Law School Discussion

Is it ever ok to renege?

Is it ever ok to renege?
« on: March 10, 2009, 09:56:38 PM »
I just accepted a competitive unpaid internship (A) on Friday. Today, I got an invitation for a fly-out interview for an uber-competitive paid dream internship (B)  that I applied to in December. Is there any way to ethically pursue B? For instance, can I explain my situation to A and ask for permission? Or should I just burn the letter from B?

Ninja1

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Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 10:00:31 PM »
You don't owe A *&^%. Take B unless A can match.

Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2009, 10:04:30 PM »
On the flip side to Ninja1, reneging on an accepted offer not only damages your reputation, but also your school's reputation. Of course, it all depends on what you care about... doing the right thing (and you know what the right thing is) or doing what's most profitable for you...

Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 10:07:59 PM »
Go to B, see about getting the job, then think about things.  Many unpaid internships will allow you to split.  If you get accepted at both, see about splitting.

Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 10:11:30 PM »
This is the section of Penn's Career Services manual on the subject:

Quote
Reneging:  The Office of Career Planning & Professionalism will not support a
student who reneges on a commitment to an employer, except in extreme cases of
unforeseen circumstances or of personal emergency.  This means that a student who
reneges without cause may not use any CP&P services or programs.  The offense may
become a permanent part of the student's law school record.
 
 Continuing to conduct a job search and/or interview after having accepted a
position is considered unacceptable as well.  A student should accept an employer's offer
of employment only when he/she is committed to working for that employer.

As you can see, reneging is...pretty frowned upon. You should probably check to see if your school has a similar policy first; even if they don't, you could burn important bridges by doing so.

Many unpaid internships will allow you to split.

This is something to look into, too, depending on the requirements of the different internships - but I would recommend finding out if that's a possibility before doing the interview.

Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 10:25:45 PM »
Thanks for the responses. My reputation/ access to career services is worth more than dream job that I might not get. At least I've learned my lesson to never give up on a job opportunity even if it's an extreme long shot, before committing somewhere else.

lyre

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Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 07:44:22 AM »
I agree to check into splitting.  But even if B is your dream job, I really do think you need to stick with A if splitting is not a possibility.  If splitting isn't a possibility, I'd explain to B that you are really interested in the opportunity and would love to pursue it next year (if that's the truth) but unfortunately you've already committed to another employer for this summer.

Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 08:39:14 AM »
I would renege unless A is a judge (either federal or in the state where you want to practice). 

Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 09:29:15 AM »
I agree to check into splitting.  But even if B is your dream job, I really do think you need to stick with A if splitting is not a possibility.  If splitting isn't a possibility, I'd explain to B that you are really interested in the opportunity and would love to pursue it next year (if that's the truth) but unfortunately you've already committed to another employer for this summer.

titcr.

Ninja1

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Re: Is it ever ok to renege?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 10:42:13 AM »
@#!* all this gestapo *&^%. Your career isn't going to be over because you blow off an unpaid gig for a paid one. Call A and tell them what's up and don't let yourself get exploited.