Is V&E Underrated?

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005618502
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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby 005618502 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Take home in NYC is like 96K or so after taxes if you're single.


Yeah, the difference in take home pay is not as drastic as people make it out to be. Your real savings come with COL. Still, if you are on the TX biglaw scale (big 3) in TX you will make less than the NY pay scale in NY even with cost of living after about year 5.

6th year on NY scale gets paid $250,000 whereas in TX you will only be at 185,000. Thats a $65,000 difference, which that difference alone would make for a comfortable living...even in NYC


???

Not sure where you're getting your numbers on Texas payscale.

Conceding that Texas firms pay below NYC-scale for midlevels, nobody knows exactly what midlevels make at any of the Big 3 firms. I do know, however, that midlevels at my Big 3 firm make a lot more than $185k.

Also, V&E is now paying Texas associates NYC-scale for 7th and 8th years.


Are you sure? I have been hearing of V&E moving up to the national pay scale... but I am under the impression that F&J, BB and firms like Haynes and Boone/Andrews Kurth/Bracewell (etc) all pay at about a 5k a year increase after first year and make up for the discrepancy slightly by larger bonuses. Am I mistaken? If you wouldnt mind PM'ing me if you dont want to say anything on here I will be at one of the big 3 this summer (not VE) as well as one of the other firms I listed. Curious if others will follow V&E to this higher scale, I would imagine they want to stay competitive.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:01 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:I would think the difference is quite a bit bigger than $8k net b/t NYC and DFW/HOU firms paying $160k?

NYC has both local AND state taxes. TX has neither. Not suggesting it's something crazy like a 30k difference, but that's gotta be worth more than 5% as suggested. On phone and too lazy to look up and link tax rates.

thesealocust wrote:New York local taxes are roughly 10%, and are deductible from your federal taxes.

Then again, I think this entire exercise is stupid. Are people really that ambivalent between TX and NY that they could be swayed by something like 10k/year?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:35 pm

Yeah, it's a shade under $15k difference before you deduct it from fed income taxes. So about $10,500 after everything if you're single.

I could see that being a valid tiebreaker for some. Personally, I'm from a flyover state (an especially boring one) and would be equally happy in either NYC or HOU/DFW. Sure, they're completely different, but they both had some cool pluses. Info like that played a factor when I had offers in both locations.

ETA: You see a lot more bitching over even more trivial differences in bonuses, so discussing this seems perfectly fine.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:42 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:ETA: You see a lot more bitching over even more trivial differences in bonuses, so discussing this seems perfectly fine.

I mean of course it's fine, but at least with bonuses you're basically comparing things that are similar (biglaw firms in the same city, generally) or at least not something that you can easily make an informed opinion (practice groups). It just blows my mind that people could be equally happy in two very different locations, though I will grant that a lot of little things could easily overcome location preference (e.g. pay+firm stability+fit+etc).

Not that I don't think the bonus discussion is also inane.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:48 pm

bk1 wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:ETA: You see a lot more bitching over even more trivial differences in bonuses, so discussing this seems perfectly fine.

I mean of course it's fine, but at least with bonuses you're basically comparing things that are similar (biglaw firms in the same city, generally) or at least not something that you can easily make an informed opinion (practice groups). It just blows my mind that people could be equally happy in two very different locations, though I will grant that a lot of little things could easily overcome location preference (e.g. pay+firm stability+fit+etc).

Not that I don't think the bonus discussion is also inane.


I mean, I am looking at both these markets. Leaning toward Texas, but you dont want to rule anywhere out while still being in school. I think one thing that should be mentioned is that it would not be that hard (I have heard) to go from a V25 or w/e NYC firm to one in TX whereas it would be hard for someone in TX, even at the Big 3 to lateral to another firm (even in the TX market). I could be completely wrong but one firm I was at had many laterals from big vault firms from CA and NYC and I didnt meet anyone who had lateralled from a different TX firm

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby de5igual » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:32 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Take home in NYC is like 96K or so after taxes if you're single.


Yeah, the difference in take home pay is not as drastic as people make it out to be. Your real savings come with COL. Still, if you are on the TX biglaw scale (big 3) in TX you will make less than the NY pay scale in NY even with cost of living after about year 5.

6th year on NY scale gets paid $250,000 whereas in TX you will only be at 185,000. Thats a $65,000 difference, which that difference alone would make for a comfortable living...even in NYC


are you sure about that? http://abovethelaw.com/2012/12/associate-bonus-watch-vinson-elkins-ditches-deferred-compensation-in-part/2/

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby 005618502 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:40 pm

f0bolous wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Take home in NYC is like 96K or so after taxes if you're single.


Yeah, the difference in take home pay is not as drastic as people make it out to be. Your real savings come with COL. Still, if you are on the TX biglaw scale (big 3) in TX you will make less than the NY pay scale in NY even with cost of living after about year 5.

6th year on NY scale gets paid $250,000 whereas in TX you will only be at 185,000. Thats a $65,000 difference, which that difference alone would make for a comfortable living...even in NYC


are you sure about that? http://abovethelaw.com/2012/12/associate-bonus-watch-vinson-elkins-ditches-deferred-compensation-in-part/2/


Yeah, we were talking about how V&E is doing this but the other 2 of the Big 3 are not. BB and FJ dont even do deferred compensation (from what I know)

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Does anyone know about Houston lit? Trying to wade my way through all the lit practices in Houston is complicated.

Everyone know about Susman, Gibbs & Bruns, etc. What do people know of how places like Beck Redden, Beirne Maynard, Smyser Kaplan, etc...Very hard to tell which of these are comparable or better than large firm lit departments?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby de5igual » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:43 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Take home in NYC is like 96K or so after taxes if you're single.


Yeah, the difference in take home pay is not as drastic as people make it out to be. Your real savings come with COL. Still, if you are on the TX biglaw scale (big 3) in TX you will make less than the NY pay scale in NY even with cost of living after about year 5.

6th year on NY scale gets paid $250,000 whereas in TX you will only be at 185,000. Thats a $65,000 difference, which that difference alone would make for a comfortable living...even in NYC


are you sure about that? http://abovethelaw.com/2012/12/associate-bonus-watch-vinson-elkins-ditches-deferred-compensation-in-part/2/


Yeah, we were talking about how V&E is doing this but the other 2 of the Big 3 are not. BB and FJ dont even do deferred compensation (from what I know)


from what I understand, even though BB caps your base salary at 185 K past year 3, the bonuses are supposed to true you up to at least V&E levels (assuming you hit the requisite hours). I have no idea what it's like at F&J.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:ETA: You see a lot more bitching over even more trivial differences in bonuses, so discussing this seems perfectly fine.

I mean of course it's fine, but at least with bonuses you're basically comparing things that are similar (biglaw firms in the same city, generally) or at least not something that you can easily make an informed opinion (practice groups). It just blows my mind that people could be equally happy in two very different locations, though I will grant that a lot of little things could easily overcome location preference (e.g. pay+firm stability+fit+etc).

Not that I don't think the bonus discussion is also inane.


I mean, I am looking at both these markets. Leaning toward Texas, but you dont want to rule anywhere out while still being in school. I think one thing that should be mentioned is that it would not be that hard (I have heard) to go from a V25 or w/e NYC firm to one in TX whereas it would be hard for someone in TX, even at the Big 3 to lateral to another firm (even in the TX market). I could be completely wrong but one firm I was at had many laterals from big vault firms from CA and NYC and I didnt meet anyone who had lateralled from a different TX firm


I don't think the part about lateraling in the Texas market is right at all. Big 3 associates don't often bounce to another of the big 3, but they do lateral to big firms like B&G, H&B, T&K, etc. I'm thinking the Weils of the world who are new in the Texas market are unlikely to take any lateral other than a superstar, but that's really about office size. Can't speak on TX --> NYC.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I meant they are clear choices, in that it should be clear that going to V&E over them (if you want to be in Houston) is a better career move. Latham is the only national satellite in Houston that presents a compelling argument for choosing them over V&E (I still wouldn't, but it's a compelling argument nonetheless).


I'm interested in more about this - why is Latham the only national satellite worth talking about? And why would you still go to V&E over it?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:07 pm

f0bolous wrote: from what I understand, even though BB caps your base salary at 185 K past year 3, the bonuses are supposed to true you up to at least V&E levels (assuming you hit the requisite hours). I have no idea what it's like at F&J.


I believe I saw on above the law that BB hour bonuses "pay out" at 2000 and 2300. Anyone have confirmation on this or know how it plays out on the ground? The way I believe it was framed was that if you did hit 2300 at BB you were best off but that at any point below that you'd be better off at V&E.

To above poster: Purely anecdotal but I have heard that the Latham office in Houston is just exploding (attorneys and billings) and that they're in a very good position to take advantage of a growing market because Latham as a firm has so much more cash than BigTex firms.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby BigLawer » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T-14, top 15%, LR.

Just chose V&E Htown over BB Htown and a 3 NYC V25 firm offers, including 1 V5. Hard decision, but when it comes down to it, OP, the money goes farther in Texas and the people in all areas at V&E are phenomenal (granted some groups do seem a little more "fratty" than others).

I have to admit though, the most surprising part of the OCI process was how assbergery the people at BB Htown were. I had a dinner and CB with BB people and EVERY SINGLE conversation seemed forced. Seriously, like how does that firm get business?


That was a wise move. STB and Skadden are clear choices but I still think Latham offers less, all things considered, than V&E for a first year.

As for BB getting business, they're getting less of it, at least in Texas.


I am confused by what you mean by the bolded part. If Skadden and STB are "clear choices," don't you mean he have taken the NYC V5? Or do you mean Skadden in Houston? Just to be clear, I think choosing a good TX firm if you are okay with staying in TX long-term over a NYC V5 is a smart move. Most of us don't have the TX ties to get an offer from a good TX firm, though.


I meant they are clear choices, in that it should be clear that going to V&E over them (if you want to be in Houston) is a better career move. Latham is the only national satellite in Houston that presents a compelling argument for choosing them over V&E (I still wouldn't, but it's a compelling argument nonetheless).

Rereading the OP's post, though, makes me realize I misunderstood what he meant. I thought he picked V&E over V25 satellites, but it seems he meant V25 NYC offices. Either way, if he wants to stay in Texas, it was a good career move.


This is interesting. Wouldnt it be better to go to a V5 firm (like SC or DPW) for 5-6 years (or less) and then lateral over to the Texas firm (like V&E or BB). By better I mean give better partnership prospects. I have heard the attrition rate at V&E is crazy high, so I am thinking if you lateraled in from a good V5 firm (where you did M&A or securities or something that stayed similar in any market) you would have a better shot at making partner.

I could be way off....

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby BigLawer » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'm not going to say where I ended up. I didn't mean to imply that V&E Dallas doesn't have enough work, but when you compare V&E Houston and V&E Dallas, there are some very stark differences. Namely:

1. Much less capital markets work in Dallas (much, much, much less - probably because Dallas overall has less than Houston, but there are firms in town with significantly larger/stronger capital markets practices, e.g., Jones Day and HayBoo)

2. Much stuffier culture in Dallas (they actually compare themselves to BB Houston with respect to culture - why? I have no idea, because I've never met someone that I liked who would consider that a compliment).

3. Exit ops out of V&E Houston are more varied, better and easier to get (V&E has significantly more attrition than other Texas firms, and in Houston, the people who leave often end up in-house of great clients - this is not the case for associates who leave V&E Dallas - mainly because the Dallas office has fewer institutional clients and even fewer actually based in Dallas)

If you ask anyone in V&E Houston which offices V&E is focused on, they would tell you: 1. Houston, 2. NYC, 3. International, 4. Palo Alto/SF, and in that order. Dallas, Austin and DC are basically afterthoughts.

I have talked with many associates who have left V&E over the years - I don't think its any coincidence that every single associate I talked to from Houston at least had mixed things to say about V&E and nearly all say that if they had to do it over again, they would still go to V&E. Every single associate I've talked to who has left V&E Dallas says they wished they had done more research about the Dallas legal market and the V&E Dallas office in particular. As others have mentioned, it is very very difficult to lateral between Dallas offices, so you can't just call TK when you realize that V&E isn't going to work out. Ask yourself is more "prestige" now is going to be worth a dead-end in-house job in five years...

As to the poster's original question, I think V&E is somewhat underrated - V&E Houston has, hands down, the best corporate work in Texas. Look at the league tables - its not even close (only Latham comes close these days). After V&E (and Latham), AK and Bracewell are both very strong players. BB is strong but seems to be slipping and is often ranked lower than both Bracewell and AK in the league tables. However, these tables are all Houston-skewed since Houston firms get so much more transactional work than Dallas. If you want to know how the Dallas offices shake out, let me know and we can discuss.


I know someone else already requested this, not sure if this poster ever responded, but will the OP of this message please PM me. Question about the Dallas market

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:41 am

unlicensedpotato wrote:
f0bolous wrote: from what I understand, even though BB caps your base salary at 185 K past year 3, the bonuses are supposed to true you up to at least V&E levels (assuming you hit the requisite hours). I have no idea what it's like at F&J.


I believe I saw on above the law that BB hour bonuses "pay out" at 2000 and 2300. Anyone have confirmation on this or know how it plays out on the ground? The way I believe it was framed was that if you did hit 2300 at BB you were best off but that at any point below that you'd be better off at V&E.

To above poster: Purely anecdotal but I have heard that the Latham office in Houston is just exploding (attorneys and billings) and that they're in a very good position to take advantage of a growing market because Latham as a firm has so much more cash than BigTex firms.


This has not been highly publicized, but BB has changed their salary structure so it relies much less on bonuses. They are paying now a NY market rate (much like V&E). The number I have seen show that you should come out ahead salarywise at BB over VE.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
unlicensedpotato wrote:
f0bolous wrote: from what I understand, even though BB caps your base salary at 185 K past year 3, the bonuses are supposed to true you up to at least V&E levels (assuming you hit the requisite hours). I have no idea what it's like at F&J.


I believe I saw on above the law that BB hour bonuses "pay out" at 2000 and 2300. Anyone have confirmation on this or know how it plays out on the ground? The way I believe it was framed was that if you did hit 2300 at BB you were best off but that at any point below that you'd be better off at V&E.

To above poster: Purely anecdotal but I have heard that the Latham office in Houston is just exploding (attorneys and billings) and that they're in a very good position to take advantage of a growing market because Latham as a firm has so much more cash than BigTex firms.


This has not been highly publicized, but BB has changed their salary structure so it relies much less on bonuses. They are paying now a NY market rate (much like V&E). The number I have seen show that you should come out ahead salarywise at BB over VE.


This is not true. Good friend heading to BB in Texas after graduation and he will not be on the NY base pay scale. This is something you would want to emphasize to your potential associates. He did say that the bonuses (if you bill over 2300) will put you above what at or better than at V&E. If you are actually working there, I will definitely believe you and tack it to them not informing their incoming associates, just seems weird to do that.

Now here is my question. Why is it that BB is "number 1" in Texas, but everyone always says V&E is so much better for corporate work and Fulbright is so much better for litigation. What does BB have going for it over the other 2 of the big 3? Word is that corporate in Texas goes V&E Houston >/= Latham Houston > BB Houston

Anyone want to comment on that?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:13 am

I left V&E back in 2011 to go in house, but it was a good firm then and it has gained a lot of steam over the last few years. One of my friends in Houston sent me this yesterday:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 10371.html

I don't care where it's based, the firm has an international footprint.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
unlicensedpotato wrote:
f0bolous wrote: from what I understand, even though BB caps your base salary at 185 K past year 3, the bonuses are supposed to true you up to at least V&E levels (assuming you hit the requisite hours). I have no idea what it's like at F&J.


I believe I saw on above the law that BB hour bonuses "pay out" at 2000 and 2300. Anyone have confirmation on this or know how it plays out on the ground? The way I believe it was framed was that if you did hit 2300 at BB you were best off but that at any point below that you'd be better off at V&E.

To above poster: Purely anecdotal but I have heard that the Latham office in Houston is just exploding (attorneys and billings) and that they're in a very good position to take advantage of a growing market because Latham as a firm has so much more cash than BigTex firms.


This has not been highly publicized, but BB has changed their salary structure so it relies much less on bonuses. They are paying now a NY market rate (much like V&E). The number I have seen show that you should come out ahead salarywise at BB over VE.


This is not true. Good friend heading to BB in Texas after graduation and he will not be on the NY base pay scale. This is something you would want to emphasize to your potential associates. He did say that the bonuses (if you bill over 2300) will put you above what at or better than at V&E. If you are actually working there, I will definitely believe you and tack it to them not informing their incoming associates, just seems weird to do that.

Now here is my question. Why is it that BB is "number 1" in Texas, but everyone always says V&E is so much better for corporate work and Fulbright is so much better for litigation. What does BB have going for it over the other 2 of the big 3? Word is that corporate in Texas goes V&E Houston >/= Latham Houston > BB Houston

Anyone want to comment on that?


I am the anonymous poster from before. I can say this is absolutely true; however, incoming associates have not had this information dispersed to them.

Where is it that you are getting "Word is that corporate in Texas goes V&E Houston >/= Latham Houston > BB Houston"?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am the anonymous poster from before. I can say this is absolutely true; however, incoming associates have not had this information dispersed to them.

Where is it that you are getting "Word is that corporate in Texas goes V&E Houston >/= Latham Houston > BB Houston"?


That's really exciting news if BB is going to NY scale. Do you have any info on how it works within the BB level system?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I meant they are clear choices, in that it should be clear that going to V&E over them (if you want to be in Houston) is a better career move. Latham is the only national satellite in Houston that presents a compelling argument for choosing them over V&E (I still wouldn't, but it's a compelling argument nonetheless).


I'm interested in more about this - why is Latham the only national satellite worth talking about? And why would you still go to V&E over it?


I don't really know the answer to your first question but for some reason it is the only one that has really taken hold. For the underlined though, if you aren't gunning for partner Latham would be a bad choice because they are more highly leveraged and work their associates like a New York shop. Idk if it is objectively bad or just bad by Houston standards, but its made some associates leave.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby 005618502 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I left V&E back in 2011 to go in house, but it was a good firm then and it has gained a lot of steam over the last few years. One of my friends in Houston sent me this yesterday:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 10371.html

I don't care where it's based, the firm has an international footprint.


Thanks for posting! Would you mind saying what the exit options were like from V&E? If you wanted to, would you have been able to lateral to another firm when leaving? Was there a feeling that a lot of people were pushed out (I have heard attrition is high)?

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I meant they are clear choices, in that it should be clear that going to V&E over them (if you want to be in Houston) is a better career move. Latham is the only national satellite in Houston that presents a compelling argument for choosing them over V&E (I still wouldn't, but it's a compelling argument nonetheless).


I'm interested in more about this - why is Latham the only national satellite worth talking about? And why would you still go to V&E over it?


I don't really know the answer to your first question but for some reason it is the only one that has really taken hold. For the underlined though, if you aren't gunning for partner Latham would be a bad choice because they are more highly leveraged and work their associates like a New York shop. Idk if it is objectively bad or just bad by Houston standards, but its made some associates leave.


I have heard that the exit options from V&E would be better IN Texas, but that the Latham name would carry farther outside of Texas. This could be wrong, just a bunch of anecdotal sayings around school from friends who are ending up in Houston.

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Where is it that you are getting "Word is that corporate in Texas goes V&E Houston >/= Latham Houston > BB Houston"?


I am just a law student, so this is just "word on the street" which is why I am here, would love to hear if someone thinks differently. I have heard V&E/Houston are top dogs for corporate and BB is better with IP

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:11 am

unlicensedpotato wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am the anonymous poster from before. I can say this is absolutely true; however, incoming associates have not had this information dispersed to them.

Where is it that you are getting "Word is that corporate in Texas goes V&E Houston >/= Latham Houston > BB Houston"?


That's really exciting news if BB is going to NY scale. Do you have any info on how it works within the BB level system?


Here is the Texas Lawyer article on BB salary: http://www.law360.com/articles/424696/a ... s-on-texas

From the numbers I have seen, it still has the Levels system, but it is exactly at a New York scale (you come out about $5k ahead over V&E and Latham)

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Re: Is V&E Underrated?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:23 am

I am a current Baker Botts associate in the Houston office. I don't typically monitor this board but was sent a link to this thread from a friend. I can confirm that Baker Botts recently raised base salaries for associates who bill over 2000. If you bill under 2000 for a year, you are bumped down to the old Texas scale the following year, but then you'll get the difference made up at bonus time if you get your hours back above 2000.

The scale is:
Level 1 (i.e., 1st year) - $160k
Level 2 (i.e., 2-3 year) - $180k
Level 3 (i.e., 4-6 year) - $230k
Level 4 (i.e., 7-8 year) - $270k

Presumably bonus ranges will be a little lower than they were before this raise in base comp, although I'm not exactly sure what those numbers will be.

EDIT: I just checked, and for bonus ranges, I have the following written down. I don't recall where these numbers came from, and they may not be accurate. But just for full disclosure, here's what I have:

Level 1 - up to $10k
First year level 2 - up to $10k
Subsequent year level 2 - up to $30k
First year level 3 - up to $10k
Subsequent year level 3 - up to $50k
Level 4 - up to $50k

Again, those numbers may not be accurate.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.




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