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Lawyer to B-School for a HR Role

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Joined: 12 Mar 2018
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Lawyer to B-School for a HR Role  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2018, 21:41
Hello,

Here's some background on myself. I went to a top 15 undergrad and graduated with a ~3.9. I then went to a T14 law school and got above median (3.3) but still pretty mediocre grades (3.5). Afterwards, I practiced at a big law firm in Chicago for 5 years doing Labor & Employment work. Currently, I've been told that I'm on track for partner in a few years. While I love practicing L&E, I want to switch directions and go into HR with the long-term goal of being a CHRO, SVP of HR, or CDO.

I'm curious about what you all think I should do. I haven't taken the GMAT yet, but my LSAT, ACT, and SAT were in the 97th-99th percentiles, so I'm fairly confident I can study up and do well. Both my undergrad and law school (Northwestern & Chicago) have great business schools nearby. I could theoretically do a part-time MBA program at either of them while still working at my firm. This would allow me to pay for tuition very easily without touching my savings. By the time I finish, I could potentially be up for at least income partner if not equity partner at my firm. At the same time, I'm worried that part-time MBA won't be received well and won't really propel my career beyond partner at a firm. The other option, of course, is that I could do a full-time program and apply broadly to the M7, hopefully get some scholarship money, and do that. A full-time program would signal a very clear shift in my career, but I'd basically give up on the possibility of partnership at my firm and have to drain some of my savings.

For more info, I currently make $280k/yr., and I'm anticipating an $80k bonus (these are market rates in big law as a 6th year associate). Based on L&E partners I talk to at my firm, I'd probably make $700k at an equity partner down the line. I'm a bit worried that even if I could go to a M7 MBA program and came out with a VP role that I'd be taking a huge compensation hit. I know SVP and CHROs can make a lot more than $360-700k, but I'm not sure what VP salaries look like in HR.

What do you all think I should do? Would it be a wiser decision to stay, try to make partner, and then if I make partner try to transition over to a senior HR role at a client/F500?

Thanks,

Mr Pink
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New post 13 Mar 2018, 20:38
If the decisions is about money then I don't think even coming out of an M7 program you will get anywhere near your salary in your first few years out. So it really depends on how important the money aspect is. It feels like going the PTMBA route is a better financial and career hedge for you
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Lawyer to B-School for a HR Role  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 22:31
MrPink wrote:
Hello,

Here's some background on myself. I went to a top 15 undergrad and graduated with a ~3.9. I then went to a T14 law school and got above median (3.3) but still pretty mediocre grades (3.5). Afterwards, I practiced at a big law firm in Chicago for 5 years doing Labor & Employment work. Currently, I've been told that I'm on track for partner in a few years. While I love practicing L&E, I want to switch directions and go into HR with the long-term goal of being a CHRO, SVP of HR, or CDO.

I'm curious about what you all think I should do. I haven't taken the GMAT yet, but my LSAT, ACT, and SAT were in the 97th-99th percentiles, so I'm fairly confident I can study up and do well. Both my undergrad and law school (Northwestern & Chicago) have great business schools nearby. I could theoretically do a part-time MBA program at either of them while still working at my firm. This would allow me to pay for tuition very easily without touching my savings. By the time I finish, I could potentially be up for at least income partner if not equity partner at my firm. At the same time, I'm worried that part-time MBA won't be received well and won't really propel my career beyond partner at a firm. The other option, of course, is that I could do a full-time program and apply broadly to the M7, hopefully get some scholarship money, and do that. A full-time program would signal a very clear shift in my career, but I'd basically give up on the possibility of partnership at my firm and have to drain some of my savings.

For more info, I currently make $280k/yr., and I'm anticipating an $80k bonus (these are market rates in big law as a 6th year associate). Based on L&E partners I talk to at my firm, I'd probably make $700k at an equity partner down the line. I'm a bit worried that even if I could go to a M7 MBA program and came out with a VP role that I'd be taking a huge compensation hit. I know SVP and CHROs can make a lot more than $360-700k, but I'm not sure what VP salaries look like in HR.

What do you all think I should do? Would it be a wiser decision to stay, try to make partner, and then if I make partner try to transition over to a senior HR role at a client/F500?

Thanks,

Mr Pink


MrPink,
Additionally,
the schools will also look at your reasons (very unusual) to switch (And they would not be the only ones).

Have you for instance, any real sufficient time experience to demonstrate a decent understanding of HR roles?
Even more important, have you had the reasons strong enough to take a cut of nearly 2/3 of your annual income (at least for the 1st year post MBA), assuming that you get hired (Most employers would think you would never have the drive, after such a massive cut in your comp.

Think again..

Happy to discuss your situation further on a one-on-one call.
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Lawyer to B-School for a HR Role &nbs [#permalink] 17 Mar 2018, 22:31
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