How to turn down a job offer?

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Anonymous User
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How to turn down a job offer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:23 pm

I'm comfortable in my current mid-law, mid-stress, mid-pay job, but was approached for a big law interview. I was never a great student in law school (not bad, but not stellar), and never thought big law would be an option. In retrospect, I admit I went to interviews out of curiosity, flattery, general excitement and fear of missing out on a great opportunity. I really, really didn't expect to get an offer.

During the interview it seemed clear (to me at least?!?) that I don't have quite the experience that I thought they were looking for. I also realized that I wasn't clicking very much with the interviewers (or at least I didn't think so - in fact, it just made me think how much I like the people I work with now).

Anyways, since I got the offer, I've just been cycling through anxiety and guilt and frankly a bit of fear (before it was all "I can't believe they are even talking to me. Can I really do this?!?!" and now I just picture big law chewing me up and spitting me out). I feel horrible and disingenuous and guilty for wasting everyone's time, especially after blathering about how excited I was about the job, and going through all these interviews, and then getting an (admittedly) impressive offer that almost doubles my current salary.

I don't really know what to say... I'm appreciative of the time they took and the great opportunity it is, but ultimately decided it wasn't right for me? Something about the culture not being a right fit? I don't have another offer or anything, so much as I gained a belated appreciation for my current position.

The legal market here isn't huge, and although I'm convinced now that I don't want to work in big law, I don't want to burn bridges. Should I call? Should I email? Who? I didn't go through a recruiter, but rather a neighbor who is a partner (in a completely different practice area) told me there was an opening in this particular area and that I should apply.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.


Posts: 469
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:35 am

Re: How to turn down a job offer?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:24 am

Something like the following:

Dear [Person]:

Thank you so much for your offer, and for taking the time to help me during this process. Unfortunately, I have to decline. While you do some amazing and interesting work at [BigFirm], after learning more about the position during the interview, I have decided that the level of responsibility I have at [SmallFirm] is a better fit for me. It was a pleasure meeting you, and I would really enjoy keeping in touch down the road.

Thank you again.

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