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Author Topic: Etiquette of Declining an Offer  (Read 1147 times)

pleaseacceptme24

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Etiquette of Declining an Offer
« on: September 22, 2008, 12:42:41 AM »
Hi all,
I have to decline an offer from the firm that I summered with, but I want to do it in the most tactful way possible so as not to burn my bridges or hurt the chances of future applicants from my school.  So, how should I go about it?  Phone, email,  or both?  Should I talk to the recruiter, the partner I worked with the most, or the partner who gave me the offer, or all three?  Any advice would be appreciated.

NewHere

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Re: Etiquette of Declining an Offer
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 01:39:16 PM »
I think the usual thing to do is to spend something like two or four weeks at your 1L firm before or after spending a full summer at the other firm, just so as not to burn bridges.

pleaseacceptme24

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Re: Etiquette of Declining an Offer
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 02:15:05 PM »
I think the usual thing to do is to spend something like two or four weeks at your 1L firm before or after spending a full summer at the other firm, just so as not to burn bridges.

Actually, I was them in my 2L summer and the offer is for after graduation.  Thanks.

jacy85

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Re: Etiquette of Declining an Offer
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 03:18:49 PM »
Phone to the partner who gave you the offer, a nice thank you note to the partner you worked with, and a polite e-mail to the recruiter "This is to confirm ..." the conversation you had with partner. 

Second all of this.   Just be polite about everything and it's fine.

AOCenteno

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Re: Etiquette of Declining an Offer
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 01:22:38 PM »
I think itís really important with the economy the way it is to ensure you donít burn bridges and have as many option open for as long as possible.  Although itís rare, companies do go back on offers when the economy sours and that perfect offer you have today could disappear tomorrow.  Back in 2001 I knew a number of people who had this happen to them.  Those who were the quickest to recover were the ones who had stayed in contact with companies that had made them offers earlier.  Those hiring know these things are beyond your control, and they look at this as a great way to get talent they might not have gotten.

I recommend a 3 paragraph letter (in which you decline, praise them and their company, and then leave the door open that in the future you see yourself working with a firm like theirs) and following this up with a short phone call. 

Best of luck!