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Consulting vs Law - ££

#1 Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 12:50


How come junior lawyers earn so much more than consultants and yet partners at the big 4 earn the same as partners at top city law firms?

I assume it is because consulting is less profitable but partners have decided they do not want to be the ones to suffer because of this?

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#2 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 13:44

anon to None (#1)

Interesting question but on the whole even the partners at law firms earn more.

It's only the senior partners who earn the 500k+ at big 4 firms and they probably stat on about 200 or 250k. You don't need to be a partner to earn that in law.

On the downside law is even more boring than consulting, on the plus side it pays more and is an actual profession.

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#3 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 13:47

anon to None (#1)

Most consulting partners do not earn as much as partners at City law firms, certainly not the magic circle firms. Also, the pay of partners at the top law firms is seniority based on an old-fashioned partnership model, not bonus driven like consulting pay at senior levels. This means that the variance of partners' pay is narrower, and all partners make real money, unlike in consulting where partners on a losing streak may make little or no more than their base pay, which is frequently less than a senior employee in a top law firm.

PS when people say big 4 these days in a consulting context what do they mean? Do they include ACN etc, or do they mean the audit firms? Partners at the audit firms earn more than 'Senior Executives' at ACN etc, because they are still real partners rather than staff with a fancy job title.

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#4 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 14:29

Cynic to anon (#3)

Basically, it's down to market forces. To employ a junior level lawyer, you need somebody who is actually on the roll of solicitors (for which there are, shock horror, actual entry requirements). To be a junior level consultant, well... any old schmuck off the street can get the job, providing either a) their daddy knows the recruiting partner, b) they have nice t1ts, or c) insert any other whisical reason here.

At partner level however, regardless of whether you're in a law firm or consultancy, it's not enough to have nice t1ts or for your daddy to be best friends with the head of HR. You may be Anna Kournikova herself, but if you ain't pulling in the work, the other partners aren't gonna let you hang around for long. They already have enough 22 year-old grads showing their hemlines and giggling flirtatiously during interviews to keep them happy. Instead, you'll need to be able to bring in real cash - and that's a real skill which has the same market rate whether you're talking about legal services, consultancy, or anything else like that.

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#5 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 15:24

None to anon (#3)

I'm not sure pay is bonus based at some Big 4. For example, starting partner pay range at one big 4 is circa £275k - £350k depending on profit.

How can you spot the people who have the potential to bring on dosh early on? Or, how do you know if you will be one of them? Is it like the matrix, you are the one when you know you are the one?

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#6 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 15:27 to anon (#3)

I think Big 4 still = EY, KPMG, Deloitte, PWC and not Accenture so true partnerships.

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#7 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 16:27

anon to (#6)

I'm sure that's more than Accenture as i heard they start on 200k but not sure what it goes up to. Probably about 300 or 400k. Not really worth it to be honest but I'm still relatively junior there.

If I was doing my time again I'd go back to uni and do a law conversion, or dentistry or something.

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#8 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 16:36

Casio to anon (#7)

This is a heart warming read for those of us who studied law then bust a gut to escape into the 'exciting' world of consultancy.

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#9 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 17:35

none to Casio (#8)

Well at 25 i now feel too old to make the move, 2 years studying, 2 years to qualify. 29 and 62k. I should be on close to 75k by then - although according to rollonfriday i would be quickly over taken..

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#10 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 22:04

anon to none (#9)

None I'm exactly the same as you. Long term pay is much better in Law and it's a long term career unlike consulting where there are a lot of people who i've seen at management levels fed up with what their doing and unable to get a decent job doing anything else paying the same.

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#11 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
05/01/2009 22:12

Alex to anon (#10)

what ever happened to doing something you enjoy?

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#12 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 09:28

anon to Alex (#11)

Have you ever met anyone in consulting who does actually enjoy what they do?

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#13 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 09:38

anon to anon (#12)

I do...

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#14 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 15:39

Big Consultant to anon (#13)

I don't know why most love to bash consulting so much.

The whole thing that law makes far more than consulting (at partner level) appears to be fallacy.

Average earnings in the top 10 law firms is 1.1m.

I can only assume that senior partners in MBBB and the likes make close to this on average.

Average earnings in in 2nd tier law firms is 0.6m.

I will assume the average in the likes of Big 4, ACN, CapG etc for senior partners/VPs would be between 0.4m to 0.5m. Even as much as 0.7m in Deloitte.

So consulting is not that far off law in pay.

Point: Consulting is a high paying career for those that a rated well in comparison to most other industries. Probably only beaten by High Finance and Law industries. There are very few industries you would be on over 40 grand after 3 years of experience but this is the norm in Consulting.


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#15 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 16:19

CSWannabe to Big Consultant (#14)

Aldi pays more than £40k on day 1 and they give you an Aldi, i mean Audi A3.

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#16 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 20:21

anon to CSWannabe (#15)

The question is would you want to be there long enough to make that kind of money? There's only so long one can survive pimping out SAP projects and process engineering pap while enduring flawed up or out performance management processes before you become disheartened by it all.

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#17 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 20:52

anon to anon (#16)

I cannot understand why people assume that big4 are consultancy firms. They are accountants, not consultants.

If you take the earnings of partners in MBB, you will find there is no much difference with respect to law firms.

But please, it is really wrong to speak of Big4 as consultancy firms.

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#18 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
06/01/2009 22:56

Seriously to anon (#17)

Law versus Consulting? Law wins hands down especially on pay!

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#19 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
07/01/2009 11:33

anon to Seriously (#18)

Why does everyone on here always want to couch everything as 'X vs Consulting'.

It is straightforwardly true that average pay of City lawyers is higher than that of consultants, but this isn't 'consulting bashing'. Personally, I'd die of boredom if I tried to be a solicitor, and I make plenty of money in consulting, which can pay pretty well if you're a good performer (albeit it is not the most high paying career).

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#20 RE: Consulting vs Law - ££
07/01/2009 12:02

K to anon (#17)

Anon - It's not worng to speak of Big 4 as consultancies as they ALL now have Business Advisory Services which are Management Consultancies by any other name. The Partners in these areas are therefore Partners in a consultancy

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