BIGLAW vs Consulting

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TTTlife
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BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby TTTlife » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:24 am

which one is more prestigious and why?

nellie06
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby nellie06 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:26 am

Um...considering one can do consulting without a jd...i would say that biglaw is far more prestigious :roll:

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kurama20
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby kurama20 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:16 pm

Um...considering one can do consulting without a jd...i would say that biglaw is far more prestigious


What the hell kind of reasoning is that? It's actually incredibly difficult to get even an analyst position at a management consulting firm. The case interviews are said to be quite difficult. In additon, it seems that if you don't come from a top ranked undergrad you can forget it. Vault's guide to the top consulting firms gives some interesting info on the subject. Quite of few of the firms employees say that gpa is extremely important as well. Personally I'm not really conderned about which of the two is more prestigious. I am however, wondering which of the two is more lucrative. Initially it seems that biglaw is the more lucrative of the two; after that I'm not really sure.

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:33 pm

You ability to do well in consulting will have more to do with your sheer business talent and quantitative prowess than your ability to grind it out with mind-numbingly monotonous paper work everyday, 10 hours a day, up to six days a week, 48 weeks a year for a couple to several years, which is more of the case in biglaw.

The intellectual threshold for "issue-spotting" in management consulting is considerably higher than in law, by an order of a magnitude no less. In law if you did not spot the issue you are incompetent and perhaps even negligent. Brilliant and creative legal thinking will propel you up the biglaw ladder only after you have proven your worthiness as a borg drone associate. While in management consulting, if you are not borderline brilliant, or if you did not spot the issue, or if your ideas are either not creative enough or lack real-world applicability, you won't be expected to last very long.

As for prestige.. Well that depends. I think to the general public law is far more prestigious because there is a far higher entry barrier. Meanwhile anyone from anywhere can call themselves a consultant, or even management consultant. Some who worked owned a farm for 10 years can say he has 10 years of management experience which clearly qualifies him for the title of management consultant. As a result, it is also difficult for the general public to differentiate between a consultant and a "consultant". Names like BCG, Bain or Mckinsey are pretty much unknown outside the consulting industry and the practice areas of these firms.

Obviously Mckinsey > T1 Law School Grad and HYS > Mckinsey.

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby philo-sophia » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:41 pm

having come from management consulting and banking, both for top firms, i will say that management consulting (strategy, not operations) is the most prestigious by far. At my firm, we literally had a 95% placement rate among the top 5 business schools, meaning of those who applied to B-school, 95% were admitted to at least one of HBS, Stanford GSB, Kellogg, Wharton or MIT. I was one of the only people not from an ivy UG and i helped with recruiting at Harvard and Yale. We would ding resumes of Phi Beta Kappa kids at Yale if we thought they didn't choose challenging enough coursework.

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:46 pm

philo-sophia wrote:having come from management consulting and banking, both for top firms, i will say that management consulting (strategy, not operations) is the most prestigious by far. At my firm, we literally had a 95% placement rate among the top 5 business schools, meaning of those who applied to B-school, 95% were admitted to at least one of HBS, Stanford GSB, Kellogg, Wharton or MIT. I was one of the only people not from an ivy UG and i helped with recruiting at Harvard and Yale. We would ding resumes of Phi Beta Kappa kids at Yale if we thought they didn't choose challenging enough coursework.


I think in this other-worldly elite universe you live in, ibanking at GS, Management Consulting at Mckinsey, Associate at Big PE firm and Associate at Watchtel are all the same...

In the real world when you say: "I'm a...

... Management Consultant" RESPONSE: WHat?? uhh okay.. (thinks he/she knows what it is)

... Analyst at a Private Equity Firm" RESPONSE: WHat?? uhh okay..(doesn't know what it is, pretends he/she does)

... Investment Banker" RESPONSE: OMG Have my baby!!!

... Lawyer" RESPONSE: OMG Have my baby!!! Ohh wait nm, your going to hell, fuck off!

In addition business schools are gay. People who go to business schools because their career or the economy has stagnated. During this next cycle I'm willing to be that a lot more people are trying to get MBAs because of the faltering economy. A high school classmate does PE, gots mad quant and is banked 350 last year. Why the fuck would you go to business school if you were rollin in the dough or ibanking your way to hell?
Last edited by mrbuckfutter on Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

philo-sophia
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby philo-sophia » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:50 pm

i banking at Goldman is nowhere near as prestigious as consulting at McKinsey. (I didn't work for McKinsey...or Bain or BCG). I know a number of UNC kids who ended up at Goldman. They would NEVER have even gotten an interview at McKinsey. Every year, the banks hire a LOT of analysts. Not so in consulting. Incoming classes are very small.

I do think that Wachtel is probably on par, b/c it's intensely elite, but as soon as you move down to even Cravath, that just doesn't measure up with McKinsey.

EDIT: that said i agree with what you say about real world perceptions. The words "Goldman Sachs" are one of the world's most powerful aphrodisiacs (sp?).

nellie06
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby nellie06 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:56 pm

See the last post. Exactly. Look mitt romney was a big time consultant, and people made fun of him and his powerpoints, and his plans to 'streamline' america like it was an inefficient business.

On the other hand, barak and hillary went to harvard and yale, and are both in the running for president. No one is awed by a consultant. It may be more difficult to get into, but the prestige is far less to the american public. That's just the damn truth. Most of the consulting work is done behind the scenes, so it isnt like star consultants can bank on their notoriety.

Getting an mba is less prestigious to the american public than getting a jd, and being a lawyer carries a connotation of prestige that consulting does not. I mean law is one of the oldest professions on earth. Management consulting basically began in 1926. It's hard to build up the kind of cache that law has when the first consultants may still be alive at this point haha. :roll:

edit: the original post said which is more prestigious. Prestige is derived from the public's perception. HLS is way bigger of a deal than HBS. It's just the way it is. Whoop dee dooo mckinsey is hard to get a job at. That's just one friggn firm. The droppoff is pretty big after mckinsey. Compare that to getting a job at an elite white-shoe law firm in nyc. Anywhere in the top 10 is a very big deal. I mean really with business school, only harvard, stanford, and wharton really matter. With law, there are 14 established law schools with a ton of prestige.

In the end, consultants offer advice to already existing businesses. Lawyers can change the face of life in this country. I mean what is consulting's version of brown vs. the board of education? Another cost-cutting initiative? I mean really, this isn't even a worthy comparison.
Last edited by nellie06 on Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:59 pm

philo-sophia wrote:i banking at Goldman is nowhere near as prestigious as consulting at McKinsey. (I didn't work for McKinsey...or Bain or BCG). I know a number of UNC kids who ended up at Goldman. They would NEVER have even gotten an interview at McKinsey. Every year, the banks hire a LOT of analysts. Not so in consulting. Incoming classes are very small.

I do think that Wachtel is probably on par, b/c it's intensely elite, but as soon as you move down to even Cravath, that just doesn't measure up with McKinsey.


Again... like I said "I think in this other-worldly elite universe you live in..." No matter what you say about the differences, in the end these are the most prestigious sectors in the their respective industries, and while the differences in absolute prestige may or may not be huge, relatively speaking it is really all the same when you look at the proportion of the college graduates that actually compete for these types of jobs.

Furthermore.. because it's ALL elite, I think there is a lot of room for debate, I'm sure that some GS ibankers from HYS undergrad will think their hot shit versus a Mckinsey guy from BU undergrad.

Ultimately the prestige is a function of two things: 1) general consensus about your field 2) your success or accomplishments in your field. I think as the general consensus for all these bad ass elite fields is pretty the same, all things being equal... its pretty much the same... (Not that things can be equal, as these are apples and oranges no less, but that, my friends is a story for another day)

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kurama20
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby kurama20 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:01 pm

i banking at Goldman is nowhere near as prestigious as consulting at McKinsey. (I didn't work for McKinsey...or Bain or BCG). I know a number of UNC kids who ended up at Goldman. They would NEVER have even gotten an interview at McKinsey. Every year, the banks hire a LOT of analysts. Not so in consulting. Incoming classes are very small.

I do think that Wachtel is probably on par, b/c it's intensely elite, but as soon as you move down to even Cravath, that just doesn't measure up with McKinsey.


Wow. Is it really that hard to get a business analyst positon at Mckinsey, Bain, BCG, AT kearney etc.? I was actually considering applying to UVA MS commerce plan as a route into a business analyst position at one of these firms. As I know that my undergrad institution(big state school) combined with my gpa will not allow me to apply directly after undergrad. You can apply directly after undergrad for the MS and uva has a a good placement rate with these firms. When you say quantitative skills are we talking linear algebra and multivariable calculus? Or do you just mean good with numbers in general?

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:08 pm

kurama20 wrote:
i banking at Goldman is nowhere near as prestigious as consulting at McKinsey. (I didn't work for McKinsey...or Bain or BCG). I know a number of UNC kids who ended up at Goldman. They would NEVER have even gotten an interview at McKinsey. Every year, the banks hire a LOT of analysts. Not so in consulting. Incoming classes are very small.

I do think that Wachtel is probably on par, b/c it's intensely elite, but as soon as you move down to even Cravath, that just doesn't measure up with McKinsey.


Wow. Is it really that hard to get a business analyst positon at Mckinsey, Bain, BCG, AT kearney etc.? I was actually considering applying to UVA MS commerce plan as a route into a business analyst position at one of these firms. As I know that my undergrad institution(big state school) combined with my gpa will not allow me to apply directly after undergrad. You can apply directly after undergrad for the MS and uva has a a good placement rate with these firms. When you say quantitative skills are we talking linear algebra and multivariable calculus? Or do you just mean good with numbers in general?


High math is not as important as being able to do calculations and rough approximations with nothing but a pen and a paper in 5 mins you are given during you case interview... my AP calc training was all I needed to score a good consulting gig.
Last edited by mrbuckfutter on Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

philo-sophia
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby philo-sophia » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:09 pm

I'm sure that some GS ibankers from HYS undergrad will think their hot shit versus a Mckinsey guy from BU undergrad.


Unless you're the valedictorian and SBP, and even then, good luck getting a job at McKinsey from BU Undergrad.

No one is awed by a consultant. It may be more difficult to get into, but the prestige is far less to the american public. That's just the damn truth.


The people who make it in fields like this care about the opinions of their peers, not what someone in a bar in Nebraska is going to think (unless they're running for president).

Whoop dee dooo mckinsey is hard to get a job at. That's just one friggn firm. The droppoff is pretty big after mckinsey. Compare that to getting a job at an elite white-shoe law firm in nyc. Anywhere in the top 10 is a very big deal.


This just goes to show that, in this regard, you haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about. I have worked at Cravath. I have worked at Morgan Stanley. I have worked for a top 10, but not top 3, consulting firm. So it was at a 4 through 10 firm that we were dinging the Phi Beta Kappa Yale kids and hiring, on average, 5-6% of the Harvard undergrads we interviewed. There is absolutely zero question that the consulting firm was the most elite group of people i have ever been around. So, no, once you move past McKinsey the prestige does not drop off all that dramatically until you get outside the top 10. Getting a job at a "elite white-shoe law firm", though it may make your grandmother really proud, is not in the same league as working for a top management consulting firm.
Last edited by philo-sophia on Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:12 pm

Iono.. I see BU as equivalent to my undergrad being a big state school. I honestly dunno rankings so I just go by whatever i pull out of my ass at the current moment.

And at my state school, there seem to be quite a few people going to v20 consulting firms, especially v7, some even went to McK, cause they destroyed their case interviewer with amazing analysis

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby philo-sophia » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:26 pm

one thing that is key to keep in mind here is the distinction between strategy and operations. The stuff i am saying applies to STRATEGY consulting. A lot of people tend to associate "consulting" with firms like Accenture and Deloitte, perhaps because they are much bigger and therefore more well known. Working at one of these firms is still a great job, but ops consulting is on a whole other echelon from strategy. Once you've done strategy work, you can do almost anything. I was being headhunted by big PE ("private equity" for those "general american public") firms in my first month of strategy consulting.

nellie06
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby nellie06 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:39 pm

philo-sophia, Lmao whoa there. Here's an easy comparison. Most people know Lamborghini. If they hear the name, they instantly recognize it as a very elite car brand. Bugatti is way more exclusive, especially with a base price on a car of over a million. If you asked a regular person which is more elite, Bugatti or Lamborghini, they'd say Lamborghini. The 'prestige' is a perceived result of the notoriety which each car brand has attained. Sure in car aficionado circles, a bugatti is a far bigger deal than a lambo, but to the GENERAL PUBLIC it is not.

This is analogous to what you were saying about consulting. TO YOU working in consulting is a bigger deal because YOU know the difficulty in getting a job. TO THE PUBLIC WHICH IS HOW PRESTIGE IS DERIVED working at Goldman Sachs in ibanking because Goldman is everywhere. Goldman is out in your face, Mckinsey is not. It's the nature of consulting that the work is done behind closed doors. It isn't like companies are going to splash on a headline 'hey mckinsey recommended we slash our workforce by 10% because we're no longer well capitalized and our stock price is sagging.' Not exactly the kind of press any company would want, correct?

The work consultants do is lauded by the clients, but is not recognized by the general public. It may lead to better stock prices, but the public just sees the end result not the work taken to get there! Calm yourself, and stop trying to pontificate because you have worked in consulting. I worked for morgan's prime brokerage. I know how business works. The main point was which is more prestigious, not which is more ELITE. Understand the distinction. Yale is a more ELITE law school, Harvard Law is more PRESTIGIOUS. That's just how it is. Brown Brothers Harriman is an extremely ELITE private bank. Goldman is a bigger deal because it is more PRESTIGIOUS to the general public. It's simply a matter of bragging rights! Need any more clarification? :roll:

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kurama20
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby kurama20 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:48 pm

philo-sophia, Lmao whoa there. Here's an easy comparison. Most people know Lamborghini. If they hear the name, they instantly recognize it as a very elite car brand. Bugatti is way more exclusive, especially with a base price on a car of over a million. If you asked a regular person which is more elite, Bugatti or Lamborghini, they'd say Lamborghini. The 'prestige' is a perceived result of the notoriety which each car brand has attained. Sure in car aficionado circles, a bugatti is a far bigger deal than a lambo, but to the GENERAL PUBLIC it is not.


That bugatti is ugly as hell though......

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby nellie06 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:57 pm

Lmao agreed. Doesn't make it less elite. For the man who has everything, a bugatti is just a ridiculous expenditure of money for the sake of doing it. It's still a big deal if you can afford a million dollar car. It looks like a beetle on steroids.

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby philo-sophia » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:30 pm

I guess it all depends on the audience amongst which you wish to measure "prestige". In my mind, and maybe this is because of my privileged upbringing, i could give a beggers F__ what the "average person" thinks. Amonsgt the "average person" i would say (going with the Bugati-esque scenario) that a Movado is a "prestigious" brand of wrist watch. Amongst those at, say, the Racquet and Tennis Club ("R&T") in New York City, i guarantee you won't find a single Movado unless you count the cleaning staff. What you will find is a lot of Patek Phillipe. You'll also find some Rolex which the "average person" is more likely to think of as prestigious, but the Patek is the real deal within that given peer group, regardless of whether the hoi polloi have heard of it. I would say the Rolex is like Goldman. Patek is like McKinsey or TPG. Little kids might grow up watching "Wall Street" and wanting to work at Goldman Sachs. But once they get there, they'll be the envy of their fellow analysts if they get an offer from TPG.

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby Hitachi » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:43 pm

Dude, philo, you have 169, 3.3 from a non-Ivy and YOU were at the firm, so your claim of unmatched eliteness and incomparable selectivity seems a little weak (as well as very self-serving). Some T14 lawyers couldn't work at top management firms, but the reverse is obviously true as well. Different things are valued.

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby philo-sophia » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:21 pm

^^^Well, i definitely consider myself to be the exception to the rule at my firm, and i was. At my firm, i knew two kids from UVA (one who'd come over from a lesser firm) and one other person from UNC. My honest, non-exagerated guess is that literally 90% of our analysts came from HYP, Penn, Dartmouth and Williams. To be fair (if we're splitting hairs) i graduated UNC with honors and a 3.5 and did a summer at Dartmouth's B-school. That still would not have come close, but i got in through a really untraditional path. Someone i was friends with at the firm was in New York while i was working for a boutique finance firm. He introduced me to some partners while we were out drinking and one thing lead to another. It was particularly helpful that i had developed some expertise in an industry that this firm was pushing into, so i was really lucky. I wasn't trying to be an arrogant prick with my earlier post (although i think i sort of was). It's actually a matter of the fact that consulting is the only arena where i have ever felt out of my league intellectually.

I also didn't mean it to be self-serving, since i personally have left consulting and plan on practicing law. Obviously working for, say, Simpson Thacher is pretty damn prestigious and i would kill to have that option coming out of law school. Splitting hairs at this level is sort of trivial, but since the question was posed...

I think the crux of this debate is "to whom". It's hard to just say what's the most "prestigious" without qualifying it with something that determines the target audience. For a B-school adcom, Bain is more prestigious than Morgan Stanley, but hitting on girls in a bar the Goldman banker will have a better shot than the McKinsey consultant at getting laid.

Anyway...

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:23 pm

I feel we have all thrown our lives away with yet another TLS "splitting hairs" threads.

zeezoo
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby zeezoo » Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:45 pm

You can't compare small parts of one industry with a large part of another. Biglaw encompases over 100 law firms; top consulting firms consist of only McKinsey, BCG and Bain.

IMO:

1) Wachtell
2) McKinsey
3) Cravath
4) Goldman
5) Sullivan & Cromwell, Skadden, Davis Polk, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, KKR

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mrbuckfutter
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:08 pm

cease the pointlessness, please.

DClaw08
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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby DClaw08 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:10 pm

I am a consultant now, for a great firm, and I have to tell you that BIGLAW is more prestigous. A J.D. combined with that kind of experience is a lot more impressive to those who don't work in either field. Only other consultants are impressed with higher ranked managment consultants. Somehow, I'm a managment consultant for ....(fill in the blank), doesn't have the same affect as I'm an associate with ( fill in with biglaw, prosecutor, doj,dos, etc.) It is somewhat unfair if you are a top grad of a b-school but thats the reality.

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Re: BIGLAW vs Consulting

Postby mrbuckfutter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:15 pm

This subject is almost as bad as AA, but 10x more pointless.




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