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This spring some students have asked how to handle a job offer that is not from a preferred employer, or how to handle a “better” offer after accepting employment elsewhere.

The Career Development Office wants all students from the University of Richmond School of Law to conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity for the benefit of your own reputation and the reputation of the school. Please consult with your career advisor, and review the NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process, and Richmond Law’s Interview and Offer Policy for additional guidance.

Q. In deciding whether to accept an offer, how can I find out whether I am under serious consideration by another employer?
A. Before making a final decision, students often want to weigh all of their viable options. If you have an offer from one employer, but prefer another employer, it is appropriate to contact your preferred employer and inquire about the status of your application. You should explain that you have received an offer from another employer, and let your preferred employer know that they would be your first choice, but you must respond to the offer in hand by a certain date. This conversation may spur your preferred employer into action, or you may learn that you have to make a decision on the offer you have received without additional information from your preferred employer.

Q. What if the employer wants an answer before I will hear back from my preferred employer?
A. It is up to you whether you take a risk and decline an offer in hopes of receiving an offer from another employer.

Q. May I continue to apply or interview for jobs after I have accepted an offer?

A. No. Once you have accepted an offer for a summer or post-graduate position, you should not continue to apply or interview for employment that conflicts with your commitment.

Q. Once I accept an offer, how should I handle other interviews already scheduled?
A. Once you accept an offer of employment, you should call to cancel all other scheduled interviews for employment that will conflict with your accepted employment. Interviewing when you cannot, or do not wish to, accept employment jeopardizes your reputation, wastes the employer’s time, and decreases other students’ interview opportunities. Once you accept an offer from an employer, even for an unpaid internship, it is inappropriate and against school policy to continue to search for other employment or to renege on your acceptance.

Q. Can I accept an offer now, but decline it later if a paid or more prestigious offer comes through?
A. No. By accepting an offer of employment, you are committing yourself to that employer for the agreed-upon time period. Reneging on an accepted offer is an ethical violation of that commitment. Reneging on an accepted offer can negatively impact your reputation and that of Richmond Law. In addition, it can skew employers’ perceptions of other Richmond Law students and graduates, resulting in decreased recruiting opportunities.

Because of Richmond Law’s strong interest in maintaining employer relationships and maximizing opportunities for all students and alumni, reneging on an accepted offer of employment may result in the loss of all OCI and job fair privileges. This policy applies whether or not the accepted offer was secured via a Richmond Law sponsored interview program or job fair.

If you are considering reneging on an accepted offer of employment, speak with your career advisor or Dean Janet Hutchinson prior to making a final decision. If, because of extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances which you have discussed with your career advisor and/or Dean Hutchinson, it becomes necessary for you to modify your acceptance, both the employer and the CDO must be notified promptly in writing. Students may refer to the NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process and the Richmond Law policy on accepted offers, also found in your recruitment guide.

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