Charles River Associates
3.3 of 5 71 reviews
crai.com Boston, MA 500 to 999 Employees

Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 71 reviews

                             

54% Approve of the CEO

Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh

Paul Maleh

(26 ratings)

63% of employees recommend this company to a friend
71 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good experience, good work/life balance, good people"
    in 7 reviews
  • "Learn a lot about large commercial litigation and how to prepare an expert report"
    in 5 reviews
Cons:
  • "Not a large enough investment in developing junior staff skills"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Senior management has tried to build team environment but they are as guilty of the bonus driven culture as anyone"
    in 8 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

 

Associate - finance and competition practices

Associate (Former Employee)
Boston, MA

I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat people and exposure to high profile experts and cases.

ConsNot much growth without grad degree.

Advice to Senior ManagementOffer graduate school sponsorship.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Comfortable place to work, not too exciting

Consulting Associate (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than a year

ProsJob security, benefits, work from home culture, basically anything to do with having a family

ConsPersonal growth, bonus, glass ceiling for non phd's

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate an MBA track

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Intern

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Charles River Associates

ProsMy manager was helpful and friendly.

ConsTypical office atmosphere; not much going on besides work interactions.

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  • Culture & Values
         
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Mediocre experience.

Associate (Former Employee)

I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than a year

ProsAs a large consulting firm, CRA benefits from economies of scale -- they get big (read: major) economic litigation cases. The firm also has very good (but not outstanding) resources in terms of access to data, journals, newspapers, etc. There are many quality experts working for this firm. Compared to other consulting firms, the academic integrity of the work produced is generally very favorable.

ConsCRA, however, gives its analysts and associates menial work such as reading depositions and case documents for months on end. This wouldn't be quite as bad if the work weren't advertised very differently during recruiting. CRA advertises that it encourages (and expects) analysts and associates to do substantial econometric modeling and data work in support of its cases. Very little of this was realized for me. I entered CRA with 3 years of professional programming and econometric experience and performed minimal econometrics and little programming during my tenure.

CRA's upper management, at least in my office, consistently mismanaged projects and the time of junior staff. No matter the attempts at planning, our projects were persistently understaffed and behind schedule. However, with fixed (frequently court-imposed) deadlines, this makes for a deadly combination. The VPs, Consultants, etc. would still be affected by this mismanagement, but analysts and associates felt the impact more acutely.

For a large firm with multiple offices and multiple practices, there is a surprising absence of cooperation across offices and practices. While there is some cross-office/practice work, the firm does not utilize available staff very well.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe majority of your junior staff are unhappy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A great learning experience for the first 3 years

Consulting Associate (Former Employee)
Boston, MA

I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

ProsVery friendly group of experts. Lots of functional expertise in several topics. More laidback than most other firms so this gives you time to really learn and absorb the concepts well.

ConsNot a very famous consulting firm so that does not help much when you move from one firm to the next or with your MBA application.

Advice to Senior ManagementTougher and stricter recruitment only the best

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Collegial environment

Associate (Former Employee)
Boston, MA

I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

ProsCollegial
Opportunities to find a good mentor
Varied case workload

ConsExpectation to spend 3-5 years really hard and move onto MBA
Promotion from within takes longer if no MBA is pursued

Advice to Senior Managementn/a

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Highly intellectual, good perks.

Summer Associate (Former Employee)

I worked at Charles River Associates as an intern for less than a year

ProsProjects are often intellectually-driven and CRA has a lot of really bright people. My office was pretty laid-back, business casual dress, soft start-time, etc.

ConsA lot of remote offices with less-than-optimal communication between offices. Also, career progression seems to be pretty slow.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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awesome

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Charles River Associates full-time

Prosgood salary and experience helps for the future

Consno time available to do other stuff

Advice to Senior Managementbe good with your employees

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Good company with fair compensation

Associate (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than a year

ProsGood experience in consulting and friendly atmosphere

Conshours can be very demanding at times

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide employees with greater work flexibility

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good career launching point. Success for junior staff is not your development - it's getting into a top grad school.

Associate (Former Employee)
Boston, MA

I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

ProsWork with really smart, intellectual people. Learn a lot about large commercial litigation and how to prepare an expert report. Most junior staff exit to go to great grad schools.

ConsNot a large enough investment in developing junior staff skills. Senior staff can be petty and territorial. Management is more concerned with M&A activity (buying and selling consulting firms) than with the successful operations of the firm. As a public mid-size consulting firm, it tends to under-invest in its people and people processes, and management is generally short-sighted.

Advice to Senior ManagementGo private and invest in your people.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Expertise Litigation, Regulatory & Financial Consulting Antitrust & Competition Economics, Damages, Energy & Environment, Financial Accounting & Valuation, Financial Economics, Financial Markets, Forensic Services… Full Overview

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