Students go to law school to become lawyers. However, just like many other graduates, some end up working at different fields. One of which is management consulting.
Adam Hoff said that a recruiter once told him, “Management consulting firms love the way law students think, but they love what business school students know.” This line obviously implies that law graduates can be employed for consulting positions in firms like McKinsey, Bain and Booz, provided that they can prove they have the potential and interest to learn the nitty-gritty of business operations. Let’s elaborate this further by looking into four sections.
Management consultants are popular for possessing problem-solving, analytic, communication and other relevant consulting skills. More often than not, these have also been developed and practiced by students at law school. As they evaluate cases, they have to consider all angles of the story. They must be critical enough to come up with a fair, well-reasoned verdict. They must also have the ability to express their standpoint in words and in reports clearly. Their ultimate decision is what they deem appropriate with regard to the situation and the people involved, something very similar to consulting.
Lack of know-how on management principles is a factor that puts law graduates at a disadvantage. Unlike an MBA degree holder, law curriculum has less business subjects, and this may be a hindrance to resolving business cases. However, some firms, like McKinsey, have a mini-MBA program where hired law graduates learn finance, microeconomics and business strategies for three weeks. They contact professors from top business schools to handle the newly employed consultants during their training. Further, the experience in working with other management consultants in a supportive work culture is believed to expedite the process of learning.
Working with Numbers
Mathematical ability isn’t a requirement to get into law. In fact, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) only measures logical reasoning, reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and writing ability. Recruiters would be able to weed out law grad applicants who aren’t comfortable with numbers through management consulting tests or case interviews. Tests usually include in-depth numerical analysis and graphical interpretation and analysis of business scenario during case interviews usually involved mental math, so the proficient applicants can be easily spotted.
Law grad applicants will also undergo the same recruitment process as others. Hence, they must spend lot of time on mastering consulting frameworks. They may not have a hard time understanding the structure, but since the concepts are far different from typical law cases, they must spend more effort in familiarizing them. It is also encouraged that they apply the frameworks to as many business cases as they can for thorough practice.