Baker Botts Houston

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Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:39 am

Got a CB here, what can y'all tell me about their Litigation group/financial stability.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got a CB here, what can y'all tell me about their Litigation group/financial stability.


This is relevant to my interests.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:04 pm

op bumparselo

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:14 pm

yo'z

BB Houston is of course one of the big 3, with VE and FJ making up the other 2. you can read my post here: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=164732, but if you are looking for something more specific/on-point, i am glad to help.

while FJ Houston is known for having a stronger lean toward litigation out of the 3, it is also the most financially precarious of the 3. it did not weather the recession as well as the other 2, with VE probably doing the best. amlaw numbers show VE had the best gross revenue growth in the last 2 yrs, though BB has remained stable and actually (# and %-wise i believe) had fewer attorneys leave (whether that be natural attrition or lay offs) -- either way, VE and BB didnt really see that many ppl leave between 2009 and 2010. the larger difference is that VE has kept a larger SA class size (with 90%+ offer rates) than BB, though BB has also kept a 90%+ offer rate as of late.

BB houston is definitely growing and is ramping up recruitment last yr and this yr, with, again, 90%+ offer rates. it has a strong litigation practice of course, not too different from VE's litigation (for better or worse). obviously Susman Godfrey, as a boutique, prob is better at it; but it does not get too much better in houston. as they are growing, i dont see litigation being left behind.

if you are looking for more specifics -- BB houston is supposedly getting all their office floors remodeled, so that should be a nice/cool thing to get to experience. their litigation work, like all houston firms in almost any dept, is often tied to the energy industry. nice ppl, just like what you'd expect to find in litigation, with the current hiring partner being an amazing person. HTH

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:09 pm

op here, thanks bro - what type of hours can one expect in lit from the big 3 houston firms. also i heard BB is merit pay now, how are associates feeling about that?

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:op here, thanks bro - what type of hours can one expect in lit from the big 3 houston firms. also i heard BB is merit pay now, how are associates feeling about that?


i mean, at least at BB hoston (i think generally true in other firms as well), more niche-like sections like tax and environmental have the best hours (consistency-wise), though everyone bills about the same. lit has a more consistent schedule than corp or O&G, and thats related to the nature of the work. lit associates have told me that they generally work till about 7 pm on weekdays and get in at iunno 8ish. if there is a big case or something ramping up, you'd have to stay later a few days or pull a some hours on the weekends. there will be hectic moments regardless of the section, but it seems lit is 'better' than corp/O&G in those regards at BB. i ASSUME the same can be said about VE and FJ houston.

and while BB is merit pay now, it isnt that different than what one would assume. im privy to more of the details, but i assume i cant talk about that here. that being said, i can say that pretty much all the associates seem happy or ambivalent about it. imo it shouldnt be a major factor in one's decision.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: Merit Pay - If you are average, you will advance at the same speed as you would under the old system. This is considered baseline. If you are very successful, you can be promoted to the next tier a year early (e.g. move from 170 to 180 at year three instead of year four); however, very few associates were advanced ahead of schedule. I believe there were only two in the Dallas office this year. Although I have not heard of anyone being held back, the system has only seen one year of promotions. I expect there to be more variety in future years.

Re: V&E - They lost ~10 successful partners to national firms in Dallas and Houston over the past two years. Not sure if this will have long-term impact (revenue is still strong), but it's something to keep in mind.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Re: V&E - They lost ~10 successful partners to national firms in Dallas and Houston over the past two years. Not sure if this will have long-term impact (revenue is still strong), but it's something to keep in mind.


This. Last year, when I interviewed, V&E seemed like the most stable place, and it was also more laid back. BB was more uptight and seemed a bit pretentious. I wonder how the financial situation has changed, however, with the loss of some big name partners to branch offices of national firms. My thought is that unless these firms adapt, they can't continue to compete on the same level as national firms (which pay partners more).

Full disclosure: I did CBs at all of the big 3 but chose not to summer at any of them.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Re: Merit Pay - If you are average, you will advance at the same speed as you would under the old system. This is considered baseline. If you are very successful, you can be promoted to the next tier a year early (e.g. move from 170 to 180 at year three instead of year four); however, very few associates were advanced ahead of schedule. I believe there were only two in the Dallas office this year. Although I have not heard of anyone being held back, the system has only seen one year of promotions. I expect there to be more variety in future years.

Re: V&E - They lost ~10 successful partners to national firms in Dallas and Houston over the past two years. Not sure if this will have long-term impact (revenue is still strong), but it's something to keep in mind.


Rumor is V&E is about to lose/has lost Bill Schuurman (retirement?). That's a massive hit to their IP practice.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Full disclosure: I did CBs at all of the big 3 but chose not to summer at any of them.


What did you end up choosing? I'm in the same position now.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:55 pm

Any advice on the callback process?

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby mysticfeline » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:12 pm

BB Houston is really good people. Haven't met with the other firms (yet) but everyone I've met there seems very happy and friendly and genuinely fun to be around. They are very straightforward about their reputation for being "less social" than V&E. However, this really means less fratty, not less friendly. People seem to go out a lot, just not at organized attendance-required-to-advance events.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:10 pm

mysticfeline wrote:BB Houston is really good people. Haven't met with the other firms (yet) but everyone I've met there seems very happy and friendly and genuinely fun to be around. They are very straightforward about their reputation for being "less social" than V&E. However, this really means less fratty, not less friendly. People seem to go out a lot, just not at organized attendance-required-to-advance events.


I'll second that virtually everyone I met at BB has been down to earth and nice, esp. the hiring/recruiting team. VE does have that reputation of 'needing' to be more social to advance, though I don't know if that is necessarily true. BB is certainly not very fratty (though some ppl in their corp dept are still a bit fratty imo haha), but it was not nearly as "conservative" and "stuffy" as I had heard (so maybe VE isn't as "social" either lol)...although that experience could obviously vary from person to person.

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby mysticfeline » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:59 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
mysticfeline wrote:BB Houston is really good people. Haven't met with the other firms (yet) but everyone I've met there seems very happy and friendly and genuinely fun to be around. They are very straightforward about their reputation for being "less social" than V&E. However, this really means less fratty, not less friendly. People seem to go out a lot, just not at organized attendance-required-to-advance events.


I'll second that virtually everyone I met at BB has been down to earth and nice, esp. the hiring/recruiting team. VE does have that reputation of 'needing' to be more social to advance, though I don't know if that is necessarily true. BB is certainly not very fratty (though some ppl in their corp dept are still a bit fratty imo haha), but it was not nearly as "conservative" and "stuffy" as I had heard (so maybe VE isn't as "social" either lol)...although that experience could obviously vary from person to person.


Hah. Do you have any serious criticisms of these places at all? Or think it's ultimately personality fit?

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Re: Baker Botts Houston

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:26 pm

mysticfeline wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
mysticfeline wrote:BB Houston is really good people. Haven't met with the other firms (yet) but everyone I've met there seems very happy and friendly and genuinely fun to be around. They are very straightforward about their reputation for being "less social" than V&E. However, this really means less fratty, not less friendly. People seem to go out a lot, just not at organized attendance-required-to-advance events.


I'll second that virtually everyone I met at BB has been down to earth and nice, esp. the hiring/recruiting team. VE does have that reputation of 'needing' to be more social to advance, though I don't know if that is necessarily true. BB is certainly not very fratty (though some ppl in their corp dept are still a bit fratty imo haha), but it was not nearly as "conservative" and "stuffy" as I had heard (so maybe VE isn't as "social" either lol)...although that experience could obviously vary from person to person.


Hah. Do you have any serious criticisms of these places at all? Or think it's ultimately personality fit?


I apologize beforehand for not being able to offer up something akin to the Achilles' Heel of these two firms. Maybe if I could, it would make your decision much easier. I've been convinced to read your question in a favorable light (whether it was intended or not), and thus will answer honestly and say that, when it's between VE and BB, I believe it is mostly personality and fit with the firm culture. There are a few 'infrastructural' things to consider, as how the firm breaks down its practice groups and assigns assignments, but they are relatively minor points. Unless you have a specific goal (i don't know, maybe working in-house in a corporation where VE has significantly more ties), I don't think the client list or quality of work really differs. And like all major cities (I love the classic Dallas vs. Houston rivalry), there are more similarities between two major law firms than there are differences. So yes, imo, it comes down to your own personal fit with the particular practice group you want to work in/work with and the people in that group. Not ALL of it comes down to that, but a lot of it.

I've also noted some other things, financially, that may be worth considering, such as VE having made a lot more in the past year in gross revenue than BB, but losing more attorneys as well (whether through lay offs or partners leaving to start national firm branches in Houston). That may affect your decision. Besides that though, summering at the locations will hopefully give you a good enough feel of the firm's culture and how it operates for you to make the best decision for you. Somewhat like SLS vs. HLS, I don't think there is necessarily a right answer that applies to everyone.




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