{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Was interviewing with a firm and soon after receiving an offer, learned of bad culture/toxic partners in the practice group from a couple of associates who recently lateraled from the firm. I turned the offer down. A partner that I clicked with while interviewing reached out asking me why I turned down the offer. Should I be honest and relay what I heard?", "post_id": "61de731879b715003836cdd9", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Was interviewing with a firm and soon after receiving an offer, learned of bad culture/toxic partners in the practice group from a couple of associates who recently lateraled from the firm. I turned the offer down. A partner that I clicked with while interviewing reached out asking me why I turned down the offer. Should I be honest and relay what I heard?

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Make sure you don't throw your informants under the bus. They may not want to burn any bridges either. I'd probably make a general statement like "I really enjoyed meeting with you and everyone I spoke with, but [given the recent exodus of associates from the practice group/based on my survey of the market] I had concerns about whether it would be a good cultural fit." And then let him follow up if he wants more detail. Chances are he already knows if there are toxic partners.

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No. It’s a small world and you never burn a bridge like that. Make something up that doesn’t denigrate them. You might run into this person again.

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Agree with A1

I find this industry worries about burned bridges too often. There’s candor and then being an ass. Just be polite, firm, and candid. It’s not like you’re saying that partner who reached out to you is the problem. It’ll be good for them to know

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I would be really careful about saying you spoke to recent laterals who left etc. The partner knows who has left recently or can figure it out. Those people were kind enough to be candid with you (I’m guessing a stranger), it’s not your place to even potentially throw them under the bus/burn their bridges on their behalf. I liked A3’s proposed response.

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I’d be honest.

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I would just say you received some input that made you think the culture is not a match for you, but don’t give names. The partner will read between the lines. This is important. They need to know that there are consequences to having toxic work environments

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You should be honest but it is all about delivery. If they don’t want to hear about how toxic their workplace is they shouldn’t have asked why you declined. Be polite but honest and firm. Also can you please let me know how you found and talked to folks that lateralled out? I’m in the same boat and want to do the same.

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