Bad look?

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Bad look?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:46 pm

I was invited to an offer reception and told the partner I couldn’t make since I wanted to use the evening to prep for a callback the next day; will the firm that offered remember/care? Did I already make a bad impression that’ll affect my experience as an SA?

RaceJudicata

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Re: Bad look?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:06 pm

I doubt it’ll impact your summer; but I would never do this again. At minimum, come up with a better excuse.

notinbiglaw

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Re: Bad look?

Postby notinbiglaw » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:16 pm

The excuse is just terrible. At least make it something like you have to fly/take train to make it to an early callback. They’d understand that. Even that’s silly. Just say you have a flight to catch or made plans with your significant other (make that plan if you don’t want to lie.)

But prepping for a callback? You’re saying it’s more important for you to prep for a callback than to get to know the partners that could be your bosses.

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Re: Bad look?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:21 pm

To be fair it was actually to prep for the callback. One of the few places that is a hard callback with substantive questions. Think I’ll make the firm have a bad impression now?

beeoBoop

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Re: Bad look?

Postby beeoBoop » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To be fair it was actually to prep for the callback. One of the few places that is a hard callback with substantive questions. Think I’ll make the firm have a bad impression now?


Yeah this was a bad response. It wasn't clear that it was for your callback with this particular firm. And even if it did, it sounds like a lie/brown nosing.

If you don't want to go say almost literally anything else

notinbiglaw

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Re: Bad look?

Postby notinbiglaw » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:36 pm

Chances are nobody will remember but this is the sort of thing that has potential to stick out in someone’s mind.

Also from another perspective, you’re not going to learn enough substance in one night to make a difference in an interview. But you can learn a lot over dinner that can help you in an interview.

Use the stories/questions you get over dinner to minimize substance portion even.

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Re: Bad look?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:40 pm

beeoBoop wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To be fair it was actually to prep for the callback. One of the few places that is a hard callback with substantive questions. Think I’ll make the firm have a bad impression now?


Yeah this was a bad response. It wasn't clear that it was for your callback with this particular firm. And even if it did, it sounds like a lie/brown nosing.

If you don't want to go say almost literally anything else


No, the callback was with another firm. I already received an offer from the firm that invited me to the reception. What I’m trying to gauge is whether my reputation will already be damaged there, and if I may not have a good relationship with the partner that invited me should I accept the offer. If so I wouldn’t accept.

notinbiglaw

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Re: Bad look?

Postby notinbiglaw » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:48 pm

Greater than 90% nobody remembers.

Unless the firm is Debevoise and you managed to pronounce it perfectly with pride.

beeoBoop

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Re: Bad look?

Postby beeoBoop » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
beeoBoop wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To be fair it was actually to prep for the callback. One of the few places that is a hard callback with substantive questions. Think I’ll make the firm have a bad impression now?


Yeah this was a bad response. It wasn't clear that it was for your callback with this particular firm. And even if it did, it sounds like a lie/brown nosing.

If you don't want to go say almost literally anything else


No, the callback was with another firm. I already received an offer from the firm that invited me to the reception. What I’m trying to gauge is whether my reputation will already be damaged there, and if I may not have a good relationship with the partner that invited me should I accept the offer. If so I wouldn’t accept.


Oh no if you have an offer then no one will remember. I can't imagine why you said you weren't going to the firm event because you had to prepare for a callback with another firm...

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Re: Bad look?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:09 pm

I'm guessing the above post saying no one will remember is sarcasm? I told them that because I was across town and was invited to the reception less than 2 hours before it started and was not in proper attire; and even if I was, I have a callback with a firm on par with WLRK/W&C/SG/Kellogg, and need to prepare for the callback since it's supposedly quite hard. Guess I shouldn't have been honest with the firm that already offered me

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Re: Bad look?

Postby beeoBoop » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm guessing the above post saying no one will remember is sarcasm? I told them that because I was across town and was invited to the reception less than 2 hours before it started and was not in proper attire; and even if I was, I have a callback with a firm on par with WLRK/W&C/SG/Kellogg, and need to prepare for the callback since it's supposedly quite hard. Guess I shouldn't have been honest with the firm that already offered me


No I wasn't being sarcastic. They won't remember.

That said, I genuinely don't know why you'd tell them you don't want to go to a firm reception, for a firm that has extended you an offer, because you wanted to do well the next day in your interview with another firm. You absolutely shouldn't tell the firm the truth here

notinbiglaw

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Re: Bad look?

Postby notinbiglaw » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:15 pm

I wasn’t being sarcastic. I really mean probably nobody will remember unless you did something truly dumb like namedropping who you will be interviewing with.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Bad look?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:39 pm

At the risk of coming down unnecessarily hard on Op, I’m going to take this opportunity to come down hard on op.

To directly answer your question, it’s likely fine but there’s a chance it’s not.

Now for the criticism. This reeks of social ineptitude, man. The fact that you did this gives rise to a legitimate concern that you’re not going to hack it in this professional arena. Hopefully this was a crazy lapse in judgement caused by stress or whatever. However, if you find yourself making social gaffes on this scale regularly in social, or heaven forbid professional, situations, I implore you to do whatever you can to...honestly...just get better at human interaction before you get launched into the real world with real clients and real consequences for messing up like this.

Sorry for the tough love, but better to get a handle on this behavior now than face the consequences of a similar mistake later.

ghostoftraynor

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Re: Bad look?

Postby ghostoftraynor » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:45 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:At the risk of coming down unnecessarily hard on Op, I’m going to take this opportunity to come down hard on op.

To directly answer your question, it’s likely fine but there’s a chance it’s not.

Now for the criticism. This reeks of social ineptitude, man. The fact that you did this gives rise to a legitimate concern that you’re not going to hack it in this professional arena. Hopefully this was a crazy lapse in judgement caused by stress or whatever. However, if you find yourself making social gaffes on this scale regularly in social, or heaven forbid professional, situations, I implore you to do whatever you can to...honestly...just get better at human interaction before you get launched into the real world with real clients and real consequences for messing up like this.

Sorry for the tough love, but better to get a handle on this behavior now than face the consequences of a similar mistake later.


This is tcr. Only thing I'd add is the chance that its not fine is probably pretty small (I'm not that involved in recruiting and I have trouble remembering people from events a year down the road). But, OP, you really need to stop doing stuff like this. Eventually, it will matter.

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Re: Bad look?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:57 pm

Thanks for the responses. It was definitely a lapse in judgment, which I instantly realized. I was just trying to assess the damage done.

notinbiglaw

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Re: Bad look?

Postby notinbiglaw » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:41 am

It’s almost certainly nothing.

But if it’s something, it’s bad.

If you keep doing stuff like this that has like 1% chance to be really bad for you, you’re going to get in trouble in a matter of months if not weeks wherever you go.

2013

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Re: Bad look?

Postby 2013 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the responses. It was definitely a lapse in judgment, which I instantly realized. I was just trying to assess the damage done.


OP, I’m not sure if this was just a lapse in judgment. This entire thread you’ve been trying to justify your reason for turning down the reception, essentially digging yourself into a deeper hole without understanding why it was such a stupid idea.

Obviously no one will care. But if this offer was from a V20, the partner probably isn’t going to be thrilled to hear you say I can’t make it to dinner because I have a callback that is at a far superior firm than yours tomorrow that I need to prep for.”

My go-to was that I have friends from college in X city and I already made plans to see them, but thanked them for the invite. A white lie doesn’t hurt anyone.

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Re: Bad look?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:41 am

Sorry to hack op’s thread, but this made me kinda worry. What if I missed a call from a partner that was extending me an offer and when I called back I said “sorry for missing your call, I was in another interview.” I just didn’t want to sound like I didn’t answer my phone/call back for several hours because I didn’t care.

nixy

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Re: Bad look?

Postby nixy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:57 am

I don’t think that’s as bad at all, but I also don’t think it was at all necessary. If you don’t get back to someone right away they’re going to assume it’s because you were busy. You don’t need to justify your inability to answer the phone right away. You’re also not obligated to respond right away and no one’s going to track/care how long it takes you to respond.

(Obviously that changes once you start work, but until then...)

icansortofmath

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Re: Bad look?

Postby icansortofmath » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to hack op’s thread, but this made me kinda worry. What if I missed a call from a partner that was extending me an offer and when I called back I said “sorry for missing your call, I was in another interview.” I just didn’t want to sound like I didn’t answer my phone/call back for several hours because I didn’t care.


This is not a problem at all. They hadn't committed to you yet and couldn't expect you to make them a priority.

What OP did was kind of like right after getting a proposal for marriage (essentially what an offer is, tying firm to you for most likely years), he/she said he/she needed to prep for a date tomorrow to keep his/her options open.

beeoBoop

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Re: Bad look?

Postby beeoBoop » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:04 am

icansortofmath wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to hack op’s thread, but this made me kinda worry. What if I missed a call from a partner that was extending me an offer and when I called back I said “sorry for missing your call, I was in another interview.” I just didn’t want to sound like I didn’t answer my phone/call back for several hours because I didn’t care.


This is not a problem at all. They hadn't committed to you yet and couldn't expect you to make them a priority.

What OP did was kind of like right after getting a proposal for marriage (essentially what an offer is, tying firm to you for most likely years), he/she said he/she needed to prep for a date tomorrow to keep his/her options open.


Yeah you're fine. They understand it's interview season and that people are tied up.

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Re: Bad look?

Postby soft blue » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:30 am

I don't get why people are offering explanations at all. When I've had to turn down receptions, etc, I simply say I can't make it but appreciate the invite -- nobody has ever pushed back, asked for more details, etc. (Similarly, I've never called back when I've gotten an offer call -- just sent a brief email thank you, often at the end of the day. I've never mentioned the delay, and I've never gotten any indication that the partner cared.)

nixy

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Re: Bad look?

Postby nixy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:33 am

soft blue wrote:I don't get why people are offering explanations at all. When I've had to turn down receptions, etc, I simply say I can't make it but appreciate the invite -- nobody has ever pushed back, asked for more details, etc. (Similarly, I've never called back when I've gotten an offer call -- just sent a brief email thank you, often at the end of the day. I've never mentioned the delay, and I've never gotten any indication that the partner cared.)

Yeah, this. You don't need to explain, and if you don't explain you don't run into problems with giving a bad explanation.

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Re: Bad look?

Postby inter-associate » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:35 am

I think people are seriously overestimating the extent to which the partner will give a rip about this, let alone remember it a day later. First of all, it was not near as much of a blunder as some are trying to make it out to be. Mildly awkward at worst, but nothing that is going to put a bad taste in the partner’s mouth.

More importantly, in all likelihood the partner got off the phone with you, jumped back on to a few hours of conference calls, reviewed docs for a few hours and then raced home for a few precious moments with people he/she cares about. You were permanently off their radar within 5 minutes after the call. There is almost zero chance the partner ever thinks about you or your response again, let alone mentions it to anyone else. Your “gaffe” wasn’t even interesting enough for the partner to joke about it with associates later in the day.

I get it because I’ve been there. For law students this process is the most important thing in their lives, and it gets further magnified because the alternative to thinking about it is focusing on getting ready for another miserable year of law school. But for us on the other side recruiting, while very important, feels like just a small and insignificant blip in a very long year.

Some are going to think I’m underestimating human nature given the nature of your response, but I would let this go and move on. You have an offer and hopefully a few more on the way. Choose the one you like and do well next summer, but don’t let the mildly awkward call play into your decision because it will have no impact on your future with the firm.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Bad look?

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:54 am

inter-associate wrote:I think people are seriously overestimating the extent to which the partner will give a rip about this, let alone remember it a day later. First of all, it was not near as much of a blunder as some are trying to make it out to be. Mildly awkward at worst, but nothing that is going to put a bad taste in the partner’s mouth.

More importantly, in all likelihood the partner got off the phone with you, jumped back on to a few hours of conference calls, reviewed docs for a few hours and then raced home for a few precious moments with people he/she cares about. You were permanently off their radar within 5 minutes after the call. There is almost zero chance the partner ever thinks about you or your response again, let alone mentions it to anyone else. Your “gaffe” wasn’t even interesting enough for the partner to joke about it with associates later in the day.

I get it because I’ve been there. For law students this process is the most important thing in their lives, and it gets further magnified because the alternative to thinking about it is focusing on getting ready for another miserable year of law school. But for us on the other side recruiting, while very important, feels like just a small and insignificant blip in a very long year.

Some are going to think I’m underestimating human nature given the nature of your response, but I would let this go and move on. You have an offer and hopefully a few more on the way. Choose the one you like and do well next summer, but don’t let the mildly awkward call play into your decision because it will have no impact on your future with the firm.


I think most people (myself included) have agreed that the partner won’t remember this/care. I think the point is more that if OP continues to make these gaffes at a firm, he’ll be in some reputational trouble.

For example, if OP is an associate at a firm, and Partner A asks OP to join her case team and to do xyz work, OP Should consider coming up with a better reason for declining than s/he wants to work for (more prestigious) partner B.



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