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Corporate law to consulting?

#1 Corporate law to consulting?
19/07/2011 12:25


Hi there,

I am a corporate lawyer (age 26), with nearly a year's post-qualification experience, at one of the top corporate departments in the country. I did an English Literature degree at Oxford. Didn't quite get a 1st but was very very close. Got an A at Maths GCSE and an A* in Physics and Chemistry; not done any numbers-based study since then.

However, I am looking for a career change, and am strongly considering consulting. The reasons for this are: I feel slightly trapped in law, which is a largely dogmatic career at my level, and want to work in a field where I can use more creativity/entrepreneurship; career progression at my current firm is limited (some of the partners are dinosaurs and, apparently, immortal); I have an eye, long-term, on starting up my own business and reckon consulting would be a great schooling for this.

Consulting seems to tick some of the above boxes.

However, there is a lot I don't know about the career:

1. Generally, how easy would it be for someone of my background experience to break into consulting? Do many lawyers (including corporate lawyers) convert to consulting?

2. What level would I start at? Associate? What would my salary start at, and how quickly would it go up?

3. What sectors of consulting is it possible to go into? I don't fully understand what options are open to me.

4. What firms are good firms to start with? Obviously I know the big names- McKinsey, Accenture, ADL, Bain. Bain appeals quite strongly, as I hear they are more "creative" and less "numeracy/spreadsheet" based. This may just be hearsay.

Your responses HUGELY appreciated!

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#2 RE: Corporate law to consulting?
19/07/2011 12:32

gumption123 to gumption123 (#1)

My current salary is 65k (going up to 69k in couple of months)

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#3 RE: Corporate law to consulting?
19/07/2011 13:26

Lilo to gumption123 (#1)

Hi there,

Corporate lawyer with a first degree in English Literature (and presumably one year conversion law qualification), age 26 - it will be pretty tough to brake it into top consultancies. It is possible, of course, and I've heard of few corporate lawyers switching to management consulting, but give it a few years. You are already of a certain age and with enough work experience that they won't take you on as analyst, but you are lacking extensive experience to qualify as associate. The fact that you don't have any numerate experience or numerate qualification doesn't help either, but you did study at Oxford, which certainly helps and if your corporate law experience is with Magic Circle firm, this will be looked on favorably.

Question is - why do you think management consulting will be more interesting? It is still long hours, repetitive work, not as creative as you may think, and the pay is less then in law firms. And it is less prestigious then being a corporate lawyer. If you don't like practicing law, however, why not try business development within a law firm?

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#4 RE: Corporate law to consulting?
19/07/2011 14:08

gumption123 to Lilo (#3)

Yes my experience is at a Magic Circle firm.

I am thinking about MC as I want to get more involved with businesses from a strategy, rather than a legal, perspective; probably with a view, ultimately, to setting up my own concern.

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#5 RE: Corporate law to consulting?
19/07/2011 14:08

gumption123 to gumption123 (#4)

And yes, my first degree was English literature; I then converted to law, and did the GDL and LPC; I have, since then, worked for 3 years at my current law firm.

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#6 RE: Corporate law to consulting?
31/01/2013 14:22

mconn119 to gumption123 (#5)

gumption123 - I am in a very similar situation to yourself in so far as I too am looking to leave large commercial law firm after two years to try to get in to consulting or something similar. My reasons for leaving are almost identical.

Would be very interested to find out how you have got since your last post.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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#7 RE: Corporate law to consulting?
31/01/2013 14:45

alexandermeerkat to mconn119 (#6)

I think if you really want to do your own business then management consulting doesn't really prepare you at all...

you'd be better off diving straight into something entrepreneurial

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