Texas vs LA Firms

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sonyvaio18
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:35 am

Texas vs LA Firms

Postby sonyvaio18 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:23 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all for your amazing thoughts and advice so far.

Can anyone who's had experience in both markets discuss if firm cultures and quality of life are actually that different? And if they are, how you would characterize their differences?

I've become interested in firms like Haynes and Boone in Texas. Because of casual comments people have made about laxer billables in Texas and a nicer lifestyle culture overall, I've become curious, even though I've never considered living there. Plus it helps that the cost of living there is super low.

I'm thinking about checking out the CA Haynes and Boone outposts, but I was wondering if others could comment on their thoughts about Texas firms.

BearLaw
Posts: 133
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby BearLaw » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:35 pm

sonyvaio18 wrote:Hi everyone,

Thanks to all for your amazing thoughts and advice so far.

Can anyone who's had experience in both markets discuss if firm cultures and quality of life are actually that different? And if they are, how you would characterize their differences?

I've become interested in firms like Haynes and Boone in Texas. Because of casual comments people have made about laxer billables in Texas and a nicer lifestyle culture overall, I've become curious, even though I've never considered living there. Plus it helps that the cost of living there is super low.

I'm thinking about checking out the CA Haynes and Boone outposts, but I was wondering if others could comment on their thoughts about Texas firms.


Interviewed at Hayboo in Houston, know a couple of people who work and/or summered there. When I interviewed, they seemed like a bunch of generally congenial people who get along and treat you like a human being (for the most part). That being said, even in Texas, their Dallas office seems to be king, so I can only imagine other offices further from home will feel more satellite-ey.

From what I understand, (and someone please jump in if I am wrong, I dont work there, only giving my impressions based on what I could glean through a callback and second hand) the hour requirement is not as strict as some other firms, but the compensation isnt the same either. Bonuses are generally lower, and raises are not always in strict lock-step. This may be different outside of TX.

Edit: as to your question about California, looking at the size of the offices and the locations, I doubt they are a major player there. Sorry I cant be more helpful in that regard.

BigZuck
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby BigZuck » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:52 pm

Current UT student here who has gone through OCI with most of the major players in Texas-

If you don't go to UT or have pre-existing ties to Texas (and especially if you're a Californian), then I think getting a job in TX big law is a total non-starter. Not saying that to be a downer, just what I think is realistic.

But it's kind of hard for me to tell from your posting history what your situation is. Are you a 1L with a summer job in LA?

Anonymous User
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:03 pm

BigZuck wrote:Current UT student here who has gone through OCI with most of the major players in Texas-

If you don't go to UT or have pre-existing ties to Texas (and especially if you're a Californian), then I think getting a job in TX big law is a total non-starter. Not saying that to be a downer, just what I think is realistic.

But it's kind of hard for me to tell from your posting history what your situation is. Are you a 1L with a summer job in LA?


Generally, what kind of pre-existing ties/grades are required to have a decent shot at Texas from an out of state "tier 1" school?

I lived there as a kid for a good portion of my adolescence, have good friends there, and would love to return if possible, but Texas isn't anywhere on my resume because I haven't lived there since. Will living there previously work as a possible tie, or do they want someone who has family there, worked there, etc.?

(OP, sorry to interrupt your thread).

BearLaw
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby BearLaw » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Current UT student here who has gone through OCI with most of the major players in Texas-

If you don't go to UT or have pre-existing ties to Texas (and especially if you're a Californian), then I think getting a job in TX big law is a total non-starter. Not saying that to be a downer, just what I think is realistic.

But it's kind of hard for me to tell from your posting history what your situation is. Are you a 1L with a summer job in LA?


Generally, what kind of pre-existing ties/grades are required to have a decent shot at Texas from an out of state "tier 1" school?

I lived there as a kid for a good portion of my adolescence, have good friends there, and would love to return if possible, but Texas isn't anywhere on my resume because I haven't lived there since. Will living there previously work as a possible tie, or do they want someone who has family there, worked there, etc.?

(OP, sorry to interrupt your thread).


What kind of "Tier 1" school are we talking about?

I am at a peer school of UT, lived in TX briefly growing up, went to undergrad there, and have extensive familial ties. I would say I had an average to slightly above average time in terms of difficulty finding a job. Got a decent number of interviews/callbacks, but not a ton of offers. Ended up with a great outcome, but there were not firms lining up to give me a job.

If you are at at a T14, you should get bites, if you are outside the UT/Vandy level, and not at a Texas school, you will have to sell them pretty hard on your desire to return to the state.

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AT9
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby AT9 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:28 pm

BearLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Current UT student here who has gone through OCI with most of the major players in Texas-

If you don't go to UT or have pre-existing ties to Texas (and especially if you're a Californian), then I think getting a job in TX big law is a total non-starter. Not saying that to be a downer, just what I think is realistic.

But it's kind of hard for me to tell from your posting history what your situation is. Are you a 1L with a summer job in LA?


Generally, what kind of pre-existing ties/grades are required to have a decent shot at Texas from an out of state "tier 1" school?

I lived there as a kid for a good portion of my adolescence, have good friends there, and would love to return if possible, but Texas isn't anywhere on my resume because I haven't lived there since. Will living there previously work as a possible tie, or do they want someone who has family there, worked there, etc.?

(OP, sorry to interrupt your thread).


What kind of "Tier 1" school are we talking about?

I am at a peer school of UT, lived in TX briefly growing up, went to undergrad there, and have extensive familial ties. I would say I had an average to slightly above average time in terms of difficulty finding a job. Got a decent number of interviews/callbacks, but not a ton of offers. Ended up with a great outcome, but there were not firms lining up to give me a job.

If you are at at a T14, you should get bites, if you are outside the UT/Vandy level, and not at a Texas school, you will have to sell them pretty hard on your desire to return to the state.


Thanks for the input - and not sure why I quoted that anonymously. Habit, I guess.

I'm at a 20-40 level school in the South, so not UT/Vandy level. My school does a joint interview program there in which some people have had success, but obviously it's not a major feeder to TX. When mass mailing and nothing on my resume that says Texas, I suppose I just need to hammer home my previous connection/desire to be there? And do firms want city-specific ties, or are ties to Texas generally sufficient? I.e., I didn't live in Dallas or Houston.

BearLaw
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby BearLaw » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:44 pm

AT9 wrote:
Thanks for the input - and not sure why I quoted that anonymously. Habit, I guess.

I'm at a 20-40 level school in the South, so not UT/Vandy level. My school does a joint interview program there in which some people have had success, but obviously it's not a major feeder to TX. When mass mailing and nothing on my resume that says Texas, I suppose I just need to hammer home my previous connection/desire to be there? And do firms want city-specific ties, or are ties to Texas generally sufficient? I.e., I didn't live in Dallas or Houston.


I think grades will be as important as ties in your case. Most firms will not go much below median at the T20, so to get an interview from lower than that, I would likely shoot for top 1/3 at least to have a decent shot (possible URM status notwithstanding).

As for ties, I would hammer your connection to the state. It varies a lot by firm, and my experience was that firms not based in Texas care less about ties to Texas. I would also find a reason for the city you are interviewing in vs. other places. (And dont say you like the Cowboys in Dallas, or like how diverse Houston is, these are too generic to be taken seriously imo). I you have family, or a SO who is or may be relocating to a city, these seem pretty good. My wife is from Houston, and currently in professional school there, so she was a solid tie, even though I had never resided in Houston prior to law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:03 am

BigZuck wrote:Current UT student here who has gone through OCI with most of the major players in Texas-

If you don't go to UT or have pre-existing ties to Texas (and especially if you're a Californian), then I think getting a job in TX big law is a total non-starter. Not saying that to be a downer, just what I think is realistic.

But it's kind of hard for me to tell from your posting history what your situation is. Are you a 1L with a summer job in LA?


I'm a CCN student from the Bay Area.

I got bites across the board in Dallas, at Haynes & Boone, Baker Botts, and V&E. That said, I had a very coherent story for why I wanted to go, and top 15% plus Law Review (which I do think contributed). At two of the above three, the hiring partner came out after the callback to ask me specifically about why Dallas, and I'm very much aware it's something I couldn't have faked and had to articulate it in a way that made it seem more than a fancy or a neat idea I had.

I don't mean to give OP false hope. It will be ridiculously hard and it is not something you should count on. There are plenty of students from Texas or that go to UT that are praying for the same spots. You can certainly try but please do not expect it, build it up as your only end goal, or sacrifice other opportunities in pursuit of it.

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AT9
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby AT9 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:26 am

BearLaw wrote:
AT9 wrote:
Thanks for the input - and not sure why I quoted that anonymously. Habit, I guess.

I'm at a 20-40 level school in the South, so not UT/Vandy level. My school does a joint interview program there in which some people have had success, but obviously it's not a major feeder to TX. When mass mailing and nothing on my resume that says Texas, I suppose I just need to hammer home my previous connection/desire to be there? And do firms want city-specific ties, or are ties to Texas generally sufficient? I.e., I didn't live in Dallas or Houston.


I think grades will be as important as ties in your case. Most firms will not go much below median at the T20, so to get an interview from lower than that, I would likely shoot for top 1/3 at least to have a decent shot (possible URM status notwithstanding).

As for ties, I would hammer your connection to the state. It varies a lot by firm, and my experience was that firms not based in Texas care less about ties to Texas. I would also find a reason for the city you are interviewing in vs. other places. (And dont say you like the Cowboys in Dallas, or like how diverse Houston is, these are too generic to be taken seriously imo). I you have family, or a SO who is or may be relocating to a city, these seem pretty good. My wife is from Houston, and currently in professional school there, so she was a solid tie, even though I had never resided in Houston prior to law school.


Gotcha. No URM status, but my grades are near top of the class. Unfortunately I don't have a solid story for why Dallas/Houston/etc. other than I lived in TX (SA/Austin region), loved it, and would love to move back to the state permanently. Not sure how if that can be convincing in a cover letter.

sonyvaio18
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Re: Texas vs LA Firms

Postby sonyvaio18 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:16 am

Thanks so much all. At this point, I'm just doing research/exploring -- I'm trying to see if it's even worth considering Texas firms given lifestyle considerations. From my interviews at LA offices, I could already tell that they're so different from NYC offices -- I'm wondering if TX is similar to LA or even better.

Yeah, no direct TX connections (but I have some distant family living there). I'm also above median at H, if that helps at all.




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