Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

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Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:55 am

I have several 1LSA offers in Dallas (only 1st half though), and I have to make a decision pretty soon, but I was wondering how the major Dallas firms stack up in terms of transactional work. Chambers is skewed to Houston, so it's hard to get a clear picture on who are the big players.

I've seen and heard the Dallas market characterized in terms of (a) Houston Big 3 (BB, V&E, NRF), (b) Dallas firms (Akin, HayBoo, TK, JW, Locke), and (3) NYC & other satellites (Weil, GDC, Sidley, K&L, Jones Day).

I've heard pros and cons for picking any of these choices over another over things like better hours and partnership prospects (lol, really), but I'm not naive and know both of those are bad regardless of where you're at, and would rather focus on quality of work, volume, types of clients, exit ops, etc.

For me, the decision's between one of the Big 3 and a Dallas firm, and having the benefit of not really being able to make a bad choice, this will ultimately be a personality/culture fit choice, but for the sake of 2L OCI and anyone else perusing this section down the road, please offer insight into the satellites as well.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:05 am

Say the specific firms duder

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:41 am

Akin Gump & Baker Botts if you must know, but I didn't think it was necessary because what I really wanted was to know how the whole market shapes out.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:43 am

biglaw associate/UT alum

I would go w/ LL, HayBoo, V&E, GDC or BB for transactional in Dallas.

NRF has been a bit wonky since the merger. I have a friend there who is planning on leaving because one of the partners he really liked left in the past year.

Sidley might be good? Not sure...they soaked up a bunch of Weil partners last year and I'm not sure what their firm looks like now. Weil is an absolute no. K&L is shit...some of the good transactional partners left for Perkins Coie. Don't know anything about Jones Day.

Akin not great for transactional. JW is okay but it has a very specific culture, so you want to make sure you're okay w/ that (very good old boy). TK has always been pretty meh.

ETA: Between BB and Akin I would probably go BB. As I said, Akin isn't great for transactional but it's not that bad either. If you really like the culture at Akin more (I do, personally) then it's a fine place to go.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Akin Gump & Baker Botts if you must know, but I didn't think it was necessary because what I really wanted was to know how the whole market shapes out.

There's probably a pretty sizable difference between NRF and BB at this point, for example.

Most of my OCI was focused on Houston so grain of salt and the above anon obviously knows way more than me but I also would roll with Baker Botts here

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:03 pm

How do Haynes and Boone and V&E play in?

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:18 pm

Dallas biglaw associate.

The topic is way too broad to have any meaning beyond generalities that aren't helpful for law students.. For example, overall, TK may or may not be meh, but it's a perfectly fine firm if you want to work with O&G companies (no, I'm not at TK).

If you don't have an interest in any particular area, just go with the culture that you liked the best.

Finally, I caution you to take what you read on this forum with a grain of salt. TLS is great for law school topics, but I've found that TLS isn't quite as solid when it comes to topics that involve the actual practice of law. This is probably because your experience as a practicing lawyer will depend on toowny variables.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How do Haynes and Boone and V&E play in?


Biglaw associate from above. I think they are both very good for transactional in Dallas. I have friends at both. Between the two, I would probably go HayBoo just b/c it is their home office as opposed to V&E.

Nationally, V&E has the better rep. And certainly their Houston office is tops. But for Dallas, I would probably give the nod to Hayboo if you have your pick. Again, can't go wrong here. Above poster is absolutely right that a lot of this will depend on personal preference.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:37 pm

How is H&B, LL, or JW better than Akin in Corporate when a substantial number of partners in their prime left H&B and went to Akin? Look at the league tables and the financials. The firms you are comparing are not on the same playing field. Akin is doing more deals and bigger deals than H&B, LL or JW. Plus, Akin pays NY scale bonuses, which the other firms do not.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby nothingtosee » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How is H&B, LL, or JW better than Akin in Corporate when a substantial number of partners in their prime left H&B and went to Akin? Look at the league tables and the financials. The firms you are comparing are not on the same playing field. Akin is doing more deals and bigger deals than H&B, LL or JW. Plus, Akin pays NY scale bonuses, which the other firms do not.


SHOTS FIRED

How different would BB really be re: Houston v Dallas?

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:43 pm

Also a Dallas associate, but not at one of your two choices. I'd pick BB of your two. Ranked by tiers, I'd generally go

- GDC/VE/Hayboo/BB, with the caveat that there are big cultural differences between those
- LL/Sidley/Akin/Jones Day
- TK/JW/Weil

I agree that TLS isn't the best place for info on firms, but there aren't many other good options, especially for 1Ls. Honestly, the whole thing is kind of a toss up. I got lucky and like my job, but liking your job as a junior to mid-level associate is so practice group, partner and senior-associate-dependent that many of my peers in peer firms - and even in my own firm - have totally different experiences. I know that's not what you want to hear as a law student - you want to think you have control over your fate - but the truth is that whether you're happy with your ultimate choice between a handful of similar firms is mostly luck.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:52 pm

Dallas associate, would do BB over Akin.

TK's transactional absolutely fell off a cliff this year, revenue and net income were flat (Managing Partner's comment was essentially "no transactional at all, and litigation is slow")

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:00 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How is H&B, LL, or JW better than Akin in Corporate when a substantial number of partners in their prime left H&B and went to Akin? Look at the league tables and the financials. The firms you are comparing are not on the same playing field. Akin is doing more deals and bigger deals than H&B, LL or JW. Plus, Akin pays NY scale bonuses, which the other firms do not.


SHOTS FIRED

How different would BB really be re: Houston v Dallas?

I've done CBs at both, and the interviewers I had in the Dallas office were definitely easier to talk to. I know this gets thrown around a lot, but based on what I've heard and seen, BB Houston seems like a pretty miserable place to work unless you're nerdy/introverted/buttoned up/slightly aspie. I honestly don't understand how they get new clients. A lot of the people there don't seem to know how to interact with others, and conversations felt so stilted and forced, while in Dallas, I got the sense that they were more laid back, and we had free-flowing conversations that didn't feel so much like formal interviews.

Obviously anecdotal, though I've heard from others who know the Houston/Dallas markets better than I do that my impressions are at least somewhat correct.

As for the OP, I would take BB Dallas over Akin. If it were Houston, BB is still top tier with V&E/Latham/others, but I would probably recommend somewhere else due to the culture.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:09 pm

For Dallas corporate:

GDC/V&E/BB

HB/Sidley/Akin/JD/AK

LL/Bracewell

TK/JW/Weil/Baker McKenzie/Gardere

Strasburger/Hunton & Williams

K&L Gates/Patton Boggs (if they still exist)

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:18 pm

Echoing above poster, my impression is that BB Dallas and BB Houston are very different.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Dallas biglaw associate.

The topic is way too broad to have any meaning beyond generalities that aren't helpful for law students.. For example, overall, TK may or may not be meh, but it's a perfectly fine firm if you want to work with O&G companies (no, I'm not at TK).

If you don't have an interest in any particular area, just go with the culture that you liked the best.

Finally, I caution you to take what you read on this forum with a grain of salt. TLS is great for law school topics, but I've found that TLS isn't quite as solid when it comes to topics that involve the actual practice of law. This is probably because your experience as a practicing lawyer will depend on toowny variables.


OP here

Sorry, I was specifically referring to public and private M&A, and banking/finance.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:- GDC/VE/Hayboo/BB, with the caveat that there are big cultural differences between those
- LL/Sidley/Akin/Jones Day
- TK/JW/Weil


Anonymous User wrote:For Dallas corporate:

GDC/V&E/BB

HB/Sidley/Akin/JD/AK

LL/Bracewell

TK/JW/Weil/Baker McKenzie/Gardere

Strasburger/Hunton & Williams

K&L Gates/Patton Boggs (if they still exist)


I'm noticing a trend here… didn't know AK & Bracewell had that much of presence in Dallas, and I didn't know Weil was regarded so low, but then again, I'm sure my info was dated (before that Weil exodus).

From what I can feel out so far, and as I think someone else mentioned, I can't make a bad choice given the options I have now and I mean, at the end of the day, I'll only be able to work for one employer when I graduate. I just wanted to know how the market shaped up for when 2L OCI comes around, I'll have a better idea as to how I want to shape my bid-list. So, thanks to all those that still gave me a broad outlook on Dallas, and if anyone has anything else they want to pitch in, feel free.

Sidenote: Would there be any disadvantage in picking a Dallas based firm, as a Dallas resident, over BB/VE if you still have an interest in working in Houston for 2L? I doubt it, but I have to ask.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:45 am

Stop agonizing with this hypothetical 20-way shootout, and just go Baker Botts. If you're going to practice in Texas and intend to stay here for a long time (as you should), then you can't go wrong with having them on your resume. BB is a Texas titan, there's no reason to go elsewhere unless you're trying to get into NY/DC or something.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:12 pm

Ask Akin to split. Both of these firms will allow 1Ls second half (no matter what they say) but Akin is more likely to budge. BB Dallas is more stringent on the first half only requirement.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:26 pm

Splitting is quickly becoming a thing of the past in Dallas.

BB would positively not budge when I asked them to let me do second half. A friend of mine couldn't get Fulbright to split for him either. I heard from my friends who just did OCI that this was the case with most other firms as well.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:35 pm

Not sure how feasible splitting is these days. I don't have experience with Akin's Dallas office, but I tried asking Akin Houston to let me do second half, and they were pretty adamant about first half only.

Also, I agree with the above poster: If you want to be in Texas, Baker Botts or V&E is where it's at. And since you're in Dallas, you don't have to worry about that miserable BB Houston culture.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby thisiswater » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:35 pm

.
Last edited by thisiswater on Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:40 pm

thisiswater wrote:I'm a little surprised to see how well regarded Hayboo is in this thread. Are they really considered top tier?

That's a little outdated, imo. I don't think they're really top tier in Dallas anymore, even though that's their home office, and they obviously aren't top tier in Houston. They have a pretty cool culture though.

To me, the top tier firms in Dallas are GDC, V&E, and BB. In Houston, it's V&E and Latham.

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:17 pm

One other comment for OP: I don't know about Akin but BB corporate is a general practice so you'll have the opportunity to do M&A, PE, Finance, Cap Markets, etc. which seems like it would be a plus for you

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Re: Best Firms in Dallas For Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:41 pm

thisiswater wrote:I'm a little surprised to see how well regarded Hayboo is in this thread. Are they really considered top tier?


They have a neat culture, pay well, and have a pretty good billable hour requirement and work/life balance. And if you're lucky enough to be in their IP group, you can be at their Richardson satellite office, which is supposedly much more relaxed and feels like a small firm.




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