Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:00 pm

ajr wrote:

If those kinds of "benefits" attract you, great. To me the value of those fringe benefits should be much lesser than their $ value. Maybe most of you haven't really worked in these kinds of jobs before, but all this travelling, expensing your meals, frequent flier etc. gets very unattractive after a while. Cash compensation means a lot more, however much companies try to "sell" their awesome benefit packages.


You ignore where it was explained that cash comp was also better. Guys like you are exactly why this thread was created. I don't get the need to comment when you are so obviously out of your depth.

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Nelson
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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Nelson » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:02 pm

First year salary in MBB is only like ~130-135k so they have a long way to go to catch NYC market. Your bonus isn't that much better either, my friends at MBB suggest that their post-MBA year bonuses were only 30ish max (and it's discretionary, not lockstep with your class year).

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby ajr » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ajr wrote:

If those kinds of "benefits" attract you, great. To me the value of those fringe benefits should be much lesser than their $ value. Maybe most of you haven't really worked in these kinds of jobs before, but all this travelling, expensing your meals, frequent flier etc. gets very unattractive after a while. Cash compensation means a lot more, however much companies try to "sell" their awesome benefit packages.


You ignore where it was explained that cash comp was also better. Guys like you are exactly why this thread was created. I don't get the need to comment when you are so obviously out of your depth.


Naah, this thread was really created to make you feel better about picking MBB over Biglaw, amirite?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:13 pm

Nelson wrote:First year salary in MBB is only like ~130-135k so they have a long way to go to catch NYC market. Your bonus isn't that much better either, my friends at MBB suggest that their post-MBA year bonuses were only 30ish max (and it's discretionary, not lockstep with your class year).


Good god. Let's do basic math. 130-140k base, 20-30k signing (non-discretionary), PLUS 20-45 discretionary, plus ~9-13% of base+bonus contributed to your retirement plan with no contribution from you. Do the math and figure it out. Believe it or not, employers can structure compensation in ways other than base.

Progression is increase in base of about 10-15% second year depending on performance and then increase in max bonus for second year.

That is the structure. I'm using ranges because exact figures would out my firm instantly.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby wiz » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:17 pm

thesealocust wrote:Is there any kind of summer program associated with consulting? If you really want to do apples to apples, you'd have:

Generic Biglaw: ~$35K to $40K comp for a summer of minimal expectations and maximizing boozing, bar expenses + relocation (some firms/markets give a flat stipend while others do an advance, relocation depends on if you need to relocate, etc.), $160K first year salary and $170K second year salary plus a market bonus ($35K at height, $10K all but guaranteed for first years and $14K all but guaranteed for second years last year). No retirement match.

Consulting firm: Signing bonus? Relocation? Bar expenses? ____ first year salary? ___ second year salary? ___ bonus, how much variation year to year or individual to individual? What's the second year salary and bonus?

I don't know the inputs for consulting so I have no opinion/dog in this fight, just think it wold be interesting to get a true / comprehensive comparison.


This is a much better version of the question I was attempting to ask earlier.

If biglaw is 35k summer + 10k stipend + bar expenses + relocation + 160k first year salary + 10k bonus + 170k second year salary + 14k bonus = 400k after two years, then how does consulting compare?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:26 pm

For the serious posters:

Yes, there is a summer program associated with consulting and pay is similar to biglaw. You can also just do a biglaw 2L summer and apply to consulting for a full-time job. As far as compensation, this has pointlessly deteriorated. Key takeaway is that if you are in a major market it is similar to slightly more pay depending on if you count money giving to you as compensation. Obviously, you don't get a signing bonus second year but if you are an average performer your salary and bonus increase should make up for the loss (although, probably not too much more above it). Above average performer obviously makes more.

I think I've covered everything about compensation in as much detail as possible so probably time to move to another topic.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby ajr » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For the serious posters:

Yes, there is a summer program associated with consulting and pay is similar to biglaw. You can also just do a biglaw 2L summer and apply to consulting for a full-time job. As far as compensation, this has pointlessly deteriorated. Key takeaway is that if you are in a major market it is similar to slightly more pay depending on if you count money giving to you as compensation. Obviously, you don't get a signing bonus second year but if you are an average performer your salary and bonus should make up for the loss (although, probably not too much more above it). Above average performer obviously makes more.

I think I've covered everything about compensation in as much detail as possible so probably time to move to another topic.


I apologize for derailing dude, and I appreciate your comments. A serious question: have you ever considered that you might be abandoning the practice of law entirely? How has this affected or not affected your decision? Are you happy to be letting go?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby thewaves » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:39 pm

Apologies if you went over this stuff, you can just re-quote it.

1. What made you choose law school over business school if you were coming from a F500? Do you feel that the degree was worth it for you given the fact that you could have received an MBA in 2 years? Was there any advantage in going to law school over business school for you?

2. You mentioned you're not sure what you want to do after MBB. How does consulting fit into your lifestyle-longterm goals? I mean more general mushy stuff like work/life balance and maintaining a relationship. I doubt the hours are any better or worse than Biglaw, but traveling would seem to put a big damper on your social life. Perhaps you can't answer these questions now, but I get the sense that consulting is a lot of lonely traveling, and when it's not, it's socializing/being stuck in the same room with your team for endless hours at a time. You better like the people you're with.

These conceptions and criticisms aren't to say Biglaw is a better alternative.
Last edited by thewaves on Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:39 pm

ajr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For the serious posters:

Yes, there is a summer program associated with consulting and pay is similar to biglaw. You can also just do a biglaw 2L summer and apply to consulting for a full-time job. As far as compensation, this has pointlessly deteriorated. Key takeaway is that if you are in a major market it is similar to slightly more pay depending on if you count money giving to you as compensation. Obviously, you don't get a signing bonus second year but if you are an average performer your salary and bonus should make up for the loss (although, probably not too much more above it). Above average performer obviously makes more.

I think I've covered everything about compensation in as much detail as possible so probably time to move to another topic.


I apologize for derailing dude, and I appreciate your comments. A serious question: have you ever considered that you might be abandoning the practice of law entirely? How has this affected or not affected your decision? Are you happy to be letting go?


Also wondering about this. Does going into consulting preclude one from ever going back to the (big)law?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:40 pm

ajr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For the serious posters:

Yes, there is a summer program associated with consulting and pay is similar to biglaw. You can also just do a biglaw 2L summer and apply to consulting for a full-time job. As far as compensation, this has pointlessly deteriorated. Key takeaway is that if you are in a major market it is similar to slightly more pay depending on if you count money giving to you as compensation. Obviously, you don't get a signing bonus second year but if you are an average performer your salary and bonus should make up for the loss (although, probably not too much more above it). Above average performer obviously makes more.

I think I've covered everything about compensation in as much detail as possible so probably time to move to another topic.


I apologize for derailing dude, and I appreciate your comments. A serious question: have you ever considered that you might be abandoning the practice of law entirely? How has this affected or not affected your decision? Are you happy to be letting go?


Good question. If you choose consulting you should 100% assume your legal career is over. I've heard of people going from law to consulting but never the other way.

For me, it doesn't really matter. As a corporate lawyer I honestly don't get the whole "love the law" thing. I think it should be a bigger consideration for someone who dreams of being a trial or appellate lawyer.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby thesealocust » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:49 pm

t-14orbust wrote:Also wondering about this. Does going into consulting preclude one from ever going back to the (big)law?


I've never heard of somebody going from consulting into law... going straight from law school into not-practicing-law is going to make it very hard to get hired by a law firm later on. The only people I know coming back into the fold (a) established a legal career before leaving and (b) moved into a highly related field. Perhaps it's possible for things like bankruptcy work or financial institution consulting where the legal overlay is important?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:51 pm

thewaves wrote:Apologies if you went over this stuff, you can just re-quote it.

1. What made you choose law school over business school if you were coming from a F500? Do you feel that the degree was worth it for you given the fact that you could have received an MBA in 2 years? Was there any advantage in going to law school over business school for you?

2. You mentioned you're not sure what you want to do after MBB. How does consulting fit into your lifestyle-longterm goals? I mean more general mushy stuff like work/life balance and maintaining a relationship. I doubt the hours are any better or worse than Biglaw, but traveling would seem to put a big damper on your social life. Perhaps you can't answer these questions now, but I get the sense that consulting is a lot of lonely traveling, and when it's not, it's socializing/being stuck in the same room with your team for endless hours at a time. You better like the people you're with.

These conceptions and criticisms aren't to say Biglaw is a better alternative.


1) In my case, I had access to some need-based aid because I come from a low-income family and I am below the age where they stop counting family income. As a result, cost-wise law school v. a few years work exp then business school came out a wash for me. I also don't mind "giving up" a year of my life. While not a particular fan of law school, I love living student life.

I will say, however, I didn't anticipate how bad of a personality fit I am for law school. Law school is very "question-oriented" while I, and most people who would enjoy consulting, am very "solution-oriented." So for me interesting questions were just potential for interesting solutions while law students and professors tend to find value in the interesting question itself.

2) Great question. Almost everyone has to deal with the lifestyle/relationship question. Me and my SO have had several discussions and I'm honestly not sure how it will work out. It can be disastrous if your SO isn't the same kind of high-performer career-oriented person that you are at this point in life. You also have to get used to spending a lot of time with team-members. Plus side is that you rotate teams a lot and can get a feel for team leaders you enjoy working with and kind of stick with them. If you are an introvert you can be successful but I seriously would recommend thinking hard before doing consulting.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby mephistopheles » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:11 pm

am also considering this.

but, at what age is too old to start? i'm set for a 2L SA, but might try and switch when it comes time to full-time employment. would 25 ish be too old, seeing as how most of the people i know started at 21/22?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:22 pm

mephistopheles wrote:am also considering this.

but, at what age is too old to start? i'm set for a 2L SA, but might try and switch when it comes time to full-time employment. would 25 ish be too old, seeing as how most of the people i know started at 21/22?


This is a common misunderstanding. There are two entry level positions in consulting. Your friends were probably entering as analyst(or whatever the equivalent is at their firm). This is a post-undegrad position.

You would be entering at the post-mba level. Average age is around 26-27 so you would actually be on the low side of average.

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Postby 06162014123 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:59 pm

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:40 pm

What are hours like in consulting?

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are hours like in consulting?


This was already answered

Anonymous User wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:
what are the hours like?


Almost every single job that offers entry-level salaries exceeding 120k has sucky hours. Thats just a fact. Consulting hours are typically in the 55-70 range with the hours being skewed towards M-thurs. If you want to do PE, I've heard horrible stories of the diligence project with a 100 hour week (relatively rare). Basically, there is no hours advantage to doing consulting. You will, however, have more paid vacation time, free weekends, and you will get tons of air miles and hotel points you can use for killer vacations.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:33 pm

RedShift wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:Also wondering about this. Does going into consulting preclude one from ever going back to the (big)law?


I've never heard of somebody going from consulting into law... going straight from law school into not-practicing-law is going to make it very hard to get hired by a law firm later on. The only people I know coming back into the fold (a) established a legal career before leaving and (b) moved into a highly related field. Perhaps it's possible for things like bankruptcy work or financial institution consulting where the legal overlay is important?


This is what scares me the most, and I've heard it before regarding the consulting track. I truly believe I would like consulting and do well in it, but I ultimately decided on law school because of an interest in the law.

I guess I'd be best served to think more about this later, possibly after 2L summer to see if I still feel the same about the law.

Thanks, OP, for answering questions in this thread. If I may ask some more - what resources did you use for interview prep? Did career services help? Did you contact the business school at your institution for assistance? Books/websites?


Yeah, no harm in doing a 2L SA. Consulting really, really isn't for the average student at a top school.

As far as prep, the prep bible is "Case in Point." But really thats just to intro you to the type of interviewing and a few frameworks. You really prep by practicing with other people. You can get cases from your school's consulting club and on the firm websites. As in most things, career services is probably going to be pretty useless and at most universities the B-school jealously guards their resources. If you go to a target school (basically HYSCCN) its pretty easy to reach out directly to the firm and they will help you out some with practice.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:00 am

RedShift wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:Also wondering about this. Does going into consulting preclude one from ever going back to the (big)law?


I've never heard of somebody going from consulting into law... going straight from law school into not-practicing-law is going to make it very hard to get hired by a law firm later on. The only people I know coming back into the fold (a) established a legal career before leaving and (b) moved into a highly related field. Perhaps it's possible for things like bankruptcy work or financial institution consulting where the legal overlay is important?


This is what scares me the most, and I've heard it before regarding the consulting track. I truly believe I would like consulting and do well in it, but I ultimately decided on law school because of an interest in the law.

I guess I'd be best served to think more about this later, possibly after 2L summer to see if I still feel the same about the law.

Thanks, OP, for answering questions in this thread. If I may ask some more - what resources did you use for interview prep? Did career services help? Did you contact the business school at your institution for assistance? Books/websites?


Chiming in as a person in the OP's position, but a year ahead, i.e. have already graduated and am working full-time at MBB. Will say two things:

Compensation at my firm is also higher than biglaw in later years, but you take on a more significant role sooner. 5 yrs in MBB pays about 50k/year more than the NYC biglaw lockstep scale (I'm counting average bonuses under both scenarios).

I think the data set would be so impossibly small for people who leave MBB to return to law that it is difficult to know whether it's possible. Perhaps a few have attempted and failed, but I just don't know. I did have a biglaw partner last year tell me to contact him if I ever wanted a job post MBB. I personally think I could get a biglaw job post-MBB with a bit of effort, but hope to not have to try.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby downinDtown » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
RedShift wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:Also wondering about this. Does going into consulting preclude one from ever going back to the (big)law?


I've never heard of somebody going from consulting into law... going straight from law school into not-practicing-law is going to make it very hard to get hired by a law firm later on. The only people I know coming back into the fold (a) established a legal career before leaving and (b) moved into a highly related field. Perhaps it's possible for things like bankruptcy work or financial institution consulting where the legal overlay is important?


This is what scares me the most, and I've heard it before regarding the consulting track. I truly believe I would like consulting and do well in it, but I ultimately decided on law school because of an interest in the law.

I guess I'd be best served to think more about this later, possibly after 2L summer to see if I still feel the same about the law.

Thanks, OP, for answering questions in this thread. If I may ask some more - what resources did you use for interview prep? Did career services help? Did you contact the business school at your institution for assistance? Books/websites?


Chiming in as a person in the OP's position, but a year ahead, i.e. have already graduated and am working full-time at MBB. Will say two things:

Compensation at my firm is also higher than biglaw in later years, but you take on a more significant role sooner. 5 yrs in MBB pays about 50k/year more than the NYC biglaw lockstep scale (I'm counting average bonuses under both scenarios).

I think the data set would be so impossibly small for people who leave MBB to return to law that it is difficult to know whether it's possible. Perhaps a few have attempted and failed, but I just don't know. I did have a biglaw partner last year tell me to contact him if I ever wanted a job post MBB. I personally think I could get a biglaw job post-MBB with a bit of effort, but hope to not have to try.

Regarding compensation, OP and others are correct, as BigConsulting pay, even for others besides MBB, can exceed or at least match BigLaw pay, especially when you consider the retirement match and other benefits on top of the base + signing + performance bonus (as noted above), but here's a link that compares many consulting firm's compensation packages (for both undergrad and post-grad): http://managementconsulted.com/consulting-jobs/2013-management-consulting-salaries-from-undergraduate-and-mba-to-interns-and-more/

Also, many consulting firms are very helpful in helping employees identify their career goals (e.g., targeting an industry segment like private equity), including connecting them with people/resources to find a job they want outside of consulting. Different mentality than (most) BigLaw where you're: 1) run until you're out of gas and can't work the hours, 2) identified as non-partner track and suggested to look for "other" positions (sometimes they'll help placing you in-house with a client), or 3) dismissed/severed when PPP aren't as high as the neighboring firm and you're found to be expendable.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby ajr » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
RedShift wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:Also wondering about this. Does going into consulting preclude one from ever going back to the (big)law?


I've never heard of somebody going from consulting into law... going straight from law school into not-practicing-law is going to make it very hard to get hired by a law firm later on. The only people I know coming back into the fold (a) established a legal career before leaving and (b) moved into a highly related field. Perhaps it's possible for things like bankruptcy work or financial institution consulting where the legal overlay is important?


This is what scares me the most, and I've heard it before regarding the consulting track. I truly believe I would like consulting and do well in it, but I ultimately decided on law school because of an interest in the law.

I guess I'd be best served to think more about this later, possibly after 2L summer to see if I still feel the same about the law.

Thanks, OP, for answering questions in this thread. If I may ask some more - what resources did you use for interview prep? Did career services help? Did you contact the business school at your institution for assistance? Books/websites?


Chiming in as a person in the OP's position, but a year ahead, i.e. have already graduated and am working full-time at MBB. Will say two things:

Compensation at my firm is also higher than biglaw in later years, but you take on a more significant role sooner. 5 yrs in MBB pays about 50k/year more than the NYC biglaw lockstep scale (I'm counting average bonuses under both scenarios).

I think the data set would be so impossibly small for people who leave MBB to return to law that it is difficult to know whether it's possible. Perhaps a few have attempted and failed, but I just don't know. I did have a biglaw partner last year tell me to contact him if I ever wanted a job post MBB. I personally think I could get a biglaw job post-MBB with a bit of effort, but hope to not have to try.



lol @ lasting 5 years at MBB. I know AT LEAST 25 people who were at MBB (all classmates) but ONE has lasted enough to make partner.

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Re: Taking BigConsulting over BigLaw, Answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:53 am

downinDtown wrote:Also, many consulting firms are very helpful in helping employees identify their career goals (e.g., targeting an industry segment like private equity), including connecting them with people/resources to find a job they want outside of consulting. Different mentality than (most) BigLaw where you're: 1) run until you're out of gas and can't work the hours, 2) identified as non-partner track and suggested to look for "other" positions (sometimes they'll help placing you in-house with a client), or 3) dismissed/severed when PPP aren't as high as the neighboring firm and you're found to be expendable.


lol dude, I don't want to suggest bigfirm exits are all sunshine and roses, but this is an incredibly cynical and slanted world view. The firm I work at boasts about the exit opportunities for its lawyers, has an internal system for planning career moves outside of the firm, and people leaving for greening pastures regularly with few to no reports of people being forced out.

It's a business and I don't doubt some people get forced out, especially in harsher economic times, not do I imagine all firms operate the same way. But it's hardly the reality TV sudden death overtime you make it out to be (and I imagine consulting isn't as consistently blissful re: future careers as you articulate either).




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