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The end of the job hunt is the offer, or, gloriously, numerous offers. Juggling offers in a given time period is tricky. The problem can be complicated by an offer from the summer firm, with accompanying demand for response within four weeks.
The wisest and most prudent course, if the summer firm exerts time pressure, necessitates your acceptance of the offer, unless you feel that even one year there would be abhorrent. If there is no time limit on your acceptance, delay as long as possible, to examine other opportunities. Weigh heavily the acceptance of a summer offer, even if the firm is located in an unattractive city. There is no certainty of other offers and the one-year rule applies: it is usually appropriate for a lawyer to change jobs after one year. Never reject an offer unless you have another in hand, or unless you can be completely sure, after carefully evaluating your position in the market, that other offers will appear.
Organizations can generally be put off for four to six weeks following the offer. The earlier the offer is extended, the more time you can bargain for. Conversely, the later in the year the offer appears, the less time for decision is available. Firms usually inform offerees of the time limits on their decision-making. Your request for four weeks to respond does not prejudice your welcome. The practice is common, and obtaining a few weeks' acceptance time, even if you have no other offer and no real prospect of one, is part of the game and not inappropriate.
The Offer usually is telephoned and confirmed in writing. The written confirmation, normally, and the telephonic communication, sometimes, contain information concerning salary. The letter normally informs you of benefits, insurance plans, and moving expenses. Usually decision on a date to begin work is deferred. Respond to the offer by telephone, to the lawyer who extended the offer. Confirm in writing, shortly thereafter.
If you have received other offers, inform the respective firms by telephone or pen of your reluctant decision to decline the offers. No explanation is necessary.