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Tricksy Woo
Posted - 05 March 2018 08:31
Would I do it again? Yes. I like law and it seems to like me. I genuinely like complex legal issues, strategy, negotiating etc. Contract drafting: not so much. I like writing advice though and policy drafting is ok.
Worst aspects? You have to shovel the sh1t a loooong time before you actually get to the good parts where you are accountable, set the strategy, can be 'creative' in applying the law (in-house) etc. I didn't like how at the beginning I'd do all the grunt work and others passed it off as their own.

Also: I had not realised when I started in PP that once you go down that route it is very hard to get out. You'll always be the 'lawyer'. Working in law makes you think a certain way and if it turns out you're more a commercial or consultancy or creative type, it'll be very hard to move over and you should ideally get out shortly after qualifying in a 'been there, done that, got the t-shirt etc' kind of way.

And finally: the pay is good, but if your goal is to get rich, better start your own business, go into trading or marry a rich woman.
CaptainSwing_jdjh
Posted - 05 March 2018 08:33
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There is a nice solidarity about the legal profession, which other people working in different areas don't seem to have

Consultancy seems more useful

If your job is not MBB or Big 4, you need to think carefully about your exit options in industry, though
Coracle Lolling
Posted - 05 March 2018 08:33
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D
N
I
W

You might have got away if you hadn’t said you wanted to do corporate law for the intellectual rigour.
Dogwarden
Posted - 05 March 2018 08:43
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fvck no....
Merkz
Posted - 05 March 2018 08:57
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no way would I do corporate law again, but I might consider a niche advisory specialism doing something technically fiddly but dull

the worst aspect of a legal career is the utter fvckknuckles you have to interact with every day
Ash89
Posted - 05 March 2018 09:05
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You can always go back to law. My training supervisor was on her third career when she went into law. Laz has gone out and back in again.

Relax, ffs.
Dybala
Posted - 05 March 2018 10:18
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I've done both. They're both shyt tbh. As a long term career law is probably marginally the better of the two, and it's certainly easier to make really good money in law. However as a young player your best option tbh is to stick with consultancy a few years and then get a proper job with a bricks-and-mortar business.
pancake humper
Posted - 05 March 2018 10:34
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If it's a decent strategy type place then consultancy every time. The money is excellent, and when you get tired of the travel (as most do) you'll have your pick of the interesting jobs in different industries - banking, PE, corporate strategy/senior operations type roles in industry.

If it's big 4 style management consultancy then definitely law. You can definitely make a successful career there and move into industry, but that kittens looks terrible to me.
zazzi
Posted - 05 March 2018 10:42
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Don't make the mistake - I was a corporate lawyer in magic circle, law is really crap. It only becomes interesting once you're GC or some such thing where you're just setting the commercial boundaries and getting others to do the work.

I would never recommend anyone to do law - its not financially, intellectually or for any other reason a good career.
zazzi
Posted - 05 March 2018 10:47
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There is no intellectual rigour for a junior-mid level lawyer in private practice - in house isn't "intellectualy" rigorous but because its reasonable hours/comfortable, it matters less.
zazzi
Posted - 05 March 2018 10:52
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*snowflake*
Posted - 05 March 2018 10:49 Report as offensive Report Offensive
It really depends where you work and what you are doing.

Of course there are exceptions - advisory law being one of them. I just believe transactional law sux.
Dybala
Posted - 05 March 2018 11:02
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I really fucking hate law, which is why I'm getting out while I still have the time to get to the top in something else.
battleguy
Posted - 05 March 2018 11:42
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* Most only see unbroken legal experience so it is not necessarily a CV detriment
* but the vast majority come straight from university

* if often only makes sense to go from university as you have to wait 2 years for the TC to start and have to take further study. The older and further into your career the more money that costs you. When you are straight out of uni, you are putting off the real world for a while and an entry level grunt work job paying little for year 1.

* most who go into US and MC firms have rich parents. Everyone does it for the money and because they don't know what else to do, but it's not uncommon for people to live with their parents doing the LPC in London or have had their parents buy them a flat. And to have their parents finance them travelling for a year. At 24+ without rich parents you probably aren't going to live at home, you'll be renting and will have living expenses the law firm grants barely help with

*snowflake works in the civil service. Review her posts in context with zazzi. Clearly she is very happy but most people in the civil service are. She probably earns 50-60k which isn't that bad when you factor that income tax erodes more and more of your income as you earn in excess of that. At 50k shell earn 40k after tax and someone on twice her income on 100k will earn 65k net. 25k is still a lot but he person doing that job will be working twelve hour days, dealing with a lot if stress and will have to spend more money just to deal with life.
*Most juniors and trainees I know buy expensive Pret style lunches everyday, often just to eat it at their desk, they rent very close to work because they have to and that expensive. If you live in Shoreditch or anywhere near by to cope with the hours better, you'll be spending a lot more than someone in the civil service who has the flexibility to work from home very often and rent wherever.
* Attrition in private practice is high and there might be a 20-30% turnover of associates every year in some places. Some people get nice GC roles, others don't.
battleguy
Posted - 05 March 2018 11:49
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aren't you Anna? The Anna who was famous for being a civil servant?
Hodge
Posted - 05 March 2018 12:08
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Snowflake - At the MC even seats in those support departments which do the more intellectually rigorous stuff are fought hard for, never mind NQ jobs. They're Corporate and/or Finance firms, that's where they need the bodies and where you're very likely to wind up.

OP - Depends how much you like the detail stuff that comes with being a lawyer. In terms of how clients/colleagues on-house treat you, the best way I can describe it is that people respect your view and generally follow it, but they don't particularly like having to do it because you're making deals harder. If you're naturally more commercial, you'll find it difficult.
trumptonia
Posted - 05 March 2018 12:17
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I think the OP is going to have to do what everyone else does in the circs - suck it and see. There are no guarantees in the corporate world, wherever you start.
Dybala
Posted - 05 March 2018 12:34
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The Civil Service will do anything it can to frustrate and stymie Brexit, and it will succeed.

A number of high profile Bullxiteers are going to end up serving natural life terms for treason.
battleguy
Posted - 05 March 2018 12:46
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With the greatest respect to the above posters who are of course brilliant, lovely people, appreciate the irony of an unemployed ex barrister, an ex civil servant and one of the most undecided MC associates in the city providing advice to this boy about a career in PP law.
trumptonia
Posted - 05 March 2018 12:48
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Heh
Dybala
Posted - 05 March 2018 12:59
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I am perfectly well qualified to give the advice, precisely because of what you claim makes me unqualified.

In short you're an idiot.
Misshoolie
Posted - 05 March 2018 13:10
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If I was 21-24 again would I still pursue a career in law - yes

Can I have a do over on other aspects of life pls
Merkz
Posted - 05 March 2018 13:30
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turbheh at the idea that embittered trustafarian Swing is brilliant or lovely

and tbf Laz is pretty much uniquely qualified on here to talk about it he relative merits of careers in MC law and consulting
battleguy
Posted - 05 March 2018 14:02
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Laz is an unreliable narrator who changes his mind every year. He makes threads and posts claiming to be on a new career in sports journalism or politics and then admits it is just a wind up. He also was in pure strategy, not where the OP is. Also he is too busy to say much more than "law is shyte" rather than bullet pointing what it is he does (and did) to the OP who knows nothing about law/consulting really and from that why it is "shyte".
Dybala
Posted - 05 March 2018 14:03
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Nope, sorry m88

I'm a recognised expert on the subject, anbd you're a tool.
consultantx
Posted - 05 March 2018 14:15
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If I were 21-24 again, I am not sure I would pursue a career in law. I would think a huge amount more clearly about what I wanted to do and not panic and accept the first thing that came along (a TC at a silver circle firm - they were giving them out like hot cakes 20 years ago).

I'm not saying that I definitely wouldn't do it - but you've got a fantastic opportunity in management consulting. It's a great basis for basically anything when you get some years of experience under your belt. If for some weird reason you do still have a hankering for law a few years down the line, then you won't have burnt any bridges at all. In fact, you'll probably be at a massive advantage given your consulting experience.

I'd go for it. Also, stop making the mistake of projecting forward on what you 'will' feel in the future - how do you know that what attracts you now to consultancy will end up driving you away? Don't count yourself out of a potentially great career before you've even started.
rb1994
Posted - 05 March 2018 14:24
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Thanks for the advice all. The role is a mixture of management/ strategy work. It’s probably in the rug below MBB.

I feel like my hesitant is particularly because I have no experience of consulting so it’s a complete shot in the dark. Whereas, I feel like I know what to expect from a career in law to an extent

I think a training contract at a top firm would definitely appeal more but obviously you can’t wait around forever for that..
Capt Haddock
Posted - 05 March 2018 14:36
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you are putting the wrong age bracket when asking whether one would do law again. At 21 and if one is already doing law (in Uni and straight into a TC) they have no clue what life is outside law.

Pose the question for the age bracket 31-34. Some years under the belt with the possibility of doing something different.
Parsnip
Posted - 05 March 2018 14:43
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OP - "but just missed out on the TCs"

how do you know that this was a close run thing
if you had interviews and vac schemes its likely that you missed by quite a bit
torontochicken
Posted - 05 March 2018 15:12
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I’ve done both too and consulting is way more transferable (both in terms of being able to travel and in terms of exit options).

That said - why not just continue applying for TCs? Just don’t put the grad consultancy job on your cv. I wouldn’t turn down a definite job that starts shortly for the crapshoot of potentially getting a tc that starts in 2 years time.

To answer the exam question - I would go into law if I had my time again, but I got a GC first time round. I wouldn’t give up other options to wait around for a TC.
battleguy
Posted - 05 March 2018 18:15
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"In most roles that pay as much you really need to perform and shine"

Nah, you just have to have a strong capacity for bullshyte in interviews. Once you're in, it's just situational judgment and you can turn your brain off. Having lots of meetings to make yourself feel more important/get opinions from a wider group. Checking in with weekly calls. Adjusting priorities. Creating and reviewing metrics, looking at risk registers and checking in on milestones and challenging people for not meeting them. Training people up. Listening to people and being encouraging.
rb1994
Posted - 05 March 2018 18:22
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@Lincoln Burrows/Parnsip - You're right, I'm probably stretching it with the 'just' but the tangible feedback was that they were unsure of my long-term commitment to commercial law. I said something verrrrry stupid in my exit interview. I have a few assessment centres coming up and I've learnt to think before I speak.On paper, I would consider myself to be competitive enough to be in the running for most firms.

regarding your fifth point on intellectual rigor, I guess it's relative but if you look at the jobs that the vast majority of graduates end up in, I would consider law as intellectually stretching. The current job that I'm doing in banking is monotonous and requires next to no intellectual depth. I get that law may not be rocket science but wouldn't many people consider it as an 'intellectual' job?

@Torontochicken - to be fair, this is exactly my plan. The graduate role starts in September, and even if i were able to secure a TC this cycle from one of my upcoming interviews, it probably wouldn't start until 2020. If I don't secure anything in the next few months, I think I'd be at the point of calling it a day. That would give me time to try out consultancy and decide whether it's for me. I'm obviously just thinking that mentally it would not be ideal to start a job with an eye on leaving to a completely different field from day one.

- Also, if I decide to stop applying for TCs - I could quit my current job soonish and go travelling/do something fun before Sept. If I decide to keep applying for TCs, I'd have to stick around all summer.

@consultantx - great advice, thanks. I'd be the first to admit that my pining after law is fairly irrational but I think it's just because I had always had it in my mind for the past 5 years! I think I'm taking too long-term a view of my future in the sense that I feel like whatever I do now, I'll be doing in 10 years and law fits that bill more than consulting. (I know this is not a great way of thinking!)

@snowflake - long term, I would quite like to work in sub-Saharan Africa and law seems like a great avenue for this.

Thanks to you all, very insightful advice!
Obadiah Hakeswill
Posted - 05 March 2018 18:57
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Not a chance. I would do something interesting and/or better paid with a better work life balance.
☠ Rufus Youngblood
Posted - 05 March 2018 19:51
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I had always thought I wanted to go to somewhere like BCG - I can't remember if I actually applied, but I don't regret going into law to start with (there having been few graduate positions advertised for 747 Captains or double-O agents). I've had a well-paid, sometimes interesting job, with generally bright and usually decent colleagues. I've also had a bit of travel and exposure to fairly significant world events.

What I do regret is I didn't start thinking strategically about exit options a lot earlier. I'm not desperate to get out, but I'm now probably considered not quite as fresh and malleable for some of the things that appeal -possibly in government or an international organisation. Ironically, it's experience and maturity which to my mind would make me suited to something different.

In hindsight - and both with the wisdom of Rof and actually knowing a few who did it, I certainly don't regret not going into consulting. Very ordinary pay at the junior level, hours at least comparable to pre-crisis in an MC finance practice, Creosean riches for the partners but much fewer chances of joining their ranks, all the travel but it becomes a grinding routine to often uninteresting places and no time to enjoy it (a mate commuted weekly to Joburg ffs but the firm didn't consider actually giving him a weekend down there to get out of town and see something). Of course that's just a second hand impression.

And heh at talking about support departments. At some of the MC firms, corporate is a support department...
Massive fuckwit
Posted - 05 March 2018 21:03
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"My question here is really if you were 21-24 again, would you pursue a career in law?"

If I knew then what I know now then nothing on earth could induce me to a career in law or a white collar professional services job of any kind.

There are vast numbers of jobs that pay better and offer more intellectually stimulating environments with less dislikeable colleagues and more rewarding work.
☠ Rufus Youngblood
Posted - 05 March 2018 21:39
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As for the arsehole colleagues point...

There are arseholes everywhere and certainly plenty in law. And maybe I've been lucky but I've not worked closely with any genuine arseholes and I learned to deal with those peripheral ones I couldn't avoid.

You also have a share of the bullied or socially awkward kids who now find themselves in positions of power and don't manage it that well. Likewise stress can make people unpleasant. Again, you learn to deal with it. More common are actually the very well intended somewhat oddbods who wouldn't say to a goose and who might be difficult at times but not out of malevolence. Perhaps that's a bit more the case in my area of finance rather than in a broader banking or corporate team where there may be more dick swinging.

I think it is probably a lot more collegiate than other workplaces and - perhaps I'm lucky - with less back stabbing and bitchiness than might be expected. I've always worked in places where there has been a genuine team atmosphere. Some bullshit can occur with the lawyers on the other side but often it's fairly constructive unless you're facing a chippy associate from a kittens firm who's desperate to show that he can be tough with the big boys. That's in my area at least.

Aside from those fairly few natural born arseholes, I would nominate the 1-2PQE male associate as my cliche of the most unpleasant person in a firm, from the position of a baby lawyer. Still sucking down the coolaid, an ego the size of a house mixed with a bit of knowledge but still really having not much idea and often being acutely aware of it, and the right to Lord it over his juniors. But those guys either get a reality check and usually revert to being human beings, or leave.

Don't get me started on management. Divorced from any personal relationship with staff (which is one thing that helps force partners not to be complete khunts) obsessed with PEP at all costs and weilding - at least at my place - extraordinary power.

And of course my impressions don't apply to the partnership's internal politics. The viciousness, greed, egos and vendettas can be legendary. But then, someone I know moved from top to small mid-tier partnership and said the calibre of his fellow partners was similar and suddenly he was working with genuinely nice people.

Of course the alternative could be - like spotting the idiot in the room - that I am the arsehole...
rb1994
Posted - 06 March 2018 08:03
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@massivefuckwit - any examples of jobs in that bracket?
rb1994
Posted - 06 March 2018 08:12
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Also, very interesting post Rufus..
Capt Haddock
Posted - 06 March 2018 08:22
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for all the abuse that laz gets, I think he can add a bit or three here as helpful guidance.
pfoforlife
Posted - 07 March 2018 08:12
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I would take your consulting job and run with it.

count yourself lucky that you didn't make the mistake of getting lost in paralegal purgatory like many law grads