Signing Bonus Reimbursement

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Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:37 pm

I'm a 3L, and I accepted an offer with a law firm last summer after completing the summer program. It was a pretty standard offer letter with a small bonus at signing and two more installments still to come. Additionally, bar expenses were to be reimbursed, which I've accrued and for which I've been reimbursed. The offer letter did not contain a clawback provision or the like. At this point, I'm having some second thoughts about joining this firm and would like to explore other options, after formally rescinding the offer. I guess my question is, if I formally rescind my accepatance, am I somehow on the hook for the bonus and reimbursements I've received to this point? I've been under the impression that these bonuses and such are simply incentives for the prospective employee to come and join the firm, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Any experiences and thoughts are helpful.

2013

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby 2013 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:17 pm

I’m a little surprised that there wasn’t a clawback. If you renege on the offer, just expect some kind of payback requirement (yet hope that they don’t ask). I’m sure there is something in there about it being subject to you being employed by the firm on X date or whatever unless the firm is really dumb.

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:12 pm

OP here. Thanks for the reply! Like I said, there is absolutely no clawback provision and the bonuses are smaller (not market) and dispersed at different times, with the last coming after several months of employment. These bonuses strike me as an incentive not to shop around with other firms and I really haven't. I'm just having a legitimate change of heart, not that it should matter. I mean they wouldn't think twice about dropping me if a work dried up in their practice group and saw me as an unnecessary expense. Anyone with personal experience on this would be appreciated

BeeTeeZ

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby BeeTeeZ » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L, and I accepted an offer with a law firm last summer after completing the summer program. It was a pretty standard offer letter with a small bonus at signing and two more installments still to come. Additionally, bar expenses were to be reimbursed, which I've accrued and for which I've been reimbursed. The offer letter did not contain a clawback provision or the like. At this point, I'm having some second thoughts about joining this firm and would like to explore other options, after formally rescinding the offer. I guess my question is, if I formally rescind my accepatance, am I somehow on the hook for the bonus and reimbursements I've received to this point? I've been under the impression that these bonuses and such are simply incentives for the prospective employee to come and join the firm, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Any experiences and thoughts are helpful.


Have you taken the MPRE yet?

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:36 am

BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L, and I accepted an offer with a law firm last summer after completing the summer program. It was a pretty standard offer letter with a small bonus at signing and two more installments still to come. Additionally, bar expenses were to be reimbursed, which I've accrued and for which I've been reimbursed. The offer letter did not contain a clawback provision or the like. At this point, I'm having some second thoughts about joining this firm and would like to explore other options, after formally rescinding the offer. I guess my question is, if I formally rescind my accepatance, am I somehow on the hook for the bonus and reimbursements I've received to this point? I've been under the impression that these bonuses and such are simply incentives for the prospective employee to come and join the firm, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Any experiences and thoughts are helpful.


Have you taken the MPRE yet?


OP here. Yes, I have taken the MPRE. Are you going to flesh out a point or simply imply that I don't understand ethics. Have you taken contracts? These things obviously get complex. Interestingly, there is a breakdown of firms that have clawbacks v. firms that do not. Again, this does not provide a clear-cut answer. I'm just curious if others have similar personal experiences.

https://abovethelaw.com/careers/law-firm-advances-bonuses-benefits-stipends-for-first-years/

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:02 pm

Quinn E gave summer bonuses to the few summers it had w/ no strings attached to accept a full time offer

You’re close to being a lawyer, op. You should know whether you signed or agreed to anything with a clawback provision.

Also the poster asking about the MPRE must be a 2L lol

Anonymous User
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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quinn E gave summer bonuses to the few summers it had w/ no strings attached to accept a full time offer

You’re close to being a lawyer, op. You should know whether you signed or agreed to anything with a clawback provision.

Also the poster asking about the MPRE must be a 2L lol


OP here. As I mentioned, the offer letter most definitely does not have a clawback provision. I think the lack of such a provision strongly suggests no reimbursement obligation exists. In these cases, I'm asking for people's experiences and how they have navigated it with law firms.

NoChainz

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby NoChainz » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:57 pm

Separate point but please don't rescind your acceptance until you have actually have another offer.

lawhopeful100

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Re: Signing Bonus Reimbursement

Postby lawhopeful100 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:09 pm

NoChainz wrote:Separate point but please don't rescind your acceptance until you have actually have another offer.

Yea this is the first thing I thought when I read the post.



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