Cancelling an accepted offer

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Renege

Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by Renege » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:00 pm

I’ve accepted an offer 3 weeks ago. Today, I came across a better offer with another firm. What are your thoughts on accepting the new offer and cancelling the offer I’ve already accepted?

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ymmv
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by ymmv » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:10 pm

My impression is it’s not a great look. Possibly not a great career move in an insular market where people talk. Maybe a black mark even in a big one. What do you mean by a “better” offer? A significantly higher salary? If you just mean “more prestigious” I don’t know that that’s a compelling reason to renege.

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UVA2B
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by UVA2B » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:20 pm

It’s definitely not a good look, but it’s also *unlikely* to have any real impact on the trajectory of your career. The bridge is burned with that firm, and it’s certainly possible to have some reputational harm if the market or practice area is small or insular enough where everyone knows everyone. And I second ymmv wondering what qualifies as a better offer. If it’s better because it’s in a more desirable market for you, you can probably justify it. But if it’s because it’s a V10 instead of a V50 or something like that, it’s probably not worth it to start off on that foot.

If you decide to do it, your first call should be to the partner you got to know best at the reneging firm, so you have the opportunity to explain your situation and also potentially limit the amount of reputational damage you do, followed by the recruiting side to handle the admin stuff.

Other than that, and for the future, be more deliberate about offers you choose to accept. If you expect other opportunities to potentially materialize, just take the extra time to wait for the process to run its course.

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jeff chiles
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by jeff chiles » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:33 pm

I know this would burn a bridge at the firm but does it really harm you with other firms? I work in a small market and have never heard of firms communicating this info or blackballing people that way.

Definitely agree it’s dumb to renege if it’s just a perceived prestige thing but if it’s a major salary, location or career trajectory difference you have to do it

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pancakes3
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by pancakes3 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:15 pm

we need more context

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:54 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:15 pm
we need more context

note1L
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by note1L » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:39 pm

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:54 pm
pancakes3 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:15 pm
we need more context

waldorf
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by waldorf » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:45 pm

jeff chiles wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:33 pm
Definitely agree it’s dumb to renege if it’s just a perceived prestige thing but if it’s a major salary, location or career trajectory difference you have to do it
totally agree with this and will just add that at the end of the day, it's your career. you have to do what's best for you. if the other firm is a way better fit for you (due to salary, practice area, or even prestige even though i agree that's a stupid reason), then just renege. it's shitty, but it's your life. just be more cautious in the future. caveat is if you're in a super small market--then it could be a bad move career wise because firms do talk. (if you're in a big market, it's probably not that big of a deal career wise other than burning bridges with the firm you are reneging on)

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JenDarby
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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by JenDarby » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:18 pm

I reneged on a summer offer, and the employer was pissed and contacted my school to complain about me. my school forced me to have two conference calls about how awful what I did was etc

but I wouldn’t have my career as it stands if I didn’t make that decision. the job was massively better, the pay was better, everything was better. I would make that decision again every day

as others mentioned, context matters. also do be sure to directly reach out via phone call if you decide to renege

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Re: Cancelling an accepted offer

Post by lolwat » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:23 pm

My gut feeling is that for the most part, reneging with one firm probably isn't going to blackball you with other firms, but you never really know. Recruiters often know each other, lawyers often know each other, and everybody talks... so it's just a matter of what they say and who hears it.

Do what's best for you, but make sure it's actually best for you. Agree with most of the above about salary, practice area, location potentially being important enough to do such a thing. A significant difference in "fit" and "prestige" could also matter as well. As for prestige, Vault rankings are all sorts of bullshit but I think a lot of employers down the road do see a difference between some of the "top" firms and some firms that aren't quite so top but are still biglaw.

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