Leaving before commitment period is over

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:58 pm

So I'm working for a government employer that asks new attorneys to make a 3 year commitment to the office (think Manhattan DA's office). I've been with this employer for less than a year now but I hate this city and I can't imagine living here for another 2 years or so. If I left soon, what would be the consequences besides burned bridges? I know it's bad that I'm trying to break this commitment, but I'm seriously miserable right now

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:09 pm

fake personal/ family reasons.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:27 pm

I've left a government job (public defender) before my commitment. It really depends on the office. I formed a real good rapport with my office and did good work. They understood my decision to leave and, despite breaking my commitment, said they would welcome me back if I later wanted to return. However, I know in different offices as well as DA offices breaking a commitment generally is burning a bridge back bar something extraordinary. I would recommend talking to senior people who you trust and fish out intel regarding people who have broken their commitments there.

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby andythefir » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:16 pm

I broke a commitment, but 1 it was in order to go to a job I said in the interview I was taking that job to become a better prospect for and 2 after I was hired the grant money that funded my salary became subject to future cuts, which would have meant I was laid off.

I’d say it’s a sliding scale for 1 how good of a reason you have for leaving, 2 how far into the commitment you got before leaving, and 3 what incentives you took in exchange for making that commitment. Best case scenario everyone just moves on. Worst case scenario your current employer tells everyone in the market what a dirtbag you are.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:58 pm

I broke a 3 year commitment after 2 years. No one ever asked or cared. I suspect most employers don’t really know about commitments of particular offices. One time the elected official actually point blank asked my boss after some conversation why he’d hire someone who broke their commitment. He shrugged it off like whatever (and we laughed about it later). Pretty obvious to me that no one actually cares. Of course, you’ll never get reemployment at that office again.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:35 am

I was a public defender with a 3 year commitment, and I broke it. I informed the chief pd, and he said "you'll be back" (which he was wrong about), which assumes that the door was open. He was a bit sour about the commitment period, but from my perspective, it was more like they were the ones committing to paying me for 3 years, because there was no guarantee of permanent employment. If they didn't have funding at the end of the 3 years, I doubt they would hesitate to lay me off. They were able to replace me with 3 newbies, because that year's available grant money was greater than the year they took me on.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:40 pm

At my agency, we would find out if you broke a previous commitment during an honors program/with another agency and short of significant need or your being extremely qualified, you wouldn't get a callback. I imagine other fed agencies would work the same.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At my agency, we would find out if you broke a previous commitment during an honors program/with another agency and short of significant need or your being extremely qualified, you wouldn't get a callback. I imagine other fed agencies would work the same.


What about a commitment with a non-federal government employer?

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:58 am

I would not try this if you are at DANY. Speaking from firsthand experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:11 pm

I know someone who broke a state agency commitment and now works for the feds. It was never an issue for her.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would not try this if you are at DANY. Speaking from firsthand experience.


Curious about this. I'm currently in the one of the NYC offices. All have a three year rule and everyone in hiring treats it like a very big deal. What happens if you break it?

Also, I understand the risk to your career if you stay in NYC. But what if you are leaving NYC to go to a job in Chicago or DC? The DAs can't have that much of a reach...right?

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:51 pm

They will make known their displeasure to potential employers who call for references (e.g., DOJ). But if you have a job lined up, they don’t care, and you don’t expect to leave it, by all means.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 08, 2018 8:21 pm

I am having a similar issue. I am four months shy of my 3 year commitment but I am absolutely miserable. The dream is to go fed and I have accepted a non-lawyer COE with a Fed agency with an undetermined start date (12-18 months out). I also have a small firm offer which would make me significantly happier. I really have no idea what to do.

IHCounsel123

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 8:11 pm

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby IHCounsel123 » Thu May 17, 2018 8:52 pm

I broke a commitment to a public sector job in order to take a private sector job, then quit the private sector job and was rehired at the same government job where I had broken the commitment. Nobody cared or mentioned it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2018 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am having a similar issue. I am four months shy of my 3 year commitment but I am absolutely miserable. The dream is to go fed and I have accepted a non-lawyer COE with a Fed agency with an undetermined start date (12-18 months out). I also have a small firm offer which would make me significantly happier. I really have no idea what to do.


Serious question: what are you afraid of? It’s not like they’re going to arrest you for breaking your commitment or anything. Just go!

ur_hero

Bronze
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby ur_hero » Fri May 18, 2018 5:05 pm

If you're truly miserable, just leave...Or figure out a new job, and then leave.

MAYBE they won't be a great future reference. But most likely, if you can give a half-decent explanation as to why you're leaving...No one is going to bust your balls.

Anonymous User
Posts: 320332
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Leaving before commitment period is over

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 21, 2018 7:51 am

There is a lot of bad advice here.

End of the day, your mileage is going to vary by office. Do not assume that it will be ok. In my office, someone left within a year to become a god-damn special agent and they still tried to blackball him and escort out of the building.

You need to talk to people in your office who have either made commitment or are close to making commitment to get a read on the office culture and see their strategy.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.