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. 

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Comments (8)

Mar 9, 2021 - 11:00am

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

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


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Mar 30, 2021 - 11:18am

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!

Sep 10, 2021 - 7:03pm

There is nothing wrong with striving for more. If you are a talented professional, you may be offered a higher position right away. You just have to know how to present yourself at an interview. I understand that people often go from entry-level positions to higher positions, and only a few manage to immediately get the desired position. But that's no reason not to try; you can always apply for an entry-level position afterward. I watch talented lawyers like and realize that I want to reach the same heights even though I don't have much experience.

Sep 10, 2021 - 7:13pm

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