Anonymous User wrote:Wow, this is really great. Do you think BB has as big a name (or bigger) than V&E in Texas? I was always under the impression that BB was #1 in Texas (just from talking to lawyers and the Vault rankings (looking at TX ranks), or do you think V&E has a leg up if looking at transactional work?
Anonymous User wrote:Would you say it would be easy to move from BB doing corporate to a firm like AK, Bracewell, LL etc. after being told to start looking? Also, what is your opinion on people being "forced" to leave. I know biglaw is built on attrition, but one partner at BB told me they actually do their best to retain associates and dont force people out b/c they have put so much into training them... I just couldnt tell if he was just trying to sell me or actually meant it.
I keep track of where the associates around my year have gone when they left the firm. There are a handful that head to other firms--enough that it is clearly possible--but I couldn't say whether it is "easy." Probably the better answer is I don't know that many of them would want to leave for another firm. If you're looking to get out, it is probably because you want a change of pace from BIGLAW, and heading to AK, Bracewell, etc. isn't really going to do that.
My general impression is that BB really does try to retain. I'm sure folks get pushed out if they're not cutting it, but if you're doing good work and staying busy, there is not a lot of reason to get rid of you. To the extent that I've talked with folks who've left, none of them have mentioned getting pushed, but of course it is tough to expect anyone would admit to that anyway. The best indirect indicator that I have is that people seem to leave in relatively even spacing through the year; there's a little uptick after bonuses get paid out (typically March), but it doesn't appear from my vantage point that during review time every year a bunch of folks are being shown the door.
Anonymous User wrote:Baker Botts is probably on the same level as V&E in the state, but my impression is that V&E has a much bigger name outside of Texas. V&E's New York office seems to recruit almost entirely from Harvard, Columbia, and NYU, and I don't think Baker Botts has the same pull. It's also telling that V&E has been on the New York scale for some time, while Baker seems to just be getting there. The transactional practice at V&E is also in the top 5-10 nationally for transaction volume and deal size, and I'm not sure if that's true for Baker Botts.
I don't have a good viewpoint to weigh in on how firms are perceived outside of Texas, but I disagree with this post. First, I skimmed through the associate bios on the respective BB and V&E NY websites. Maybe I missed something in my quick look, but I did not see an obvious gap between the pedigree of the V&E and BB associates. Overall, I saw a few more top-of-the-class-at-lower-ranked schools at BB than V&E (St. John, Cardozo, etc.), but I also saw a couple Harvard at BB and zero at V&E. There seemed to be a mix of NYU/CLS at both--and a surprising amount of Texas. Certainly the V&E associates were not uniformly HLS/CLS/NYU.
Second, your statement about V&E being on the NY scale for significantly longer than BB is not accurate. V&E and BB have both been on the NY scale outside of Texas for the past few years. In December, V&E announced that they were transitioning their Texas offices to that scale effective January 1 (which, as I understand it, was primarily motivated by their having bled some key midlevels to Latham Houston). Baker Botts announced in February that they would do the same, and made that raise retroactive to January 1. It is true that V&E tends to make the first moves in the salary wars, and BB tends to follow; but BB does always follow.
Inside of Texas, I think they are considered pretty comparable. I'm not the best person to ask, but I've been told that Latham/BB/V&E are the go-to big firms in the state for most transactional work. That said, I understand that BB is considered maybe a step ahead with respect to the types of matters that are handled by our Global Projects group -- transactional work related to the buying and selling of physical assets, primarily in the energy industry (as opposed to the securities type transactional work handled by our corporate group). But take that with a grain of salt, given the bias in my perspective.
EDIT: Also, I try not to talk trash about other firms, and I don't have anything specifically negative to say about Latham Houston. But I come from an era when "Latham" was a verb. I know a good number of people who got laid off as first years with huge amounts of student loan debt. Going through recruiting cycles now, and seeing Latham get a lot of attention in the Houston market, makes me frustrated for the short institutional memory. I get it if that's your only offer, but if you have options, I don't know why Latham's history wouldn't cause some serious hesitation. I appreciate that nobody expects those particular circumstances to repeat themselves, but from my perspective the management who made the decision to lay all those first- and second-years off are the management who are still running the firm. That says something about their character, and if I had options, I would not voluntarily let them have any involvement in my career.
EDIT #2: And in case you don't know what I'm referencing, please read this: http://abovethelaw.com/2010/06/how-did- ... r-layoffs/