Skip to Main Content
Coherent Economics, LLC logo

Coherent Economics, LLC

 Save

Vault’s Verdict

Coherent Economics offers a dynamic working environment that will appeal to proactive and intellectually agile individuals. The firm's approach to individual client cases is notably tailored, ensuring unique solutions rather than one-size-fits-all strategies. However, this comes with high expectations and demanding workloads during deadlines, presenting occasional work-life balance issues for insiders.

The firm offers competitive compensation and clear pathways for career advancement, backed by a transparent and equitable system. Indeed, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is baked into the firm’s values—and reflected in its hiring practices, which include blind resume reviews. 

According to insiders, the firm seems set to maintain its recent strength growth for the foreseeable future—a trend that is both welcome and the cause for a little trepidation by those tasked with smoothing out the inevitable growing pains that lie ahead. All told, however, this is an emerging challenger brand in the econ and litigation space that is well worth checking out for those with a yen for this corner of the industry.

Firm Culture

“Coherent Economics is an excellent fit for early and mid-career professionals. In addition to providing a supportive environment and flexible work hours, the company actively fosters our industry knowledge, offers insights into ongoing operations and progress, and enhances our business development skills.”

“If you are proactive, demonstrate critical thinking skills, and work hard, the sky is the limit here. But we have high expectations and if you are looking for an easy job, this isn't it.”

“Our flexibility sets us apart from other economic consulting firms. We do a very good job of evaluating every case individually. We don't create plans based on what we have done or seen before, we create plans based on the best path forward for clients.”

“The flat organizational framework enables employees of all levels to make substantial contributions to the client's work product.”

“The management has gone to great lengths to ensure that the organization functions as one entity, engaging in-office and remote workers a ross all of the firm’s locations to work together and contribute to each other’s success.”

Quality of Life

“Best: Coherent seems to abide by their values. Especially enjoy the teamwork, opportunities to take on responsibility, and there is room to grow from challenges and mistakes. Periods of intense work are often balanced out by periods of more relaxed work.”

Worst: Work can be intense but that is the nature of the work.”

“Coherent is dedicated to creating a flexible work environment for all employees.  The executive team emphasizes that each member take ownership of their work and meet client deadlines while giving autonomy as to where and when that work is conducted.”

“Litigation consulting can be a bit of a lifestyle commitment, because we work for demanding clients under court-imposed deadlines on ‘bet-the-company’ cases. As such, work-life balance needs to be evaluated over a period of time, not at any given point in time. With that backdrop, I think Coherent does an excellent job of managing the inevitable conflicts that arise between client and employee needs. There is a give-and-take approach that gets to the best possible outcomes for our people over the flow of a given year. Travel is generally very light and chargeability targets are very reasonable.”

“The best aspect is that the firm offers opportunities for flexible schedules and work locations, which helps employees effectively manage their work and home obligations. The management is highly attuned to external demands at various stages of employees’ lives and strives to create a culture in which people are able to balance all of their obligations and, as a consequence, focus and perform better at work.”

“Very flexible work environment. The firm does well to promote work-life balance by providing flexible hours within reason and time off.”

Compensation

“At higher levels it is clearly defined and definitively formulaic.”

“Coherent annually studies market trends to ensure it offers highly competitive compensation packages at every level.  Coherent has the right mix of salary, bonus, and incentive compensation to attract and retain the best possible talent.”

“I think entry-level positions start out with a very competitive salary. Within three months, all employees get access to a 401k plan that includes profit sharing, which is a great perk.”

“The best aspect is that, in addition to financial compensation, the firm provides extremely valuable benefits like coworking spaces for remote work. A downside is no matching 401k contributions, but there is a profit sharing plan that does supplement individual contributions.”

“The Company's compensation package includes competitive base pay, performance-based bonuses, profit-sharing and comprehensive benefits. However, salary progression is slow, and the methodology for establishing the base compensation structure lacks transparency. The company's profit-sharing percentage, in relation to base compensation, is notably more conservative compared to competitors. Additionally, the processing time for profit-sharing contributions tends to be lengthier, whereas some other companies offer quicker matching contributions.”

Career Development

“Best: The firm consistently demonstrates that it wants to see each employee succeed and achieve their professional goals by providing resources and support. Senior management facilitates growth opportunities and encourages employees to take on new challenges.

Worst: The firm provides limited training resources for employees who achieve promotions at senior levels.”

“Coherent Economics actively fosters both professional and personal development. We are provided with opportunities to take ownership of significant projects and actively participate in client interactions. The company is extremely supportive when it comes to external training programs that can enhance your professional skills.

The company operates with a single promotion cycle, which sets the expectation that promotions will occur only at specific times, regardless of exceptional performance throughout the year.”

“I would say the best aspects would probably be being surrounded and learning from very smart, accomplished people. Really love the firm culture as it feels like a tight knit group despite several locations.”

“Plenty of training opportunities and have option to choose the type of cases you want to be involved in.”

“The best feature is the ability to work with a variety of Senior Managing Directors when you would like to try other areas.  I also think that the development of junior staff is the highest priority within the firm.”

Community Engagement

“At our company, employees with varying levels of education receive equal compensation, promoting a culture of fairness and equal opportunity for all team members.”

“Coherent is actively rolling out its policy concerning DEI to ensure that it is at the forefront of inclusive policies.  These include sophisticated methods for removing bias from the interview process and creating a warm, supportive culture.”

“I think that the company could do a better job of hiring women in entry-level positions. However, the relatively low proportion of women in entry-level positions is primarily because men are more drawn to the industry then women, at least in my estimation. However, the amount of women in leadership roles within the company shows that women have an equal opportunity to advance within the company as men. Overall, I feel that the company does a good job of ensuring all people regardless of race or gender are treated fairly.”

“The firm provides a very inclusive environment and values diversity. The management recently expanded and updated the firm’s official DE&I policy, which outlines past, current, and future efforts to continue to nurture a diverse employee base. I feel that all consultants have equal access to interesting work and are staffed and promoted based on their abilities, rather than on their identity.”

“Within the firm, everyone seems to be valued and respected equally. I’m not sure about outside efforts or how it is baked into the hiring process.”

Business Outlook

“As the firm continues to expand its talent pool, it is in an excellent position, consistently attracting high-profile cases and delivering consistently high-quality work.”

“Best: There is a steady flow of cases that keep the entire staff billable, which I do not anticipate will slow down in the near future.  The firm is also continuing to gain recognition in the industry.

Worst: Too many cases can lead to diminishing marginal returns and employee burnout.”

“It's hard to be innovative in litigation consulting.  In fact, it can even be penalized by courts, which prize peer-reviewed methods.  That stated, Coherent has developed an enviable workplace culture, which I believe is innovative. When your assets have feet and go down the elevator every night, it’s the culture that brings them back.  Coherent lives its culture. Coherent's culture guides managerial decisions, performance reviews, employee engagement, and our approach to client service. 

Coherent is well-positioned to grow and excel within the litigation consulting industry. Its talent pool is among the best in the industry, its processes and procedures generate outstanding results, and it has an attractive culture, all of which should lead to continued growth and success.”

“Our company seems to be growing fast and have had some great success stories we can use to attract clients.”

“The firm has succeeded at growing the last few years and has proven it can achieve milestones toward its strategic plan.  Future growth feels imminent.  The firm is increasingly competitive in high stakes, complex litigation and continues to build market share and reputation within the industry.”

Hiring Process

“Coherent does blind resume reviews and focuses on finding the best talent for the job.  We do a forced ranking system of candidates, based upon objective measures, over two rounds of interviews.”

“I think that we try to give as many applicants interviews as possible. We want to systematically collect as much information on every applicant as we can so we can make an informed decision on who to hire. We look for candidates who have experience doing some sort of research, ideally in an academic setting. We also look for candidates with an economic or finance background who are good at working with messy datasets.”

“Our interview process is straightforward and expedient. After application screening, there are two rounds of interviews: a first round interview and an onsite visit. These happen within a couple of weeks of each other. The hiring decisions are made after the onsite visits and communicated to the applicants quickly. We are looking for candidates who have a strong foundational knowledge of economic analysis and data skills, and who live by our core values.”

“The firm and its leadership have made a substantial commitment to the recruitment process. Resumes are meticulously reviewed with personal details, including names, redacted, and the company ensures that all candidates are assessed by at least two individuals at every stage to uphold fairness and inclusivity.”

“The firm redacts identifiable information from resumes (name, address, etc.) so that there is a blind review process for interviews.  A recruiting team (comprised mostly of analysts and mid-level members) reviews each of the resumes and ranks them based on objective, preset criteria to determine how well the candidates may fit at Coherent.  All first-round interviews are conducted with two interviewers who follow a script.  Candidates also must complete a series of case study questions and those results are reviewed blind with top scores tabulated.  The strongest candidates are then brought in for second round interviews, where the focus is on fit, culture, values, and an understanding of the work.  In the event of a ‘tie-breaker,’ Coherent will give offers to individuals who are members of historically underrepresented groups in our industry (women, ethnic minorities, etc.).”

Interview Questions

“(1) Please explain what a regression is.

(2) Please explain in either words or math the concept of elasticity of demand.

(3) Please describe one of the main methods for valuing a firm and discuss how it can be applied to value a firm.”

“In response to increasing gridlock, the city of Chicago is considering implementing congestion pricing in Chicago’s Loop. (Congestion pricing is a toll that varies by time of day or density of traffic). What questions would you ask about this strategy? What are the pros and cons of such a strategy from an economic perspective? Who will benefit and who will suffer from this strategy?”

“The question that stands out the most from when I was interviewed was when I was asked to apply economic principles to an extremely non-traditional economics problem. The interviewers made sure I understood economics concepts and could apply them in ways I had not before.”

“Think of something complex that you know a lot about and explain it to us in simple terms.”

"Tell us a time when you had to balance between two important and interfering obligations.”

Coherent Economics, LLC

1 N. LaSalle Street
Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60602

Firm Stats

Founder & Chairman: Alan Frankel
President: Laurel Van Allen
Chief Operating Officer: Zach Frankel
2023 Employees (All Locations): 38

Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL
Austin, TX
College Station, TX
Houston, TX

Major Departments & Practices

  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Class Action
  • Securities & Financial Markets
  • Corporate Finance and Valuation
  • Damages
  • Financial Institutions & Payment Systems
  • Financial Technology
  • FinTech and Cryptocurrency
  • Health Economics
  • Bankruptcy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment
  • Accounting & Tax
  • Corporate Governance
  • Public Policy
  • International Arbitration
  • International Energy