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Is consulting for me?
August 25, 2011 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Management consulting for lawyers. Is there any path for early mid-career lawyers (5-10 years out) in management consulting? Is management consulting for me?

I'm thinking about a career shift. I really like to dive in to research and writing projects, but I like frequent change too, and while I need structure and deadlines, I also need independence. From what I know about it, management consulting might fit the bill.

Things I like to do at work: research, write, investigate, analyze/theorize, persuade/negotiate, work with or for really smart people, work under deadlines, work on small-scale projects (so that I can see success sooner & more concretely), make cold-calls to random interesting folks.

Things I don't like to do at work: go to meetings, deal with office politics, do "outreach" or "trainings", plan things involving a million details, work under a micromanager or in an overly consultative environment, work with technology, work on vague projects with no goals, not have control over the intellectual/strategic direction of my projects, be in an overly macho/male-dominated environment.

One deal-breaker here may be that I don't want to work excessively long hours -- I can deal with some weekends and regular 10 hour days, but more than say 50 or 55 hrs in a standard week would be too much. Occasional crunch-time (say once a quarter) would be ok, but then I'd have to drop back to normal hours.
posted by yarly to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Things I don't like to do at work: go to meetings, deal with office politics, do "outreach" or "trainings", plan things involving a million details, work under a micromanager or in an overly consultative environment, work with technology, work on vague projects with no goals, not have control over the intellectual/strategic direction of my projects, be in an overly macho/male-dominated environment.

Management consulting is not something you would enjoy, then. Other than the "work under a micromanager" part, that's practically the job description of a mid-career management consultant.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:33 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe a think tank? I agree that consulting is not probably not a good fit given your criteria. I have a number of friends in consulting and it sounds like a work hard, play hard nightmare. Booyah! and all that. Although you may find some smaller niche consulting gigs work. A friend of mine works in renewable/green energy consulting for a smaller firm, and that seems like a good gig.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2011


I felt the same way when I was a 7th year lawyer and solved the problem by moving to a smaller law firm in a part time, not partnership track position. So far, it's been all of the good stuff, with mostly none of the bad stuff. I mean, to me, the "things you like to do at work" list is exactly what I do all day, minus the cold calling.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:31 AM on August 25, 2011


Other than the "work under a micromanager" part, that's practically the job description of a mid-career management consultant.

Oh, then, you mean the McKinsey recruiting website is not being truthful when it goes on about how consultants spend all day thinking, feeling, and eating pie? Seriously, the way they describe it makes it sound like it (sort of) fits my likes.
posted by yarly at 11:23 AM on August 25, 2011


Hey Yarly,

Do you know any consultants? I am on the MGMT consulting track myself (but through an MBA) and have met a couple of lawyers that got into McKinsey the best way for you to go about this is to call them up and ask them for their experience. This will also serve you as your point of reference when you do apply to consulting firms.

If you dont like long term planning however please note that you may be out of luck. This is a vital link to management consulting.

Thanks,

AM.
posted by The1andonly at 11:31 AM on August 25, 2011


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