Alternative Careers To Law Series: Introduction to Management Consulting and Crisis Management
After you graduate with a law degree, most people will assume that you will continue pursuing a career in law. Afterall, why waste the skills and knowledge you have accumulated only to do something completely unrelated?
But this misses the point that outside of developing knowledge of case law, legislation, legal concepts, and drafting essays, a law student develops skills that are easily transferable into other professions and industries. In the first part of this series, we take a look at management consulting and crisis management as careers outside the law where a law degree or even a legal qualification is particularly attractive to lawyers.
Management consulting is a highly sought-after profession that involves working with companies to solve complex business problems in a particular industry. They work with a range of clients, from startups to multinational corporations, and help them improve their performance, streamline their operations, and grow their businesses. Some operate as "troubleshooters," saving companies from near extinction and helping the business turn around before the circling creditors swoop in for the kill.
A career in management consulting typically requires strong analytical skills, strategic thinking, great commercial awareness and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Consultants must be able to analyse complex data, identify key trends and insights, and develop effective solutions to business problems. They must also be able to communicate their findings and recommendations clearly and effectively to clients and be able to build strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels of the organization. Sound familiar?
They should do if you're a lawyer as these are the same pre-requisite skills needed by employers hiring in the legal space.
To succeed in a career in management consulting, individuals should have a solid educational background, typically with a degree in business, economics, law or a related field. Many consulting firms also require experience working in a related industry, such as finance, marketing, or technology. For qualified lawyers, this may work to their advantage if they have moved on from a law firm to work as an in-house legal counsel and even better if they then transition into the business-side.
Additionally, successful consultants are often highly motivated, proactive, and able to work effectively in fast-paced, high-pressure environments.
Crisis management, on the other hand, is a field that involves managing and mitigating crises, such as natural disasters, cyber breaches, or reputational damage. Crisis managers are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to minimise the impact of crises on their clients' businesses and reputations.
A career in crisis management requires a unique set of skills and attributes. Crisis managers must be able to work calmly and effectively under pressure and make quick decisions in rapidly changing situations. They must also be able to communicate clearly and effectively with stakeholders, including clients, employees, and the media.
In addition to these skills, crisis managers must have a strong understanding of the industries and businesses they work with and be able to quickly assess risks and develop effective strategies to mitigate them. They must also be able to work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, from government officials to legal teams to public relations professionals.
To succeed in a career in crisis management, individuals should have a background in a related field, such as public relations, communications, or emergency management. They should also have experience working in high-pressure environments, and be able to remain calm and focused even in the face of uncertainty and chaos.
"Crisis managers must be able to work calmly and effectively under pressure"
Overall, both management consulting and crisis management are demanding and challenging professions that require a particular set of skills and attributes not too dissimilar to lawyers. Successful professionals in these fields are able to analyse complex data, think strategically, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively to manage complex problems and mitigate risks.