Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

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Which two firms would you select? (One of each category please)

Baker Botts
15
19%
Vinson & Elkins
24
31%
Norton Rose Fulbright
5
6%
Bracewell & Giuliani
3
4%
Locke Lord
12
15%
Andrews Kurth
7
9%
Haynes & Boone
12
15%
 
Total votes: 78

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Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:09 am

All Houston offices:

First half:
Baker Botts
Vinson & Elkins
Norton Rose Fulbright
Bracewell & Giuliani

Second half:
Locke Lord
Andrews Kurth
Haynes & Boone

Interviews finally completed and offers from the firms above for 1L program. Wanting to do transactional work, particularly domestic and international energy transactions. For the first half i'm really debating between V&E and NRF. What do yall think of the latter's recent merger? Approximately 4k attorneys sounds crazy and although I was reassured the U.S. office still makes all hiring/promoting/salary decisions, I still feel anxious about potential future implications. And any thoughts on V&E or downsides to joining their corporate group?

I thought all the second half firms were pretty comparable. Liked people at Locke Lord a bit more than the other two, but really don't see any big distinguishing factors between the 3. What do yall think?

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:All Houston offices:

First half:
Baker Botts
Vinson & Elkins
Norton Rose Fulbright
Bracewell & Giuliani

Second half:
Locke Lord
Andrews Kurth
Haynes & Boone

Interviews finally completed and offers from the firms above for 1L program. Wanting to do transactional work, particularly domestic and international energy transactions. For the first half i'm really debating between V&E and NRF. What do yall think of the latter's recent merger? Approximately 4k attorneys sounds crazy and although I was reassured the U.S. office still makes all hiring/promoting/salary decisions, I still feel anxious about potential future implications. And any thoughts on V&E or downsides to joining their corporate group?

I thought all the second half firms were pretty comparable. Liked people at Locke Lord a bit more than the other two, but really don't see any big distinguishing factors between the 3. What do yall think?


I would definitely choose Fulbright for the first half (have only heard great things) and probably LL for the second.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:52 am

I would go with V&E and Locke Lord. I'll be at Locke Lord for the 1st half btw. I really liked the people there more than anywhere else I did a callback.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

cruxisfalcon
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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby cruxisfalcon » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:16 am

FWIW, V&E absolutely dominates energy M&A if you're interested in the space. They have something like an 80% market share in certain market segments (they practically invented the MLP). Really cutting edge and high profile work. I've heard the culture is very fratty and outgoing if you're into that kind of thing. I would imagine long hours given the type of work though.

I've heard very good things about HayBoo in Dallas but not much about the Houston office. I'll defer to someone else about that.

de5igual
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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby de5igual » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:17 am

If your main focus is energy transactional work, for first half go with either BB/VE (it all really comes down to fit and the culture is very different); second half do AK. Fulbright isn't really known for their transactional work and is several notches below many of the other firms you mentioned. HB Dallas does more work than Houston, but they don't really do energy transactions.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:24 am

Definitely go V&E for the first half. 100%. They are THE firm for the kind of work you're talking about.

Andrews Kurth has a strong reputation in transactional law in Texas. Of all the native Texas firms outside the big 3, I think they are best known for transactional work, especially in the energy sector. However, HayBoo is a very strong firm that seems to only be getting stronger. Not sure how the Houston office is (most of what I hear is about the Dallas office), but I think the firm generally is on the up and up and quickly becoming a peer of VE, NRF and BB. Deciding b/w AK and HayBoo really depends on how dedicated you are to energy transactional, IMO. If you're willing to branch out to other practice areas, I would go HayBoo. But if you definitely want energy work, go to AK second half

TL;DR: VE first half, HayBoo or AK second half (but I would go HayBoo)

These are amazing choices you have btw. I know lots of people who were able to snag one of these their 1L year, but having landed all these offers is quite an accomplishment.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:02 am

de5igual wrote:If your main focus is energy transactional work, for first half go with either BB/VE (it all really comes down to fit and the culture is very different); second half do AK. Fulbright isn't really known for their transactional work and is several notches below many of the other firms you mentioned. HB Dallas does more work than Houston, but they don't really do energy transactions.


Can you please say more about the difference in culture?

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M&ADE
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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby M&ADE » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
de5igual wrote:If your main focus is energy transactional work, for first half go with either BB/VE (it all really comes down to fit and the culture is very different); second half do AK. Fulbright isn't really known for their transactional work and is several notches below many of the other firms you mentioned. HB Dallas does more work than Houston, but they don't really do energy transactions.


Can you please say more about the difference in culture?

Culture at V&E has a reputation for being "fratty" while BB tends to be perceived as more nerdy/stuffy.

I'll add in: if energy transactional work is your goal, go V&E first half. As other posters have mentioned, they're among the leaders in the energy transactional space. Data is here: http://www.mergermarket.com/pdf/Mergermarket-H12013-LegalAdvisorM&ATrendReport.pdf.

Agree w/ other posters that Fulbright isn't as strong in the transactional space. As for the 2nd half, it's a tough call but HB and AK each have their strengths. AK and LL probably do more energy work than HB, but HB tends to be more family-friendly, and they have been getting more active in the international space recently (e.g., Brazil and Mexico).

Overall: Definitely V&E 1st half; For 2nd half, any of the 3 would be fine, and if you're leaning LL, I know several people who summered/now work there. If I had to choose one, I'd say HB for some contrast (more family-/hour-friendly, but less focus on energy work).

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:All Houston offices:

First half:
Baker Botts
Vinson & Elkins
Norton Rose Fulbright
Bracewell & Giuliani

Second half:
Locke Lord
Andrews Kurth
Haynes & Boone

Interviews finally completed and offers from the firms above for 1L program. Wanting to do transactional work, particularly domestic and international energy transactions. For the first half i'm really debating between V&E and NRF. What do yall think of the latter's recent merger? Approximately 4k attorneys sounds crazy and although I was reassured the U.S. office still makes all hiring/promoting/salary decisions, I still feel anxious about potential future implications. And any thoughts on V&E or downsides to joining their corporate group?

I thought all the second half firms were pretty comparable. Liked people at Locke Lord a bit more than the other two, but really don't see any big distinguishing factors between the 3. What do yall think?


I would definitely choose Fulbright for the first half (have only heard great things) and probably LL for the second.


Would you mind elaborating on what you've heard about Fulbright?

Anonymous User wrote:I would go with V&E and Locke Lord. I'll be at Locke Lord for the 1st half btw. I really liked the people there more than anywhere else I did a callback.


Yeah the people I met with are great. Where will you be second half?

Anonymous User wrote:Definitely go V&E for the first half. 100%. They are THE firm for the kind of work you're talking about.

Andrews Kurth has a strong reputation in transactional law in Texas. Of all the native Texas firms outside the big 3, I think they are best known for transactional work, especially in the energy sector. However, HayBoo is a very strong firm that seems to only be getting stronger. Not sure how the Houston office is (most of what I hear is about the Dallas office), but I think the firm generally is on the up and up and quickly becoming a peer of VE, NRF and BB. Deciding b/w AK and HayBoo really depends on how dedicated you are to energy transactional, IMO. If you're willing to branch out to other practice areas, I would go HayBoo. But if you definitely want energy work, go to AK second half

TL;DR: VE first half, HayBoo or AK second half (but I would go HayBoo)

These are amazing choices you have btw. I know lots of people who were able to snag one of these their 1L year, but having landed all these offers is quite an accomplishment.


Thanks! Worked my ass off first semester. Did you have any thoughts on Locke?

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:12 pm

M&ADE wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
de5igual wrote:If your main focus is energy transactional work, for first half go with either BB/VE (it all really comes down to fit and the culture is very different); second half do AK. Fulbright isn't really known for their transactional work and is several notches below many of the other firms you mentioned. HB Dallas does more work than Houston, but they don't really do energy transactions.


Can you please say more about the difference in culture?

Culture at V&E has a reputation for being "fratty" while BB tends to be perceived as more nerdy/stuffy.

I'll add in: if energy transactional work is your goal, go V&E first half. As other posters have mentioned, they're among the leaders in the energy transactional space. Data is here: http://www.mergermarket.com/pdf/Mergermarket-H12013-LegalAdvisorM&ATrendReport.pdf.

Agree w/ other posters that Fulbright isn't as strong in the transactional space. As for the 2nd half, it's a tough call but HB and AK each have their strengths. AK and LL probably do more energy work than HB, but HB tends to be more family-friendly, and they have been getting more active in the international space recently (e.g., Brazil and Mexico).

Overall: Definitely V&E 1st half; For 2nd half, any of the 3 would be fine, and if you're leaning LL, I know several people who summered/now work there. If I had to choose one, I'd say HB for some contrast (more family-/hour-friendly, but less focus on energy work).


I took a look at this and i'm not sure what to make of it.

Globally: Fulbright had a deal count of 57 last year while V&E wasn't in the top 20 globally.
U.S.: V&E had a deal count of 37 last year while Fulbright wasn't in the top 20 in that category.

Pretty telling that Baker Botts wasn't listed at all though.

Also, Latham is killing it. Need to look into them next summer.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:31 pm

I agree with most that V&E in the first half would probably be the best choice for your goals. But all four firms are excellent.

I think there might be a little misinformation ITT about AK. AK is a great firm and is definitely a transactional heavyweight. They do a lot of corporate/securities work in the energy sector and they do a lot of real estate work. However, I don't think they do much traditional energy M&A (i.e. purchase and sale of O&G assets). Relative to the size of the offices, you will probably find more of that at HB and LL.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:54 pm

Globally: Fulbright had a deal count of 57 last year while V&E wasn't in the top 20 globally.
U.S.: V&E had a deal count of 37 last year while Fulbright wasn't in the top 20 in that category.

Pretty telling that Baker Botts wasn't listed at all though.


Globally, it makes sense. Fulbright is now part of Norton Rose, which is much more of a global firm than any of the other firms in contention.

That's probably a reason to avoid Fulbright altogether. Fulbright was shitting the bed during the economic crisis, and now it has merged with another one of those mid-tier global outfits that itself has had many "redundancies" (using UK-speak because Norton Rose was/is a UK firm). Doesn't really strike me as the most stable platform, especially for the shit you want to do.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:03 pm

If you want to do deals work in Texas, VE/AK is the correct split here hands down. Like objectively the right choice. They're both the dominant practice out of the relevant first/second half baskets. Do rotations through M&A and Cap-M at VE, and Corporate and BT at AK. You'll get awesome exposure and on top of that have a damn fun summer with two of the better SA programs in Texas.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you want to do deals work in Texas, VE/AK is the correct split here hands down. Like objectively the right choice. They're both the dominant practice out of the relevant first/second half baskets. Do rotations through M&A and Cap-M at VE, and Corporate and BT at AK. You'll get awesome exposure and on top of that have a damn fun summer with two of the better SA programs in Texas.


I don't think Baker Botts is getting enough attention here. It consistently ranks as the top firm in Texas and has a sizable energy practice (Vault has BB as #2 in Energy with V&E #3)

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to do deals work in Texas, VE/AK is the correct split here hands down. Like objectively the right choice. They're both the dominant practice out of the relevant first/second half baskets. Do rotations through M&A and Cap-M at VE, and Corporate and BT at AK. You'll get awesome exposure and on top of that have a damn fun summer with two of the better SA programs in Texas.


I don't think Baker Botts is getting enough attention here. It consistently ranks as the top firm in Texas and has a sizable energy practice (Vault has BB as #2 in Energy with V&E #3)


Vault is a useful proxy for NYC M&A and not much else.

de5igual
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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby de5igual » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:48 pm

Why is everyone anon?

OP, I suggest you look at this:

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/13235/354/Editorial/5/1

Also, one more thing: while chambers gives you a pretty good idea of how firms stack against one another, I wouldn't use that as the sole determining factor for choosing a place to work. Personal factors (e.g., how you fit in, the vibe, etc) should also be considered.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:05 pm

When you say energy transactional work, it seems like most people here have immediately assumed public M&A work, which may or may not be a correct assumption. Just looking to the difference between BB and V&E (which are both top quality firms) in the corporate sectors, V&E does dominate in the M&A tables, but BB seems to specialize a bit more in representing the underwriters as opposed to the company side. BB is probably a bit more involved in the IPO side, whereas V&E probably edges out BB slightly in the MLP transactions.

If you are looking more towards energy project work, I think generally the BB Global Projects group is regarded slightly higher than V&E's ETP group (at least in domestic transactions). V&E does seem more entrenched in the international space.

All that said, I am just trying to use BB and V&E as a proxy to say for all of these firms, look to more than just the league tables and think about what type of transactional specialty you would like your practice to evolve into. They are all slightly different. Fit and personality are also extremely important (remember you will work a TON at all of these firms).

Also, you have amazing choices that I wish I had back when I was a 1L!

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:09 pm

Take a look at this: http://abovethelaw.com/2013/08/atl-law- ... s-edition/

First half: V&E over all the others seems to be the safe/sensible/"correct" answer, given the numbers (and I'm speaking as someone who will be SAing elsewhere next summer). Fulbright's merger does raise questions regarding financial stability, but I think it would be a sensible choice for someone with an international/multilingual background who wants to work in one of their foreign offices. Unsurprisingly, I found Fulbright to be more diverse than most Texas law firms; as a URM/someone with international background I felt very comfortable there. BB's culture is distinctively more conservative; some women I know who have summered there have commented on this.

Second half: The ATL survey seems to make a very strong case for Hayboo. I really enjoyed my CB with Andrews Kurth. They were a genuinely nice and laid-back bunch (but I am not "laid-back," thus no offer from them).

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:57 pm

But it is important to realize that picking a big law firm should not be like picking the top-ranked law school. All of these firms are good. You will be paid your 160K at all of them, and it is unlikely (but certainly far from impossible) any of them will fold any time soon. You must weigh your level of ambition against the personality/fit/culture factor. I picked my firm not because they were industry leaders in X area of law but because I met a lot of interesting people at receptions that I wanted to see/work with again in the summer. A place where the interactions don't feel superficial/perfunctory was an important factor for me.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:26 pm

Making career decisions based on an Above the Law survey is even sillier than making them on the basis of the Vault rankings. VE/AK remains the credited transactional side split in Texas.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:34 pm

.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Just curious what you decided? I was in a similar position as you as a 1L and am now going to completely different firms than I did as a 1L because of what I learned last summer working in Houston.

In any case, you are just a 1L so you are fortunate to have this and can still make a different decision after this summer. Congrats on the great options.

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just curious what you decided? I was in a similar position as you as a 1L and am now going to completely different firms than I did as a 1L because of what I learned last summer working in Houston.

In any case, you are just a 1L so you are fortunate to have this and can still make a different decision after this summer. Congrats on the great options.


V&E and ---. I'm really curious though-what firms were you at and what firms did you switch to? And for what reasons? Maybe I can PM you?

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Re: Texas BigLaw - Please Help Me Decide!

Postby CBJ_15 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:54 pm

How do the firms listed stack up as far as lit goes?




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