For a two-part series published in Law360, Co-Founder Mark Jungers provided insight into how attorneys can make the move from a Big Four accounting firm to a major law firm. In “Big Four to BigLaw: 4 Tips For Successfully Making The Leap” and “Big Four to BigLaw: 4 Tips for Easing the Transition,”Mark offered advice for attorneys thinking about transitioning.
Mark noted that one advantage Big Four attorneys have when looking for a new career path is specialized experience. “[An accounting firm attorney] has very specialized knowledge, and any large company in America would be interested in what he had to say,” Mark said. “A move for that type of guy or gal is a lot easier than for most people.”
However, attorneys new to law firm culture may find that high salaries are dependent on business development, which can be massively time consuming. “The life of a law firm partner with millions of dollars’ worth of business is hard,” explained Mark. “They’re constantly chasing work. They’re the kinds of people who cancel vacations or send their family on vacation and then show up for two days of it.”
Ultimately, Mark explained that opportunities at law firms are available, so long as attorneys can translate their experience. “If you’re going to move from an accounting firm to a law firm, your personal business plan is what you’re trading on, and that will have a lot to do with particular expertise that you have honed,” he said. “Obviously an expertise isn’t particularly relevant unless a law firm can sell it, and it’s ultimately about selling your services to clients.”