Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Relief, and Additional Scariness

When I received my offer at the firm I will be working at next summer, I went and talked to my boss about the offer and at the time she seemed really cool about it (in fact, during that conversation she even suggested that I might want to take it to see if I might like the firm life more). Flash forward to about two weeks ago when the very same boss came up to me and said "I heard you are leaving us next summer."1

To which I responded "Yes, I'm going to Paycheck & Large."2
[Kind of Snappishly] "Well, I wish you would have told me about it before you made your decision."
*Mouth gape* [meekly] "Um,3 I did talk to you after I got the offer."
[Not Quite as Snappishly... but still snappish] "Really? I don't remember that."

Which was weird, and a little disconcerting.

Flash forward again to today, when I told a couple of the lawyers I worked with about my decision for next summer. Both of them said that I made the right decision trying out a firm, that my decision was a "no brainer" and that the lawyers I would be working with are some of the best IP lawyers in the area. All of which were good things to hear. BUT, these same guys also said some stuff that made me nervous. For example, they said that my company has an unspoken "policy" of withholding work from any firm that hires people away from the company. Both of them assured me that they were "pretty sure" that the "policy" didn't apply to clerks, but now I'm all worried that my employment after law school is going to come down to a battle of wills between my current company and next summer's firm... and who do you think will win, my current company's money (ka-ching), or my lowly skills as a new associate. Hmmm.

I really hope my current employer wouldn't do something so immature and vindictive that it could get it a guest role on Laguna Beach: The Real OC, not to mention something that will damage its recruiting reputation by completely crippling a person's future employment opportunities by accepting a clerkship with it, but that doesn't stop me from worrying.

1For the moment we will ignore the nagging little detail of how she knew I was leaving when I had told no one at the company about my plans
2Firm name changed to protect the innocent
3Yes, I was so eloquent, I broke out the "Um." That's how I roll at work.


At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

plenty of reasons right there to never go back to the company you worked for this summer. ever.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, thinking a bit too much of yourself there. No company is going to make its decisions on where to send its business based on whether a law clerk decided to go there. They will send it to the people who can do the best job. And somehow this company has managed to keep hiring people without too much of a problem, even though it is certain that some of their lowly law clerks have made the same decision in the past. So, I wouldn't worry about it.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Unreasonable Man said...

Anonymous #2, I agree that no company should make a decision based on whether or not a firm hires a law clerk (especially this lowly law clerk). But, I also thought no company would base their decision on whether or not the firm hired a lawyer away from the company, which my co-workers were very clear has happened on multiple occasions.

Also, I mentioned that I don't think my fear is rational... but that doesn't make me worry any less. For me, "rational" and "worry" don't go together.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger biff said...

I don't think this policy limits you much--I bet there are plenty of firms that don't work with your company, even if a huge one. It's not targetted at you, but the firms. And if that's the case, I would imagine that if a firm didn't *actively* try to solicit you away, then this policy doesn't apply. Otherwise, the firm is basically punishing its own lawyers (slightly), and that's just silly.


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