Management consulting involves working with private and public sector organizations to solve problems and implement new business strategies. As a consultant you will not be researching cases or writing briefs, but you will be using the analytical skills you have gained in law school to solve problems for clients. Consultants must have the ability to persuade and communicate, and law school will help you develop these skills.
Often times working behind the scenes, consulting firms offer resources that clients cannot provide themselves. One of these resources is typically expertise in the form of knowledge, experience, special skills, or creativity while another is time or personnel that the client cannot spare. Put simply, it is the consultant’s job to define what the organization’s problems are, develop a strategy to solve the problems and create a solution.
The consulting industry is made up of firms of all shapes and sizes. While you may have heard of the big names such as McKinsey & Company, Bain and Company, and Boston Consulting Group that are large, generalized firms, it is important to note that there are a multitude of smaller, boutique firms that may specialize in a particular area. Often, when entering the field, consultants begin in a generalist model and may eventually transition into a more specialized or niche area.
Consulting firms are much like law firms in that they use “summer associate” programs as a major recruiting tool. Typically, the recruiting season for summer positions (2L/3E) is early spring (though this is trending earlier and earlier) with recruiting for full-time positions (3L/4E) taking place in the fall. Most consulting firms do not hire 1L/2E for summer internships.