Why is reneging such a big deal?

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Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:58 pm

both of the employment offers I've been given for next summer say that it is an at will contract which either party can terminate at any time without notice. Also as has been expressed in other threads people routinely lateral after being with a firm for some time, and this is not looked down upon. What makes the circumstance of reneging an acceptance to go to another firm unprofessional and ruining your chances with that firm going forward when lateraling has none of these implications. Especially considering that the firm would rescind your offer under certain circumstances and they clearly represent in their offer letter that they can rescind at any time?

IExistedOnceBefore

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:07 pm

At will is standard language in most jobs. It just means it’s not a contract jobs. It’s CYA language. It’s unprofssional because they could have offered the position for someone else. Lateraling is completely different, you’ve given the firm you time and work.

I don’t know hw to explain it to you if you think they’re similar.

bk1

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:22 pm

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that reneging (at least from threads I've seen) often stems mostly from people fucking up (e.g., having second thoughts, not waiting to hear back from other employers, etc) and not from events outside their control (e.g., a better opportunity that the person could not have foreseen pops up after accepting).

I don't think reneging is all that bad, but it does look worse that you change your mind within days/weeks or just couple months (in contrast to lateraling where the lateral often changes jobs at least a year, if not years, after accepting the initial job). But if the second offer is legitimately better (whether it's your fault that you might have to renege or not), most reasonable people will tell that it's worth it to renege.

lolwat

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby lolwat » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:38 pm

Personally I find it amusing that everybody trashes firms that rescind offers but everyone also uses that to justify reneging on an accepted offer.

Anyway, legally, it's obviously all fine. For the most part it just comes down to professionalism and norms.
Last edited by lolwat on Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ClubberLang

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby ClubberLang » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:38 pm

It isn't that big a deal, but nice humblebrag.

ur_hero

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby ur_hero » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:54 pm

Well, to be fair it WOULD be a big deal for a firm to rescind an offer without a good reason- a bigger deal than an offeree reneging on an acceptance for sure. Sure they can do it, but it would make them look extremely bad if word got out and/or it was a common practice.

I know you're going to be a lawyer and all, but you can't already be so cold as to truly believe that contract language such as "at will" employment means there are no moral, personal, or professional ramifications to being unreliable or otherwise acting capriciously. Consider whether you might, for example, view someone differently who has:

(a) promptly reneged on an SA or first-year associate position once or twice after something better subsequently came along
(b) lateraled after spending a not insignificant period of time with a firm and there was either not a good fit or something better came along
(c) accepted 4 offers and sat on all of them for months despite having pretty much made up your mind already
(d) moved firms/jobs 5-10 times over a year or two without a good reason

Sure, this is all "at-will", but some of these reflect worse on the individual than others. It's likely difficult for a young associate to handle this so poorly frequently enough as to establish a bad reputation for themselves across an entire legal market, but along the way you may annoy the wrong person(s) who will remember and hold it against you. That may temporarily or permanently close some doors, depending on the circumstances.

That being said....Reneging is probably always fine if it's in your best interest, and probably no one will care (for long) unless you made very strong and personal promises to individuals. It's a minor inconvenience for a firm to then turn to the mass applicants they have queued up. Just consider the WHY and HOW it is done.

lolwat

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby lolwat » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:33 pm

Well, to be fair it WOULD be a big deal for a firm to rescind an offer without a good reason- a bigger deal than an offeree reneging on an acceptance for sure. Sure they can do it, but it would make them look extremely bad if word got out and/or it was a common practice.


It's only a big deal on this forum and places like ATL where the discussion tends to lean towards the perspective of law students looking for jobs. In that context, every student wants to know about and is happy to trash firms that rescind offers (or, likewise, no-offer summers). In these circles, I'm sure firms rescinding offers looks worse than law students reneging on accepted offers, but I don't think outside of these circles it is any worse.

But I totally agree with the rest of your post, especially:

Consider whether you might, for example, view someone differently who has:

(a) promptly reneged on an SA or first-year associate position once or twice after something better subsequently came along
(b) lateraled after spending a not insignificant period of time with a firm and there was either not a good fit or something better came along
(c) accepted 4 offers and sat on all of them for months despite having pretty much made up your mind already
(d) moved firms/jobs 5-10 times over a year or two without a good reason

Sure, this is all "at-will", but some of these reflect worse on the individual than others.


I view with great skepticism lateral applicants who have moved jobs many times without ever being able to stay at one place for more than 1-2 years. Sometimes they're great people and it's just tough to find a good fit for them, but then again, if they've failed to fit in 5-6 times, it's not very likely that the 6th or 7th employer they join would be the right one, either.

It's tougher to find out if, or how many times, somebody has reneged on an offer, but if I ever found out an applicant reneged on an offer, it'd probably be a strike against them, too.

ur_hero

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby ur_hero » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:51 pm

lolwat wrote:
Well, to be fair it WOULD be a big deal for a firm to rescind an offer without a good reason- a bigger deal than an offeree reneging on an acceptance for sure. Sure they can do it, but it would make them look extremely bad if word got out and/or it was a common practice.


It's only a big deal on this forum and places like ATL where the discussion tends to lean towards the perspective of law students looking for jobs. In that context, every student wants to know about and is happy to trash firms that rescind offers (or, likewise, no-offer summers). In these circles, I'm sure firms rescinding offers looks worse than law students reneging on accepted offers, but I don't think outside of these circles it is any worse.


I mostly agree, but think it goes a bit beyond applicants being disgruntled or trashing the firm. My thinking is that if a firm had a reputation for rescinding offers every year, it would almost certainly hurt its chances at locking down top candidates in future years. A comparison might be to how firms like to game their offer rates and firings to attract the best of the best.

albanach

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby albanach » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:18 pm

Reneging is a big deal because, if it's done late, it's at a cost to the firm. They picked you over others. The others have now accepted positions elsewhere. So the firm has to either leave the slot unfilled, or find someone even lower down the candidate list.

If they can't get someone off their callback list and do need the SA position filled, they now need to do further callbacks. Time meeting candidates is time not billed.

If you get an offer, accept immediately and pull out a couple of days later, then the costs are minimal. But as the days turn into weeks, the cost increases.

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Alt123

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby Alt123 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:17 pm

You have to do what's best for you. They'd rescind your offer in a second if they needed to.

DeMihiNonCuratLex

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Re: Why is reneging such a big deal?

Postby DeMihiNonCuratLex » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:32 pm

ClubberLang wrote:It isn't that big a deal, but nice humblebrag.


I mean, they posted anonymously, so I don't know what you think they're getting out of it. Asking questions here can be such a minefield. If you ever somehow allude that you're doing well people pile salt on you. Where else was OP supposed to ask this?



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