Anonymous User wrote:To clear up some misinformation in this thread: I worked at a V10 consulting firm pre-law school and I worked about 1/3 of weekends (I calculated this using the company's time & expense software before I quit). By "worked weekends" I mean that I was required to be in the office on a Saturday and/or Sunday for at least 6 hours per day. We would be told on Friday whether weekend work was required. This meant that travelers wouldn't go home many weekends. I am still a law student so I have no clue whether this level of weekend work is better or worse than biglaw.
The other thing is that consulting is HUGELY variable - even within one firm. I had friends in the firm (who were staffed with different clients than I was) who worked 9-5PM M-F and never traveled. I had friends who traveled M-T and worked 8-6, friends who traveled M-Saturday and worked 8-11PM, friends who traveled one week and didn't travel the next, etc. etc. There is simply NO way to predict what boat you will be in.
BTW, don't think you will escape billable hours. I had to bill time in 15 minute increments.
Associate churn at MBB shouldn't really scare you. You will constantly be recruited by other consulting firms and by companies if you work at a consulting firm. Trust me, if you have even 6 months at MBB on your resume, you will never be unemployed in your life.
2 things that haven't yet been mentioned that I think are important to consider:
1) Project management is a huge part of being a consultant. My understanding is that biglaw associates do almost none of this. Everything thinks they want to manage people and workflows but in reality it is NOT as fun or glamorous as it sounds. Keeping track of people, deliverables, and reports over the course of a months-long client engagement is like herding cats. Being a successful biglaw associate takes organizational and tracking skills, of course, in the sense that you have to stay on top of your assignments, but it's nowhere close to consulting.
2) If you are currently at a biglaw firm, do not accept an associate level position at MBB. You should at the very least be hired at consultant, if not manager. The reason I say this is that advancement at a consulting firm is hard, so it would help if you got hired at an advanced level rather than coming in low and having to work your way up. It takes a lot of networking and people skills to advance in consulting - I'm sure you are great, but generally biglaw folks can't compete with consulting folks at this stuff. (Compare the average law student personality to the average MBA personality.) You're going to be at a disadvantage because you'll be competing with people for promotions who have come up through the consulting firm, whereas you'll be an outsider struggling to catch up.
How do V5 associates go about joining MBB as engagement managers? My understanding is that V5 associates do not work with MBB consultants. Is the process usually informal networking?