Lawyer to Consultant

Ciao all, 

I (27 yo magic circle lawyer) have been offered an interview for associate consultant at Bain. I admit that I was hoping my JD+experience would have warranted skipping associate consultant and walk into a consultant role as an "experienced" hire, so now I have a couple of questions, in the very remote case I should get an offer.

  • Will I be expected to get an MBA regardless of my irrelevant "advanced degree"?

  • Should I expect the interview, or my expected performance therein, to be unusual, given my prior experience? For instance, I know it is discouraged to apply frameworks such as  Cheng's "as they are", because "everyone in business school applies them this way". Should I instead do exactly that, to demonstrate practically that even if I have not gone to business school I am on par with who did? 

  • Do I have any margin to negotiate for a Consultant position? If not, do I have any margin to negotiate salary? Regarding the latter, I expect that I will be taking a pay cut regardless, so I would just like to make it as tiny as possible. 

Thank you all who may pitch in. If you care at all regarding why I would like to make the switch: it's not that I don't like law. I love it actually. But I can't take my mind off from how much more interesting it must be to work alongside the decision maker for the operations of which I only fix up small details as a corporate lawyer. 

Comments (8)

Mar 9, 2021 - 11:00am
clutchmuffin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's odd. Most with J.Ds enter as C to my knowledge, but I guess it has more to do with YoE and most law graduates that enter consulting have several more years of experience.

No, if you're interviewing for an AC they would evaluate you the same way against other AC candidates, because to evaluate candidates differently for the same role would create inherent biases. Don't use canned frameworks. You aren't interviewing against MBA candidates so you don't need to show that you are "on par" with them.

Not sure how the process works, but it wouldn't hurt to ask why you aren't being considered for C since you have an advanced degree. No, entry-level salaries are standardized and there is no room for negotiation, even on relocation at least at the AC level. Only thing you could really negotiate is start date.

Mar 9, 2021 - 12:11pm
dank.knight, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When did you qualify? Bain previously hired a guy from S&M as an AC as he just qualified and had less than 3 years of exp


Mar 23, 2021 - 10:45am
risingscholar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're in the US and you ace the interview, they will consider you as a consultant or potentially senior AC. I wouldn't let your ego get ahead of your offer, they'll pick up on that in interviews. 

Mar 30, 2021 - 11:18am
toothdoc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I only speak as someone looking into the transition as well, and must admit it's a bit odd you're getting invited as an AC rather than a C. Their ADvantage program is open to people who graduated within the last 3 years (which you are?) and I believe those people who get FT would go straight to a C. I'd personally ask!

Oct 7, 2021 - 4:43pm
bibutery, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think that if you prove your knowledge at work, show that you have outgrown your position, then you will certainly be promoted. In any case, to become great in any business, you need to work hard to learn what others cannot. I myself am in the USA not so long ago, I am from Sweden. My brother has dreamed of being a lawyer all his life and now he has got a good position in / And I myself have always dreamed of moving to the USA and now I have been living here for 2 years. I love this country and its people. If you dream about something and you are really interested in this job, then try. as they say, patience and work will grind everything. Good luck to you!.

Apr 28, 2022 - 8:50pm
flexomob, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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