I am a romantic…and want to share with you a love story:

Boy meets girl.
Girl immediately likes boy.
Boy is head over heels for girl.
They date the obligatory 9 months, he calls her Dad and asks for permission to marry.
Suspecting something is going on, Girl dresses extra special for Saturday date, perfume, heels, the works!
When boy and girl have finished their bottle of Opus One and eaten a lovely meal, boy gets down on one knee and says
“I would like to spend the rest of my life with you.”
He pauses, pulls a file out of his jacket and says “Would you sign this pre-nup?”

Not the romantic story you expected, is it?

Well many people are experiencing this in the employment context.
Wined / Dined / recruited and when they are ready to accept – they are handed a noncompete. Essentially a pre-nup, spelling out who can do what when the relationship ends.

Well that’s just business, right? MAYBE – but even if it is just business, you need to take it seriously. Ask early on in the process, do they require employment contracts – what are the terms?

Once you feel “pursued” a little bit of commonsense can give way to excitement, or desire for the job. So please, ask before you accept the job and you won’t feel as duped as my friend in the above story.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at