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Bates White Economic Consulting
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Vault’s Verdict

Year after year, the responses we see to our survey from Bates White insiders underline that, for economic consultants, there may be no better place to work. From consistent praise for the firm’s work-life balance policies to the caliber of projects that consultants get to work on, there appear to be very few drawbacks to life at Bates White.

Interestingly, for a firm that operates on the cutting edge of economic analysis, there are a few decidedly old-school components to how Bates White sources its employees—not least the internal importance placed upon an applicant’s cover letter. Those considering applying should know that a stock letter (think “insert company name here”) is very unlikely to fly: this is a firm that takes its culture seriously, and wants to know not just that its candidates are qualified, but that they specifically want to work for Bates White—and why.

That kind of attention to detail is a hallmark of the firm from top to bottom, and hints at a culture where those who are willing to go the extra mile will fit in nicely. If that sounds like you, then a carefully crafted letter may well be in your future!

Firm Culture

  • “A fantastic place to start your career. Interesting analytical work with bright people and outstanding mentorship!”
  • “Bates White has a reputation as a shop with hardworking individuals that have integrity in their analysis, which is not only rigorous, but also unpersuaded by client interference.”
  • “If you want a good work-life balance while learning cutting edge economic and data concepts working in complex legal industry cases, this is the right place for you.”
  • “The work environment is free of competition. Everyone is very collaborative and willing to help individuals at any level of the firm.”
  • “You will grow more in three years at Bates White than you did during your entire undergraduate experience. You will learn valuable technical skills and broaden your professional acumen.”

Quality of Life

  • “Although the hours worked are on the lower end for the consulting industry, the hours per week fluctuate. There are some periods where employees will find themselves working over 50 or 60 hours for multiple weeks. Firm management does a mixed quality job at allowing folks to take lower hour work weeks after busy periods. The firm largely recognizes the difficulty of long work hours, giving us fairly decent expense policies to improve quality of life during these times. There are minimal travel requirements, and when cases are not running busy, there is great flexibility in taking time off.”
  • “Bates White generally requires staff to work a decent number of hours a week (45); however, the hours requirement increases around report deadlines (as expected). Even during these periods, management is good at allowing staff to still take time to live their life.”
  • “Despite working in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment, Bates White does an admirable job at encouraging and facilitating work-life balance, including through broad dissemination of best practices in managing engagements and the pace of the work to limit the typical ‘deadline crunch’ or unnecessary late-night/weekend work. Very flexible in terms of hours off; highly respectful of vacation plans and personal obligations.”
  • “The firm expects very reasonable hours and has a generous time off policy. In general, people are always understanding and flexible - this creates a relaxed environment in which people are trusted to do their work without unnecessary supervision and rules.”
  • “We often talk at Bates White about getting downtime after working on a busy project. I found this to be true before I became a manager. It is more difficult to get downtime when others depend on you to provide next steps and review their work. However, our staffing committee does closely monitor utilization and will try to provide additional resources to busy projects.” 

Compensation

  • “As a mid-size firm, we are not large enough to have our own childcare though we offer emergency support and backup care.”
  • “Bates White has a very competitive salary which grows significantly as you progress through your career. Bates White offers very generous health care and PTO.”
  • “Complete pay transparency at each level ensures that compensation is equitable—you make exactly the same amount as people at your current level. Multiple rounds of feedback and published benchmarks for each level ensure that promotion is fair and transparent as well. Some competitors may pay slightly more, but also demand higher hours.”
  • “Opportunity for increased pay is relatively clear and obvious with equal pay for all employees at the same level.”

Career Development

  • “At more senior levels (Principal and Partner), employees are asked to write a dossier addressing why they should be promoted, what it is they do well, and what it is they can improve upon. These documents are helpful to the extent that it clearly establishes the basis for expectations between the employee and senior leadership of the firm.”
  • “Bates White does a wonderful job at training its employees. The firm does not require its employees to have a background knowledge in any specific topic, but rather gives trainings and extensive mentor support on any skill an employee might need on their work. This creates a uniform opportunity for people with different backgrounds to develop and advance in their careers.”
  • “Our onboarding and mentoring programs for employees in their first several years are wonderful. The experienced staff who serve as sponsors are dedicated, thoughtful, and helpful and are able to train new colleagues into very successful consultants and economists.”
  • “There is a lot of informal mentoring by partners that happens on a regular, almost daily basis. They always take the time to teach.”
  • Transfer is based upon staffing needs across the firm, usually takes 6mo-1year to formally switch practice areas; however, there is a lot of cross-practice staffing that allows for people to gain experience without formally transferring.”

Community Engagement

  • “Bates White has a wide range of diversity networks and is very inclusive and encouraging of diversity.” 
  • “Bates White's diversity networks host numerous firm-wide events throughout the year, ranging from educational panels to food-based activities. Employees are all given access to challenging, intellectually stimulating opportunities to learn.”
  • “BW has put together a D&I task force that has reviewed and revised our programs related to hiring and promotion. During the recruiting process, we have put a lot more emphasis on reaching out to colleges with more women and racial minorities. BW also has many groups that celebrate diversity including the Women's network, D&I counsel, BWProud, and the International Network.”
  • Otherwise, there are various employee interest groups organized around these issues (e.g., D-I council, Women's Network, BWProud for LGBTQ+ support, and International Network for international colleagues). These are supported by the firm (e.g., with time, money, other resources) and participation in events is highly encouraged.
  • “Various committees are involved in organizing awareness events and dialogues to listen from everyone. The management are very accessible about these issues. Open and transparent about policies and changes in policies over time.”

Business Outlook

  • “As the firm continues to take more work than it can comfortably handle, lateral hiring and onboarding is increasingly important. If not done correctly, the quality of work could diminish, and morale could lessen as hours increase and the firm isn't as stable.”
  • “Bates White has been growing consistently for the last decade and especially so in the last few years. Compensation structure changes have increased employee morale and retention. Firm leadership is responsive to employee concerns.”
  • “Strong diversification among business practices; fungibility of staff ensures that resources can be reallocated from one practice (or partner or projects) to another, as demand changes in different practice areas. Strong cohort of testifiers at all levels, including those who are just beginning their testifying careers. Great relationships and reputations with many repeat clients (mainly large national law firms, as well as public sector clients).”
  • “The firm appears to be well-positioned to succeed. It attracts intelligent individuals and works them to create high-quality products. Economic consulting is especially strong in DC, so I have no doubts about the firm's ability to continue expanding.”
  • “Way more work than we can actually handle. We are aggressively hiring. Business is good (sometimes too good) relative to our current personnel.”

Hiring Process

  • “Bates White is seeking bright, analytical, and friendly people for the firm. The work we do is focused on data and how we can understand and analyze it to make strong conclusions. Naturally curious, intelligent people who are able to work well in teams would make great hires!”
  • “First round interview followed by a ‘fly back’. Candidates have a quantitative aptitude, are familiar with economic consulting, and demonstrate that they want to go into economic consulting.”
  • “My first-round interview consisted of 15 minutes of behavioral questions and a 30-minute case interview. My second round was a [4-hour] day of a mix of behavioral and case interviews. I received an acceptance phone call about two weeks after the second-round interview. The firm is seeking applicants with strong data analysis skills and the ability to solve new problems. It is also important to be organized and task-oriented, though the interview process did not assess these skills as much as the former.”
  • “Our hiring process is primarily conducted through the summer internship program.”
  • “We first review cover letters and resumes, then offer candidates a first-round interview. This is primarily a case interview, but it includes a behavioral portion. The second-round interview includes a longer case interview and multiple behavioral interviews. Applications have a chance to talk to everyone from Consultants to Partners in this process. I think we are looking for people who can show evidence of analytic reasoning, but also people who can add to our culture, which we value highly.”

Interview Questions

  • “A typical question might revolve around a basic antitrust question like tying or bundling. The situation is outlined, and along the way the interviewee is asked to do basic math and answer conceptual questions.”
  • “Case interviews involve often an antitrust or life sciences case, which require applicants to use knowledge of economic theory. The behavioral interview includes questions like ‘why Bates White?' and ‘Why economic consulting?’.” 
  • “The interview process includes a mix of behavioral/situational questions (e.g., what would you do if you faced a particular situation we face daily in our jobs, tell us about a project that you worked on in the past) and case questions. The cases are based on work we see in different practice areas (e.g., impact of a proposed merger, how to allocate loss to insurance policies). In the case, we ask a mix of brainstorming questions, calculation questions, and discussion questions that tie the calculations back to the case concepts and evaluate how a candidate interprets results. 
  • “Typical mergers review case (economic concepts, calculations), asking about analytical experience, asking about how they would respond in difficult situations.”
  • “What are some supply and demand factors that may affect the price of a cellphone?
    What trend(s) do you observe in the table? Based on the price trend, what should prices be in 2009 and 2010?”
Bates White Economic Consulting

2001 K Street, NW
North Building, Suite 500
Washington, D.C., DC 20006
Phone: (202) 408-6110

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Charley Bates
Managing Partner: Scott Weishaar
Chief Operations Officer: Page Imperial
2024 Employees (All Locations): 330

Major Office Locations

Washington, DC

Major Departments & Practices

  • Antitrust Litigation & Competition
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Life Sciences
  • Mass Torts