TX oil and gas boutique firm salary info

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Anonymous User
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TX oil and gas boutique firm salary info

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:06 pm

This is a somewhat specific question, but I was wondering if anyone has any info (or any links to info) regarding average starting salaries for oil and gas boutique firms in TX (especially those that specialize in title examination or landman-like work)? I just got a 2L summer offer for a position that starts at 80K. I'm splitting my summer between this place and big law. If both places give me offers, I'd actually be open-minded and give the small place serious consideration (despite half the salary) if I enjoy the work (plus, the hours, I was told, are close to 9-to-5, but we'll see if this is true).

If anyone has any information, it would help me in knowing where I stand. Also, a related question: This isn't something I've seen discussed on this forum, but is it possible to negotiate your starting salary/benefits? I'm under the impression that this is unusual for big law with the market 160K but what about the smaller firms?

Thanks in advance.


P.S. In this job market I understand that posts like this may be taken as a "humble brag." I disclaim any such intention.

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kalvano
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Re: TX oil and gas boutique firm salary info

Postby kalvano » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:41 pm

$80K is about right for the higher-end of boutique firms like that in Dallas and Houston.

And you can try and negotiate your salary for smaller firms, but you've got no leverage and I wouldn't count on it (cue the anecdotal "but my friend in school knows someone who did!" stories).

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legalese_retard
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Re: TX oil and gas boutique firm salary info

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:14 pm

$80K is probably above average for Texas, especially for cities like San Antonio, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, and Amarillo. As far as the upper range, firms in Ft. Worth are probably around the $90K range and firms in Dallas/Houston are around the low $100Ks.

If you have offers from the big law firm and the oil and gas firm, I see no reason why you shouldn't negotiate. The salary might be lower, but the bonus potential can be better at the smaller firm.

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Re: TX oil and gas boutique firm salary info

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:21 pm

legalese_retard wrote:$80K is probably above average for Texas, especially for cities like San Antonio, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, and Amarillo. As far as the upper range, firms in Ft. Worth are probably around the $90K range and firms in Dallas/Houston are around the low $100Ks.

If you have offers from the big law firm and the oil and gas firm, I see no reason why you shouldn't negotiate. The salary might be lower, but the bonus potential can be better at the smaller firm.


OP here. Thanks for the info! The oil and gas firm is not in Dallas or Houston, so it looks like it is market rate. I am intrigued by the "bonus potential"; the partner says that while they're obviously not going to be able to match big law salary initially, the potential is there to rival big law salary down the road. I have no idea how true this may be or how the business models of these o&g boutiques work. I am not expecting to make partner in big law (in Houston/Dallas), and may see myself lateraling to one of these small shops a few years down the road anyway.

By "bonus potential can be better at the smaller firm," do you mean the boutique's annual bonus will be greater than big law's bonus, or do you mean salary + bonus taken together (assuming several years down the road)?

Overall, it's pretty much eat-what-you-kill, feast or famine, right?

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legalese_retard
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Re: TX oil and gas boutique firm salary info

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:$80K is probably above average for Texas, especially for cities like San Antonio, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, and Amarillo. As far as the upper range, firms in Ft. Worth are probably around the $90K range and firms in Dallas/Houston are around the low $100Ks.

If you have offers from the big law firm and the oil and gas firm, I see no reason why you shouldn't negotiate. The salary might be lower, but the bonus potential can be better at the smaller firm.


OP here. Thanks for the info! The oil and gas firm is not in Dallas or Houston, so it looks like it is market rate. I am intrigued by the "bonus potential"; the partner says that while they're obviously not going to be able to match big law salary initially, the potential is there to rival big law salary down the road. I have no idea how true this may be or how the business models of these o&g boutiques work. I am not expecting to make partner in big law (in Houston/Dallas), and may see myself lateraling to one of these small shops a few years down the road anyway.

By "bonus potential can be better at the smaller firm," do you mean the boutique's annual bonus will be greater than big law's bonus, or do you mean salary + bonus taken together (assuming several years down the road)?

Overall, it's pretty much eat-what-you-kill, feast or famine, right?


I mean bonus potential relative to the number of hours you work. I don't think you will hit $160K, but your bonus may be more than the bonuses of the associates at the big firms. It is hard to gauge the bonus situation at oil & gas firms because it is tied more to the energy industry rather than the legal market. So if the employees at Chevron or Exxon are getting great bonuses, you should probably expect the same.




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