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NERA Economic Consulting


Vault’s Verdict

One of the best-known firms in the niche in the economic and litigation consulting space, NERA is a firm with lots to offer any consultant with an eye on becoming an expert witness. Training, compensation and work-life balance are all excellent, while career progression opportunities—although slow—are there for those willing to make a long-term commitment to the firm.

On a day-to-day basis, the firm offers an academic, collegial culture, with limited travel—meaning consultants spend most nights at home and have a degree of control over their lives not seen in other corners of the industry.

If economic analysis is your thing—and the idea of becoming an expert witness is appealing—this may be the firm you’ve been looking for.

Firm Culture

“Collaborative culture in the office is exceptional. People feel motivated to help each other rather than cutthroat competition.”

“It is an intellectually challenging and engaging firm. The people are kind and nice. It's a great place to work and to make friends. The leadership at the firm are extremely smart and leaders in the field. It's a great place if someone is interested to learn something new every day.”

“NERA has clearly made equal commitments to the quality/rigor of their work and the well-being of its employees.”

“The human capital at NERA is without a doubt its competitive advantage. They put a lot of effort and resources into hiring the right people, rather than employing a ‘weed-out’ system that may be common at larger firms. The in-house experts are also extremely knowledgeable and care a lot about helping younger staff members develop their skills. At other firms, experts may be retained on a case-to-case basis to produce output for a client, whereas at NERA the experts are also committed to improving the processes that happen upstream, including helping their teams develop their own skills.

“Unlike other economic consulting firms who retain outside academics as expert witnesses, NERA's internal promotion process grows its own staff into capable economic experts ready for the courts, which makes internal coordination easier and staff eager to be promoted.”

Quality of Life

“As with all consulting jobs, the hours somewhat depend on the projects you're staffed to--if your projects have impending deadlines, you'll likely be working longer hours, but you might have more free time if you're waiting on client input. In my experience, managers tend to be pretty good about previewing when they anticipate after-hours and weekend work will be necessary. The job requires very occasional travel at the entry level, usually for training purposes. I find that it is usually pretty easy to take time off.”

“Difficult to take time off based on project deadlines. Compensation not high enough to justify the sacrifices to work-life balance, especially compared to other industries.”

“Firm's culture is very welcoming and supportive, there is no competitive culture that I feel so far. Supervisors are also very nice and provide the materials and resources that you need for any project. Work-life balance has been good, I had a few weeks of a lot of hours but that followed with a few weeks of minimal hours. I don't have much client interaction but I am okay with that now given I am entry-level.”

“NERA has an amazing culture that facilitates learning among everyone, both on the junior and the senior level. There is no hierarchy when it comes to communication and as a junior staff I feel very at ease at work and protected from bad working hours. The office organizes outings and activities that enrich my free time and help me engage with the community. The quality of life is great.”

“On a per-hour basis, NERA's compensation tops nearly all other opportunities I've become aware of, which is largely because of the freedom outside of work we are granted. Aside from a handful of busy weeks around deadlines, supervisors are generally very understanding of boundaries.”


“I received a decent salary with decent benefits as an entry-level candidate. I believe there is salary progression every year. I think the best perk is the free food in the office that we get every morning. The education reimbursement could be more robust though.”

“I think the salary progression is strong, clear cut and easy to understand. The bonus structure on the other hand has little clarity, and such understanding may be appreciated. In general, many of the perks like insurance, 401k matching and the employee stock plan are all nice. There are not a ton of smaller, fun, unusual perks though.”

“Other economic consulting firms with similar rankings and sizes pay more for the entry level positions. A lot of usual corporate benefits such as transportation and gym reimbursement are missing.”

“The worst part of our compensation package is the benefit for gym memberships. There are a selection of gyms that we get a small Marsh McLennan discount at, but there are many other large employers in NYC that offer significantly better packages.”

“Very good pay and sign-on bonus for a recent college graduate. 401K matching is generous. To my knowledge, pay equality is standard among new hires.”

Career Development

“Comprehensive and reliable cross-checking process in work on projects. Great prospects for pursuit of higher education or branching out to other careers.”

“Great training modules to develop a variety of skills ranging from corporate finance to coding.”

“I think there are plenty of opportunities for growth within the company--lots of opportunities to develop skills working on projects and completing training. I think there could be more opportunities for mentorship and coaching to help younger members of the firm understand what skills they have and what skills it would be helpful to develop to continue progressing in your career. I feel that the promotion process is fair towards people from all backgrounds.”

“NERA offers many training opportunities to entry level/ mid-level hires. It is, however, sometimes difficult to find the time to attend the trainings due to the workload. Your ability to participate in some aspects of career development will be variable and subject to how much the seniors on your cases intentionally make time to allow for trainings.” 

“Promotion is relatively rapid and there are constant opportunities for training and professional development. The job also allows for client interaction very early. The only downside to the career development is that without a Masters or PHD there is a glass ceiling about 4 years in.”

Community Engagement

“I find that there is a good mix of men and women at the firm. I have less insight into diversity in other groups.”

“I have no exposure to my firm's D&I efforts regarding individuals with disabilities or military veterans (outside of D&I trainings). I absolutely feel that all consultants at my firm have equal access to opportunities.”

“It seems that consultants have opportunity to work on interesting projects and advance, regardless of background. The company has a good degree of diversity, especially with regards to country of origin.”

“NERA is very successful with gender diversity, and with some aspects of ethnicity/ nationality. For example, we do have a large number of international employees. However, it is jarring to realize the almost total lack of Black employees at NERA, aside from in roles such as IT. NERA needs to work a lot on both making the work environment feel like a safe and welcoming environment for people of color, and in actively recruiting people with diverse experiences. Having everyone at the firm look and think relatively the same does not promote progress. “

“The workplace is not particularly diverse, though there is plenty of opportunity for women at this firm. All employees have equal access to work opportunities.”

Business Outlook

“Connection with litigation means business outlook strongly unaffected by economic cycles.”

“I think employee morale is strong. There is not much interaction with senior management, but I feel we are well positioned.”

“Our firm's leadership is often stuck in an outdated mindset of work, especially related to work from home and work culture. Pushing people to be in the office more—despite the far higher levels of productivity associated with WFH and people's clear and often-stated preference for it—is not a way to retain employees. NERA operates on the labor of lots of young researchers, and our leadership needs to recognize the new realities and demands of this labor force in order to retain people, rather than complaining about young people being disloyal or lazy for leaving an environment with poor work-life balance.”

“Somewhat recession-insulated. Low employee morale and retention are worrying. Needs to keep up with industry in use of project management technology etc.”

“This firm is the best at what it does and shows no signs of that changing, in my opinion. There is plenty of new and interesting work for the firm to become involved in.”

Hiring Process

“First round is mostly personality questions. Then if you make it to the final round there is a full day of interviews with employees as multiple levels, asking about case study questions, your research, and personality questions.”

“I believe the ideal candidate my firm is seeking is well rounded in the sense that they are not only technically skilled but also very personable. A lot of stress is put into hiring individuals that are enjoyable to be around, supportive, and motivated.”

“I think the interview process is quite reasonable, generally consisting of five or six 30-minute interviews over two rounds. The ideal candidate changes somewhat between practices but generally they are looking for detail-oriented candidates who have a strong quantitative background.”

“Interview process differs by practice area and team, but in my experience (for entry level roles) includes a primary interview to vet basic qualities about your experience and ability to be a good fit at the firm. Assuming you get past the first interview, you will have an interview day with 5 back-to-back 30-minute interviews with members of the team that is interested in hiring you. I believe my team looks for people with sharp analytical skills and strong problem-solving skills. Having experience in a coding program like Stata/ Python is definitely a plus in terms of showing your ability to learn, but not a must if you can show that you are teachable. We also look for ability to work well as part of a team. Humility and ability to communicate well go a long way.”

“They were very responsive and constantly kept me updated. I believe they are not looking for only a qualified candidate but one that fits the work culture. Also, I believe they know that entry-level candidates are still learning and a perfect response to every economic question is not a deal-breaker.”

Interview Questions

“Calculating economic values such as elasticity of demand. What coding / statistical software do you use and why? Math problems. Questions about your research work. Your academic interests.”

"Choose a complex economic topic you are familiar with and explain it to a non-economist.”

“During the interview process, my interviewers put a lot of stress on attention to detail and the ability to organize my work in an effective way. They also cared a lot about the underlying knowledge I had in the field of economics and asked me lots of questions about both quantitative and qualitative projects I have worked on. There is also a large focus on teamwork ability.”

“The economy is in a recession. What factors might you consider and when forecasting what will happen to the price of gasoline?”

“Typically our interviews are behavioral and center around skills learned through coursework, projects, and prior job experience such as data analysis, data visualization, coding, teamwork, and writing.”

NERA Economic Consulting

1166 Avenue of the Americas
24th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 345-3000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Subsidiary
Stock Symbol: MMC
Stock Exchange: NYSE
President: Dr. Lawrence Wu
Chief Operating Officer: Sandra Ringelstetter Ennis

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
25+ offices in 14 countries

Major Departments & Practices

  • Antitrust and Competition
  • Auctions
  • Bankruptcy and Financial Distress Litigation
  • Communications, Media, and Internet
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Infrastructure
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Arbitration
  • Labor and Employment
  • Life Sciences
  • Mass Torts and Product Liability
  • Securities and Finance
  • Transfer Pricing
  • White Collar, Investigations, and Enforcement