Question About Switching Cities After Clerkship

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Question About Switching Cities After Clerkship

Postby J14M » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:09 pm

Hey all,

I'm clerking right now, and I have an offer to return to my 2L summer firm in New York. But for personal reasons, I've decided I should go to DC after my clerkship. At the same time, I don't want to lose my offer to return to the New York firm until I have something in DC locked up. The New York firm has a DC office, but I'm not sure that office would be my best option. So, I'm tempted not to say anything to the New York firm about looking for other opportunities.

I'm worried, though, about providing a list of references in my applications. I can't list someone from the New York firm without letting them know I'm looking for a new job, but on the other hand I think it would look weird if I didn't list one of them. I don't want it to seem as if I had a bad relationship with them during my 2L summer. So my question is, a) would it be a bad idea not to include anyone from the New York firm as a reference, and b) if I do have to let people at the New York firm know that I'm looking elsewhere, is there any chance that they would rescind my offer? Note that this is a large firm whose practices and policies, I assume, are the same as those of other large firms.

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Question About Switching Cities After Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:40 pm

I was in the same position, more or less, and I applied without telling my prior firm. I did supply references but didn't include any from the firm-- no one asked any questions, and I assume the reason was obvious. In interviews, I was asked if I had an offer outstanding, so when I said yes that answered any questions about whether I had a bad relationship with the prior firm.

I was VERY uncomfortable about this whole situation also- felt like I was going behind my firm's back, that they were going to ruin my professional life, etc-- but actually it's pretty common and no one seems to take it personally. I can't imagine a firm would actually rescind an offer for this (though perhaps it would be awkward!) I actually did end up telling a partner at my summer firm, and he was very understanding. That said, I'm still dreading telling the rest of the firm I'm not coming back (haven't yet, hence posting anon.)

Best of luck whatever you end up doing :D

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Re: Question About Switching Cities After Clerkship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:38 pm

When I clerked, I wanted to go to a different firm in the same market thereafter. I applied without telling my summer firm, and I provided two professors, a 1L summer reference, and my judge as my references. Next to my summer firm's name on my resume, I put "offer extended," so I wasn't even asked about that during interviews. I was asked perfunctorily why I did not want to return there, and I explained that I wanted to work in area X (as illustrated by my clerkship and where I was interviewing) and my summer employer was focused primarily on area Y. That satisfied everyone.

My summer employer found out I was interviewing when the firm where I accepted ran a background check. The background check people called my summer employer to confirm eligibility for rehire. This happened before I gave notice to my summer employer because I hadn't cleared conflicts at the new employer yet. Was my summer employer thrilled? No, but neither were they seriously angry. (They didn't rescind my offer.) Were there any professional consequences to this? Several years out, the answer seems to be, none in the least. When the economy is good, SA acceptance rates aren't 100 percent. Firms get that and generally aren't drama queens about it. And, to be frank, it is incredibly rare that any SA has distinguished themselves as *such* a special snowflake that the summer firm simply can't bear the thought of losing them.

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