Law v. Consulting

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Anonymous User
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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:26 am

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?

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lhanvt13
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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby lhanvt13 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
lhanvt13 wrote:As for the first point, some of them have winter recruitment cycles


What's the time line like for that? This is for summer or for winter programs (I know some firms have winter associates).
Do you know which firms have this?

Thanks

pm me

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cookiejar1
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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby cookiejar1 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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?


I'm interested in this as well. Coming in as an engagement manager means coming into MBB with 2/3/4 years of experience at a law firm, right? I'd imagine that almost none of the developed law skill set is transferable. I don't see how this could be possible. There has to be an extremely high chance of just flaming out especially consider the other things you've posted about: MBA v. JD personality, project management skills, etc.

iliketurtles123
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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby iliketurtles123 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:11 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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?


I'm interested in this as well. Coming in as an engagement manager means coming into MBB with 2/3/4 years of experience at a law firm, right? I'd imagine that almost none of the developed law skill set is transferable. I don't see how this could be possible. There has to be an extremely high chance of just flaming out especially consider the other things you've posted about: MBA v. JD personality, project management skills, etc.


If I had to speculate, I'd say it's doubtful that a lawyer can go to MBB as anything above an associate. It's a completely different career. It's not the same as making you an associate instead of analyst at a bank or consulting firm straight out of law school. Most lawyers don't even know what deliverables are. Also, MBB's culling of the herd is there for a reason.. which is to keep top talent. People there can't even keep their job for 2 years. It is unreasonable to think that someone in a completely different profession can come in and obtain a higher level position with equivalent work experience in an unrelated career.

I don't know for sure but common sense tells me it's not possible (or highly unlikely)

WhirledWorld
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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby WhirledWorld » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:09 pm

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Last edited by WhirledWorld on Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

mickey_mouse
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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby mickey_mouse » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:14 pm

Thanks to everyone for the thread and input. There's also been a lot of good BigLaw v. Consulting and MBA v. JD talk on this thread the past few weeks:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=238993&hilit=voyager

Just wanted to put it out there for 0L/1Ls like myself debating career paths who hadn't seen it yet.

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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:27 pm

I am the previous anon. I did not work at MBB so I cannot comment on their recruitment process for experienced hires. However, I know that Deloitte hires JD/MBAs straight out of school at the senior consultant level (which is the level above associate, above consultant, and right below manager). I'm talking about K-JDs, not JD/MBAs with prior FT WE. Regular MBAs with 2-5 years of experience were hired at senior consultant. Non MBA/JD master's graduates (i.e., MA or MS) are typically hired at consultant level unless they have 3+ years of FT WE. The FT WE does not need to be consulting and rarely is.

At my firm (which was not Deloitte), HR had a specific table that listed out ranges of FT WE (e.g., 0, 2+, 5+) and the level that correlated with each. My impression was that the relevance/transferability of your prior work experience helped you get hired; then, the level you got hired at was based purely off the number of years you had worked.

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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am the previous anon. I did not work at MBB so I cannot comment on their recruitment process for experienced hires. However, I know that Deloitte hires JD/MBAs straight out of school at the senior consultant level (which is the level above associate, above consultant, and right below manager). I'm talking about K-JDs, not JD/MBAs with prior FT WE. Regular MBAs with 2-5 years of experience were hired at senior consultant. Non MBA/JD master's graduates (i.e., MA or MS) are typically hired at consultant level unless they have 3+ years of FT WE. The FT WE does not need to be consulting and rarely is.

At my firm (which was not Deloitte), HR had a specific table that listed out ranges of FT WE (e.g., 0, 2+, 5+) and the level that correlated with each. My impression was that the relevance/transferability of your prior work experience helped you get hired; then, the level you got hired at was based purely off the number of years you had worked.


Well, no V10 associates (especially ones at Cravath, S&C, etc.) should be looking at working as as a senior consultant at Deloitte. Really, no V30 associate should be looking for such a move.

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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:21 pm

Well, no V10 associates (especially ones at Cravath, S&C, etc.) should be looking at working as as a senior consultant at Deloitte.


That is correct. A V10 associate should not take the same job as a K-JD. They should aim higher. That is why I wanted to clear things up for people who thought it was reasonable for a biglaw associate to expect to enter MBB at the associate level. Fuck entering at associate. An engagement manager at McK makes the same salary as a 5th year V10 associate. Why would a V10 associate enter McK at anything lower than that?

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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Well, no V10 associates (especially ones at Cravath, S&C, etc.) should be looking at working as as a senior consultant at Deloitte.


That is correct. A V10 associate should not take the same job as a K-JD. They should aim higher. That is why I wanted to clear things up for people who thought it was reasonable for a biglaw associate to expect to enter MBB at the associate level. Fuck entering at associate. An engagement manager at McK makes the same salary as a 5th year V10 associate. Why would a V10 associate enter McK at anything lower than that?


Because they could not do the job. Engagement manager/Project Leader is, in many respects, the hardest role at at MBB. You must manage downwards and upwards and have the complete skillset (financial modeling, creating flow for deck, shaping thought process) to get in the weeds when the people below you screw up. An attorney not coming in with previous consulting experience would not be able to do this any more than a engagement manager would be able to jump in and do the work of a 5th year associate.

Experienced attorneys should and do enter at the same level that they would if they had come straight out law school. I know of two that started my year. Consulting is merely another path for those who were unhappy in BigLaw. So yes, in comparison, to a 5th year associate's salary, you would take a pay cut. But most exit options would be a pay cut.

And may I also say the this V10, V5 nonesense is given about 1% of the weight in the real world that it is given on this board.

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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:45 am

I'm sorry, but as I said earlier, if you don't have project management skills, you shouldn't be making the switch to consulting in the first place. Having worked in consulting, I think it (it being managing people and workflows) is something some people are born to do and can't really be learned.

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Re: Law v. Consulting

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:58 am

As someone who currently works at MBB, it is a mix of learned and innate. You can learn a great deal about how to manage and what the norms are by first working as a consultant, gradually gaining experience managing client teams and then managing your own team. Even if one has the innate ability, I think it would be difficult to jump in with 0 experience and understand norms, expectations, and best practices. Not to mention still having to grind out substantive work where people drop the ball.




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