Why It Is So Hard for 1Ls
Navigating the legal job market and often the professional career world itself is new territory to many first-year students. Often, when a 1L receives their very first legal job offer, they feel like they have to accept it. The prospect of continuing to interview seems rude to them and the prospect of turning down a job offer can seem absolutely terrifying. When career counselors put themselves in 1Ls’ shoes and remember how new this process is for many of them, it makes it easier to communicate in a manner that will get through to them.
Talking About Tone
Assuring your students that turning down an offer is perfectly acceptable as long as they have a professional, gracious tone, can help the students relax. Doing so meets them halfway and acknowledges that turning down an offer is an uncomfortable thing to do and then helps them see that there is a right way to do it. Help the student work on their email turning down the job offer. Ask them if they would be offended by such an email and when they realize that of course they would not, the process gets easier.
Remind the 1L that any employer who is extending them an offer has been where they are. The employer knows that they will be interviewing at multiple different organizations because applying to only one place would be way too risky and because 1L students explore their options. It’s just what they do, and every lawyer knows it. Employers also know that most 1Ls haven’t settled on the type of law they want to practice.
Additionally, remind 1Ls that employers hire summer interns every year. They have had multiple candidates turn down offers in the past, and they expect candidates to turn down offers in the future. It is not a new or offensive phenomenon to them.
Do your 1Ls have multiple job offers and not know which one to accept? Are some of them stagnant and not excited about any particular job opportunity? The LawFit Career Assessment can help them narrow down their practice areas of interest and get them motivated.