Question of the Week

Have You Ever Been Offended by a Rejection Letter? What Did It Say?


We recently heard from a reader who wondered how it could ever be in a law firm’s best interest to send out anything but a kind rejection letter. “Nice rejection letters accomplish the same thing (a rejection) but offer goodwill and a better reflection on the law firm,” she wrote. “I always remember the rude rejection letters and the law firms they came from and if I ever had a client to refer I sure would not suggest that law firm to them.”

She gave an example of a rejection letter that drove her nuts. After having interviewed with a small boutique law firm in an interview that seemed to go well, she received this curt letter the next day, “Unfortunately, we have decided to go a different route.” That was it. No pleasantries or beating around the bush.

So we’d like to ask you:

Have you ever been offended or bemused by a rejection letter? What did it say?

If you are a lawyer who has sent rejection letters, do you have a particular style or format? Do you consider whether the rejected candidate could be a contact in the future or do you just move on?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Does Your Workplace Have a “Macho” Culture?

Featured answer:

Posted by Jane: “At the BigLaw firm at which I worked for many years, there was an often retold story about a female partner (one of the huge firm’s only ones), pregnant with her first child, who was wheeled into the delivery room while on a cellphone with a client. She continued that call until she was finally forced to relinquish the phone by the medical staff. She then delivered the baby, and was back on the phone with that client with only 25 minutes having elapsed. Messed up priorities by almost anyone’s standards? Yes. Also, query the ‘culture’ at the offices of the client who thought themselves too important and their work too urgent to get off that call, regardless of the macho culture in which their lawyer worked.”

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