Consulting - the end of a legal career?

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rayiner

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:30 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:More travel sounds great to me. Free meals, etc.

I hope to travel a lot, given the practice area I'm going in to. Every hour from the moment you get in the cab is billable, unless you're sleeping. That's fantastic.


I don't know if you've ever travelled a lot for work, but it's absolutely miserable. Flying is soul-sucking, you're exposed to tons of different places (and hence different weather and different germs) all the time so you get sick more often, and when you do get to spend time at your own place you're exhausted.

Some odd people really like it, but I don't think they're in the majority. My dad works in a field where international travel is very common, and he and his friends mostly tolerate rather than enjoy it. Free meals and tons of frequent flyer miles aren't enough to offset the general sucktitude.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:46 pm

LSHopeful2 wrote:Does anyone else agree that biglaw work is worse than IB? Can you please give me an example: what do you do in biglaw? Just review cases, prepare endless drafts, over and over again?

What field then is very lucrative coming out, yet very fun and not tedious or mind-boggling?


I know this is an old thread but... engineer at Google or Facebook.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby dailygrind » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:00 pm

rayiner wrote:
LSHopeful2 wrote:Does anyone else agree that biglaw work is worse than IB? Can you please give me an example: what do you do in biglaw? Just review cases, prepare endless drafts, over and over again?

What field then is very lucrative coming out, yet very fun and not tedious or mind-boggling?


I know this is an old thread but... engineer at Google or Facebook.


I feel like getting the credentials to work there, passing the interviews to work there, and then actually working there would qualify as "mind-boggling"ly hard.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:30 pm

dailygrind wrote:
rayiner wrote:
LSHopeful2 wrote:Does anyone else agree that biglaw work is worse than IB? Can you please give me an example: what do you do in biglaw? Just review cases, prepare endless drafts, over and over again?

What field then is very lucrative coming out, yet very fun and not tedious or mind-boggling?


I know this is an old thread but... engineer at Google or Facebook.


I feel like getting the credentials to work there, passing the interviews to work there, and then actually working there would qualify as "mind-boggling"ly hard.


Getting a job at Google or Facebook is probably as hard as getting a top I-Banking job. If you do make the cut, however, life is awesome. Base for fresh BS/BA's in CS is pushing $100k now and with bonus you're looking at $115k or so. With an MA/MS it rises to $130k. http://techcrunch.com/2008/01/30/stanfo ... om-google/.

With the finance sector being the way it is, first-year engineers working at Google/Facebook will top first-year analysts working at GS/MS/JPM in compensation this year, while getting much better perks perks (free food, transportation, etc), and working on creative intellectually stimulating work. Plus the Bay is a phenomenal place to work---cheaper than MFH with better people and more sunlight.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:58 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:49 pm

rayiner wrote:
With the finance sector being the way it is, first-year engineers working at Google/Facebook will top first-year analysts working at GS/MS/JPM in compensation this year, while getting much better perks perks (free food, transportation, etc), and working on creative intellectually stimulating work. Plus the Bay is a phenomenal place to work---cheaper than MFH with better people and more sunlight.


This is disputable. I know several Google engineers. Some love it, some are really not that hot on it. The number of engineers working on really cool stuff at Google is relatively small compared to those who are optimizing ad-matching algorithms, or tweaking page rank routines to counter SEO. This stuff can be interesting, but it takes a certain type of person to get a kick out of that type of stuff.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:49 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
With the finance sector being the way it is, first-year engineers working at Google/Facebook will top first-year analysts working at GS/MS/JPM in compensation this year, while getting much better perks perks (free food, transportation, etc), and working on creative intellectually stimulating work. Plus the Bay is a phenomenal place to work---cheaper than MFH with better people and more sunlight.


This is disputable. I know several Google engineers. Some love it, some are really not that hot on it. The number of engineers working on really cool stuff at Google is relatively small compared to those who are optimizing ad-matching algorithms, or tweaking page rank routines to counter SEO. This stuff can be interesting, but it takes a certain type of person to get a kick out of that type of stuff.


Optimizing ad-matching algorithms is far more creative than sitting in front of an Excel spreadsheet doing models. It involves actual creativity instead of just repeatedly applying known process to different data. I can definitely see some people not enjoying it, it's detail work that can be tedious just like any other detail work, but it's definitely more creative work than what you do as a low-level banker/lawyer/consultant.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:13 pm

rayiner wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
With the finance sector being the way it is, first-year engineers working at Google/Facebook will top first-year analysts working at GS/MS/JPM in compensation this year, while getting much better perks perks (free food, transportation, etc), and working on creative intellectually stimulating work. Plus the Bay is a phenomenal place to work---cheaper than MFH with better people and more sunlight.


This is disputable. I know several Google engineers. Some love it, some are really not that hot on it. The number of engineers working on really cool stuff at Google is relatively small compared to those who are optimizing ad-matching algorithms, or tweaking page rank routines to counter SEO. This stuff can be interesting, but it takes a certain type of person to get a kick out of that type of stuff.


Optimizing ad-matching algorithms is far more creative than sitting in front of an Excel spreadsheet doing models. It involves actual creativity instead of just repeatedly applying known process to different data. I can definitely see some people not enjoying it, it's detail work that can be tedious just like any other detail work, but it's definitely more creative work than what you do as a low-level banker/lawyer/consultant.


Almost all my rockstar software friends at facebook/google have or are planning to leave to join start ups. It's a great place to launch a career, but like many entry level positions for ambitious people, not the "end-game."

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So, having a JD plus good credentials/law experience may give me a shot at getting initial interviews with MBB or other top consulting firms? I understand that from there killing the case interviews is a must. If they did decide to hire someone with 5 years of biglaw experience would I be looking at an associate (or consultant) position, or is there a possibility of coming in at the level above associate?


Former MBB analyst here. You would probably start out as an associate (barring other industry experience pre-law school), but you could advance VERY quickly if you are good and prove yourself. Unlike biglaw, consulting promotion/compensation definitely does NOT move in lock-step. Your initial title/salary at a consulting firm should not deter or motivate you unless you do not think you would be successful in consulting. (and if that's the case, don't even bother going - consulting firms get rid of low performers at a much more aggressive rate than law firms do)

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, having a JD plus good credentials/law experience may give me a shot at getting initial interviews with MBB or other top consulting firms? I understand that from there killing the case interviews is a must. If they did decide to hire someone with 5 years of biglaw experience would I be looking at an associate (or consultant) position, or is there a possibility of coming in at the level above associate?


Former MBB analyst here. You would probably start out as an associate (barring other industry experience pre-law school), but you could advance VERY quickly if you are good and prove yourself. Unlike biglaw, consulting promotion/compensation definitely does NOT move in lock-step. Your initial title/salary at a consulting firm should not deter or motivate you unless you do not think you would be successful in consulting. (and if that's the case, don't even bother going - consulting firms get rid of low performers at a much more aggressive rate than law firms do)

I appreciate the feedback. I'm not sure what the percentages are, but I believe that consulting is similar to biglaw in that very few people make it to partner? If so, would I still have good exit options from a top consulting firm even if my only other substantive work experience is working in biglaw?

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:26 pm

Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Renzo » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.


If you can get into a bank, do not bother with a law firm. If you get a job at a firm, do not piss it away by splitting it with a consultancy, since you can apply to them as a 3L.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby bdubs » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:52 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.


If you can get into a bank, do not bother with a law firm. If you get a job at a firm, do not piss it away by splitting it with a consultancy, since you can apply to them as a 3L.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... _whatsNews

FIFO

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Renzo » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:55 pm

bdubs wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.


If you can get into a bank, do not bother with a law firm. If you get a job at a firm, do not piss it away by splitting it with a consultancy, since you can apply to them as a 3L.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... _whatsNews

FIFO


I didn't claim there were jobs in banks, only that if he could get one he should take it.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby bdubs » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:22 pm

Renzo wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.


If you can get into a bank, do not bother with a law firm. If you get a job at a firm, do not piss it away by splitting it with a consultancy, since you can apply to them as a 3L.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... _whatsNews

FIFO


I didn't claim there were jobs in banks, only that if he could get one he should take it.


I was suggesting that, at the moment, layoffs may be more likely in banking than they are in biglaw firms. It's not universally true, but first in first out for big layoffs is not uncommon.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.



You're not held to a lower standard because you're applying for the same jobs, so that wouldn't make much sense. They won't expect you to have the same business knowledge since you've been taking law classes, but they will expect you to have the same level of problem-solving skills. You should aim to do as well as an MBA student would do.

I would get a few case prep books, read them to get familiar with the cases, and then find a friend to give you practice cases, preferably someone who is familiar with case interviews.

Also, just google "Case interview prep" because there are a ton of resources on the internet. But I would say use multiple sources to prep so you can synthesize and develop your own style/understanding of how to do a case.

Be aware that different companies use different case styles, which require slightly different preparation. IE, McKinsey's cases are different from BCG's. (BCG's cases are "candidate led," McKinsey's are not)

Don't neglect to prep for the personal experience/leadership portion, if there is one of those.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby ruski » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:41 pm

keep in mind many of those layoffs are in back office, not banking. obv some bankers are being laid off, but if you get into a good bank/group with strong dealflow you are fine. i know UBS and BAC have laid off bankers already, but i think in the stronger banks they are much safer

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby bdubs » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:30 pm

ruski wrote:keep in mind many of those layoffs are in back office, not banking. obv some bankers are being laid off, but if you get into a good bank/group with strong dealflow you are fine. i know UBS and BAC have laid off bankers already, but i think in the stronger banks they are much safer


I thought this was more of a Volcker Rule doom and gloom kind of thing, otherwise they wouldn't have mentioned bonuses taking a hit. So I pretty much read it as layoffs of bankers + collateral damage in back office.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any idea on how Consultancies (and while I'm at it - banks) view splitting the 2L summer with a law firm? I'm guessing they're amendable to it.

Also - how to prep for case interviews?! I'm hoping non-MBAs are held to a lower standard than MBAs. I'm told MBAs practice TONS of cases. I certainly have no time or general familiarity with case interviews.



You're not held to a lower standard because you're applying for the same jobs, so that wouldn't make much sense. They won't expect you to have the same business knowledge since you've been taking law classes, but they will expect you to have the same level of problem-solving skills. You should aim to do as well as an MBA student would do.

I would get a few case prep books, read them to get familiar with the cases, and then find a friend to give you practice cases, preferably someone who is familiar with case interviews.

Also, just google "Case interview prep" because there are a ton of resources on the internet. But I would say use multiple sources to prep so you can synthesize and develop your own style/understanding of how to do a case.

Be aware that different companies use different case styles, which require slightly different preparation. IE, McKinsey's cases are different from BCG's. (BCG's cases are "candidate led," McKinsey's are not)

Don't neglect to prep for the personal experience/leadership portion, if there is one of those.


+1

If anything you are held to a higher standard because you are attempting a more unconventional path. The personal experience section needs to be prepped for and is extremely structured, at least at Mckinsey (you need to recall specific things you've said, who was sitting in the room during your experiences, etc. it is not by any means more "fluffy" than the case portion. If all you've done are law firm / liberal artsy interviews, you will NOT be prepared).

MBB is flexible about splitting. If they want you, they will go to great lengths to accomodate your needs.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:16 pm

This thread is making me wonder what law offers that consulting does not. More boring work, in a stationary place? Seriously - If you don't like the thrill of litigation, and want to do corporate - what does that offer in terms of work/life which consulting does not?

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This thread is making me wonder what law offers that consulting does not. More boring work, in a stationary place? Seriously - If you don't like the thrill of litigation, and want to do corporate - what does that offer in terms of work/life which consulting does not?


People ITT are seriously out of touch with the realities of travel in consulting. These people make far less than lawyers, have to work the same hours, and have to travel weekly. It's an absolute killer.

Also the personalities in consulting are usually not well adjusted. It's a really tough work environment that is extremely politicized and even more bureaucratic than big firms. Career 10+ yr consultants either have a stay at home wife or are single. Look at anybody who's done travel consulting for a few years and are in their mid/late twenties. They look ten years older.

I know people at Delloite, Accenture, McKinsey, the B one--- they allllllll absolutely dread going to work and can't wait to leave for in-house business.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This thread is making me wonder what law offers that consulting does not. More boring work, in a stationary place? Seriously - If you don't like the thrill of litigation, and want to do corporate - what does that offer in terms of work/life which consulting does not?


People ITT are seriously out of touch with the realities of travel in consulting. These people make far less than lawyers, have to work the same hours, and have to travel weekly. It's an absolute killer.

Also the personalities in consulting are usually not well adjusted. It's a really tough work environment that is extremely politicized and even more bureaucratic than big firms. Career 10+ yr consultants either have a stay at home wife or are single. Look at anybody who's done travel consulting for a few years and are in their mid/late twenties. They look ten years older.

I know people at Delloite, Accenture, McKinsey, the B one--- they allllllll absolutely dread going to work and can't wait to leave for in-house business.


This is not really accurate.

So, first of all, consultants don't make less than lawyers, at least at a post-MBA/post-JD level. They start out about the same, and raises are much higher (15%-20% per year is pretty standard). Attrition is slightly higher, but it's mostly voluntary, and exit options tend to pay MUCH better than exit options from law firms. Sure, post-undergrad consultants make a lot less, but that's not the relevant comparison.

Consultants probably work an equal number of hours when you factor in travel, but the hours are much more regular. You will pretty much never pull and all nighter, and it's pretty rare you'll work past 10 or 11. In my two years in consulting I worked (by worked I mean more than 1 hour sending emails, etc) three weekends. This was as an analyst, so bottom of the totem pole. You can't say that for most lawyers.

Finally regarding travel, yes, it's wearing, but some people take it better than others. Some people actually enjoy it. Certain industries offices travel more than others, and if you really care that much you can pick an office/industry that travels significantly less than 50% of the time. But yes, travel is wearing. But so is pulling all-nighters turning merger agreements.

Not to mention in my opinion the work you do in consulting is more engaging, and you get tons of client exposure from day 1 (mixed blessing, but in my opinion positive).

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:07 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
This is not really accurate.

So, first of all, consultants don't make less than lawyers, at least at a post-MBA/post-JD level. They start out about the same, and raises are much higher (15%-20% per year is pretty standard). Attrition is slightly higher, but it's mostly voluntary, and exit options tend to pay MUCH better than exit options from law firms. Sure, post-undergrad consultants make a lot less, but that's not the relevant comparison.

Consultants probably work an equal number of hours when you factor in travel, but the hours are much more regular. You will pretty much never pull and all nighter, and it's pretty rare you'll work past 10 or 11. In my two years in consulting I worked (by worked I mean more than 1 hour sending emails, etc) three weekends. This was as an analyst, so bottom of the totem pole. You can't say that for most lawyers.

Finally regarding travel, yes, it's wearing, but some people take it better than others. Some people actually enjoy it. Certain industries offices travel more than others, and if you really care that much you can pick an office/industry that travels significantly less than 50% of the time. But yes, travel is wearing. But so is pulling all-nighters turning merger agreements.

Not to mention in my opinion the work you do in consulting is more engaging, and you get tons of client exposure from day 1 (mixed blessing, but in my opinion positive).



Sorry, I thought you were comparing post UG consultants. Above poster asked -- why go to law school if consulting is so tight. I was just chiming in to say consulting post UG sucks. Sure after MBA/JD it probably sucks less.

Also, your experience is not necessarily representative. Depending on the client and project you are on, you might hit crazy deadlines and work many weekends. I'm not talking about traveling 50% of the time. My understanding is that requires being on a project for a while or getting lucky--- I'm talking about 100% travel, every week.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry, I thought you were comparing post UG consultants. Above poster asked -- why go to law school if consulting is so tight. I was just chiming in to say consulting post UG sucks. Sure after MBA/JD it probably sucks less.

Also, your experience is not necessarily representative. Depending on the client and project you are on, you might hit crazy deadlines and work many weekends. I'm not talking about traveling 50% of the time. My understanding is that requires being on a project for a while or getting lucky--- I'm talking about 100% travel, every week.


Three points:

(1) Sure, post-undergrad consultants make less than lawyers and the lifestyle sucks compared to the pay, but if you start in consulting and either continue doing it or lateral out, by the time you would have graduated law school, you'll be making a roughly equivalent salary (or, if you go "into industry," make a slightly lower salary for a much better lifestyle). In some cases (private equity firms) you'll be making significantly more than most lawyers. Plus, you didn't have to pay $200k to go to law school.

(2) I saw how much other people at my firm worked (and aside from that I know literally dozens of consultants), and I do not think my experience is unrepresentative with respect to hours and weekend work. Occasionally you will get slammed with a crazy project and have to work weekends, but it is heavily discouraged (to the point that some firms dock partners' pay to the degree their teams report having bad lifestyles - try finding that at a law firm).

(3) Also, should have been clearer - you will never be on a project traveling 50% of the time. It will either be 100% or virtually 0% (i.e., client is in your hometown, or you do not need to be onsite at the client). But, in offices like New York, where many clients are local (especially in industries like financial services, media, private equity, etc.), it is the case that roughly 50% of the projects are local. Even in travel-heavy offices (Chicago, southern offices, etc.), you probably won't go past 75%.
Last edited by imchuckbass58 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Consulting - the end of a legal career?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:36 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry, I thought you were comparing post UG consultants. Above poster asked -- why go to law school if consulting is so tight. I was just chiming in to say consulting post UG sucks. Sure after MBA/JD it probably sucks less.

Also, your experience is not necessarily representative. Depending on the client and project you are on, you might hit crazy deadlines and work many weekends. I'm not talking about traveling 50% of the time. My understanding is that requires being on a project for a while or getting lucky--- I'm talking about 100% travel, every week.


Three points:

(1) Sure, post-undergrad consultants make less than lawyers and the lifestyle sucks compared to the pay, but if start in consulting and either continue doing it or lateral out, by the time you would have graduated law school, you'll be making a roughly equivalent salary (or, if you go "into industry," make a slightly lower salary for a much better lifestyle). In some cases (private equity firms) you'll be making significantly more than most lawyers. Plus, you didn't have to pay $200k to go to law school.

(2) I saw how much other people at my firm worked (and aside from that I know literally dozens of consultants), and I do not think my experience is unrepresentative with respect to hours and weekend work. Occasionally you will get slammed with a crazy project and have to work weekends, but it is heavily discouraged (to the point that some firms dock partners' pay to the degree their teams report having bad lifestyles - try finding that at a law firm).

(3) Also, should have been clearer - you will never be on a project traveling 50% of the time. It will either be 100% or virtually 0% (i.e., client is in your hometown, or you do not need to be onsite at the client). But, in offices like New York, where many clients are local (especially in industries like financial services, media, private equity, etc.), it is the case that roughly 50% of the projects are local. Even in travel-heavy offices (Chicago, southern offices, etc.), you probably won't go past 75%.


Ya - I agree with all this. Just saying my post UG consulting analyst friends wish they were working at startups. But I think we agree on all the important points.



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