad to know this before they give you $$$.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:15 pm

Firms often exceed their expected yields - sometimes by quite a lot. I know of one firm where a partner told me they planned for a class of 50 last year and ended up with well over 60.

My thought is that it might be best to first ask if they have a larger class than they need, and let them know you would be happy for them to cancel your offer. Even if they're don't have a larger class, they might realize that you're not interested and let you back out. As above, I doubt they'd want to spend $30,000+ on you over the summer if they know you don't want to be there.

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Amity
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Amity » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:15 am

I know someone who reneged on her SA. A week after she accepted an offer she received a better offer. The reason she gave the firm for reneging was because she did not want to work in this market (not exactly true). She kept the conversation extremely short and purposely did not mention that she had received a better offer. There was no blowback from the school and as far as she knows no one from the reneged firm was ever the wiser (that she dumped them for another firm). A couple weeks ago she received an offer from her firm — so it all worked out.

If the day ever comes where she has to come up against the reneged firm is when she’ll find out if they even remember her. They probably won’t.

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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:18 am

Amity wrote:I know someone who reneged on her SA. A week after she accepted an offer she received a better offer. The reason she gave the firm for reneging was because she did not want to work in this market (not exactly true). She kept the conversation extremely short and purposely did not mention that she had received a better offer. There was no blowback from the school and as far as she knows no one from the reneged firm was ever the wiser (that she dumped them for another firm). A couple weeks ago she received an offer from her firm.

If the day ever comes where she has to come up against the reneged firm is when she’ll find out if they even remember her. They probably won’t.


thanks for posting this - i was curious about reneging on one offer for another. so one isn't really obligated to inform outstanding applications that they have accepted the first offer? it seems like you're wasting their time.

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reasonable_man
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:57 am

No one owns an associate and that is doubly true for a summer associate. You have to watch out for yourself above all else. If you snagged an offer that is way better for you - take it.

ajr
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby ajr » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:12 am

It's fine. You probably won't get to work there again. But then again, even if you did turn down their offer in time when they first made it, you probably won't get to work there again anyway (unless it was for a really good reason that they found to be legitimate).
Besides, law firms (and other employers) screw you all the time; so they have no right to complain.

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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:58 am

Law firms in general have no loyalty or sense of obligation for associates, so you really shouldn't ever feel like you owe them anything. Especially in situations like this where you aren't hurting any individual, nobody will care much at all. It's not like they'll have trouble finding a replacement.

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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:Law firms in general have no loyalty or sense of obligation for associates, so you really shouldn't ever feel like you owe them anything. Especially in situations like this where you aren't hurting any individual, nobody will care much at all. It's not like they'll have trouble finding a replacement.


This. They have no problem no-offering someone based on "fit" so you shouldn't either, as long as you have a better option lined up.

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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:11 am

It might go on your permanent record.

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IAFG
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Re: How bad is it to accept a SA position and then back out?

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:15 am

Unless your SA is for the mafia...




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