How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

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mcd343536

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How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby mcd343536 » Wed May 15, 2019 12:09 pm

Any tips for someone who knows that he will be changing markets after his 2L summer? My partner has settled on attending medical school in Houston and, seeing as how we both have TX ties (he is from Austin and I went to Rice for undergrad), we have decided to make the move to Houston once I graduate law school. We will already be separated for a year, so I plan on moving to Houston after I graduate. The only problem is that my 2L SA in in NYC at a firm with no Houston (or even Tx) office. How should I handle this going into my 2L SA? Should I be upfront or keep my cards close? I still think this could be a good networking opportunity and would like to try and ingratiate myself and have the best summer possible. FWIW, I genuinely believed I would be staying in NYC after I graduated when I accepted the SA and this is a relatively new development. Thoughts?

icansortofmath

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby icansortofmath » Wed May 15, 2019 12:42 pm

There is no reason to tell them. Maybe let them know sometime in middle of summer that you won’t be accepting an offer due to your partner’s situation and you start looking for your exits.

Honestly, I know people who kept going and accepted the offer before reneging in middle of 3L when they get another offer. A lot of 3L hiring is about poaching other firms’ 2L summers.

It’s a bit douchey but I gotta imagine a long distance relationship for a year or two while you look to lateral is better than being unemployed.

Obviously, finding a 2L summer position near your future home is better but it may be too late.

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 15, 2019 12:45 pm

mcd343536 wrote:Any tips for someone who knows that he will be changing markets after his 2L summer? My partner has settled on attending medical school in Houston and, seeing as how we both have TX ties (he is from Austin and I went to Rice for undergrad), we have decided to make the move to Houston once I graduate law school. We will already be separated for a year, so I plan on moving to Houston after I graduate. The only problem is that my 2L SA in in NYC at a firm with no Houston (or even Tx) office. How should I handle this going into my 2L SA? Should I be upfront or keep my cards close? I still think this could be a good networking opportunity and would like to try and ingratiate myself and have the best summer possible. FWIW, I genuinely believed I would be staying in NYC after I graduated when I accepted the SA and this is a relatively new development. Thoughts?


Definitely DO NOT tell them. I am guessing you are going to a firm with 100% offer rate, but you need to go in and convince them you want to go there. To get an offer in Houston, you need to have an offer from your NY firm at the end of the summer. They are a large firm, one person not coming on is fine, but the first question every Houston firm will ask is "did the firm you were at give you an offer", trust me as someone who did Houston biglaw and interviewed many SA and lateral applicants.

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papermateflair

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby papermateflair » Wed May 15, 2019 12:56 pm

Don't tell people at the firm you're not going to take the job/you're moving to Houston, and do what you need to get an offer. Proceed as if you are 100% planning on being in NYC. It'll be easier on the 3L job market if you can tell potential firms that you have an offer from your SA job in NYC, but that you are relocating to Houston because of your partner's medical school - firms don't want to take on an associate that was no-offered, and they don't need to know about all of your future plans. You're not being dishonest by not revealing every detail about your life (and besides, who knows! You could break up with your partner in August and regret telling your firm you aren't going to take the job!).

icansortofmath

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby icansortofmath » Wed May 15, 2019 1:03 pm

Yeah, make sure you get the offer.

People bail all the time. I bailed on a DC office of a V50 after accepting and I told them (truthfully, though I knew it would happen going in) that my wife decided to stay in NYC (with hints she couldn’t find position in DC) and I decided I rather get a tax LLM and be closer to business side of things. The partner is still texting me random memes so I think we’re still on good terms.

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby QContinuum » Wed May 15, 2019 1:30 pm

And just to be extra, extra clear: Be just as enthusiastic and dedicated during the summer as you would've been if you were planning on staying on as a full-time associate next year. Absolutely don't "phone it in" or skip all the social events or try to do 9-5 every day or turn down work while sitting at your desk Netflixing or whatnot. As the other posters emphasize, having a permanent offer from your 2L SA firm will be super important - indeed, absolutely critical - at 3L OCI (and, more likely, 3L mass-mailing - 3L OCI is a very limited event with limited offerings and a relatively low chance of success, and you should absolutely not rely solely on it the way you may have relied on 2L OCI). Moreover, the legal community is surprisingly small. Don't burn any bridges when you don't need to!

BigLaw firms and partners know that inevitably, not everyone who summer with them will return. Folks go off and clerk (and possibly never come back post-clerkship); personal stuff happens and folks need to move. They will not hold it against you if/when you decline their permanent offer due to wanting to move to Houston to join your partner.

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 15, 2019 1:50 pm

And after all of the great advice here, I'm just going to show some solidarity with OP and say that I am also going into my SA planning on leaving for another market. I'm putting my head down and getting the offer, then spending 3L trying to get a job in the city I really want to be in

Auxilio

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby Auxilio » Wed May 15, 2019 3:53 pm

If I were you I would probably also consider applying to District courts in Houston if any are still hiring.

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 15, 2019 5:13 pm

I went through a similar situation back when I was a summer. Focus on doing good work and building relationships so that you get the offer - once you have an offer in your pocket, the 3L recruiting process will be exponentially easier (but not guaranteed). Don't tell anyone at the firm that you're thinking of going to another market - keep your cards very close!

mcd343536

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby mcd343536 » Thu May 16, 2019 8:47 am

Thank you all so much for the advice.

In terms of playing my cards close, would it be better to not even mention my partner's move to Houston? He won't really be available this summer for many of the plus one functions, so it may be fairly easy to just not mention. Or should I mention it and just say he intends to move back to NYC?

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby QContinuum » Thu May 16, 2019 11:20 am

mcd343536 wrote:Thank you all so much for the advice.

In terms of playing my cards close, would it be better to not even mention my partner's move to Houston? He won't really be available this summer for many of the plus one functions, so it may be fairly easy to just not mention. Or should I mention it and just say he intends to move back to NYC?

When I summered, there was only a single - uno, one - function where bringing a plus-one was even a possibility - and my firm had a lot of functions overall. Even at that single function where we were allowed to bring a plus-one, most summers - including those in relationships - did not bring a plus-one. Actually, the few summers who did bring a plus-one brought a (platonic) friend. I only recall a single summer who actually brought her SO (there may have been a few more, but again, definitely the exception and not the norm).

I would generally not recommend talking extensively about your partner during the summer. It just doesn't really come up. I barely heard a peep from my fellow summers about their SOs (barely even knew whether they had an SO!). I wouldn't start talking about your SO sua sponte, but only if it comes up in conversation. If people ask what he does, say that he's just about to start med school and end it there. If people ask where he'll be attending, you simply say "[school name]." Etc. Keep it short and casual. If people note that [school name]'s in Houston, and remark that it must be tough to be so far from each other, you blandly agree that long-distance can certainly be challenging but "med school isn't forever." That's how I'd handle it if I were in your shoes, anyway. Like, don't be weird about discussing your SO if the topic comes up, but don't turn it into an opportunity to wax poetic about him.

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papermateflair

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Re: How to handle going into 2L SA knowing you cant accept an offer

Postby papermateflair » Thu May 16, 2019 11:48 am

mcd343536 wrote:Thank you all so much for the advice.

In terms of playing my cards close, would it be better to not even mention my partner's move to Houston? He won't really be available this summer for many of the plus one functions, so it may be fairly easy to just not mention. Or should I mention it and just say he intends to move back to NYC?


If your partner is still working this summer, then just say "oh, my partner is a nurse/dj/youtube star/whatever" and don't mention medical school. In any case, no one needs all the details. Short and sweet - don't act like anything is a Big Secret, because it's not (if someone really wants to internet stalk you and find out everything, they can, but no one cares/no one has the time). But no need to get into the details of your partner's career when literally no one cares - they want to learn about YOU, not your partner.



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