JD --> Big4 Consulting

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Anonymous User
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JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:43 pm

Hi all:

I'm a recent grad, currently working at a midsize firm. I'm not sure if I really enjoy the practice of law/want to be a lawyer long-term however. I have an UG business degree and am considering taking a look at Big4 consulting positions (not audit). Does anyone have any experience with that area or thoughts on this transition? Thanks!

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:56 pm

deloitte consulting is more credited than being unemployed. but they will pay you a small amount of money to to a significant amount of boring work.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:58 pm

OP here: can you expand a little bit on why the work is boring? Honestly, I'm in lit, and the neverending stream of motion writing, discovery responses, etc. isn't exactly thrilling either.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:11 pm

I used to work big4 audit. I saw enough of consulting to get a general idea of what they are about. Consulting will most likely be a significant cut in pay for a small reduction in annual hours, and periods of the same hours as biglaw. Like many other big4 practices, they are deal and deadline driven and require significant amounts of travel (sometimes including long-term relocation if the deal is large enough).

I had a co-worker based out of CA, working in a CA office, who got staffed on a long-term east coast deal. Because you can really only travel on weekends, it didn't make sense for her to fly home for the weekends. She hadn't been back to her home in months, and the deal was projected to last 3 years. Another co-worker was based out of CA but staffed on a deal in OR, and was asked to relocate to OR to be closer to the deal. This guy had a wife and kids at home and ultimately decided to relocate, but that must have been tough on him.

Those were just my anecdotal observations, no idea how representative that is of big4 consulting in general.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: can you expand a little bit on why the work is boring? Honestly, I'm in lit, and the neverending stream of motion writing, discovery responses, etc. isn't exactly thrilling either.


in my experience (big4 m&a tax, worked a fair amount with the consulting side), for the first 3-4yrs you're going to be inputting data into a model, putting recommendations into powerpoint templates, conducting biglaw style due diligence, etc. some people dig it, and as you move up the chain of command there's more room for specialization and less boring work. but you'll basically be making $80k with something similar to a biglaw workload. odds are you'll have to be in a high col locale (just a function of where the deals are). also keep in mind that big4 doesn't get hired for sexy consulting work, you'll probably be working mostly with middle managers.

the defined career path is maybe the biggest advantage of working in the big4. unless you are profoundly bad at your job, you will advance in a set number of years. other pros: lots of job security, if you stick around for the long haul partners/principals receive pensions and great benefits (i assume this is still the case, been a few years since i was there), you'll get a fair amount of exposure to different clients and situations, etc.

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UnfrozenCaveman
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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:26 pm

Big 4 MBA consulting pays similar amounts to Big Law. Not sure how that translates into their advanced degree positions.
Last edited by UnfrozenCaveman on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:29 pm

UnfrozenCaveman wrote:Big 4 MBA consulting pays as much as or more than Big Law. Not sure how that translates into their advanced degree positions.


Any insight on hiring from advanced degree positions (ie. JD)? If they stick to the fall recruitment schedule, is hiring finished until September 2014?

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UnfrozenCaveman
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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UnfrozenCaveman wrote:Big 4 MBA consulting pays as much as or more than Big Law. Not sure how that translates into their advanced degree positions.


Any insight on hiring from advanced degree positions (ie. JD)? If they stick to the fall recruitment schedule, is hiring finished until September 2014?


Not entirely sure. Depends on the firm. Hiring is much less uniform the law.

Note: I'm only relaying info I've found through internet research. I adjusted my salary post above because I'm not ready to back up that top consulting jobs pay more than Big Law...but 2 years at school with similar salary sounds good to me...

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Pokemon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:20 pm

OP, is working in midlaw so s/he will probably not get a huge paycut. If you are hired as an associate, your pay tends to be more than 100k in big4 consulting. The issue here though is that if OP is doing litigation, and I do not see what he can offer with that background to big4 accounting. They would much rather prefer lawyers with tax or corporate experience. Sure his UG was business, but business majors do not get to be associates.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:37 pm

Pokemon wrote:OP, is working in midlaw so s/he will probably not get a huge paycut. If you are hired as an associate, your pay tends to be more than 100k in big4 consulting. The issue here though is that if OP is doing litigation, and I do not see what he can offer with that background to big4 accounting. They would much rather prefer lawyers with tax or corporate experience. Sure his UG was business, but business majors do not get to be associates.


OP here, thanks for the response Pokemon. That makes sense, although I'm aware that there is some advanced degree hiring that takes place apart from MBA hiring. If this is the case, what are they looking for in associates from these other advance degrees that aren't JDs?

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UnfrozenCaveman
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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:55 pm

Are we talking Big 4 Acct'g or are we talking top consulting firms like BCG, McKinsey, Bain?

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:00 pm

UnfrozenCaveman wrote:Are we talking Big 4 Acct'g or are we talking top consulting firms like BCG, McKinsey, Bain?


Big4, I don't think my credentials put me within range of the top consulting firms

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Pokemon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:OP, is working in midlaw so s/he will probably not get a huge paycut. If you are hired as an associate, your pay tends to be more than 100k in big4 consulting. The issue here though is that if OP is doing litigation, and I do not see what he can offer with that background to big4 accounting. They would much rather prefer lawyers with tax or corporate experience. Sure his UG was business, but business majors do not get to be associates.


OP here, thanks for the response Pokemon. That makes sense, although I'm aware that there is some advanced degree hiring that takes place apart from MBA hiring. If this is the case, what are they looking for in associates from these other advance degrees that aren't JDs?


My understanding is that by advanced degrees, they mean MBA, masters in accounting, quantitative or business-like PhDs/masters. For JDs, the best spot to fit in is either tax or advisory. At the end of the day though, if you lose nothing by applying, and if you are ok in working from a business-oriented perspective, go for it. Ps, my advise is not from personal experience, but from friends, so take it with grain of salt.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby bdubs » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:03 pm

Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the response Pokemon. That makes sense, although I'm aware that there is some advanced degree hiring that takes place apart from MBA hiring. If this is the case, what are they looking for in associates from these other advance degrees that aren't JDs?


My understanding is that by advanced degrees, they mean MBA, masters in accounting, quantitative or business-like PhDs/masters. For JDs, the best spot to fit in is either tax or advisory. At the end of the day though, if you lose nothing by applying, and if you are ok in working from a business-oriented perspective, go for it. Ps, my advise is not from personal experience, but from friends, so take it with grain of salt.


Consulting firms (including big 4) hire JDs, MDs, and PhDs through their other advanced degree recruiting, but usuaully without significant work experience. Your chances of getting an interview may be lower since you have been working in law for a while before trying to switch.

They usually hire in as an Associate. The firms really only recruit from certain law/med/doctoral programs though and in very small numbers (relative to MBA hiring). They want intelligent people with good credentials that will impress clients with how "smart" their team is.

Expect a much more intense set of interviews if you get one. I know McKinsey has non-traditional candidates take an aptitude test before they are even given a first round interview. Interviews will be case based and you really need to practice before going into them.

Good luck.

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:14 pm

bdubs wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the response Pokemon. That makes sense, although I'm aware that there is some advanced degree hiring that takes place apart from MBA hiring. If this is the case, what are they looking for in associates from these other advance degrees that aren't JDs?


My understanding is that by advanced degrees, they mean MBA, masters in accounting, quantitative or business-like PhDs/masters. For JDs, the best spot to fit in is either tax or advisory. At the end of the day though, if you lose nothing by applying, and if you are ok in working from a business-oriented perspective, go for it. Ps, my advise is not from personal experience, but from friends, so take it with grain of salt.


Consulting firms (including big 4) hire JDs, MDs, and PhDs through their other advanced degree recruiting, but usuaully without significant work experience. Your chances of getting an interview may be lower since you have been working in law for a while before trying to switch.

They usually hire in as an Associate. The firms really only recruit from certain law/med/doctoral programs though and in very small numbers (relative to MBA hiring). They want intelligent people with good credentials that will impress clients with how "smart" their team is.

Expect a much more intense set of interviews if you get one. I know McKinsey has non-traditional candidates take an aptitude test before they are even given a first round interview. Interviews will be case based and you really need to practice before going into them.

Good luck.


Thanks for the response, makes sense. How would you recommend trying to get interviews? Reach out to their campus recruiters? I know some consultants currently working for various Big4s but don't know how much sway they have since they've only been there for a few years.

bdubs
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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby bdubs » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the response, makes sense. How would you recommend trying to get interviews? Reach out to their campus recruiters? I know some consultants currently working for various Big4s but don't know how much sway they have since they've only been there for a few years.


Definitely reach out to people you know and have them submit something about you to HR, it will help with getting that first round interview. Also find someone from your law school that is working there now and reach out to them (if your contacts are from other schools/backgrounds). If they have a campus recruiter for your law school you can try reaching out to them too.

The consulting interview process usually involves having someone within the firm vouch for the fact that they either know you, or at least have met you, and that you are personable and presentable to clients. These recommendations come from the very lowest levels, but they are taken seriously (i.e. a bad note in your file can shoot you down).

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Re: JD --> Big4 Consulting

Postby crazycanuck » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:52 pm

bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the response, makes sense. How would you recommend trying to get interviews? Reach out to their campus recruiters? I know some consultants currently working for various Big4s but don't know how much sway they have since they've only been there for a few years.


Definitely reach out to people you know and have them submit something about you to HR, it will help with getting that first round interview. Also find someone from your law school that is working there now and reach out to them (if your contacts are from other schools/backgrounds). If they have a campus recruiter for your law school you can try reaching out to them too.

The consulting interview process usually involves having someone within the firm vouch for the fact that they either know you, or at least have met you, and that you are personable and presentable to clients. These recommendations come from the very lowest levels, but they are taken seriously (i.e. a bad note in your file can shoot you down).


Yep, this is so correct.

Lowest level people can really help you get the interview. Once you get to that stage you're on your own, but they can get you there.

I don't know a ton about the consulting hiring, but when I was in audit at a big 4, I was on the hiring committee. First we would look at the GPA to see if they had the minimum grade threshold, then we look at the staff feedback. If the GPA was decent and the staff feedback was positive, they would get placed in the recommend for interview pile. If the feedback was bad, they immediately got thrown out, regardless of GPA/other factors. One person who had fantastic grades and good extras was really rude to a summer student. Didn't get an interview because of it.

I always really recommend talking to the 1st/2nd years at the recruiting events more than the partners. The partners will meet hundreds of people and it's unlikely they will remember you. The 1st/2nd years will be lonely and will remember you and go to bat for you if they like you. In my last recruiting season there was a girl who at first wasn't selected for an interview, but a couple of 1st years had really liked her and emailed some partners who they knew well. The girl ended up getting an interview and an offer after that.




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