Timing Your Response and Acknowledging Offers
Once you get an offer, you must consider how quickly you need or want to respond. Even though the employer may want you to say “yes” on the spot, in most cases, you do not need to do so. (The major exclusion to this rule is in the case of judicial clerkships) If the employer is a member of NALP, specific guidelines about when you must respond will apply. Deadlines for offers from non-NALP employers will vary, but you may have some room to negotiate. Consult a counselor for assistance.
While offers of employment received need not be accepted immediately, they should be promptly and enthusiastically acknowledged. Part V.A.2. of the National Association for Law Placement’s Standards for the Timing of Offers and Decisions stipulates that law students should reaffirm these offers within thirty (30) days from the date of the offer. Employers may retract any offer that is not reaffirmed by the student.
A sample acknowledgment letter:
I was very pleased to receive your telephone call on Monday, notifying me of the hiring committee's decision to offer me a summer clerkship at your firm.
As we discussed, I will be deferring a final decision on employment until on-campus interviewing is completed. I am most flattered by the firm's offer and believe that if I do remain in Miami, I could not find a more congenial and stimulating group of colleagues with whom to work.
I appreciate your interest in me for the position we discussed last week. I am still very interested in the possibility of working with you. However, in view of the fact that I am considering other possibilities at this time, I am not prepared to make a final commitment. Understanding your firm's time constraints, I will communicate my final decision by the end of this month.
In fairness to your classmates, you should act as promptly as possible in both accepting and declining offers. If you receive multiple offers you should endeavor to narrow your choice and decline offers in which you are no longer interested as more highly desired offers are received. If you have two or more offers from comparable locations you should promptly eliminate all but one. Upon accepting a position, you should immediately notify all other prospective employers from whom you have received offers.