UK Career change through graduate recruitment?


#1

Hi,

I am a recently qualified lawyer and am keen to change profession and join a cunsultancy firm. I graduated from University in 1999 and have since worked as a paralegal and then as an articled clerk.

Can anyone tell me whether the consultancy firms would still consider me for their graduate recruitment programmes even though my graduation was some time ago.

Thanks for the advice.


#2

Hey LMG,

Welcome to the site! …I know that there is a lot of potential for cross over between law, IB, Accounting and Consulting. I have read a lot of opinion on hiring “older”/“experienced” applicants for graduate roles within top city firms and overall, I am under the impression that firms absolutely love this.

Think about things from a consulting firm’s perspective. They could hire a 21 year old graduate with no experience working for a commerical firm and no life experience, or they could hire you, a qualified lawyer with years of experience and associated knowledge.

As long as you can demonstrate why you want to change over from law to consulting and that you are dedicated to consulting, you should do very well. ut you MUST be able to demonstrate this, and really prove to a firm that you are dedicated to consulting and have wanted to do this for a long time.

You must also convince interviewers that you are prepared to take the associated pay cut and workload increase of a graduate level job.

The best thing to do is to call HR at the consulting firms you want to work for. I’m sure they’ll all tell you to apply if this is something you really want to do.

Can I ask why you are dissatisfied with law, and why you want to make this change?

Good luck!!

Ed


#3

Thanks for the reply Ed - it was very helpful.

I am returning to work after a few months away due to family reasons. During my time away I have been able to take a serious look at my career and job satisfaction. I feel that law does not really fit my personality as I am very much a peoples’ person and find the conservative nature of law to be quite restrictive. Something I should perhaps have realised a bit sooner but I am still young enough to make a move if I do so now.

Thanks again for your time and advice.

LMG


#4

Yeah I agree with ed, I think law is a good (and unique) background to entering consulting. People go into grad schemes at all ages; if you’d have done a PhD you’d be 26 or 27 before getting any real world experience at all! I think you’re in a good position, but you must make it clear why you are making the switch and that you fully understand that consulting can have its own downsides and you will not just quit if you find the experience challenging (and challenging it is!).

With consulting there will be a lot more work involving financial and accounts; you are unlikely to be able to work in a legal role unless you are qualified or willing to working as a paralegal.


#5

Thanks Chrism. I’ll be sure to include my motivation and determination to stick with consulting in my covering letter.


#6

just tailor your cv to consulting stuff you have done so far as a lawyer. I think much of what lawyers do is about consulting their clients. what i want to say is that you know how to work with the client. You just need the right training on the field you are about to enter as a consultant. Good luck!


#7

Interesting point London Bloke but I’m not sure I agree with it completely. It sounds like LMG is dissatisfied with Law and wants to work in Consulting because it’s less conservative, more creative and more sociable.

Rather than explain to recruiters how LMG’s law career has been similar to consulting, I’d argue it’s better for him to tell the truth - that he’s not satisfied with Law, he acknowledges consulting is very different from law and that after careful consideration and research he is 100% sure consulting is the industry he wants to work in.

However the commerical experience that LMG has gained in law will be worth discussing in applications and interviews. Does this make sense?

Ed


#8

I think I could do a combination of both. Set out the experience I have had consulting with clients and offering them advice, while at the same time, highlight the fact that some of the more regular and mundane lawyerly duties are stifling and too routine.

Thanks again for the input guys.


#9

Redsuperted, thanks for your comments on the post and sorry for not being clear in my previous post.

what i was trying to say is that. the way lawyers scratch their head is the same as consultants do. Both look for a good solution and do more research on the issue and find solutions. Both involve client facing role. Both are definitely different career paths though. To be consultant or lawyer, a person has to be broad minded and confident. I think LMG is OK there.

I would not say that he should mention about “not satisfied” because it is a negative point in a career change to say. Furthermore, he has been in law/soliciting for 7 years and it would not make sense to say that law is not for him. cuz if it is not for him, he would have changed to a different route a long ago let’s say after 1 or 2 years of his career path in law. Rather, say he is ready to take a challenging job now to do. He likes creativeness and working with numbers and doing research is something he is able and ready to do and etc.

anyway, keep us posted about your progress.


#10

I see what you’re saying. I think LMG is correct to say that we are both right to an extent, but he needs to adapt the stronger points of both of our arguments to form a killer application/interview angle.

It could be perceived as negative is LMG says he is disatisfied with Law, but I do think he might have to do this. He has just qualified as a Lawyer, which means he has a lot of potential ahead for challenges, work and money, but instead of this, he wants to downgrade financially and also in terms of status because he really wants to work in consulting. Any interviewer with any sense will suss he’s had enough of Law - my advice is that this is ok, as long as he can really support his argument for wanting to do consulting.

I think it’s good you’ve actually qualified LMG. The fact you have, means that you can say you “wanted to complete your chosen path” and that you “always want to achieve what you’ve set out to do” before giving up. This shows you are determined to be sucessful and see things through, despite dissatisfaction, which is a good quality.

A lot to think about. A lot of different ways to promote yourself. However you choose to present yourself at interview, you certainly have a lot to talk about.

Ed