Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

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Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:38 am

First time posting, so I apologize if this has already been discussed. Wanted to get opinions on this choice.

In Dallas only, one of the Texas Big 2 or a V15 Dallas office?

Thanks

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:First time posting, so I apologize if this has already been discussed. Wanted to get opinions on this choice.

In Dallas only, one of the Texas Big 2 or a V15 Dallas office?

Thanks


I'm assuming this is a choice between VE and Jones Day or Weil. Depends what you're looking for in terms of practice groups. VE is the most consistent across practice groups, so if you don't know 100% what you want to do, I'd go there. If you're dead set on M&A it's a tough choice between Weil and VE, but I'd still probably go VE, since I hear the hours/culture are better than Weil.

Edit: I assumed VE over BB, because I hear the BB dallas office isn't doing as well financially as its peers, so they shouldn't even be an option.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:13 am

nonprofit-prophet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First time posting, so I apologize if this has already been discussed. Wanted to get opinions on this choice.

In Dallas only, one of the Texas Big 2 or a V15 Dallas office?

Thanks


I'm assuming this is a choice between VE and Jones Day or Weil. Depends what you're looking for in terms of practice groups. VE is the most consistent across practice groups, so if you don't know 100% what you want to do, I'd go there. If you're dead set on M&A it's a tough choice between Weil and VE, but I'd still probably go VE, since I hear the hours/culture are better than Weil.

Edit: I assumed VE over BB, because I hear the BB dallas office isn't doing as well financially as its peers, so they shouldn't even be an option.


The original post could also be referring GDC. I can't provide a direct comparison between the hours and culture between Weil and VE, but I can say the culture at Weil is absolutely fantastic. It's a small office with a lot of fun and very different personalities, has a family-like feel to it. And I would be absolutely shocked if the support staff at VE (or any other Dallas firm) was as good as Weil's. I think nonprofit-prophet is correct in saying the hours will be a little longer at Weil, but the pay will also be higher (Weil's Dallas office is on NY lock-step scale, which I don't believe any Texas-based firms are on).

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nonprofit-prophet wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First time posting, so I apologize if this has already been discussed. Wanted to get opinions on this choice.

In Dallas only, one of the Texas Big 2 or a V15 Dallas office?

Thanks


I'm assuming this is a choice between VE and Jones Day or Weil. Depends what you're looking for in terms of practice groups. VE is the most consistent across practice groups, so if you don't know 100% what you want to do, I'd go there. If you're dead set on M&A it's a tough choice between Weil and VE, but I'd still probably go VE, since I hear the hours/culture are better than Weil.

Edit: I assumed VE over BB, because I hear the BB dallas office isn't doing as well financially as its peers, so they shouldn't even be an option.


The original post could also be referring GDC. I can't provide a direct comparison between the hours and culture between Weil and VE, but I can say the culture at Weil is absolutely fantastic. It's a small office with a lot of fun and very different personalities, has a family-like feel to it. And I would be absolutely shocked if the support staff at VE (or any other Dallas firm) was as good as Weil's. I think nonprofit-prophet is correct in saying the hours will be a little longer at Weil, but the pay will also be higher (Weil's Dallas office is on NY lock-step scale, which I don't believe any Texas-based firms are on).


Yea I should clarify that I've heard the people at weil are fine. I've been told that its a firm with "ny culture and ny hours." I'll let you guys interpret that.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:30 am

GDC vs. BB vs. V&E. Probably leaning corporate, but open to litigation as well. Hope to gain exposure to both this summer.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:37 am

nonprofit-prophet wrote:
Yea I should clarify that I've heard the people at weil are fine. I've been told that its a firm with "ny culture and ny hours." I'll let you guys interpret that.


I'm not sure that's a fair description (regarding the culture or the hours). The managing partner of the dallas is a Texas Tech Law school grad and there are plenty of Texas people throughout the office. While Weil does a good job of pushing the "one firm" mentality, the truth of the matter is Dallas is Weil's second biggest office of the firm (slightly larger than the DC office). Yes, VE will have a more "fratty" culture, but Weil's Dallas office is by no means a smaller replica of its NY office--Weil started the Dallas office with poached Jackson Walker people and the firm values Texas ties (and actually has a ton of SMU people).

As for hours I witnessed people working in the dallas office in comparison to friends' experiences working in NYC--my take-away was that NY people are getting screwed: they work more hours for less money (because of taxes and cost of living).

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:GDC vs. BB vs. V&E. Probably leaning corporate, but open to litigation as well. Hope to gain exposure to both this summer.


If you want corporate, I think VE is the clear winner out of those three in Dallas. I think BB Dallas' big strength is IP. If you aren't interested in that, VE pretty much has the advantage in everything else (again, speaking to Dallas). I GDC poached a few VE people a year or two ago, but that was the result of office politics at VE, not financial issues. GDC does provide a slightly different experience, since they are a smaller office.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Here's my take:

If you want to to work for NY pay in Dallas (and have no interest in making partner), I'd say its a close call between Weil and GDC. Jones Day is strong in certain practice areas, but I think the hours are just as bad as Weil and GDC and that the pay/culture is probably slightly worse (not by a lot, but noticeably).

If you want to work for a satellite office of a Houston firm, go with VE Dallas. BB, FJ, and AK Dallas each have their strengths, but none offer the full service office capabilities that VE Dallas does. With that said, I would recommend Weil or GDC over VE since the pay is better and the partnership chances/lifestyle are not significantly different. None of the Dallas offices of Houston firms are priorities for the Houston mothership, and that should concern anyone going to the Dallas office. In Houston, the order of priorities is generally: 1. Houston, 2. NYC (or DC if you're BB), 3. International, 4. California, 5. Austin/Dallas.

However, if you want to a) have a chance at making partner, b) get the best Dallas-based work (which greatly helps your intown exit ops should you decide to leave), c) make the same pay for 2000-2100 hours as the satellite offices of Houston firms (and more pay if you're at 1900-2000 hours), and d) work in a more laid back, outgoing, atmosphere where there is an emphasis on work/life balance, I would strongly consider Haynes and Boone. They're the strongest of the Dallas-based firms, have the largest office of any firm in Dallas (by a large margin now - they're the same size as 4 years ago, while TK, LL, BB, and JD have each shrunk by at least 25%), have one of the largest NYC offices of any Texas firm (nearly 75 lawyers, I believe). They are certainly behind their Houston counterparts when it comes to international work, but that is mainly because Houston is much more international than Dallas.

With all that said, it sounds like you've got your mind made up - so I would go with Weil or GDC. I would make that choice with no reservations if partnership prospects were not a consideration. The pay there is substantially higher than the Texas-based firms (not in years 1-3 really, but definitely for midlevel and more senior associates).

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:26 pm

Three VE M&A partners went to GDC and are big players there. Let's just say there's a reason most (perhaps all) of the M&A associates didn't want to follow them to GDC and continue working with them.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Three VE M&A partners went to GDC and are big players there. Let's just say there's a reason most (perhaps all) of the M&A associates didn't want to follow them to GDC and continue working with them.


Can confirm that GDC tried to poach nearly all of the VE associates when the two (not three) V&E M&A partners went to GDC.

None followed.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Three VE M&A partners went to GDC and are big players there. Let's just say there's a reason most (perhaps all) of the M&A associates didn't want to follow them to GDC and continue working with them.


Can confirm that GDC tried to poach nearly all of the VE associates when the two (not three) V&E M&A partners went to GDC.

None followed.


My bad. Heard it from a summer at the time, so I don't think s/he was quite "in the know" then. S/he is currently an associate there.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Here's my take:

If you want to to work for NY pay in Dallas (and have no interest in making partner), I'd say its a close call between Weil and GDC. Jones Day is strong in certain practice areas, but I think the hours are just as bad as Weil and GDC and that the pay/culture is probably slightly worse (not by a lot, but noticeably).

If you want to work for a satellite office of a Houston firm, go with VE Dallas. BB, FJ, and AK Dallas each have their strengths, but none offer the full service office capabilities that VE Dallas does. With that said, I would recommend Weil or GDC over VE since the pay is better and the partnership chances/lifestyle are not significantly different. None of the Dallas offices of Houston firms are priorities for the Houston mothership, and that should concern anyone going to the Dallas office. In Houston, the order of priorities is generally: 1. Houston, 2. NYC (or DC if you're BB), 3. International, 4. California, 5. Austin/Dallas.

However, if you want to a) have a chance at making partner, b) get the best Dallas-based work (which greatly helps your intown exit ops should you decide to leave), c) make the same pay for 2000-2100 hours as the satellite offices of Houston firms (and more pay if you're at 1900-2000 hours), and d) work in a more laid back, outgoing, atmosphere where there is an emphasis on work/life balance, I would strongly consider Haynes and Boone. They're the strongest of the Dallas-based firms, have the largest office of any firm in Dallas (by a large margin now - they're the same size as 4 years ago, while TK, LL, BB, and JD have each shrunk by at least 25%), have one of the largest NYC offices of any Texas firm (nearly 75 lawyers, I believe). They are certainly behind their Houston counterparts when it comes to international work, but that is mainly because Houston is much more international than Dallas.

With all that said, it sounds like you've got your mind made up - so I would go with Weil or GDC. I would make that choice with no reservations if partnership prospects were not a consideration. The pay there is substantially higher than the Texas-based firms (not in years 1-3 really, but definitely for midlevel and more senior associates).



Curious as to how your basing the "culture" aspect of these firms. I only mention this since I've heard the exact opposite with regards to Jones Day and Weil in terms of culture.

Also, I think F&J Dallas is the most profitable office (on net) over any of their other offices, Houston included.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Here's my take:

If you want to to work for NY pay in Dallas (and have no interest in making partner), I'd say its a close call between Weil and GDC. Jones Day is strong in certain practice areas, but I think the hours are just as bad as Weil and GDC and that the pay/culture is probably slightly worse (not by a lot, but noticeably).

If you want to work for a satellite office of a Houston firm, go with VE Dallas. BB, FJ, and AK Dallas each have their strengths, but none offer the full service office capabilities that VE Dallas does. With that said, I would recommend Weil or GDC over VE since the pay is better and the partnership chances/lifestyle are not significantly different. None of the Dallas offices of Houston firms are priorities for the Houston mothership, and that should concern anyone going to the Dallas office. In Houston, the order of priorities is generally: 1. Houston, 2. NYC (or DC if you're BB), 3. International, 4. California, 5. Austin/Dallas.

However, if you want to a) have a chance at making partner, b) get the best Dallas-based work (which greatly helps your intown exit ops should you decide to leave), c) make the same pay for 2000-2100 hours as the satellite offices of Houston firms (and more pay if you're at 1900-2000 hours), and d) work in a more laid back, outgoing, atmosphere where there is an emphasis on work/life balance, I would strongly consider Haynes and Boone. They're the strongest of the Dallas-based firms, have the largest office of any firm in Dallas (by a large margin now - they're the same size as 4 years ago, while TK, LL, BB, and JD have each shrunk by at least 25%), have one of the largest NYC offices of any Texas firm (nearly 75 lawyers, I believe). They are certainly behind their Houston counterparts when it comes to international work, but that is mainly because Houston is much more international than Dallas.

With all that said, it sounds like you've got your mind made up - so I would go with Weil or GDC. I would make that choice with no reservations if partnership prospects were not a consideration. The pay there is substantially higher than the Texas-based firms (not in years 1-3 really, but definitely for midlevel and more senior associates).



Curious as to how your basing the "culture" aspect of these firms. I only mention this since I've heard the exact opposite with regards to Jones Day and Weil in terms of culture.

Also, I think F&J Dallas is the most profitable office (on net) over any of their other offices, Houston included.



I've heard FJ dallas isn't doing well at all. If they are more profitable than Houston, does that mean their Houston office is on the verge of collapse?

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:49 pm

As to FJ, can confirm they're not doing well. They are very slow right now.

As for VE partners to GDC, it was 2 M&A partners and 1 former partner that was in house and planned on coming back but then didn't... so its either 2 or 3 depending how you look at it.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Here's my take:

If you want to to work for NY pay in Dallas (and have no interest in making partner), I'd say its a close call between Weil and GDC. Jones Day is strong in certain practice areas, but I think the hours are just as bad as Weil and GDC and that the pay/culture is probably slightly worse (not by a lot, but noticeably).

If you want to work for a satellite office of a Houston firm, go with VE Dallas. BB, FJ, and AK Dallas each have their strengths, but none offer the full service office capabilities that VE Dallas does. With that said, I would recommend Weil or GDC over VE since the pay is better and the partnership chances/lifestyle are not significantly different. None of the Dallas offices of Houston firms are priorities for the Houston mothership, and that should concern anyone going to the Dallas office. In Houston, the order of priorities is generally: 1. Houston, 2. NYC (or DC if you're BB), 3. International, 4. California, 5. Austin/Dallas.

However, if you want to a) have a chance at making partner, b) get the best Dallas-based work (which greatly helps your intown exit ops should you decide to leave), c) make the same pay for 2000-2100 hours as the satellite offices of Houston firms (and more pay if you're at 1900-2000 hours), and d) work in a more laid back, outgoing, atmosphere where there is an emphasis on work/life balance, I would strongly consider Haynes and Boone. They're the strongest of the Dallas-based firms, have the largest office of any firm in Dallas (by a large margin now - they're the same size as 4 years ago, while TK, LL, BB, and JD have each shrunk by at least 25%), have one of the largest NYC offices of any Texas firm (nearly 75 lawyers, I believe). They are certainly behind their Houston counterparts when it comes to international work, but that is mainly because Houston is much more international than Dallas.

With all that said, it sounds like you've got your mind made up - so I would go with Weil or GDC. I would make that choice with no reservations if partnership prospects were not a consideration. The pay there is substantially higher than the Texas-based firms (not in years 1-3 really, but definitely for midlevel and more senior associates).



Curious as to how your basing the "culture" aspect of these firms. I only mention this since I've heard the exact opposite with regards to Jones Day and Weil in terms of culture.

Also, I think F&J Dallas is the most profitable office (on net) over any of their other offices, Houston included.


I haven't worked at either, but I hear JD for the most part has a good culture but that several partners in Capital Markets are extremely difficult. I've heard Weil's culture is similar - my original point was more related to pay than culture differences.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:52 pm

nonprofit-prophet wrote:

I've heard FJ dallas isn't doing well at all. If they are more profitable than Houston, does that mean their Houston office is on the verge of collapse?



I had the same concerns and during my callback I stressed this point (if this outs me, whatever). I was reassured by multiple partners and associates that there seems to evidently be a feedback loop with regards to staff layoffs that ATL released a few months ago. Other than that, no associates have been laid off, the work is as steady as its ever been, revenue is higher than any other office, the only debt consists of borrowed money to finance a pension plan (pretty minimal, regardless), they no offered summers (2?) for fit and grades, and everyone seemed to genuinely be surprised by the reputation that F&J Dallas is struggling.

While the no offers might be indicative of financial instability, it's hard to extrapolate from such a small summer class. I asked upfront whether the grades/fit issues were just masking any underlying problems and, without getting into specifics, assured me that their decisions rested entirely on those factors.

They could very well be lying to me, but I genuinely sense that the staff layoffs, while not ideal, painted an overly negative picture of what the reality is. Also, they all seemed like sincerely genuine people. For whatever it's worth, I really liked them.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Three VE M&A partners went to GDC and are big players there. Let's just say there's a reason most (perhaps all) of the M&A associates didn't want to follow them to GDC and continue working with them.



Care to expound on the "reasons" none followed?

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Other than that, no associates have been laid off, the work is as steady as its ever been, revenue is higher than any other office, the only debt consists of borrowed money to finance a pension plan (pretty minimal, regardless), they no offered summers (2?) for fit and grades, and everyone seemed to genuinely be surprised by the reputation that F&J Dallas is struggling.


I would be skeptical of what you were told. I have heard very different. The firm is obviously going to paint things in a great light for their interviewees.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As to FJ, can confirm they're not doing well. They are very slow right now.

As for VE partners to GDC, it was 2 M&A partners and 1 former partner that was in house and planned on coming back but then didn't... so its either 2 or 3 depending how you look at it.


The in house partner was a litigator.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Other than that, no associates have been laid off, the work is as steady as its ever been, revenue is higher than any other office, the only debt consists of borrowed money to finance a pension plan (pretty minimal, regardless), they no offered summers (2?) for fit and grades, and everyone seemed to genuinely be surprised by the reputation that F&J Dallas is struggling.


I would be skeptical of what you were told. I have heard very different. The firm is obviously going to paint things in a great light for their interviewees.


+1 ... I think they no-offered more than 2 (and considering how small their class size is, that's a huge number)

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:53 pm

Also, fwiw, they're one of the very very few firms in town not looking for laterals. Their corporate practice just doesn't really compare with Weil, VE, HB, JD, or GDC.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:36 pm

I was also told by one of the F&J Dallas partners that it is FJ's most profitable office and that the firm is doing very well. I don't believe he is outright lying, but everyone here that has heard rumors seems convinced that he is stretching the truth or lying.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was also told by one of the F&J Dallas partners that it is FJ's most profitable office and that the firm is doing very well. I don't believe he is outright lying, but everyone here that has heard rumors seems convinced that he is stretching the truth or lying.


My gut tells me that FJ Dallas is doing fine - but not nearly as great as it says it is. I don't think its on the verge of collapse or anything like that, but I would still seek out an office that seems to be busier and growing more.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby de5igual » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was also told by one of the F&J Dallas partners that it is FJ's most profitable office and that the firm is doing very well. I don't believe he is outright lying, but everyone here that has heard rumors seems convinced that he is stretching the truth or lying.


all firms say that the firm/office is extremely profitable and busy, even Dewey on the last day of its existence.

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Re: Texas Big 2 vs National V15 Firm in Dallas

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was also told by one of the F&J Dallas partners that it is FJ's most profitable office and that the firm is doing very well. I don't believe he is outright lying, but everyone here that has heard rumors seems convinced that he is stretching the truth or lying.


Most profitable office could mean the office made one dollar last year while all other offices broke even or lost money. That assertion is meaningless without context.

As for the overall health of the firm, F&J has had merger talks with at least two other firms in the past ten months. If ATL is correct, other firms are walking away from the merger talks because of F&J's unfunded retirement plan.




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