Law school to consulting?

argon's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

I'm about to start my last year of law school and have a bit of a dilemma. I spent the summer interning at one of the top corporate law firms in the country and have an offer to return as a permanent associate after graduation. Unfortunately, I'm a little disenchanted with law and am considering going into a different field.

Given my credentials (3.8 GPA at a top law school, good work experience, decent undergrad grades/scores), if I spent a few hours poring over case studies and how to nail consulting interviews, do I have any shot at the McKinsey/Bain/BCGs of the world at a non-entry level position? Will my lack of experience or knowledge in the field be too large a barrier, or can that be picked up/faked until it's learned?

Thanks for any insight.

Comments (87)

Aug 7, 2007

I would say your getting in to consulting depends on a couple of factors... even as a consulting intern I met (or heard of) a handful of people who had JDs. Those I know who came from law school usually had pre-law consulting or business experience.

If you went to law school straight out of undergrad, you very possibly may get hired as an analyst, and I don't know if that's what you would want coming out of law school. Once you get the job though I wouldn't worry about "keeping up". I know most firms have a basic bootcamp for non-MBA postgrads (i.e. people who come in at the associate level) that should get you up to speed on basic principles before the actual training begins. Anyway to get back to your original question, I would say your plan of attack should be the following. Does your law school have a strong business school attached to it? (e.g. HBS/Harvard Law) If it does and your law school career center has no consulting firms, go to the b-school career center for help (after getting a referral from the law school career center). If the top firms don't come to your school's b-school or you don't have a b-school attached, just send your resume in online to the top firms. I think your credentials should be good enough to get a callback from at least one of the MBB.

Obviously once the interview comes, you'll have to be prepared. A reasonable amount of prep-time for a case interview especially when you have no experience, would be between 20-25 hours. When I interviewed for FT, I did about 5-10 hours but that's because I had already done numerous case studies for previous interviews, for school-sponsored case studies, etc.

Hope this helps.

Aug 7, 2007

Very helpful, thanks. Looks like McKinsey even has a program dedicated to hiring non-MBA advanced degrees. I will probably send out a few applications to the big guys and see if anything bites.

Another question - what's a good resource for finding general compensation ranges for associates? Biglaw is pretty open about salary structure and bonuses, but consulting firms seem to like to hide that information.

Aug 7, 2007

argon, with grades like that at a top law school, you are definitely not out of the running for these consulting firms. McKinsey will hire you at the same level out of law school as if you just graduated from an mba program (even without the previous work experience). I am at a T6 law school and am positive that McKinsey actively recruits at some of the top law schools. Oh, and by the way, that GPA is ridiculous.

Aug 8, 2007

lawschool - thanks. Are you in the same boat? What do you think about dropping out of biglaw for bigconsulting?

boozer - interesting, thanks. If I could only go in as an analyst I doubt it'd be worth the pay and prestige differential. I do have a few years of work experience, albeit not in consulting, and I interview pretty well, so the only real issue would be to knock out those case studies. Are there any good consulting forums or other resources besides Vault that are helpful?

Aug 8, 2007

its been said before on the forums, use "Case in Point" by Marc Cosentino. Excellent book for preparing for case interviews.

"God takes care of old folks and fools, while the Devil takes care of makin all the rules", P.E. 1998

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2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. 11 Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate, 10+ hours of video. The WSO Consulting Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to ace your consulting case interviews. Learn more.

Aug 8, 2007

I am not so sure, I have heard of people graduating with JDs who have gotten offers as BAs or ACs (Mckinsey or Bain). Not sure what the relevant factors in play were... of course I also know JDs with no work experience who have come in at the post-MBA level.

As far as salary goes, associates as paid roughly the same as big law. Starting would be roughly between 110-120, 15-20k signing, 20-35 bonus. This is going off of numbers I've heard tossed around the office and comparing with friends in other firms.

Aug 8, 2007

If you have a few years work experience, there should be no question that you would be an associate.

As far as case guides go, the Vault guide is more than enough. When I interviewed with Bain they gave me the Tuck Guide to Case Studies or something like that which was very good, though a little more than I needed since it was for MBAs rather than undergrads. Contact the b-school associated with ur law school, there should be a consulting club and they usually have a (Insert school name) guide to Case studies.

I've found case studies are much more about the way you think rather than practicing all the different possible outcomes. None of the case studies I got in interviews were similar to the ones I practiced. As a lawyer you should do well at structuring your thought process, just learn some basic (really really basic) business principles and you should be fine.

-profit = revenue - cost
-marginal cost, fixed cost
-top-line growth, bottom-line growth
-productivity = work/hour

That kind of thing, as you can see it's not very challenging at all.

Aug 8, 2007

I agree with most of what boozer has said except that the starting salary for a 1st year associate in BigLaw in NYC and many in TX being $160K. Of course, in other legal markets it may differ with some offices in ATL being at 130K-145k. So there is quite a differential based on salary.

Of course, you have to factor in COL. Were you working for a prominent firm in NYC or somewhere else?

Aug 8, 2007

I meant base + bonuses for an associate in consulting. From what I understand bonuses aren't particularly large in law so I didn't factor it in but all-in, consulting is probably very comparable.

Aug 9, 2007

boozer - yeah, I'm pretty familiar with all those concepts. We lawyers aren't completely clueless :)

Devils Advocate - The differential does seem significant. Most biglaw firms in major cities now start at 160k, and first year all in comp at NYC firms is 195k and +30-40k a year thereafter. From what I'm reading about consulting, the salaries are significantly lower than biglaw the first 2-3 years, catch up around year 4, and are comparable down the line (correct me if I'm wrong - law associates will max out around 300-350k). Additionally, job security is better at law firms, none of that 6 month up or out business.

On the flip side, consulting seems to offer far better exit options than law (lawyers mostly go on to other law firms or as in-house counsel, with limited business opportunities). The work also seems to be more interesting. Not having done any myself, I keep reading conflicting opinions about how stimulating/rewarding it is at the associate level. What do you all think? boozer, what's your experience been like?

Aug 9, 2007

boozer -- Ah K gotcha

argon -
Yeah McKinsey is quite known for the up and out policy.

Bain claims to not adopt such a policy, but I am not sure how much truth there is to that. However, my understanding is that the environment is "friendlier."
There is not much I can say about BCG. I know it is a great firm, but I am not terribly familiar with it.

Yah I would definitely say consulting offers more exit opportunities, especially coming from M/B/B. These names are golden,especially if you ever want to work in management.
Given this, suffering a lower pay relative to an associate BigLaw salary seems reasonable depending on your future goals.

Aug 9, 2007

At the associate level, there is definitely a lot of grunt work still but not nearly to the same degree as in law. Also you can pawn off some of the real drudgery to the analysts (I speak from personal experience, a consultant swoops in, drops a big load of glorified data entry on my head, and flies away). Once you get to the level of manager (takes a few years), it becomes more an issue of project management rather than day-to-day analysis which I personally would find more interesting.

I would say the exit opps alone are worth doing consulting, as you can eventually transition to a F500. I know somewhere on this forum there is a chart showing where you would transition to in industry from consulting to give you an idea, but top-tier management consulting is a great ticket to a well-paying "9-5" after some years. Additionally it is possible (but MUCH harder) to go in to finance, very rare but I have heard of it done. Most consultants who go to finance either do it right before or right after an MBA.

Aug 9, 2007
boozer:

At the associate level, there is definitely a lot of grunt work still but not nearly to the same degree as in law. Also you can pawn off some of the real drudgery to the analysts (I speak from personal experience, a consultant swoops in, drops a big load of glorified data entry on my head, and flies away). Once you get to the level of manager (takes a few years), it becomes more an issue of project management rather than day-to-day analysis which I personally would find more interesting.

I would say the exit opps alone are worth doing consulting, as you can eventually transition to a F500. I know somewhere on this forum there is a chart showing where you would transition to in industry from consulting to give you an idea, but top-tier management consulting is a great ticket to a well-paying "9-5" after some years. Additionally it is possible (but MUCH harder) to go in to finance, very rare but I have heard of it done. Most consultants who go to finance either do it right before or right after an MBA.

Hmm at my office (M/B/B East Coast) I've seen a fair amount go onto finance, even at higher levels. Mostly PE shops and Hedge Funds, some at buyside at Asset Management. You're right that no-one really makes the shift to Investment Banking or something later on (most don't want to, they had the offer to do so at the end of college and B-school and chose not to).

Personally, at the undergrad level, I think consulting (especially at M/B/B) is better than joining I-banking due to the exit opps and the fantastic B-school placement. If you want to do finance later, you can always do it after B-school, when you'll come in at a level with greater responsibility.

boozer: Funny thing, during my internship, I was never managed by the Associates. In fact, both associates on my team (both from the same T-5 B-school) did the same work as me. We were surprisingly interchangeable. Only took orders from the manager.

Aug 9, 2007

Yeah of the people in consulting who go to finance, they are predominantly younger. In my office, all the old guys want to go to industry just because money doesn't mean that much anymore, it's all about the QOL. I completely agree with you, out of undergrad consulting is probably the best thing you can do. Short of working for Blackstone or something, the acceptance rates to top b-schools are the best that I have heard of.

This one consultant who took a dump on my head about once a week was a weird case... 33 year old associate, one of those 30 year olds who goes to Tuck after 8 years of some middle-management job, and it was a small team, just him, me and the EM. In practice though you're right, most of the time you're interchangeable.

Aug 21, 2007

Both BCG and McKinsey actively recruit law students and other advanced degree students (PhD's / MDs), advanced degrees at both these firms are brought on as Associates (or 'Consultants' as BCG refers to that level)

51% of McKinsey consultants are non-MBA's, and a lesser (but still significant) portion at BCG are non-MBA's. True that JD's are a small portion of this AD amount, but having participated in both McKinsey and BCG recruiting, I can confirm that JD candidates make up a small portion of the Advanced Degree candidates at the outset (and actually tend to fair better than the typical AD candidates).

Are you at LS on the west coast? If so, BCG is hosting an event targetted at ADs/JDs/MDs in its San Fran office. PM me and I'll pass the details.

Aug 21, 2007

how did you get into a top 10 law school with a 2.8?

Aug 21, 2007

Law schools only care about GPA and LSAT. I did well on the LSAT, and had a fairly convincing reason for getting terrible grades. Probably more than a little luck into that equation as well, although I got into several pretty decent law schools.

Aug 21, 2007

he said he took engineering classes...thats understandable

Aug 21, 2007

To the OP:

You answered your own question.

Why would someone hire you over another qualified candidate? Whether it be an MBA grad from a HWS or from a HYS law school. You dont have anything that really stands out from what you posted...

Still worth a short but perhaps you should lower expectations. There are many management consulting firms out there where you can prove your rank.

Perhaps Deloitte or smaller shops...

Aug 21, 2007

Do you have any suggestions re which smaller shops I should apply to? Like I said in the original post..... I am assuming that I do not have much of shot at M/B/B, but just wanted confirmation from those who are more knowledgeable about the industry.

Aug 21, 2007

Even if you don't think you have a shot, it never hurts to apply. Who knows, M/B/B may be interested in someone with a law degree.

And as for looking for companies, check out Vault's guide to the top 50 MCs.

Aug 21, 2007

Hi there,

I think you should definitely give it a try and apply for MC. You stand as much chance of getting in as anyone else with a degree in history, geography, politics and etc. I have a friend who studied law at Columbia and now works for one of the big guys. He joined the company as business analyst soon after graduating. There are lot of MCs with law background. You can also see this for yourself if you visit MC web sites and look at some of the consultants' profiles. Of course it is a necessity to have studied law at an ivy league universities.

Good luck

Aug 21, 2007

Are you CCN or MVP?

Aug 21, 2007

Rather not say exactly which school....thanks for the advice all. I guess I don't have much to lose by giving MC a shot. When does the hiring cycle start for Management Consulting? Would I stand a better chance to apply off cycle? Also, I do know several people personally at M/B/B....I know it is a merit based substantive case interview system....but should I try and pass my resume through them rather than online channels? Will they even ask for my Ugrad GPA? Thanks in advance for any advice you folks might be able to give.

Aug 21, 2007

t-10 law grad here going to MBB.

Getting the job was difficult... very very few law students get hired by consulting firms.

Even getting invited to the 1st round is tough. Once there, you have roughly a 1% chance at an offer.

Shoot me an email if you want to talk about it some more. I prepped very hard for my interviews and think I have a pretty good grip on how to do well.

Edit: do you have any work experience prior to law school? That is huge.

Aug 21, 2007

2 years at MBB would set you up fine for strategy at an F500. You'd come in at the post-MBA level, but not above it, given your lack of business experience. I've definitely seen people make the transition as you describe (I just met one who started this week, actually). It's easier if you have connections but doable without them.

Aug 21, 2007

Like petergibbons said, you'll start as an Associate, given lack of experience. However, given your law experience, you would likely be promoted to the project manager position earlier than most other associates, who will be coming right out of MBA programs (like maybe after 12-18 months, instead of the 2-2.5. years for most people).

The switch is definitely doable, but I think you would definitely need connections to make it work. Your background would be non-traditional (people like you do move to MBB, but it is the minority), so would be easier to have a connection who can explain why you're making the move.

Aug 21, 2007

Not a grad student, but I think you should go for dual MBA. Stay an extra year.

Aug 21, 2007

Well I imagine the first question for most recruiters will be - if you wanted to be a consultant why did you go to Law School? So have a good story there. Line up how law school has transferable skills etc.

Still, sounds like you have the right credentials for getting in. Take some time to really learn about the industry if you can. Read the forum, find books/articles/blogs. It's not all fun and games ;)

TT

Aug 21, 2007

would it be ideal to apply for a summer associate position this summer or for the summer right before my graduation year?

Aug 21, 2007

I also came from the legal side and wound up getting a few offers from respectable firms. I think your first action point should be applying for summer programs with consulting firms. I know a lot of legal types that transitioned into McK. Your resume is a definitely an asset but as Tyler points out, you are (as I was) going to get absolutely grilled about why you are making the switch. It's important you don't knock the legal side but use it to your benefit. "I have the unique perspective of having been exposed to the regulation aspect of today's business." Before you decide on staying another year for your MBA, I'd see if you could lock in a position first. You never know if they'd be willing to reimburse you for it. Oh, and having spent almost 2 years in Big Law, you're making a very wise choice. Best of luck, mate.

Aug 21, 2007
wsolurker:

Hello,

I am a current 1st year law student who desperately wants to enter the consulting industry. I have always wanted to do consulting. I graduated from a respectable undergraduate business school and currently attend a top law school (top ten). What would be the best way to do this? FYI, I have high standardized tests scores and a high GPA.

1.) Should I apply for a summer program for this upcoming summer and prep with case books?

2.) Should I apply for a dual MBA with the school I am at right now or a MPA from harvard/princeton?

Thank you for your advice! Please don't ask why I am in law school when I wanted consulting. My life just ended up that way due to a personal mistakes/immaturity.

I am very interested in this. I am about to enroll in a T-14 law school with consulting as my end game.

What did you end up choosing for this summer? What about the MBA?

Does anyone else have any additional information on this topic?

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Aug 21, 2007
bsf2344:

I am about to enroll in a T-14 law school with consulting as my end game.

Why?

Aug 21, 2007

it will be hard to come in as an associate into MBB without any work experience, even if you do attend a top law school....therefore it is absolutely vital you land a summer associate position with a good firm, otherwise your f*cked

Aug 21, 2007

Hi,

I'm in a similar boat. I studied biomedical engineering in undergrad and earned my JD. I lacked a traditional "finance" background, so I tried to take many business related classes in law school, such as financial principals, advising entrepreneurs, contracts, sales, intellectual property, etc. When I went in for interviews, I always stressed those classes.

After law school, I started working for a private equity firm. A lot of the partners at the firm also had a JD. Like consulting, PE partners consult, advise, strategic plan, with other companies and investors.

Advice: don't worry if you lack a financial background. A lot of the skill sets that you need, you will learn. In law school, take business related classes, and/or financial classes online or at a local school. Does your law school have a JD/MBA program? Does the law school have an association with a larger university (i.e. Ohio State has a law school and a business school). Maybe your law school professors can introduce you to the business school, so you can enhance your skills.

Anyway, hopefully you find this helpful!

Good luck with everything!

Sarah Ashley

Aug 21, 2007

Bump, also interested in opinions on this.

Aug 21, 2007

I was in a similar position (JD at a similarly ranked law school) and found the path of least resistance to be going back to school to tack on the MBA. Since you're still in school you should defintely see if you can add on the MBA or at least where I am now, the law students can recruit at the banks in the same process. The only drawbacks are that those law students typically went through their JD/MBA alums who would help shepard them through the process so it at least evened the playing field when the MDs are looking out for their biz school students and cultivating relationships with them throughout the recruiting process. PM me if you want more details - I'm happy to share my experience.

Aug 21, 2007

Not sure why finance is considered a necessity to move into MBB. If you experience in a specialized area of law (corporate, healthcare, etc.) you might even be considered an asset in those particular groups. It's definitely doable - take some business courses while you're at law school and brush up on some case studies and business acumen. You might also want to consider going into a second-tier but specialized consulting firm as well, depending on your focus.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Aug 21, 2007

I'd avoid the advice of older people, the job market and its relation to business school and law school is vastly different than it was 20-30 years ago when they were young. I always hear incredibly impressive senior people give horrific advice because they aren't aware of market changes. That said:

1) Getting into HSW is extremely hard, especially if you did poorly in law school, so don't take it as a given that you can get in. If you do get in, H/S have pretty decent financial aid, so you wouldn't be paying the full sticker prices.

2) For tier 1 and tier 2 consulting firms (MBB, Deloitte, PwC Strategy, etc) they pay is $135/140k base, $25k-35k year-end bonus, $25/30k signing for first year post-mba associate. If you wanted to go in as a direct hire, it's going to vary quite a bit based on your experience but probably lower.

If I were you, I'd try to feel the water and see where you can get interviews. However, you don't want to work for a shitty consulting firm...it's very hard to get into a better firm, especially once you get past the analyst levels. If you aren't able to find anything, I'd certainly pick business school in your shoes over non top-10 consulting firm (although, depending on your industry, there may be some very lucrative boutique consulting shops...it's fine to go into those too).

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Aug 21, 2007

I'm a JD turned consultant. PM me.

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Aug 21, 2007

Also a JD turned consultant. I'd agree with the executive that direct to consulting is a much, much, much better idea than HSW given you already have a JD. PM if you want more specifics.

Aug 21, 2007

I will PM the two former-JDs when I reach the requisite level of bananas to do so (can I borrow bannanas at 7%?).

I made the HSW comments because I know I can get into one of them, for reasons I'd rather not mention on a public forum.

I appreciate the compensation and "pick the right firm from the get go" advice.

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Aug 21, 2007

tossed you a few bananas so you can message

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Aug 21, 2007

I'm in a similar position, OP. Thanks for starting this topic.

Aug 21, 2007

Don't cut yourself short thinking you can't get into MBB, a lot of people make this mistake. Actually, from my experience, MBB firms are much more open to non-traditional backgrounds (PhD, JD etc.) than non-MBB firms.

Aug 21, 2007

I think there should be more JDs in consulting. The skillset of dealing with large volumes of information and sorting out the relevant details, communication skills, logic, etc. are great. I would like to develop these skills myself.

Also, I agree a powerful consulting team includes members from diverse backgrounds.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

Aug 21, 2007

I'm also a JD (top 5 firm/school) considering MBB. The IV process is lengthy and daunting to say the least, and I don't yet know enough about consulting to make an informed decision about whether to make such a large investment. Any advice or bananas for PMing greatly appreciated!

Aug 21, 2007

Several lawyers have asked this question in a way that leads me to believe that they think there legal knowledge will be transferable in a way firms will value. For the most part, it will not.

Your best bet would be focusing on firms that have shown a willingness to take people with diverse backgrounds. The major firms that have done this are McKinsey and BCG. They recruit at law schools and also take in a fair number of experienced lawyers. In all cases, you will almost certainly enter the firm as a generalist and a first-year associate (post-mba entry level track). Bankruptcy law does not apply to turnaround consulting work much at all.

McKinsey has a significant turnaround practice and even stole a few major players from AlixPartners a while back. Best bet would be try to get into McKinsey and then request a turnaround project. As you know, bankruptcy expenses for public companies often have to be approved by court order so you can even find a few examples of McKinsey turnaround work by searching on google.

Aug 21, 2007

What is your question? It seemed like you know the path with law.

You have some gold-plated pedigree with MBB and probably can spin your gov't role into something fancy.

What's missing in this equation is what you WANT to do. Long hours, low pay, and periods of tedious work can often be justified/set aside if you like what you're doing.

If you want to be a lawyer, go into law. If you want something else, find a recruiter. With your background, I bet you'd be an attractive candidate for many positions.

Aug 21, 2007

candidate needs good problem-solving abilities. Attorneys are frequently required to extract tiny needles from massive haystacks of legalese to win favorable outcomes for their clients. A management consultant must be able to analyze a company's operations and determine where inefficiencies exist and where processes can be streamlined.
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Aug 21, 2007

I actually studied law undergrad in the British system.

Since you can do the GDL in the UK in 1 year, I say why not. This is assuming you actually like the law, and you aren't just having some sort of affinity to the law driven by novelty or too many episodes of Suits. You will be working banking hour(ish) for lower pay and a smaller spectrum of defined exits. But some people love the law. Figure out if you're one of those people. I know tons of lawyers that would love to become consultants.

In terms of $ figures, wouldn't you make around the same (including opportunity cost) if you went back to consulting at a T2 shop like LEK/Deloitte? I'm sure they'd take you given your MBB experience. Or go into a F500 job like you said, although I don't get why you think there's uncertainty in that.

The law pigeonholes you if you are not careful. So be careful. You can hop into the law in the UK easier than in the US, but it still is a pretty big career transition.

Aug 21, 2007

If you have a qualifying law degree then that's a good start. If not, you're going to have to do GDL which means a year out of work and a few less bob on the old bank account. More importantly, you seem also to know that city law firms recruit 2 years in advance for their TCs and competition is fierce.

My $0.02 is that your MBB background counts for little more than a novelty as a lot of these firms want young impressionable minds to brainwash into a mindless career, not experienced people who will immediately see the job for what it is and are therefore less inclined to slog it out for the long-haul.

Again, trainee work is extremely tedious, unglamorous, and mind-numbing (if you're ever done document-checking for discovery, you'll understand).

None of this, however, is to discourage you but unless you're really passionate about law/being a lawyer I wouldn't go for it. Best of luck.

Aug 21, 2007

I agree with the above - sure, you can get into a good law school/firm, but unless for some reason you really want to do legal work (and have a good understanding of what that entails at a top firm), you're more marketable/better off without going down that road. Feel free to PM me.

Aug 21, 2007

Troll. UK Government has 0 strategy :p

Aug 21, 2007

A candidate needs good problem-solving abilities. Attorneys are frequently required to extract tiny needles from massive haystacks of legalese to win favorable outcomes for their clients. A management consultant must be able to analyze a company's operations and determine where inefficiencies exist and where processes can be streamlined.

While having good people skills confers a significant advantage in either career, it is an absolute must for management consulting. Myriad behind-the-scenes positions exist for lawyers who excel in logic and problem solving but who are introverts or otherwise lack negotiation skills. Management consultants, by contrast, have to solve problems and present their findings persuasively to the client. It is not a career for the timid or for misanthropes.

Whether a person chooses management consulting or law, he can expect to work a lot of hours for the first few years. Sixty-hour weeks are the norm for first- and second-year associates at big New York law firms, while many young attorneys report pulling as many as 80 to 90 hours per week in the office. Work-life balance is a little better on the West Coast and in the Midwest, but very few rookie lawyers at big firms, making over $100,000 per year out of law school, work a typical nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule.

Though management consultants, compared to lawyers, typically work fewer hours to earn their big salaries, frequent travel eats away at their work-life balance. While some are lucky enough to land gigs in which they service local clients exclusively, or at least travel infrequently, most management consultants are road warriors, often flying out on Sunday night to be at work in a city across the country on Monday morning, not to return until Friday afternoon. Firms expect new associates to be flexible with travel, and when local clients become available, senior employees receive first pick. QTP Training in Chennai | Software Testing Training in Chennai | Primavera Training in Chennai | Big Data Training in Chennai | Selenium Training in Chennai

Aug 21, 2007

The best career advice I ever received was from my very first boss 30 years ago. She told me, "Show, don't tell." At your job, on your resume or even in your personal life, don't waste time telling others what you can offer. Instead, do your job very well to show your skills. On your resume, don't list that you have excellent communication skills. Instead, include specific examples that demonstrate your excellent communication. Let your work speak for itself. Software Testing Training in Chennai

Aug 21, 2007
Yasmin-Priya:

The best career advice I ever received was from my very first boss 30 years ago. She told me, "Show, don't tell." At your job, on your resume or even in your personal life, don't waste time telling others what you can offer. Instead, do your job very well to show your skills. On your resume, don't list that you have excellent communication skills. Instead, include specific examples that demonstrate your excellent communication. Let your work speak for itself. Software Testing Training in Chennai

This is certainly true. I just hate it when interviewers love to brainwash the interviewee with filler, monotone questions that pose no meaning. I am not in a position to give strong advice on candidacy in terms of law or management consulting, but if you can show that you are competent to the person interviewing you and shed any doubts on your profile, you are pretty much hired.

Just..tend to your family and friends, because you can never get that time back. We are after prestige or pedigree here, but that shine only lasts for so long before you realized what you missed.

Aug 21, 2007

The best piece of career advice I ever received was to take advantage of every single opportunity that an employer presents to you. Though you may be hired into one position with a specific set of responsibilities, do not be afraid to move outside of those areas of responsibility. Volunteer for special projects, volunteer to be on committees and always look for ways to expand your skill set. This will serve you well as you look to move forward and advance in your career.

Aug 21, 2007

I would say you (reasonably) have a shot at all of the above (including MBB) if you're really at a top law firm - hardest part will be getting your foot in the door. McKinsey calls you folks APDs (Advanced Professional Degree candidates) and you'll find a number of lawyers / PhDs at each firm as well as McKinsey. I'm guessing you also went to a top law school which will help in the search.

I'd start searching my personal network for folks at each of the consulting firms for "warm introductions" as well as using LinkedIn to find folks with similar backgrounds (same undergrad, lawyer turned consultant, same law firm, some combination of all of the above). Reach out to these folks, have good questions and start to get the path forward from them. The different consulting firm's websites also should have a section on recruiting, and probably a specific section for non-traditional recruits.

If you're a decent person, and respectful / genuine with your request, I bet you'll be surprised by the response rate. People are (generally) fairly decent about this sort of a thing.

Aug 21, 2007

Agree with the above. Also depends on your law school pedigree.

Aug 21, 2007

I attended a t25 law school on a substantial merit scholarship. Not sure of the worth of my degree in the consulting world. Anyone have any opinion as to whether that will prevent me from getting in the door?

Array
Aug 21, 2007

I'd continue exploring more open reqs. I'm not completely surprised you got that reaction - though it can depend on which Big 4 and which specific group you tried to look at.

Aug 21, 2007

I've seen quite a few people make that transition, so it should definitely be doable. If you are currently a 2nd year big law associate, realize you will take a significant pay cut when you transition to Big 4 consulting (excluding Deloitte S&O).

Aug 21, 2007

I appreciate the responses. What firms/practice areas should I target?

Array
Aug 21, 2007

Here's what you can expect to find (based on my recruiting experiences and chatting with friends):

McKinsey & BCG will actually be the EASIEST places to get interviews with your background. Their recruiting / training machines are so well-developed that they can afford to cast a wide net to find the most TALENTED people and turn them into great consultants.

Unfortunately, there is a good chance that you will get absolutely killed in the case interviews -- most people do. I feel like they tend to go a little easier on the MDs & PhDs...but the JDs sort of have to be at a near MBA-level of casing (which is tough, since the MBAs all have each other to practice with for months).

I know less about Bain -- but, I suspect more networking might need to take place for the interview. But, no idea really. Fortunately, M&A is probably a good law practice for you to make a Bain transition. If any deals you worked on involved PE, had antitrust considerations, etc...the PE leaning Bain would love to hear you tell them that.

After McKinsey, BCG (and maybe Bain)...you will need to do more networking and craft a story around how your experience helped you developed skills that will help you be a consultant. Whereas McKinsey and BCG can afford to recruit strictly raw TALENT, these other firms place a much higher premium on SKILL....analytical skill, Excel & Powerpoint skill, client management skill, these are all gold for these other firms.

Best bet: find former lawyers at the firms you are interest in and reach out!

Aug 21, 2007

I second what @mybrainstormisahurricane said about what the non-MBB firms look for (MBB only needing raw talent but not prior knowledge). For the "TIer 2" firms, you'll really need to emphasize what tactical skills you have to bring to the table. I would look outside of the Big 4 firms at your other top firms (LEK, Oliver Wyman, Parthenon, etc.). I'd also recommend you get cranking on case prep as that will probably be a little difficult / different for you.

There's even another layer of firms that would appreciate your tactical law skills, look at the restructuring or M&A heavy consulting firms - I'd start with FTI, AlixPartners, Alvarez & Marsal on the RX front.

Lots of tactics to take here, you just need to put some work in and keep your chin up.

Good luck!

Aug 21, 2007

If you have not done so already, you need to do due diligence on what sort of "consulting" you want to break into. Restructuring / M&A consulting at AlixPartners or KPMG will be a very different type of work, compared to more general management consulting at firms like MBB/D and others. Assuming what you meant was more general management consulting, I've definitely seen M&A big law associates getting first round interviews at consulting firms, and to my knowledge, they got them through relationships of alums of the big law firms currently working in consulting. So if your current firm has alums in consulting shops you are interested in, reach out to them. Or better, get introduced through mutual contacts. And then once you get your foot in the door, it's all about case interview + fit prep. Best of luck.

Aug 21, 2007

I appreciate all of the responses. Good advice given and a lot of apps have been sent out. I will update this thread on my search.

Array
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