Call-Backs & Offers
What to Expect
Call-back interviews tend to be longer and you may meet with multiple attorneys in a series of back-to-back 20-30 minute-interviews. In addition to letting the employer learn more about your skills, experiences and level of interest, call-back interviews provide an opportunity to assess how well your personality and demeanor “fit” with the others in the office and with the organizational culture and values.
Employers tend to make their invitations for call-back interviews quickly, usually within two weeks after the screening interview. Many employers will make invitations sooner, some later. Government/district attorneys’ offices frequently take longer than two weeks to contact candidates. Students should respond to call-back interview invitations promptly. Respond in no more than one business day, and preferably before the end of the same business day, if possible.
Waiting for the Call-Back...
Law firms make call-back decisions on varying timelines. Employers interview many candidates and it takes time to schedule interviews and contact candidates. All employers are asked to comply with GW Law’s Recruiting Guidelines.
Receiving an Offer
Most employers will make a verbal by phone, then follow-up with an offer letter, by email or regular mail. The offer letter will include details of the offer, such as pay and timing. It may mention that the offer is for “at-will” employment, which can be terminated by either party. This is normal. Acknowledge your receipt of the offer with a return call or a reply email on the same business day or no more than 24 hours after receipt of the offer.
If the employer requests reaffirmation in the offer letter, you must follow their instructions to reaffirm your interest in their offer. The reaffirmation period gives you time to consider the offer carefully, and to release the offer if appropriate. Firms expect you to carefully consider their offer in the reaffirmation period, so immediately reaffirming within 24 hours is generally not the advised protocol. Instead, take time to consider the offer for at least a few days, a week, or even the full reaffirmation period before making the decision to reaffirm or release the offer.
Holding / Releasing Offers
Multiple offers? You should not hold open more than three offers at any one time. For each offer received in excess of this limit, you should release an offer within one week of receipt of the excess offer.
In fairness to the employer and your peers, you should promptly decline offers which are no longer seriously being considered. This will allow the employer to extend an offer to an alternate candidate. If you are unsure of how to navigate these decisions, meet with a career counselor to discuss your options.
Accepting an Offer
GW Law requests that all employers comply with our Recruiting Guidelines. These guidelines ask that all offers remain open for at least 14 days after the date of the offer letter.
Any offers made before the start of a Recruiting Program, should expire at least 14 days after the first day of a Recruiting Program.
Requesting an Extension
Students may request extensions beyond the 14 day offer period, but employers are not obligated to agree to an extension. Students actively pursuing public sector employment, or awaiting decisions affecting a spouse or family member may request further extensions. Contact the Career Center for more guidance before requesting an extension.
The following resources can assist you in evaluating competing offers to make the best choice for you. You may also consult Career Center resources on researching practice areas and practice settings, or make an appointment with a counselor.
NALP's Video Tips for Professionalism in the Job Search Process
In partnership with LawFirmElearning, NALP's Developing the Professional Work Group has developed a series of "tips" videos for students as they start their job searches and prepare to enter the work force. These interactive e-learning modules are a simple, engaging way to learn about some of the core elements of professionalism. Topics include:
- Email and voicemail etiquette
- Managing job offers
- Best practices for communicating with employers during the application process
- Ace the interview
- The business of law
- Maintaining well-being during the job search process
- Government and public service interviewing
- Cultural competence