Life after Biglaw - MBA?

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MidW13
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Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby MidW13 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:41 pm

I am looking into options after a few years of biglaw. I will have 2 years of biglaw practice in the biz/corproate group. I'll be 28 and am considering options. Would an MBA at a high ranked school be helpful in terms of getting into the business world. I do have 2 business related UG degrees from a state school. Would this be something worth investigating? Does snyone have any experience with this potential route? Would MBA programs look favorably at a few years of legal practice?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:44 pm

Why would you do another two years of school to start at the bottom for two more years. Put in one more year at biglaw and go in house.

MidW13
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby MidW13 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:02 pm

In house? The point would be o get out of legal practice

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:07 pm

Oh, I misunderstood. Thought you just hated biglaw. Then yeah MBA it up.

MidW13
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby MidW13 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:08 pm

I would prefer business. My question is would it be worth it? Would it open doors? I have 2 UG degrees in business but I haven't seen to many people take the path of JD -> biglaw -> MBA. I am just exploring options.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Shaggier1 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:47 pm

Could try to go right into consulting. Save yourself the time and money an MBA requires.

Cogburn87
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Cogburn87 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:58 pm

MidW13 wrote:I would prefer business. My question is would it be worth it? Would it open doors? I have 2 UG degrees in business but I haven't seen to many people take the path of JD -> biglaw -> MBA. I am just exploring options.

Ellen Pao did this and she seems to have ended up OK

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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:19 pm

I've had friends from my firm leave law. After hearing their stories over the years and regret from some, I would really recommend trying out in-house for a year before applying to biz school. Worst case, you get an MBA a year late. Best case, you avoid 2 years of foregone income, starting at the bottom of a new career and paying $100K+ for school...and maybe still hating your career. I've got many friends with MBAs that hate their jobs in consulting, ibanking and management. I've also had friends get MBAs and really have to settle on jobs they did not want (despite going to a top school and getting good grades). It can be difficult to plot out your career and foresee where you will end up and what will make you happy. Better to try a slight change IMO than take such a big risk without trying an easy change first.

mvp99
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby mvp99 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:40 pm

why would consulting be any better?

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Shaggier1
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:20 pm

why would consulting be any better?


I have no reason to believe it would be. In fact, I'd bet its worse. But OP seems to want to move to business side and I could see that being a natural segue.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:33 am

mba admissions don't like lawyers. the work experience isnt valued (esp if not from a firm they dont know).

ruski
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby ruski » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:30 am

Old Gregg wrote:mba admissions don't like lawyers. the work experience isnt valued (esp if not from a firm they dont know).


you're kidding right? pretty sure they would love it. I also imagine you would clean up come recruiting cycle. your transactional work experience would basically make you an extremely appealing candidiate. better than all the other people who came from random careers. I knew a handful of people who have done this (albeit they are much older so this was a while ago) and they all have director status at various investment banks and other financial institutions. pretty sure it paid back dividends for these guys. just not everyone want to go back to school in their late twenties and tack on more debt but if you play your cards right this can be very successful

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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby FSK » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:33 am

Old Gregg wrote:mba admissions don't like lawyers. the work experience isnt valued (esp if not from a firm they dont know).


Not sure if we should trust someone who drinks so much Baileys.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:43 am

ruski wrote:
Old Gregg wrote:mba admissions don't like lawyers. the work experience isnt valued (esp if not from a firm they dont know).


you're kidding right? pretty sure they would love it. I also imagine you would clean up come recruiting cycle. your transactional work experience would basically make you an extremely appealing candidiate. better than all the other people who came from random careers. I knew a handful of people who have done this (albeit they are much older so this was a while ago) and they all have director status at various investment banks and other financial institutions. pretty sure it paid back dividends for these guys. just not everyone want to go back to school in their late twenties and tack on more debt but if you play your cards right this can be very successful


i like how you respond to this with nothing but intuition and some self-justifying rationale, when ive actually seen the results first hand. my gf just went through the MBA application cycle and we kept track of who got in and who didn't (and people always say what their work experience is because it's so important). the lawyers universally underperformed their numbers, and like 80% of them struck out.

but im glad you're "pretty sure" about these things for no other reason than that your head is up your ass.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:57 am

Sandy’s Analysis: Man, here is a stat I would like to know about JD’s at HBS: The number of already practicing lawyers admitted to HBS who have not attended Harvard or Yale Law School or worked for a GOLD PLATED law firm,

Here is another stat I would like to know: The number of practicing lawyers admitted with over five years of work experience as a lawyer.

The answer in both cases is small, real small. The number of MBA students at Harvard with over five years of work experience as a lawyer number could be real close to ZERO.

So you had that statistical headwind, they just don’t take random lawyers with that much practice experience in the first place.

That explains 99 percent of your ding. The other 1 percent is you are essentially applying as career changer, and goals do not build on prior experiences (enough, although you tried, see below), so you are then competing with many generic consultant wannabes, who are often cookie-cutter admits in terms of age, GPA, GMAT, prior experience, blue chip experience).


http://poetsandquants.com/2014/10/20/wh ... t-round/4/

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:57 am

some good sources on this:
Sandy’s Analysis: Hmmmm, HBS rarely takes practicing lawyers and when they do, those rare birds often had gone to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford law schools and were working for Gold Plated firms, the names of which currently I don’t know, but you do.

OK, I just looked up the “most prestigious law firms in the world” on The Vault (a good source of reliable snark like this) if anyone cares. Anyway, if you want a chance of getting into HBS from a firm, you probably have to work for a top ~10 on that list. Other practicing lawyers might get into HBS after federal clerkships but they also, in almost all cases, went to top three or at most top five law schools. Your top-14 law school, internships with Senator and U.S. Attorney, post-grad gig at state A.G. and regulatory gigs are not going to cut it.

That may be true at Wharton as well, which is more open to types like you, but at Wharton you are an acceptable reach, especially since your GPA (3.6) and GMAT (750) are real strong. MIT don’t go for types like you, as a rule, given that your concerns and vision, viz., “transition into public-sector or non-profit executive management, possibly in energy or financial regulation. . . .” is a head-scratcher over there. Well, not so much a head-scratcher as an eye-glazer. On the other hand, a 3.6 and 750 will always perk MIT up, no matter what you say you want to do, sooooooooooooooo, score MIT as another long shot.

At other schools you mention (Kellogg, Booth, Yale, Tuck and Cornell) you should get a fair hearing, since you are their type, well, one of their types (unhappy but hard-working 1950’s White Male, sailor, civic minded, athlete, not afraid to snuggle up with a pillow full of government regulations but would rather be working for McKinsey), and your stats are American Express Gold Card. I think you might be able to get into one of those places, with serviceable execution, and then break back into consulting. As an ex-lawyer myself, with some similar gigs, I both understand where you are coming from and wish you success in saving your life.


http://poetsandquants.com/2012/07/20/ca ... program/5/

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:59 am

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I’m impressed, especially with a clerkship for a federal appellate judge (how did you manage that from a non-Ivy law school? Was the Judge an alum?)

Why are you waiting until 2014? I would apply next year, during your third year at law firm. You are not getting more valuable to B-schools.

OK, brace yourself, here is bad news, HBS and Stanford admit lawyers but usually only lawyers from Harvard, Yale and Stanford. There may be exceptions but those exceptions are not white guys unless they work for Cravath or Skadden and even then . . . .

Non-lawyer types interested in Vault’s top-50 law firms can click here.

Wharton may be a bit more flexible. You note Kellogg as a B-school of interest. That could happen, given that everything else is solid, especially if you have regional contacts. You are a totally solid guy with a no-BS master’s in accounting and solid legal experience. If going to business school is really important to you, I would cast a wider net and include Columbia, Berkeley, NYU, Duke, and Darden.

You say that may consider online MBA programs such as UNC, IU Direct, Florida and Arizona State? Phew, not clear to me what the payoff of that would be, it would not help you get a job in investment banking or corporate strategy, although you might learn some worthwhile basics. I sure hope you are not planning to give up your legal day job to do that. Lawyers become investment bankers in cases by osmosis, I would look out for opportunities to work with bankers in your firm and do a great job.


http://poetsandquants.com/2013/02/01/wh ... ng-in-5/2/

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:00 am

i could post way more. but you can search this shit yourself. mountains of info.

FSK
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby FSK » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:11 am

Old Gregg wrote:i could post way more. but you can search this shit yourself. mountains of info.


To be fair, going to Non H/S M7s seems like a fine outcome. Not everyone has a good UGPA or ability to kill GMAT though.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:12 am

flawschoolkid wrote:
Old Gregg wrote:i could post way more. but you can search this shit yourself. mountains of info.


To be fair, going to Non H/S M7s seems like a fine outcome. Not everyone has a good UGPA or ability to kill GMAT though.


Getting into even an M7 is difficult (as noted above). below that and im not sure it's even worth it.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:11 am

flawschoolkid wrote:
Old Gregg wrote:mba admissions don't like lawyers. the work experience isnt valued (esp if not from a firm they dont know).


Not sure if we should trust someone who drinks so much Baileys.


does it make it better if its out of a shoe?

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JenDarby
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby JenDarby » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:46 am

I work at a bank and there are a handful of people who went from biglaw to business school and now are here. The more senior guys all seem happy enough. The junior guys though, that seems terrible. They did 3 years of school and then suffered through years of biglaw irrelevancy as expendable doc reviewers just to do 2 more years of school and be older than most of the other juniors and doing the business equivalent of doc review.

juzam_djinn
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby juzam_djinn » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:41 pm

Old Gregg wrote:
ruski wrote:
Old Gregg wrote:mba admissions don't like lawyers. the work experience isnt valued (esp if not from a firm they dont know).


you're kidding right? pretty sure they would love it. I also imagine you would clean up come recruiting cycle. your transactional work experience would basically make you an extremely appealing candidiate. better than all the other people who came from random careers. I knew a handful of people who have done this (albeit they are much older so this was a while ago) and they all have director status at various investment banks and other financial institutions. pretty sure it paid back dividends for these guys. just not everyone want to go back to school in their late twenties and tack on more debt but if you play your cards right this can be very successful


i like how you respond to this with nothing but intuition and some self-justifying rationale, when ive actually seen the results first hand. my gf just went through the MBA application cycle and we kept track of who got in and who didn't (and people always say what their work experience is because it's so important). the lawyers universally underperformed their numbers, and like 80% of them struck out.

but im glad you're "pretty sure" about these things for no other reason than that your head is up your ass.


Dang, touchy response. I agree that biglaw isn't the best WE for elite (read h/s/w) mba admissions, but there are several issues from your posts I'd like to point out. First, you call a guy out for talking out his ass, and then you proceed to use terms like "universally" and speak like you have authority on this issue when all you're noting is your gf's anecdotal experience w/ her own admissions cycle (you don't even have personal anecdotal experience, you had to rely on someone else's)...

Next, while Sandy Kreisberg has experience in b-school admissions, at the end of the day he's doing the same thing as everyone else on the "What are my chances?" forum is doing. He has no inside knowledge or sources from the admissions offices. He just sees applications (albeit a lot of them) from people who pay an arm and a leg for his counseling. Notice that, in all of his posts on the topic, he never claims to have worked with lots of JDs. All his talk on the subject is conjecture. And think about the substance of his posts. The one you quoted where he brings up the # of ex-lawyers at or admitted to HBS...he types "ZERO" in all caps as if to emphasize how it is near impossible for an ex-lawyer to be at HBS. The real stat he would need to know is how many ex-lawyers apply to HBS in the first place. It's certainly much much lower than the # of non-lawyers that apply.

TLDR: Don't let Sandy's negativity affect your decision to apply to b-school as an ex-lawyer. Of course, don't treat biglaw experience as if it's going to open doors in b-school admissions either.

FSK
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby FSK » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:50 pm

I've read a lot of that guy's posts, and it seems like he think non-traditional applicants need a really compelling story to do well in B-School apps (on top of proper qualifications). It just seems like alot of JD's going for MBAs don't have a compelling story. I'm sure you could have one - but it likely isn't going to end with "and that's why I want to come to your school to go through recruiting for MBB/IBanking." I feel like thats what alot of JDs would want.

JackDaniels^
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Re: Life after Biglaw - MBA?

Postby JackDaniels^ » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:37 am

i like how you respond to this with nothing but intuition and some self-justifying rationale, when ive actually seen the results first hand. my gf just went through the MBA application cycle and we kept track of who got in and who didn't (and people always say what their work experience is because it's so important). the lawyers universally underperformed their numbers, and like 80% of them struck out.


And the acceptance rate at top schools is generally <20%, so if 80% of them struck out, they are not underperforming their numbers. One of the reasons why lawyers generally face an uphill battle is because AdComs assume they lack quant skills. You seem anecdotal evidence for this. Another reason is that lawyers often do not need an MBA for their stated career goals. You can make a switch from BigLaw to Banking or Consulting without an MBA degree (which is essentially over $500,000 in opportunity costs over these two years for somebody in BigLaw), and you can barely make a switch from BigLaw to PE / HF, regardless of whether you get your MBA degree.

Ask yourself, do you really need your MBA. $500,000 is a lot of money.




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