Advice: JD Seeking Econ/Lit Consulting
Hey guys, I'm looking for advice from those who are working at or who have worked at an Economics/Litigation Consulting firm. I wanted to ask what are the chances that someone such as myself would have a shot at landing a position in that type of firm.
I am set to graduate from a lower Tier 1 NY area law school (top 25% class ranking) with a corporate law concentration. I went straight to law school after graduating from a non-target NY undergrad (3.75 GPA, 3.9 Economics Major GPA). I've taken a few harder quant courses but they were years ago now so I'd definitely have to brush up before interviewing.
I was also thinking about enrolling in introductory courses for SAS and Strata as I hear these programming skills are highly used and sought after by econ/lit consulting firms. Even though I will surely not have mastered such skills, I would think that enrollment in such courses would reflect my desire to secure a position in econ/lit consulting. Would this be a waste of my time? What other things should I be doing in the interim to increase my chances of securing one of these positions? Any suggestions are much appreciated.
Besides my chances of landing a position, what exact position should I be looking to secure? I have heard from some in the industry that though JDs are not typically recruited from these firms, they would likely come in at a level higher than an entry-level (with just a BA/BS). Is this correct? What level of compensation (ballpark) would we be talking about here (assuming in tri-state area).
Like the other areas of finance discussed on these boards, should I assume that my best bet at landing such a position would be through networking? This will be considerably difficult as I know of no one in my current network in this field. Yes, I am aware that I am facing an uphill battle.
Any serious suggestions/advice/comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Why would quant classes come into handy at an economics/lit firm; what kind of numbers do you think you'll be crunching.... no algorithms necessary
These firms have a strong preference for hiring people with strong quantitative backgrounds. Lots of incoming analysts have math/engineering/physics/etc majors. I would say that the majority have the quantitative equivalent of at least a math minor.
You likely won't spend much time doing differential equations, but a strong quant background does signal general numeric skills, aptitude for programming (SAS, STATA) which are very important.
EDIT: this post is in response to wallstreetnobody.
This would definitely be an unorthodox route but I don't think your goal is totally insurmountable. The big difficulty will being able to convince employers that you're worth hiring. The JD, frankly, has negative value in that regard.
Do you have any work experience or did you go straight from ugrad to law school?
I would try to aggressively network with people that you know in the industry. You may also want to consider taking some econ classes on the side. Working as a research assistant for a professor will be very helpful, just as long as you deal with data. Doing anything that involves dealing with data would be the best initial route. PM me if you want to talk some more.
Sent you a PM, Hayek. Thanks
Can anyone else shed some light on this? Would be JD be valued at all such firms? Any chance of coming in at a level above entry-level researcher?
I summered in an economic consulting firm. most of the people under whom i worked were PhD's in econ, fnce, math, phys, chem
there was one JD/MBA at my firm (Harvard) and one pure JD (NYU).
in my groups over the summer, worked revolved around statistics, computer science, and algorithmic analysis. JDs just aren't that valuable in those tasks.
what sort of background did the nyu jd guy have?
Just a thought:
While most people at these firms come from quantitative backgrounds, it seems to me that if you were to convince one of them to hire you, you would try to justify your value to the company with your legal expertise, which would presumably come in handy sometimes since the industry revolves around litigation. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to take more math/econ/finance/etc. classes, but unless you pursued an advanced degree in one of these areas, you wouldn't be more skilled at analyzing data than the firm's analysts. So why would they want to pay more for your JD when they can get someone with a BA in econ/math for much cheaper? I'm not really sure exactly how great the demand for JDs is in econ consulting, but there also aren't too many lawyers trying to break in, and your econ undergrad work might give you an edge. So to conclude, I have the feeling if you were to break into econ consulting, they'd be hiring you for your legal knowledge, not your ability to crunch numbers in SAS. The exceptions to this I can think of would be if you were willing to start as an analyst (sounds like your undergrad background alone might have been enough to get in, had you tried to) or you decide to get an MBA first.
Main takeaway: you should talk with the firms and see if they can use someone with your skill set. If they can, then be prepared for a nontraditional role within the economic consulting firm since you do not have the same types of skills as your other graduate degree-wielding colleagues.
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