Law Firm's Cancelling

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Anonymous User
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Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:06 pm

Hi all,

I am in the process of interviewing for a post-clerkship job. Recently one of the law firms to which I sent my resume contacted me to set up an interview date. The firm is not in my area and would require me to take a day off work, drive 8 hours to and fro, so I asked for a reimbursement of reasonable traveling expenses. In response, the firm declined the request and cancelled the interview. I am not losing sleep over this firm but I thought reimbursement for traveling expenses is standard nowadays. Apparently, the firm thinks differently. Was this excessive for the firm to cancel the interview? They could have done a phone interview before figuring out if they want to do an in-person interview with me. Should I just have been silent about this and shoulder the traveling costs? Would really appreciate any feedback.

What I think was ridiculous is the firm is in a booming practice area and is probably not short on cash.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:58 pm

Could be nothing and just a coincidence - Maybe someone with veto power saw your application and didn't think you were a good fit so they pulled the interview and this just happened to coincide with you asking for reimbursement.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:12 pm

i had a regionally reputable law firm cancel my interview under similar circumstances except that i didn't even ask for reimbursement. booked my own $400+ flight when they extended callback date about a week out and they cancelled the interview the morning of my flight (day before scheduled interview).

shitty law firms all out themselves at some point. it's best that it happens before you start working there.

run26.2
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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby run26.2 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:17 pm

Did you contact them and ask for reimbursement? I certainly would in that case. While they might not reimburse you, that is the decent thing to do in that case.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i had a regionally reputable law firm cancel my interview under similar circumstances except that i didn't even ask for reimbursement. booked my own $400+ flight when they extended callback date about a week out and they cancelled the interview the morning of my flight (day before scheduled interview).

shitty law firms all out themselves at some point. it's best that it happens before you start working there.



:shock: and I thought my situation was unusual. Sorry that it happened to you. Did you ask for reimbursement?

Yeah it's probably for the best that the law firm showed me beforehand how it would treat potential associate.

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rpupkin
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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I am in the process of interviewing for a post-clerkship job. Recently one of the law firms to which I sent my resume contacted me to set up an interview date. The firm is not in my area and would require me to take a day off work, drive 8 hours to and fro, so I asked for a reimbursement of reasonable traveling expenses. In response, the firm declined the request and cancelled the interview. I am not losing sleep over this firm but I thought reimbursement for traveling expenses is standard nowadays.

Is it possible the firm thought of this interview as a screener? Firms generally don't reimburse travel expenses for screening interviews.

You also asked: "Should I just have been silent about this and shoulder the traveling costs?"

It it a firm you really wanted to work at for one reason or another? Then, yeah, you should have. But if it was just one of many interchangeable firms to which you were applying, and if you're not worried about finding employment somewhere, then I think it made sense for you to cancel.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Could be nothing and just a coincidence - Maybe someone with veto power saw your application and didn't think you were a good fit so they pulled the interview and this just happened to coincide with you asking for reimbursement.


There is only one partner in this firm. He stated that "my communication with the firm," which so far was an email setting up interview date and another for travel reimbursement, makes he thinks I am not a good fit. So I doubt that it doesn't have to do with the reimbursement request.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Could be nothing and just a coincidence - Maybe someone with veto power saw your application and didn't think you were a good fit so they pulled the interview and this just happened to coincide with you asking for reimbursement.


OP here.

There is only one partner in this firm. He stated that "my communication with the firm," which so far was an email setting up interview date and another for travel reimbursement, makes he thinks I am not a good fit. So I doubt that it doesn't have to do with the reimbursement request.

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star fox
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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby star fox » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:46 pm

Sounds like it wasn't a great fit. Is this some 5 attorney "firm"? I wouldn't expect something like that to reimburse for travel expenses.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:50 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I am in the process of interviewing for a post-clerkship job. Recently one of the law firms to which I sent my resume contacted me to set up an interview date. The firm is not in my area and would require me to take a day off work, drive 8 hours to and fro, so I asked for a reimbursement of reasonable traveling expenses. In response, the firm declined the request and cancelled the interview. I am not losing sleep over this firm but I thought reimbursement for traveling expenses is standard nowadays.

Is it possible the firm thought of this interview as a screener? Firms generally don't reimburse travel expenses for screening interviews.

You also asked: "Should I just have been silent about this and shoulder the traveling costs?"

It it a firm you really wanted to work at for one reason or another? Then, yeah, you should have. But if it was just one of many interchangeable firms to which you were applying, and if you're not worried about finding employment somewhere, then I think it made sense for you to cancel.


Op here. Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah this was a screener. I initially planned to suggest a phone interview if the firm is not willing to help with the traveling costs for the screener, but they preemptively canceled upon seeing my request. Weird thing is all the other out-of-town firms I have interviewed with volunteer to reimburse. But from the tone of the firm's cancellation email you would have thought I was asking for something outrageous.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 pm

star fox wrote:Sounds like it wasn't a great fit. Is this some 5 attorney "firm"? I wouldn't expect something like that to reimburse for travel expenses.


It was a small firm. Guess I was more surprised by the fact that they cancelled immediately upon seeing the request for reimbursement without offering alternatives like doing a phone interview first, considering how small the traveling costs (appro. $100) would have been compared to the risk of hiring and training the wrong associate.

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rpupkin
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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Op here. Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah this was a screener. I initially planned to suggest a phone interview if the firm is not willing to help with the traveling costs for the screener, but they preemptively canceled upon seeing my request. Weird thing is all the other out-of-town firms I have interviewed with volunteer to reimburse. But from the tone of the firm's cancellation email you would have thought I was asking for something outrageous.

I think it's odd that they canceled instead of simply telling you that the firm doesn't reimburse for screeners. Unlike large firms, many smaller firms and boutiques insist on in-person screeners.

I have one bit of perspective to add regarding looking for post-clerkship employment at smaller firms and boutiques. While in law school, most of us were focused on big law firms and their OCI recruiting norms. Those norms don't necessarily apply to a lot of the smaller firms that may be worth targeting post-clerkship. (Many folks clerk precisely because it makes them marketable to smaller firms and boutiques.)

If you're looking at smaller firms, I'd alter some of your assumptions. A reaction like "If they won't pay for my travel expenses, I don't want to work there" might make sense in the context of big-law OCI, but that sentiment could foreclose a lot of interesting opportunities if you apply it to your post-clerkship job search. Just a thought.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:06 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Op here. Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah this was a screener. I initially planned to suggest a phone interview if the firm is not willing to help with the traveling costs for the screener, but they preemptively canceled upon seeing my request. Weird thing is all the other out-of-town firms I have interviewed with volunteer to reimburse. But from the tone of the firm's cancellation email you would have thought I was asking for something outrageous.

I think it's odd that they canceled instead of simply telling you that the firm doesn't reimburse for screeners. Unlike large firms, many smaller firms and boutiques insist on in-person screeners.

I have one bit of perspective to add regarding looking for post-clerkship employment at smaller firms and boutiques. While in law school, most of us were focused on big law firms and their OCI recruiting norms. Those norms don't necessarily apply to a lot of the smaller firms that may be worth targeting post-clerkship. (Many folks clerk precisely because it makes them marketable to smaller firms and boutiques.)

If you're looking at smaller firms, I'd alter some of your assumptions. A reaction like "If they won't pay for my travel expenses, I don't want to work there" might make sense in the context of big-law OCI, but that sentiment could foreclose a lot of interesting opportunities if you apply it to your post-clerkship job search. Just a thought.


Thank you. Your suggestion is very helpful. I am definitely guilty of the big-law OCI assumptions.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:10 pm

I've driven to several interviews and paid for my own parking. A lot of firms validate your parking. Some just don't say anything about it. Would they have done so if I'd ask? Maybe, but ultimately it didn't feel worth it to push.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:38 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:I've driven to several interviews and paid for my own parking. A lot of firms validate your parking. Some just don't say anything about it. Would they have done so if I'd ask? Maybe, but ultimately it didn't feel worth it to push.


OP here. The parking isn't the primary concern. It's more the fact that I would have to drive 8 hours and a little appreciation of interviewee's time in the form of reimbursement would not, I think, be too much to ask.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
tyroneslothrop1 wrote:I've driven to several interviews and paid for my own parking. A lot of firms validate your parking. Some just don't say anything about it. Would they have done so if I'd ask? Maybe, but ultimately it didn't feel worth it to push.


OP here. The parking isn't the primary concern. It's more the fact that I would have to drive 8 hours and a little appreciation of interviewee's time in the form of reimbursement would not, I think, be too much to ask.

I mean, once you get outside of biglaw-land, it's pretty normal for applicants to pay for all interviewing expenses. Reimbursement in that context is great, but not something anyone should feel entitled to - you're the one who applied for a job that would require you to take a day off work to interview. For some firms reimbursement actually is too much to ask.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:24 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
tyroneslothrop1 wrote:I've driven to several interviews and paid for my own parking. A lot of firms validate your parking. Some just don't say anything about it. Would they have done so if I'd ask? Maybe, but ultimately it didn't feel worth it to push.


OP here. The parking isn't the primary concern. It's more the fact that I would have to drive 8 hours and a little appreciation of interviewee's time in the form of reimbursement would not, I think, be too much to ask.

I mean, once you get outside of biglaw-land, it's pretty normal for applicants to pay for all interviewing expenses. Reimbursement in that context is great, but not something anyone should feel entitled to - you're the one who applied for a job that would require you to take a day off work to interview. For some firms reimbursement actually is too much to ask.


I would agree with this sentiment if clerkship or government gig is involved, but private firms work on a different model and not willing to assist traveling's expenses shows how little the firm actually cares about hiring an associate. Mind you candidates have already done their part by actually traveling to the site. And the firm is in a booming practice area, if they cannot do their part and shell out $100 to see the interviewee, I am not hopeful that they would treat their associate much better.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would agree with this sentiment if clerkship or government gig is involved, but private firms work on a different model and not willing to assist traveling's expenses shows how little the firm actually cares about hiring an associate. Mind you candidates have already done their part by actually traveling to the site. And the firm is in a booming practice area, if they cannot do their part and shell out $100 to see the interviewee, I am not hopeful that they would treat their associate much better.

This post is a nice example of the naive mentality that post-clerkship job seekers need to be on guard against.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby kalvano » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would agree with this sentiment if clerkship or government gig is involved, but private firms work on a different model and not willing to assist traveling's expenses shows how little the firm actually cares about hiring an associate. Mind you candidates have already done their part by actually traveling to the site. And the firm is in a booming practice area, if they cannot do their part and shell out $100 to see the interviewee, I am not hopeful that they would treat their associate much better.


This is not correct. Travel cost reimbursement is actually quite limited, and usually to Biglaw during OCI. There are plenty of firms that would be great to work for that aren't going to reimburse you for interviewing with them. At the end of the day, you need them more than they need you. My firm would reimburse for trave, but is fantastic to work for.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby elendinel » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would agree with this sentiment if clerkship or government gig is involved, but private firms work on a different model and not willing to assist traveling's expenses shows how little the firm actually cares about hiring an associate. Mind you candidates have already done their part by actually traveling to the site. And the firm is in a booming practice area, if they cannot do their part and shell out $100 to see the interviewee, I am not hopeful that they would treat their associate much better.


Small firms also often work on a model where they won't pay for travel expenses. Because they're small firms and don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on travel expenses, unlike the larger firms. If you want the luxuries of a larger firm (including reimbursement), then you apply to bigger firms, if you just want a job/want a small firm job, you have to accept that small firms don't and can't work the same as biglaw. Same way you have to accept that a judge isn't going to fly you out for an interview.

Your "part" as a candidate isn't to just show up; there are hundreds of law graduates for every open position, you aren't doing them a favor by showing up for an interview. Your part is to try and convince an employer you deserve a job. If travel reimbursement is a huge thing for you, more power to you, but do remember (1) that different firms have vastly different budgetary constraints, and (2) that no firm needs to woo applicants with travel reimbursement to find someone to fill a position. It is a luxury that some of the bigger firms pay it anyway.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby RCSOB657 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
tyroneslothrop1 wrote:I've driven to several interviews and paid for my own parking. A lot of firms validate your parking. Some just don't say anything about it. Would they have done so if I'd ask? Maybe, but ultimately it didn't feel worth it to push.


OP here. The parking isn't the primary concern. It's more the fact that I would have to drive 8 hours and a little appreciation of interviewee's time in the form of reimbursement would not, I think, be too much to ask.

I mean, once you get outside of biglaw-land, it's pretty normal for applicants to pay for all interviewing expenses. Reimbursement in that context is great, but not something anyone should feel entitled to - you're the one who applied for a job that would require you to take a day off work to interview. For some firms reimbursement actually is too much to ask.


I would agree with this sentiment if clerkship or government gig is involved, but private firms work on a different model and not willing to assist traveling's expenses shows how little the firm actually cares about hiring an associate. Mind you candidates have already done their part by actually traveling to the site. And the firm is in a booming practice area, if they cannot do their part and shell out $100 to see the interviewee, I am not hopeful that they would treat their associate much better.



They are giving you consideration via allowing you to interview with their business.............. Do you want them to turn around and bill you for the hour of their time? I'd be willing to bet their rate is higher than yours.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby jchiles » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:00 am

I understand your frustration but reaching out for gas money is going to come across differently than asking for airfare/travel reimbursement.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:23 am

I was in Upstate NY for school and got an interview with a small (3-5 lawyers) bankruptcy firm in Long Island, and they cancelled on me shortly after I asked for reimbursement. They may have found out I didn't live in the area and thought it was a problem but my resume was pretty clear where I went to school and I knew one of the lawyers before the interview set up. Never heard from my 'friend' at the firm afterwards again despite several efforts to reach out. If they didn't want to reimburse, a simple no would have sufficed, I didn't demand anything.

People are ass holes.

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was in Upstate NY for school and got an interview with a small (3-5 lawyers) bankruptcy firm in Long Island, and they cancelled on me shortly after I asked for reimbursement. They may have found out I didn't live in the area and thought it was a problem but my resume was pretty clear where I went to school and I knew one of the lawyers before the interview set up. Never heard from my 'friend' at the firm afterwards again despite several efforts to reach out. If they didn't want to reimburse, a simple no would have sufficed, I didn't demand anything.

People are ass holes.


OP here. Same here. I was simply asking. They could have said "no" and I would still consider coming. But hearing your story makes me think small law firm takes this reimbursement request as a red flag somehow. Btw are you big red? :D

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Re: Law Firm's Cancelling

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:25 am

They probably see it as entitled behavior. Old people love to rant about entitled millennials.




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