Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.

Which would you choose

V10 law firm
32
55%
MBB consulting firm
26
45%
 
Total votes: 58

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:32 pm

I may face this decision in the near future and I want to hear what random people on the interwebz think about it.

Choice:

1) V10 firm in DC. Sterling reputation and career prospects for the area of practice. Very stable firm with no layoffs, lower leverage and attrition than peers.

2) McKinsey/Bain/BCG in a more preferable "lifestyle" location (e.g. SF, LA, Chicago)

Making tradeoffs between lifestyle at work (e.g. travel), lifestyle outside of work (e.g. location), exit options, and career potential. I find legal work interesting, but I also find management consulting to be interesting for many of the same reasons. Which is better and why?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:32 pm

First of all, are you asking about 2L summer or post-graduation?
My vote goes for V10 DC for the reason that you cannot go from Consulting to Law (if you end up being fed up with Consulting) but you can go, I believe, from Law to Consulting if you are willing to take a pay cut and start as some sort of an associate.

I think exit options and career potential are not that different. Consulting maybe slightly better, but it depends by the sort of consulting work you do.

Finally, do you have any advice on how to approach a consulting firm with a JD? What makes you so confident? I am interested in the field.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:22 am

dasdf

noobishned
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby noobishned » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:Finally, do you have any advice on how to approach a consulting firm with a JD? What makes you so confident? I am interested in the field.


I am interested in this as well...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:First of all, are you asking about 2L summer or post-graduation?
My vote goes for V10 DC for the reason that you cannot go from Consulting to Law (if you end up being fed up with Consulting) but you can go, I believe, from Law to Consulting if you are willing to take a pay cut and start as some sort of an associate.

I think exit options and career potential are not that different. Consulting maybe slightly better, but it depends by the sort of consulting work you do.

Finally, do you have any advice on how to approach a consulting firm with a JD? What makes you so confident? I am interested in the field.


Going to the V10 for 2L summer. I've heard the jump from law to consulting is a pretty hard one to make so i'm considering doing recruiting for post grad consulting positions. The superior exit options from consulting appeal to me, but the rapid up or out attrition doesn't (average tenure seems much shorter than at law firms, particularly the one i'm going to). Not that I have any delusions about partnership, either, but partners at law firms do as well or better than most partners at MBB. Another thought is that although the travel sucks, consulting firms seem to care a lot more about their employees well-being (e.g. more fringe benefits, autonomy, general flexibility/assistance). Law firms seem to know that you're kind of stuck and your next best option is pretty shitty from a pay perspective (govt. or in house)

Didn't really want to turn this into a thread about recruiting for consulting positions with a JD. I'm in an unusual position where both are realistic opportunities.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:34 am

It's far easier to make the jump from a V10 to MBB than the other way and for the first few years the pay is the same. Lifestyle is going to suck as either, regardless of city, and the DC V10 experience might make you slightly more desirable to a consulting firm in another city looking to sell DC experience to clients.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby dingbat » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:49 am

I voted for V10 because you at least get to sleep in your own bed more often than not

User avatar
dextermorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:31 am

Do you want to be a lawyer?

$$$$$$
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby $$$$$$ » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:38 am

These are two drastically different career choices. I interviewed at MBB during 2L OGI and absolutely loved everything about consulting, even the interviews. At the end of the day, I think V10 is a "safer" option unless the economy sinks again (at that point who knows), but starting your career at MBB provides so many amazing networks and exit-ops that I think if you are unsure you want to be a lawyer, it may be better to start your career there.

Again, depends what you want to do. I Know Mckinsey has an up-or-out policy, but from Mckinsey you could break into almost any business setting or go to a top business school. I know kids that went from MBB to start-ups, management roles in F500 companies, Top 5 business schools, Private Equity, etc. To me that was more exciting than than being at a law firm and leaving to go in-house, fed gov, or soemthing, but to each his own.

User avatar
Royal
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Royal » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:44 am

Do you want to paper deals or do you want to be more hands on?

V10 has higher starting salary and exit options include going in house somewhere, going to a smaller firm and and pursuing partnership there, or going to some government position.

Consulting has lower starting salary but you can exit to a bank or PE. I had no idea how to finance or PE world functioned before law school. Knowing what I know now, I would have tried to get into consulting and then gunned for PE.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:50 am

So, I actually made this decision (well, V15, not V10, but same basic idea) and went with MBB. It's a pretty different career path, so I'd make that your primary decision point.

This may sound obvious, but if you at all want a "business" career long term, it's pretty unquestionable that consulting is better. By contrast if the idea of practicing law for at least a large portion of your career appeals to you, then the choice is obvious. Yes, I know that people from law move over to the business side, but it's rarer than it's portrayed to be, it takes a long time, and it usually is into a very limited business role where you have quasi-legal responsibilities (i.e., partnerships, corp dev, etc.) If you truly are into the strategy / operations side of business (rather than deal work), consulting is a much better choice.

Some other points:

-It happens, but it's not exactly easy to jump from a law firm to a consulting firm. The firm I will be at usually takes 1-2 experienced lawyers in the Northeast System (NY and Boston) per year, out of literally dozens who apply. So don't count on that.

-Would disagree with the statement that law firm partners do "as well or better" than consulting partners, though it depends on your definition of partnership. Consulting firms effectively operate two tiers of partnership (Partner / Director at McK, Partner / Senior Partner at BCG, etc.) Both have equity, but one has less. I've gotten reliable data on this, and lower-tier partners make on the order of $750k - $1.25m (the flipside is you can make it to this run after 6 years or so), while senior partners/directors make between $2m-$5m (which you would make after an additional 5-6 years). This may sound different from law, but keep in mind that even at lockstep firms, junior partners do not make the average PPP. For instance at S&C, where average PPP exceeds $3m, you'll only average slightly over $1m per year in your first 7-8 years as a partner (source: http://abovethelaw.com/2012/01/former-s ... -offenses/)

-I think the point about employee development is a good one. Beyond lifestyle perks, at a consulting firm you really have people who want to see you develop, want to give you responsibility, and want to help your career. You'll have an advisor whose job it is to get you on the types of cases you want to do and those that will develop skills you're interested in building. It's a very different philosophy than the law firm "you'll take what we give you and you'll like it" environment.

-It's a valid point that consulting firms are much more "corporate," and thus your job is much more at risk if you don't perform. At most V10s you can do a semi-competent job for 3-5 years before people start pressuring you. At a consulting firm, you actually need to do well to advance beyond year 2 or so. The flip side I would argue is that exit options from consulting are both more likely to pay a better salary (at least early on), and are more varied. Depends on what you are interested in though.

-Do not underestimate how much you will travel. It's a lot, especially if you have a family. If that's a dealbreaker for you, don't do it. The flipside is you'll have a lot more regular schedule (at least compared to the corporate department at a law firm). Almost all weekends will be pretty much off, and all nighters are very rare.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:55 am

Royal wrote:
V10 has higher starting salary.


Total comp is about the same. In your first full year at a law firm you can expect $160k, plus say a $7.5-$10k bonus.

The standard post-MBA (and post-JD) package at MBB is:

-$140k base
-$25k signing bonus
-Performance bonus ranging from $0-$40k (call it average $15k-$20k)
-Retirement matching of up to 5% of total comp (good for another $7-$8k)
-Health insurance is totally subsidized (may sound silly, but that's worth a couple thousand dollars).

Which is roughly the same first year if you exclude the signing bonus, more if you include it.

So consulting firms have lower guaranteed salary, but make it up on benefits / bonuses.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:26 am

OP here: I will not be doing transactional work at the V10 and I have no interest in working in ibanking, or PE unless it's on the operational side.

Director positions at McKinsey are much rarer than partner positions in biglaw. There are only ~400 directors at McKinsey while Skadden alone has ~800 equity partners (making $2.5 million on average). The absolute # of high paying positions in consulting among the small set of MBB is totally dwarfed by the number of biglaw partners that make >$2 million. I would prefer being a partner at a law firm to director at McKinsey too, unfortunately both are really long shots from a terminal perspective.

My major problem is not knowing whether I want a "business" career long term. I know what kind of law I would like to practice, but I have no idea what kind of position I would want to take coming out of an MBB. The range of options is so broad that I don't know how to evaluate it to determine whether it's a good fit or not. The last thing I want, however, is to be stuck in a law job 6 years out with poor partnership prospects and no good lateral options to partnership track.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: I will not be doing transactional work at the V10 and I have no interest in working in ibanking, or PE unless it's on the operational side.

My major problem is not knowing whether I want a "business" career long term. I know what kind of law I would like to practice, but I have no idea what kind of position I would want to take coming out of an MBB.


To be perfectly honest, this sounds kind of indicative. If you can't clearly say to yourself what career goal MBB would help you achieve, but you can point to a type of law you would want to practice (litigation no less), seems like you have a clearer career path out of one option than the other.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:50 am

The opportunity to work for MBB is something that people here are discounting way too much. There is a reason why 25% of HBS students go on to work at places like MBB, its because they are the amazing opportunities to gain insight into industries and how they strategically operate. If this is not intruiging to you, then screw it, go do regulatory work or lit for the v10, but to me, the opportunities you get from MBB are some of the best you can get for a job, period. Especially with the world so rapidly changing the way business is done, you would be on the front lines, working with executives to navigate through some really challenging times. The price for that kind of experience is unimaginable.

I wouldn't even look at the poll because my guess is that most people dont really understand what MBB does or if they do, they don't understand the value it adds to your career.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:08 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here: I will not be doing transactional work at the V10 and I have no interest in working in ibanking, or PE unless it's on the operational side.

My major problem is not knowing whether I want a "business" career long term. I know what kind of law I would like to practice, but I have no idea what kind of position I would want to take coming out of an MBB.


To be perfectly honest, this sounds kind of indicative. If you can't clearly say to yourself what career goal MBB would help you achieve, but you can point to a type of law you would want to practice (litigation no less), seems like you have a clearer career path out of one option than the other.


You don't think the downside of getting stuck in a legal role with no good exit is a big enough concern? I'd much rather have a management position in a business than work in government. There are very few in house positions in the field of law that I'm pursuing.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You don't think the downside of getting stuck in a legal role with no good exit is a big enough concern? I'd much rather have a management position in a business than work in government. There are very few in house positions in the field of law that I'm pursuing.


Care to say what area it is? Depends how truly dire your options are if you don't make partner.

Here's my point: A lot of people like consulting for the same reason they like law school, there's some perception that it "keeps options open" and allows you to defer committing to a career path. If it's truly the case that you have no good exit (from your perspectives) if you don't make partner, I think that's a legitimate point. But if it's just you don't know what the exit would be and that unknown makes you uneasy, then I'd argue that's not unique to law. Even coming out of a consulting firm while exits are likely to be "good," it really depends on your preferences and what you can see yourself doing.

A management position at a company sounds great, but it has downsides (politics, potential for stagnation if you're not a top performer, having to manage people, etc).

hopin10
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:54 pm

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby hopin10 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:19 pm

Worked at an MBB for three years before LS. I'd take consulting over biglaw any day of the week.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:34 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You don't think the downside of getting stuck in a legal role with no good exit is a big enough concern? I'd much rather have a management position in a business than work in government. There are very few in house positions in the field of law that I'm pursuing.


Care to say what area it is? Depends how truly dire your options are if you don't make partner.

Here's my point: A lot of people like consulting for the same reason they like law school, there's some perception that it "keeps options open" and allows you to defer committing to a career path. If it's truly the case that you have no good exit (from your perspectives) if you don't make partner, I think that's a legitimate point. But if it's just you don't know what the exit would be and that unknown makes you uneasy, then I'd argue that's not unique to law. Even coming out of a consulting firm while exits are likely to be "good," it really depends on your preferences and what you can see yourself doing.

A management position at a company sounds great, but it has downsides (politics, potential for stagnation if you're not a top performer, having to manage people, etc).


...

I know exit options from consulting are not rainbows and unicorns, but my general impression is that they provide more opportunity and better compensation than similar law options. I have a high level interest in the tech and healthcare industries, but am not wedded to them. I don't have a particular function in mind regardless of industry.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:38 pm

hopin10 wrote:Worked at an MBB for three years before LS. I'd take consulting over biglaw any day of the week.


How come you decided law school then instead of MBA or something along those lines. Also, if you have any clues for JDs looking to break into consulting, please let us know...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hopin10 wrote:Worked at an MBB for three years before LS. I'd take consulting over biglaw any day of the week.


How come you decided law school then instead of MBA or something along those lines. Also, if you have any clues for JDs looking to break into consulting, please let us know...


Second this. +1. And it doesn't have to be MBB. Any mgmt consulting really.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Silly poll because I feel like it: Consulting or Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:20 pm

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/11/the-road ... of-danger/

The doom and gloom about partnership prospects in write-ups like this is a big part of why i'm questioning law from a long term career perspective.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.