Now that callbacks are underway, we wanted to quickly brief you on the next stage — offers.
Just like the callback invitation, you need to acknowledge the offer right away (within a day of receiving it), though you don’t need to take a position on the offer. Acknowledgment should be directed to the person who extended the offer and it should be by the same method (phone or email) as it was extended.
If you are fortunate to receive more than one offer, you should check in with one of the CDO attorney-counselors. We can help you manage the process of accepting/declining/ and perhaps leveraging another offer. There is no reason to keep an offer open if you also have one from a firm that you would prefer to work for. Declining it promptly will not just help the firm, but may help one of your classmates who may be on a waiting list. We all have an understandable natural reluctance to break bad news, but there is nothing inherently awkward about declining an offer in the context of recruiting — it is quite common, in fact, and firms do not take it “personally.” There is no need to give detailed or deeply apologetic reasons. Simply state that you appreciate the firm’s interest in you, and that the decision was a difficult one, but that you have decided that another firm would be a better option for you. For the sake of your professional reputation (and perhaps the chance to help one of your classmates), don’t just let a less preferred offer sit out there until it expires.
Under the guidelines to which law schools and legal employers have agreed, an offer generally will expire 28 days after the date of the employer’s offer letter.
The guidelines also specify that students cannot hold open more than five offers at any one time. For each offer received that places you over the offer limit, you should, within one week of receipt of the excess offer, release an offer. More detailed instructions about accepting and declining offers can be found in our online Offers Guide.