When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

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When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:29 pm

After my callbacks, I told one and only one firm (Firm A) that it was my top choice. Of the firms I visited, I had most enjoyed my visit to Firm A. I sent Firm A an email letting them know that if given an offer, I would accept. I had no offers at that point and thought I would use the "top choice" line to my advantage.

Then one day after I sent that email, Firm B gave me an offer. Originally Firm B was not as high up on my list, but after they showed interest and its partners called to speak with me, I became more interested. I have come to realize that I can see myself there as well. (OCI really is like dating...)

It has been a couple weeks since the offer from Firm B, and I have gently prodded Firm A by letting them know that I have an offer deadline. I have only received a "will let you know as soon as possible" response.

After receiving more emails from Firm B's recruiter and associates that I interviewed with, I have taken the hint that Firm B is getting antsy because I am holding out on a spot that could be given to another student. Firm B has a relatively small summer class size.

Is it unethical/damning to accept Firm B's offer?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jd20132013

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:33 pm

I don't even know what it is you think is unethical about the scenario

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rpupkin

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:34 pm

Even if your "top choice" line were binding (which it is not), the firm hasn't even made you an offer! To hell with them. If you want to accept Firm B's offer, accept it and then politely inform Firm A that you're withdrawing your application.

nateinga

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby nateinga » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:36 pm

You told A that you would accept an offer.
They havn't offered.
I don't understand how you feel any sense of obligation.

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UVA2B

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby UVA2B » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:37 pm

If you've changed your mind on the firm you want to end up at, and firm B offered you an SA, just accept the position and be happy about it. Firm A hasn't offered you anything, so you don't owe them literally anything.

This process is a give and take. If you've come to realize the firm you want is not the firm you originally wanted, then accept their offer for employment and don't turn back.

My only minor piece of advice is to try to avoid being caught in the pleasure of the firm's interest. They offered you a position, so they are now trying to recruit you to the firm. It feels good, but it's mostly manufactured. They want to lock down your interest so they don't have to spend more to figure out their summer class (this is not meant to be demeaning, but just that they will find someone else if you turn them down).

In short, if you want to accept firm B's offer, accept it.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:42 pm

Ok thanks all. I may have been overthinking as one tends to do during this process...

But will it not reflect poorly on me that I couldn't wait for 28 days/as long as possible for an answer from Firm A even though I told them they were my top choice?

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rpupkin

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok thanks all. I may have been overthinking as one tends to do during this process...

But will it not reflect poorly on me that I couldn't wait for 28 days/as long as possible for an answer from Firm A even though I told them they were my top choice?

No.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:51 pm

Alrighty thanks again. Maybe my conscience isn't cut out for Big Law.

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rpupkin

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Alrighty thanks again. Maybe my conscience isn't cut out for Big Law.

It's not really a big-law thing. I mean, imagine the following scenario:

I need a car. I go to a car dealer and test drive a car I really like. I say to the dealer: "If you offer this car to me for $10,000, I'll buy it." The dealer responds that he'll think about it.

While the dealer is thinking things over, I continue shopping for cars. (After all, I need a car.) I occasionally check in with the first dealer, and every time he tells me that he's still not sure if he wants to sell me the car for $10,000. Eventually, I find another car I like even better, and the second dealer agrees to sell it to me for the price I want.

In what moral universe do I have an obligation to wait for the first dealer to decide whether he wants to make me an offer?

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Wonnker » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:29 am

If I have learned anything about dating from 80's and 90's teen movies, it is this: the regular guy protagonist (OP) starts off obsessed with the hot, popular cheerleader type (Firm A) and puts it all on the line to be with her, even though she is too busy blowing the star quarterback to give regular guy a second thought. In being spurned, regular guy discovers that the gawky, bookish type (Firm B) is actually super hot and interesting and has been there for him all along, so they hook up and live happily ever after.

Once this format became too hackneyed, the above narrative got condensed into the first half of the movie and then took a turn when cheerleader type sees regular guy being happy with bookish type and realizes that she needs his pathetic obsession to feed her ego. Thus, cheerleader type comes on to regular guy while he is going to the bathroom at bookish type's violin recital or something, and because regular guy wanted cheerleader type for so long, he just lets it happen. Bookish type walks out elated because she nailed her recital and sees regular guy making out with cheerleader type, so she runs away crying. Bookish type won't talk to regular guy and he gets depressed because he knows he f***ed up. A montage may ensue. Eventually bookish type takes regular guy back and we wind up at happily ever after again. If it's an indie movie, maybe bookish type never takes regular guy back and everyone stays depressed.

I don't really know what is going on in new teen movies--I'm not as dependent on cable tv as I was as a kid--but I think basically everyone just has sex and does drugs and none of it matters, or maybe they do all the sex and drugs and then discover they are soulmates and decide to live a monogamous, drug-free lifestyle? I'm not sure.

So the real question, OP, is this: which teen movie are YOU starring in?

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Toni V » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it unethical/damning to accept Firm B's offer?


No but....If you accept at firm B and firm A calls you the next day … are you okay with that?

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rpupkin

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:51 am

Toni V wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is it unethical/damning to accept Firm B's offer?


No but....If you accept at firm B and firm A calls you the next day … are you okay with that?

The easy way to prevent that scenario from materializing is to email firm A right after accepting firm B's offer--which is something OP would/should do even if he hadn't made the "top choice" comment. It's a simple courtesy.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby magnum_law » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:54 am

Wonnker wrote:If I have learned anything about dating from 80's and 90's teen movies, it is this: the regular guy protagonist (OP) starts off obsessed with the hot, popular cheerleader type (Firm A) and puts it all on the line to be with her, even though she is too busy blowing the star quarterback to give regular guy a second thought. In being spurned, regular guy discovers that the gawky, bookish type (Firm B) is actually super hot and interesting and has been there for him all along, so they hook up and live happily ever after.

Once this format became too hackneyed, the above narrative got condensed into the first half of the movie and then took a turn when cheerleader type sees regular guy being happy with bookish type and realizes that she needs his pathetic obsession to feed her ego. Thus, cheerleader type comes on to regular guy while he is going to the bathroom at bookish type's violin recital or something, and because regular guy wanted cheerleader type for so long, he just lets it happen. Bookish type walks out elated because she nailed her recital and sees regular guy making out with cheerleader type, so she runs away crying. Bookish type won't talk to regular guy and he gets depressed because he knows he f***ed up. A montage may ensue. Eventually bookish type takes regular guy back and we wind up at happily ever after again. If it's an indie movie, maybe bookish type never takes regular guy back and everyone stays depressed.

I don't really know what is going on in new teen movies--I'm not as dependent on cable tv as I was as a kid--but I think basically everyone just has sex and does drugs and none of it matters, or maybe they do all the sex and drugs and then discover they are soulmates and decide to live a monogamous, drug-free lifestyle? I'm not sure.

So the real question, OP, is this: which teen movie are YOU starring in?


This did not go unappreciated. 180.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:17 am

Wonnker wrote:If I have learned anything about dating from 80's and 90's teen movies, it is this: the regular guy protagonist (OP) starts off obsessed with the hot, popular cheerleader type (Firm A) and puts it all on the line to be with her, even though she is too busy blowing the star quarterback to give regular guy a second thought. In being spurned, regular guy discovers that the gawky, bookish type (Firm B) is actually super hot and interesting and has been there for him all along, so they hook up and live happily ever after.

Once this format became too hackneyed, the above narrative got condensed into the first half of the movie and then took a turn when cheerleader type sees regular guy being happy with bookish type and realizes that she needs his pathetic obsession to feed her ego. Thus, cheerleader type comes on to regular guy while he is going to the bathroom at bookish type's violin recital or something, and because regular guy wanted cheerleader type for so long, he just lets it happen. Bookish type walks out elated because she nailed her recital and sees regular guy making out with cheerleader type, so she runs away crying. Bookish type won't talk to regular guy and he gets depressed because he knows he f***ed up. A montage may ensue. Eventually bookish type takes regular guy back and we wind up at happily ever after again. If it's an indie movie, maybe bookish type never takes regular guy back and everyone stays depressed.

I don't really know what is going on in new teen movies--I'm not as dependent on cable tv as I was as a kid--but I think basically everyone just has sex and does drugs and none of it matters, or maybe they do all the sex and drugs and then discover they are soulmates and decide to live a monogamous, drug-free lifestyle? I'm not sure.

So the real question, OP, is this: which teen movie are YOU starring in?


Ah, my favorite type of ending.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:09 pm

Wonnker wrote:If I have learned anything about dating from 80's and 90's teen movies, it is this: the regular guy protagonist (OP) starts off obsessed with the hot, popular cheerleader type (Firm A) and puts it all on the line to be with her, even though she is too busy blowing the star quarterback to give regular guy a second thought. In being spurned, regular guy discovers that the gawky, bookish type (Firm B) is actually super hot and interesting and has been there for him all along, so they hook up and live happily ever after.

Once this format became too hackneyed, the above narrative got condensed into the first half of the movie and then took a turn when cheerleader type sees regular guy being happy with bookish type and realizes that she needs his pathetic obsession to feed her ego. Thus, cheerleader type comes on to regular guy while he is going to the bathroom at bookish type's violin recital or something, and because regular guy wanted cheerleader type for so long, he just lets it happen. Bookish type walks out elated because she nailed her recital and sees regular guy making out with cheerleader type, so she runs away crying. Bookish type won't talk to regular guy and he gets depressed because he knows he f***ed up. A montage may ensue. Eventually bookish type takes regular guy back and we wind up at happily ever after again. If it's an indie movie, maybe bookish type never takes regular guy back and everyone stays depressed.

I don't really know what is going on in new teen movies--I'm not as dependent on cable tv as I was as a kid--but I think basically everyone just has sex and does drugs and none of it matters, or maybe they do all the sex and drugs and then discover they are soulmates and decide to live a monogamous, drug-free lifestyle? I'm not sure.

So the real question, OP, is this: which teen movie are YOU starring in?


More people need to recognize this greatness.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby ur_hero » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:34 pm

Whoa. And here I thought I over-analyzed things :]

Just do whatever you want. Honestly, I wouldn't even rule out reneging on an accepted offer if you strongly felt you would prefer a different/better offer. Law firms have first-years queuing up, and while you don't want to loudly burn any bridges, making decisions in your own best interest as professionally as possible is fine. Minor inconvenience at best, and you'll likely be forgotten and not missed shortly after among the hundreds of others submitting applications and queuing up for interviews.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby ResIpsa21 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:58 pm

There's no shame in overthinking these things, but that is indeed what you've done, OP. You have an offer from a firm that you can see yourself working for. You may never get a second offer. Take what you've got and be happy! Congrats!

I could go into the whole "biglaw doesn't care about you, they'd crush your skull if it made them an extra dollar" type stuff, but it's not really necessary here. There's no universe where you have a moral obligation to sit around waiting for an employer to make a hiring decision. You were right to follow up once to see if you could pressure an offer out of Firm A, but that didn't work, and now you've only got one choice left.

Also, that teen movie analogy is fire.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:18 pm

Also... Don't think Firm A would be actually "hurt" or "sad" or "taken aback" by you not accepting. law students are fungible; there are hundreds of students who would kill to get a biglaw offer. You not accepting does not change anything for the Firm, they simply extend an offer to next in line.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok thanks all. I may have been overthinking as one tends to do during this process...

But will it not reflect poorly on me that I couldn't wait for 28 days/as long as possible for an answer from Firm A even though I told them they were my top choice?


You are NOT the first choice for your firm A. Think about that. They will only take you if who they really want says no. Maybe you'll rise up faster at Firm B, which actually wants you as its top choice. There's something to be said for that.

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby elendinel » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Alrighty thanks again. Maybe my conscience isn't cut out for Big Law.


This is more an issue of ego than of being conscientious, to put it bluntly. Your ego wants to think that you actually put forth an offer that Firm A is considering, and therefore that you're putting Firm A at a disadvantage if you accept Firm B's offer. In reality Firm A probably couldn't care less if they haven't already given you an offer, and even if they do care, they'll still find dozens of students who have similar credentials and will gladly gun for the chance to take your place when you're off the table. This is true of almost everyone who participates in OCI, so don't think I'm trying to single you out.

Once you understand this, it becomes easier to understand why choices like accepting Firm B's offer are not unethical, or why ethics don't really even come into play in a "top choice" scenario such as yours.

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anon sequitur

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:15 pm

Just be prepared for the managing partner to spend a whole weekend crying at his desk saying "But I thought we were his first choice!"

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Postby negativefeedback » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:25 pm

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Re: When a "top choice" firm is no longer your top choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:23 pm

anon sequitur wrote:Just be prepared for the managing partner to spend a whole weekend crying at his desk saying "But I thought we were his first choice!"

This cracked me up, imagining the hiring partner in my office doing this. That guy is a total asshole.



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