What's going on in Texas?

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:any impressions of McGuireWoods in Dallas? our office is now around ~40 people, after the original group split off from Patton Boggs two years ago. While the office is continuing to grow at a healthy clip (especially private equity/debt finance work) i'm unsure what the exit options to a BigTex office here in Texas would be for lateraling somewhere around the 4-5 year mark or going in-house, if one wanted to do that.


Interested in this as well. Also thoughts on the Dallas office of Hunton and Williams, the other Richmond firm?

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:any impressions of McGuireWoods in Dallas? our office is now around ~40 people, after the original group split off from Patton Boggs two years ago. While the office is continuing to grow at a healthy clip (especially private equity/debt finance work) i'm unsure what the exit options to a BigTex office here in Texas would be for lateraling somewhere around the 4-5 year mark or going in-house, if one wanted to do that.


Interested in this as well. Also thoughts on the Dallas office of Hunton and Williams, the other Richmond firm?


Both are well regarded but neither are thought of as big players. Hunton's transactional/PE practice has some visibility, though, and until recently I believe it generally paid close to market. It is my understanding that MW's strength is in regulatory work and that it generally pays significantly less than market. I would think it would be difficult to lateral to a "BigTex" firm as a midlevel from either HW or MW unless there were some unusual circumstances or the practice group desperate needed someone. And while I generally think that in-house opportunities are fairly similar from places like Weil/GDC and places like TK/HB/LL, I do think the opportunities from somewhere like HW or MW might be a bit smaller - partly because of less name recognition and less client contacts but also because they don't generally attract the very top students. That being said, I'm sure there are still plenty of good opportunities - both to other firms and in-house.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just catching up on the convos on this thread, and thought this article might be helpful to those trying to understand the Houston market:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/busines ... 887969.php


What do you think the future of the Texas-based firms is? Are BB/V&E especially badly placed due to their reliance on the type of big-market deals that the arriving elite firms are now doing, or will the upper-mid market firms also have problems?


I'm biased as a junior associate at one of these firms, but I think BB/V&E will be the only general practice "texas-based firms" that survive this upheaval. Yes, there will be smaller firms that have lower rates, and there will be Susman etc., but I think NRF/LL/TK/AK/Bracewell will have the hardest time surviving and will probably merge with big national firms or other texas-based ones. That obviously depends though on the ability of BB/V&E to elevate themselves into international firms that happen to be based in TX.


I don't disagree with this. BB and VE still have the best corporate groups in Houston overall, based on talent levels. Latham and Kirkland have taken some talent and some of the associates they pulled were great, but many of them were those who were not loved at their current firm or only got an offer from a shop with a small corporate practice and were left wanting. V&E and BB matched NY salaries, but they are going to need to keep up with bonuses or top associates will be more likely to bounce to K&E or Latham where you get market bonus at 2000 (rather than having to hit higher numbers). I think the thing that keeps a lot of people from making the jump is knowing that your chances of making partner at the Houston office of Latham and K&E is very very unlikely.


Strongly agree with all of this. I think the underlined in particular may not be obvious to law students.



I'm not so sure chances of partner at Latham/KE Houston are unlikely or any more unlikely than at V&E/BB. They are the most profitable offices of their firms. With business from BB/V&E leaving to the new imports, it's not longer sufficient at those firms just to stick around and make partner. PPP is down and they are going to be way choosier in letting new people in, since the pie has gotten smaller.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just catching up on the convos on this thread, and thought this article might be helpful to those trying to understand the Houston market:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/busines ... 887969.php


What do you think the future of the Texas-based firms is? Are BB/V&E especially badly placed due to their reliance on the type of big-market deals that the arriving elite firms are now doing, or will the upper-mid market firms also have problems?


I'm biased as a junior associate at one of these firms, but I think BB/V&E will be the only general practice "texas-based firms" that survive this upheaval. Yes, there will be smaller firms that have lower rates, and there will be Susman etc., but I think NRF/LL/TK/AK/Bracewell will have the hardest time surviving and will probably merge with big national firms or other texas-based ones. That obviously depends though on the ability of BB/V&E to elevate themselves into international firms that happen to be based in TX.


I don't disagree with this. BB and VE still have the best corporate groups in Houston overall, based on talent levels. Latham and Kirkland have taken some talent and some of the associates they pulled were great, but many of them were those who were not loved at their current firm or only got an offer from a shop with a small corporate practice and were left wanting. V&E and BB matched NY salaries, but they are going to need to keep up with bonuses or top associates will be more likely to bounce to K&E or Latham where you get market bonus at 2000 (rather than having to hit higher numbers). I think the thing that keeps a lot of people from making the jump is knowing that your chances of making partner at the Houston office of Latham and K&E is very very unlikely.


Strongly agree with all of this. I think the underlined in particular may not be obvious to law students.



I'm not so sure chances of partner at Latham/KE Houston are unlikely or any more unlikely than at V&E/BB. They are the most profitable offices of their firms. With business from BB/V&E leaving to the new imports, it's not longer sufficient at those firms just to stick around and make partner. PPP is down and they are going to be way choosier in letting new people in, since the pie has gotten smaller.


Are you a practicing attorney in Houston? This post makes me think you are not. PPP and both VE and BB has sky-rocketed in the last couple of years. I agree you can't just hang around and make it. Having all the top rain makers/managing committee partners knowing who you are makes a huge difference, it is definitely more attainable to make partner at a HQ than satellite office. Also, how many partners has Latham Houston made that they did not poach as a partner? I would venture to say none or 1 - and they are past being too new to have done it.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just catching up on the convos on this thread, and thought this article might be helpful to those trying to understand the Houston market:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/busines ... 887969.php


What do you think the future of the Texas-based firms is? Are BB/V&E especially badly placed due to their reliance on the type of big-market deals that the arriving elite firms are now doing, or will the upper-mid market firms also have problems?


I'm biased as a junior associate at one of these firms, but I think BB/V&E will be the only general practice "texas-based firms" that survive this upheaval. Yes, there will be smaller firms that have lower rates, and there will be Susman etc., but I think NRF/LL/TK/AK/Bracewell will have the hardest time surviving and will probably merge with big national firms or other texas-based ones. That obviously depends though on the ability of BB/V&E to elevate themselves into international firms that happen to be based in TX.


I don't disagree with this. BB and VE still have the best corporate groups in Houston overall, based on talent levels. Latham and Kirkland have taken some talent and some of the associates they pulled were great, but many of them were those who were not loved at their current firm or only got an offer from a shop with a small corporate practice and were left wanting. V&E and BB matched NY salaries, but they are going to need to keep up with bonuses or top associates will be more likely to bounce to K&E or Latham where you get market bonus at 2000 (rather than having to hit higher numbers). I think the thing that keeps a lot of people from making the jump is knowing that your chances of making partner at the Houston office of Latham and K&E is very very unlikely.


Strongly agree with all of this. I think the underlined in particular may not be obvious to law students.



I'm not so sure chances of partner at Latham/KE Houston are unlikely or any more unlikely than at V&E/BB. They are the most profitable offices of their firms. With business from BB/V&E leaving to the new imports, it's not longer sufficient at those firms just to stick around and make partner. PPP is down and they are going to be way choosier in letting new people in, since the pie has gotten smaller.


Are you a practicing attorney in Houston? This post makes me think you are not. PPP and both VE and BB has sky-rocketed in the last couple of years. I agree you can't just hang around and make it. Having all the top rain makers/managing committee partners knowing who you are makes a huge difference, it is definitely more attainable to make partner at a HQ than satellite office. Also, how many partners has Latham Houston made that they did not poach as a partner? I would venture to say none or 1 - and they are past being too new to have done it.


I'm not the author of the post you are actually referring to (and I'm a practicing attorney in Dallas), but I believe Latham has actually made 4 Houston partners in the last 2 years (which I found surprising). I was curious about it this morning when I saw that post, and googled - I could be off, though. But agreed re BB/VE PPP (kind of shocking how high they've gone). And agreed that being at BB Houston/VE Houston is wayyyyy better than being in their respective Dallas offices.

The whole Houston/Dallas dichotomy is very interesting. In Houston, I feel like there are good arguments for going to LW/KE/Sidley/STB/AG, good arguments for going to VE/BB, and good arguments for going to AK/BG/Fulbright - heck, even some good arguments for going to HB/TK/LL. In Dallas, though, I find it hard to make a good case for GDC/Weil (the top national firms in the market from a prestige/dealwork perspective) unless you only want to go in-house, hard to make a good case for going to AG/JD (great national firms but less prestige/pay than GDC/Weil but also a bit more Dallas presence) unless you want to go inhouse AND can't get an offer at GDC/Weil, hard to make a good case for going to BB/VE in any circumstance, and hard to make a good case for going to most of the Dallas-based shops (ie, Winstead/Gardere/Strasburger/JW) unless offers at the other places aren't gonna happen since you will get lower pay and similar partnership chances as the HB/TK/LL's in Dallas. So... that only really leaves HB/TK/LL in Dallas if partnership is a high priority.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'm not the author of the post you are actually referring to (and I'm a practicing attorney in Dallas), but I believe Latham has actually made 4 Houston partners in the last 2 years (which I found surprising). I was curious about it this morning when I saw that post, and googled - I could be off, though. But agreed re BB/VE PPP (kind of shocking how high they've gone). And agreed that being at BB Houston/VE Houston is wayyyyy better than being in their respective Dallas offices.

The whole Houston/Dallas dichotomy is very interesting. In Houston, I feel like there are good arguments for going to LW/KE/Sidley/STB/AG, good arguments for going to VE/BB, and good arguments for going to AK/BG/Fulbright - heck, even some good arguments for going to HB/TK/LL. In Dallas, though, I find it hard to make a good case for GDC/Weil (the top national firms in the market from a prestige/dealwork perspective) unless you only want to go in-house, hard to make a good case for going to AG/JD (great national firms but less prestige/pay than GDC/Weil but also a bit more Dallas presence) unless you want to go inhouse AND can't get an offer at GDC/Weil, hard to make a good case for going to BB/VE in any circumstance, and hard to make a good case for going to most of the Dallas-based shops (ie, Winstead/Gardere/Strasburger/JW) unless offers at the other places aren't gonna happen since you will get lower pay and similar partnership chances as the HB/TK/LL's in Dallas. So... that only really leaves HB/TK/LL in Dallas if partnership is a high priority.


I think this underrates V&E/BB in Dallas. You have a chance at partner and can go from those to HB/TK/LL if you want. Agree with everything else though.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby yogotti » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:10 pm

I'm not the author of the post you are actually referring to (and I'm a practicing attorney in Dallas), but I believe Latham has actually made 4 Houston partners in the last 2 years (which I found surprising). I was curious about it this morning when I saw that post, and googled - I could be off, though. But agreed re BB/VE PPP (kind of shocking how high they've gone). And agreed that being at BB Houston/VE Houston is wayyyyy better than being in their respective Dallas offices.

The whole Houston/Dallas dichotomy is very interesting. In Houston, I feel like there are good arguments for going to LW/KE/Sidley/STB/AG, good arguments for going to VE/BB, and good arguments for going to AK/BG/Fulbright - heck, even some good arguments for going to HB/TK/LL. In Dallas, though, I find it hard to make a good case for GDC/Weil (the top national firms in the market from a prestige/dealwork perspective) unless you only want to go in-house, hard to make a good case for going to AG/JD (great national firms but less prestige/pay than GDC/Weil but also a bit more Dallas presence) unless you want to go inhouse AND can't get an offer at GDC/Weil, hard to make a good case for going to BB/VE in any circumstance, and hard to make a good case for going to most of the Dallas-based shops (ie, Winstead/Gardere/Strasburger/JW) unless offers at the other places aren't gonna happen since you will get lower pay and similar partnership chances as the HB/TK/LL's in Dallas. So... that only really leaves HB/TK/LL in Dallas if partnership is a high priority.[/quote]

Help me out a bit, why is VE/BB a bad idea in Dallas? Why is it hard to make a cas for going to BB/VE? I am interested in some of the Houston offices with national presence (KE/LW) as well as the Dallas offices on GDC/Weil). Of course, the whole thing is a bit up in the air as far as where I can get offers. I have good work experience, top 10%, LR, etc but since I am not at a T14 I wonder if the KE/LW/GDC/Weil type firms will just be uninterested? They do interview on campus, but they don't hire a lot from my school.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:25 pm

yogotti wrote:I'm not the author of the post you are actually referring to (and I'm a practicing attorney in Dallas), but I believe Latham has actually made 4 Houston partners in the last 2 years (which I found surprising). I was curious about it this morning when I saw that post, and googled - I could be off, though. But agreed re BB/VE PPP (kind of shocking how high they've gone). And agreed that being at BB Houston/VE Houston is wayyyyy better than being in their respective Dallas offices.

The whole Houston/Dallas dichotomy is very interesting. In Houston, I feel like there are good arguments for going to LW/KE/Sidley/STB/AG, good arguments for going to VE/BB, and good arguments for going to AK/BG/Fulbright - heck, even some good arguments for going to HB/TK/LL. In Dallas, though, I find it hard to make a good case for GDC/Weil (the top national firms in the market from a prestige/dealwork perspective) unless you only want to go in-house, hard to make a good case for going to AG/JD (great national firms but less prestige/pay than GDC/Weil but also a bit more Dallas presence) unless you want to go inhouse AND can't get an offer at GDC/Weil, hard to make a good case for going to BB/VE in any circumstance, and hard to make a good case for going to most of the Dallas-based shops (ie, Winstead/Gardere/Strasburger/JW) unless offers at the other places aren't gonna happen since you will get lower pay and similar partnership chances as the HB/TK/LL's in Dallas. So... that only really leaves HB/TK/LL in Dallas if partnership is a high priority.


Help me out a bit, why is VE/BB a bad idea in Dallas? Why is it hard to make a cas for going to BB/VE? I am interested in some of the Houston offices with national presence (KE/LW) as well as the Dallas offices on GDC/Weil). Of course, the whole thing is a bit up in the air as far as where I can get offers. I have good work experience, top 10%, LR, etc but since I am not at a T14 I wonder if the KE/LW/GDC/Weil type firms will just be uninterested? They do interview on campus, but they don't hire a lot from my school.[/quote]

I think VE/BB is a bad idea because you'll get paid less than the national firms (both GDC/Weil and also Akin unless you're hitting 2300 hours - in which case you'll prob be paid the same at all 5 - at AG you only have to hit 2000 hours to get Cravath bonus) and have similar partnership chances - obviously a possibility but a total crapshoot. And I actually don't think you can lateral from VE/BB to make partner at HB/TK/LL unless you lateral as a very young associate. If you're a 6-7 year associate at VE/BB, your lateral ops will likely be limited to Gardere/Winstead/or something even smaller. VE/BB is a great brand, including in Dallas, but that brand just doesn't go as far in Dallas, imo. I'm also leaving aside any issues of culture (which VE is known to have a pretty bad one in Dallas Corp) and work quality (BB Dallas isn't really a player in Dallas Corp).

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:53 pm

Any word on Sidley's Dallas office?

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I think VE/BB is a bad idea because you'll get paid less than the national firms (both GDC/Weil and also Akin unless you're hitting 2300 hours - in which case you'll prob be paid the same at all 5 - at AG you only have to hit 2000 hours to get Cravath bonus) and have similar partnership chances - obviously a possibility but a total crapshoot. And I actually don't think you can lateral from VE/BB to make partner at HB/TK/LL unless you lateral as a very young associate. If you're a 6-7 year associate at VE/BB, your lateral ops will likely be limited to Gardere/Winstead/or something even smaller. VE/BB is a great brand, including in Dallas, but that brand just doesn't go as far in Dallas, imo. I'm also leaving aside any issues of culture (which VE is known to have a pretty bad one in Dallas Corp) and work quality (BB Dallas isn't really a player in Dallas Corp).


Above anon who said this was understating VE/BB in Dallas - I agree with some of this but my impression is that your partner chances at GDC/Weil are essentially zero, which isn't the case at VE/BB.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any word on Sidley's Dallas office?


My impression is similar work quality as Weil/GDC and similar pay to AG (i.e., Cravath pay at 2000 but no bonus if less than 2000). Better culture than AG for sure. But similar partnership prospects at all of them.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I think VE/BB is a bad idea because you'll get paid less than the national firms (both GDC/Weil and also Akin unless you're hitting 2300 hours - in which case you'll prob be paid the same at all 5 - at AG you only have to hit 2000 hours to get Cravath bonus) and have similar partnership chances - obviously a possibility but a total crapshoot. And I actually don't think you can lateral from VE/BB to make partner at HB/TK/LL unless you lateral as a very young associate. If you're a 6-7 year associate at VE/BB, your lateral ops will likely be limited to Gardere/Winstead/or something even smaller. VE/BB is a great brand, including in Dallas, but that brand just doesn't go as far in Dallas, imo. I'm also leaving aside any issues of culture (which VE is known to have a pretty bad one in Dallas Corp) and work quality (BB Dallas isn't really a player in Dallas Corp).


Above anon who said this was understating VE/BB in Dallas - I agree with some of this but my impression is that your partner chances at GDC/Weil are essentially zero, which isn't the case at VE/BB.


True - very slim is still better than zero. Just not sure its worth the tradeoff when you consider how much more you can make at GDC/Weil with a better lifestyle.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I think VE/BB is a bad idea because you'll get paid less than the national firms (both GDC/Weil and also Akin unless you're hitting 2300 hours - in which case you'll prob be paid the same at all 5 - at AG you only have to hit 2000 hours to get Cravath bonus) and have similar partnership chances - obviously a possibility but a total crapshoot. And I actually don't think you can lateral from VE/BB to make partner at HB/TK/LL unless you lateral as a very young associate. If you're a 6-7 year associate at VE/BB, your lateral ops will likely be limited to Gardere/Winstead/or something even smaller. VE/BB is a great brand, including in Dallas, but that brand just doesn't go as far in Dallas, imo. I'm also leaving aside any issues of culture (which VE is known to have a pretty bad one in Dallas Corp) and work quality (BB Dallas isn't really a player in Dallas Corp).



What's bad about VE Dallas Corp culture?

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I think VE/BB is a bad idea because you'll get paid less than the national firms (both GDC/Weil and also Akin unless you're hitting 2300 hours - in which case you'll prob be paid the same at all 5 - at AG you only have to hit 2000 hours to get Cravath bonus) and have similar partnership chances - obviously a possibility but a total crapshoot. And I actually don't think you can lateral from VE/BB to make partner at HB/TK/LL unless you lateral as a very young associate. If you're a 6-7 year associate at VE/BB, your lateral ops will likely be limited to Gardere/Winstead/or something even smaller. VE/BB is a great brand, including in Dallas, but that brand just doesn't go as far in Dallas, imo. I'm also leaving aside any issues of culture (which VE is known to have a pretty bad one in Dallas Corp) and work quality (BB Dallas isn't really a player in Dallas Corp).



What's bad about VE Dallas Corp culture?


Partner personalities, being in a satellite office, feeling like partnership is unattainable/completely out of your hands, uneven distribution of work.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
yogotti wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm not the author of the post you are actually referring to (and I'm a practicing attorney in Dallas), but I believe Latham has actually made 4 Houston partners in the last 2 years (which I found surprising). I was curious about it this morning when I saw that post, and googled - I could be off, though. But agreed re BB/VE PPP (kind of shocking how high they've gone). And agreed that being at BB Houston/VE Houston is wayyyyy better than being in their respective Dallas offices.

The whole Houston/Dallas dichotomy is very interesting. In Houston, I feel like there are good arguments for going to LW/KE/Sidley/STB/AG, good arguments for going to VE/BB, and good arguments for going to AK/BG/Fulbright - heck, even some good arguments for going to HB/TK/LL. In Dallas, though, I find it hard to make a good case for GDC/Weil (the top national firms in the market from a prestige/dealwork perspective) unless you only want to go in-house, hard to make a good case for going to AG/JD (great national firms but less prestige/pay than GDC/Weil but also a bit more Dallas presence) unless you want to go inhouse AND can't get an offer at GDC/Weil, hard to make a good case for going to BB/VE in any circumstance, and hard to make a good case for going to most of the Dallas-based shops (ie, Winstead/Gardere/Strasburger/JW) unless offers at the other places aren't gonna happen since you will get lower pay and similar partnership chances as the HB/TK/LL's in Dallas. So... that only really leaves HB/TK/LL in Dallas if partnership is a high priority.


Help me out a bit, why is VE/BB a bad idea in Dallas? Why is it hard to make a cas for going to BB/VE? I am interested in some of the Houston offices with national presence (KE/LW) as well as the Dallas offices on GDC/Weil). Of course, the whole thing is a bit up in the air as far as where I can get offers. I have good work experience, top 10%, LR, etc but since I am not at a T14 I wonder if the KE/LW/GDC/Weil type firms will just be uninterested? They do interview on campus, but they don't hire a lot from my school.


I think VE/BB is a bad idea because you'll get paid less than the national firms (both GDC/Weil and also Akin unless you're hitting 2300 hours - in which case you'll prob be paid the same at all 5 - at AG you only have to hit 2000 hours to get Cravath bonus) and have similar partnership chances - obviously a possibility but a total crapshoot. And I actually don't think you can lateral from VE/BB to make partner at HB/TK/LL unless you lateral as a very young associate. If you're a 6-7 year associate at VE/BB, your lateral ops will likely be limited to Gardere/Winstead/or something even smaller. VE/BB is a great brand, including in Dallas, but that brand just doesn't go as far in Dallas, imo. I'm also leaving aside any issues of culture (which VE is known to have a pretty bad one in Dallas Corp) and work quality (BB Dallas isn't really a player in Dallas Corp).


Eh, I guess Dallas is a difficult market then. HB/TK/LL Dallas are not doing corporate work at the same level of VE/BB/LW in Houston. I would agree that the partnership chances are MUCH better at the former group though. I summered at one of each of these firms. The level of work and (although not applicable across the board) caliber of attorney are not equal between the big Houston corporate players and the Dallas based shops.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Eh, I guess Dallas is a difficult market then. HB/TK/LL Dallas are not doing corporate work at the same level of VE/BB/LW in Houston. I would agree that the partnership chances are MUCH better at the former group though. I summered at one of each of these firms. The level of work and (although not applicable across the board) caliber of attorney are not equal between the big Houston corporate players and the Dallas based shops.


Mostly agreed. Certainly on the whole, that is true. However, TK seems to be across the table from VE/Latham quite a bit - and much more so than HB/LL (LL because their Corp practice is much smaller, HB because they are focused on mid-market non-energy work). Houston as a whole just has more sophisticated Corporate work than Dallas - and much higher volume. GDC/Weil are thought of as the most prestigious Corp practices in town - and combined I believe their Corp practices are smaller than Latham's (and by a fair amount...). Then add in VE/BB 100+ person Corp groups and the disparity becomes really clear. And yet another reason why being in VE/BB Dallas kinda sucks - your 15-25 person group is completely dwarfed by the Corp group in the mothership.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Mostly agreed. Certainly on the whole, that is true. However, TK seems to be across the table from VE/Latham quite a bit - and much more so than HB/LL (LL because their Corp practice is much smaller, HB because they are focused on mid-market non-energy work). Houston as a whole just has more sophisticated Corporate work than Dallas - and much higher volume. GDC/Weil are thought of as the most prestigious Corp practices in town - and combined I believe their Corp practices are smaller than Latham's (and by a fair amount...). Then add in VE/BB 100+ person Corp groups and the disparity becomes really clear. And yet another reason why being in VE/BB Dallas kinda sucks - your 15-25 person group is completely dwarfed by the Corp group in the mothership.


I do agree that the Houston offices of VE/BB handle higher profile and more sophisticated matters relative to their Dallas offices, but I think the "disparity" of work between the offices will narrow in the next few years. Part of this will be due to the lag in the energy market overall, but I also think the changes in the Houston big law legal market will impact the workflow of VE/BB.

Before Latham set up shop, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered the top dogs of the Houston legal market and clients rarely went elsewhere for their high dollar legal matters. There were a couple national firms with small offices in Houston, but none of them had a significant presence. Further, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered more prestigious by clients and attorneys than any of the national firms with satellite offices. The situation in Dallas was different. During this same time period, there were already a couple of established national firms in Dallas. Clients in Dallas were already going to these national firms and any loyalties clients had to any of the legacy Texas firms (HayBoo/AG/LL) were already diminishing. Basically, the firms in Dallas were already losing business to national firms and clients viewed the national firms as "more prestigious" than the BigTex firms.

Enter Latham. The BigTex firms in the Houston legal market is now experiencing the competition that the BigTex firms in Dallas had been experiencing. VE/BB in Houston lost a significant number of their partners and clients to Latham and Houston clients are reconsidering the national firms. As more of these national firms continue their Houston expansion, VE/BB's share of the Houston legal work will diminish. While the Dallas office of VE/BB won't necessarily be getting better work, the difference in the quality of work and clients handled between the Dallas and Houston offices of these firms will narrow because of the reduction of work going to the Houston offices of VE/BB.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Mostly agreed. Certainly on the whole, that is true. However, TK seems to be across the table from VE/Latham quite a bit - and much more so than HB/LL (LL because their Corp practice is much smaller, HB because they are focused on mid-market non-energy work). Houston as a whole just has more sophisticated Corporate work than Dallas - and much higher volume. GDC/Weil are thought of as the most prestigious Corp practices in town - and combined I believe their Corp practices are smaller than Latham's (and by a fair amount...). Then add in VE/BB 100+ person Corp groups and the disparity becomes really clear. And yet another reason why being in VE/BB Dallas kinda sucks - your 15-25 person group is completely dwarfed by the Corp group in the mothership.


I do agree that the Houston offices of VE/BB handle higher profile and more sophisticated matters relative to their Dallas offices, but I think the "disparity" of work between the offices will narrow in the next few years. Part of this will be due to the lag in the energy market overall, but I also think the changes in the Houston big law legal market will impact the workflow of VE/BB.

Before Latham set up shop, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered the top dogs of the Houston legal market and clients rarely went elsewhere for their high dollar legal matters. There were a couple national firms with small offices in Houston, but none of them had a significant presence. Further, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered more prestigious by clients and attorneys than any of the national firms with satellite offices. The situation in Dallas was different. During this same time period, there were already a couple of established national firms in Dallas. Clients in Dallas were already going to these national firms and any loyalties clients had to any of the legacy Texas firms (HayBoo/AG/LL) were already diminishing. Basically, the firms in Dallas were already losing business to national firms and clients viewed the national firms as "more prestigious" than the BigTex firms.

Enter Latham. The BigTex firms in the Houston legal market is now experiencing the competition that the BigTex firms in Dallas had been experiencing. VE/BB in Houston lost a significant number of their partners and clients to Latham and Houston clients are reconsidering the national firms. As more of these national firms continue their Houston expansion, VE/BB's share of the Houston legal work will diminish. While the Dallas office of VE/BB won't necessarily be getting better work, the difference in the quality of work and clients handled between the Dallas and Houston offices of these firms will narrow because of the reduction of work going to the Houston offices of VE/BB.


Exactly right. Legacy Dallas firms have been getting squeezed out by national firms for a while now. And the Houston firms enjoyed a relative monopoly on Houston legal work, but that is changing. The only difference is that it seemed to take the national firms actually setting up shop in Houston for that switch to occur whereas Dallas clients been using NYC-based firms and lawyers for a while now even if those firms didn't have Dallas offices. Will be interesting to see how the Texas market changes over the next 10-20 years. Its funny how the national firms being in Texas has been great for associate pay, but that short-term benefit is really messing up the plans for people who wanted to be partners at BigTex firms and work for loyal, institutional clients like what used to be commonplace for the last 100 years - BigTex as we knew it is quickly fading away.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Mostly agreed. Certainly on the whole, that is true. However, TK seems to be across the table from VE/Latham quite a bit - and much more so than HB/LL (LL because their Corp practice is much smaller, HB because they are focused on mid-market non-energy work). Houston as a whole just has more sophisticated Corporate work than Dallas - and much higher volume. GDC/Weil are thought of as the most prestigious Corp practices in town - and combined I believe their Corp practices are smaller than Latham's (and by a fair amount...). Then add in VE/BB 100+ person Corp groups and the disparity becomes really clear. And yet another reason why being in VE/BB Dallas kinda sucks - your 15-25 person group is completely dwarfed by the Corp group in the mothership.


I do agree that the Houston offices of VE/BB handle higher profile and more sophisticated matters relative to their Dallas offices, but I think the "disparity" of work between the offices will narrow in the next few years. Part of this will be due to the lag in the energy market overall, but I also think the changes in the Houston big law legal market will impact the workflow of VE/BB.

Before Latham set up shop, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered the top dogs of the Houston legal market and clients rarely went elsewhere for their high dollar legal matters. There were a couple national firms with small offices in Houston, but none of them had a significant presence. Further, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered more prestigious by clients and attorneys than any of the national firms with satellite offices. The situation in Dallas was different. During this same time period, there were already a couple of established national firms in Dallas. Clients in Dallas were already going to these national firms and any loyalties clients had to any of the legacy Texas firms (HayBoo/AG/LL) were already diminishing. Basically, the firms in Dallas were already losing business to national firms and clients viewed the national firms as "more prestigious" than the BigTex firms.

Enter Latham. The BigTex firms in the Houston legal market is now experiencing the competition that the BigTex firms in Dallas had been experiencing. VE/BB in Houston lost a significant number of their partners and clients to Latham and Houston clients are reconsidering the national firms. As more of these national firms continue their Houston expansion, VE/BB's share of the Houston legal work will diminish. While the Dallas office of VE/BB won't necessarily be getting better work, the difference in the quality of work and clients handled between the Dallas and Houston offices of these firms will narrow because of the reduction of work going to the Houston offices of VE/BB.


This could not be more wrong.

Today it is more of the Partners, than it is the firm, that matter. Texas is a state that is pretty insulated. These huge oil companies are not going to stop going to the Texas elite because a NY shop moved into town, they are going to continue going to the Partners and firms they trust. Yes, if GDC moves into Houston, they will take some talented partners by paying them a lot of money. Those Partners will take their book and move it over and their clients will continue to do work with them. But if you think the good ol' boys in Texas care that much about "prestige" to just jump at a bigger name, you don't get it. Who are the "prestigious" firms in Dallas you reference? GDC is the only one I would say carries "prestige" that, if a client consideration, could pull. Their corporate group is less than 20 people, it is not taking that much work. Skadden and STB don't do shit in Houston, but they are arguably the most "prestigious" - they failed because they didn't do a great job taking top partners.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Mostly agreed. Certainly on the whole, that is true. However, TK seems to be across the table from VE/Latham quite a bit - and much more so than HB/LL (LL because their Corp practice is much smaller, HB because they are focused on mid-market non-energy work). Houston as a whole just has more sophisticated Corporate work than Dallas - and much higher volume. GDC/Weil are thought of as the most prestigious Corp practices in town - and combined I believe their Corp practices are smaller than Latham's (and by a fair amount...). Then add in VE/BB 100+ person Corp groups and the disparity becomes really clear. And yet another reason why being in VE/BB Dallas kinda sucks - your 15-25 person group is completely dwarfed by the Corp group in the mothership.


I do agree that the Houston offices of VE/BB handle higher profile and more sophisticated matters relative to their Dallas offices, but I think the "disparity" of work between the offices will narrow in the next few years. Part of this will be due to the lag in the energy market overall, but I also think the changes in the Houston big law legal market will impact the workflow of VE/BB.

Before Latham set up shop, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered the top dogs of the Houston legal market and clients rarely went elsewhere for their high dollar legal matters. There were a couple national firms with small offices in Houston, but none of them had a significant presence. Further, VE/BB/Fulbright were considered more prestigious by clients and attorneys than any of the national firms with satellite offices. The situation in Dallas was different. During this same time period, there were already a couple of established national firms in Dallas. Clients in Dallas were already going to these national firms and any loyalties clients had to any of the legacy Texas firms (HayBoo/AG/LL) were already diminishing. Basically, the firms in Dallas were already losing business to national firms and clients viewed the national firms as "more prestigious" than the BigTex firms.

Enter Latham. The BigTex firms in the Houston legal market is now experiencing the competition that the BigTex firms in Dallas had been experiencing. VE/BB in Houston lost a significant number of their partners and clients to Latham and Houston clients are reconsidering the national firms. As more of these national firms continue their Houston expansion, VE/BB's share of the Houston legal work will diminish. While the Dallas office of VE/BB won't necessarily be getting better work, the difference in the quality of work and clients handled between the Dallas and Houston offices of these firms will narrow because of the reduction of work going to the Houston offices of VE/BB.


This could not be more wrong.

Today it is more of the Partners, than it is the firm, that matter. Texas is a state that is pretty insulated. These huge oil companies are not going to stop going to the Texas elite because a NY shop moved into town, they are going to continue going to the Partners and firms they trust. Yes, if GDC moves into Houston, they will take some talented partners by paying them a lot of money. Those Partners will take their book and move it over and their clients will continue to do work with them. But if you think the good ol' boys in Texas care that much about "prestige" to just jump at a bigger name, you don't get it. Who are the "prestigious" firms in Dallas you reference? GDC is the only one I would say carries "prestige" that, if a client consideration, could pull. Their corporate group is less than 20 people, it is not taking that much work. Skadden and STB don't do shit in Houston, but they are arguably the most "prestigious" - they failed because they didn't do a great job taking top partners.


I think its true that clients these days are more tied to partners than they are to firms. And while the huge oil companies are not going to stop going to the Texas elite because a NY shop moves into town, they also aren't going to stay at VE/BB if the partner they work leaves for a GDC. As for the prestigious firms in Dallas that are referenced, I think the reference was more to the NYC offices of NYC firms - that's who the big Dallas firms have been struggling to compete with over the past decade or so. And I would disagree wrt Skadden/STB - they're still profitable, they just for whatever reason didn't try to attract a larger group of partners. If they had, I think you'd be thinking of them along the same lines of LW/KE. I just think Skadden/STB didn't think Houston was worth it. At the end of the day, BB/VE aren't going away anytime soon, but it seems like they will have to reach a tipping point where their name alone can't carry them in Texas and their significant partner defections will begin to take a toll.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby gp86 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Exactly right. Legacy Dallas firms have been getting squeezed out by national firms for a while now. And the Houston firms enjoyed a relative monopoly on Houston legal work, but that is changing. The only difference is that it seemed to take the national firms actually setting up shop in Houston for that switch to occur whereas Dallas clients been using NYC-based firms and lawyers for a while now even if those firms didn't have Dallas offices. Will be interesting to see how the Texas market changes over the next 10-20 years. Its funny how the national firms being in Texas has been great for associate pay, but that short-term benefit is really messing up the plans for people who wanted to be partners at BigTex firms and work for loyal, institutional clients like what used to be commonplace for the last 100 years - BigTex as we knew it is quickly fading away.


If anyone on this thread hasn't read it, y'all need to read Texas Monthly's classic piece on Houston biglaw: http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/empires-of-paper/

From 1972 or 1973, I think.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby mvp99 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:50 am

gp86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Exactly right. Legacy Dallas firms have been getting squeezed out by national firms for a while now. And the Houston firms enjoyed a relative monopoly on Houston legal work, but that is changing. The only difference is that it seemed to take the national firms actually setting up shop in Houston for that switch to occur whereas Dallas clients been using NYC-based firms and lawyers for a while now even if those firms didn't have Dallas offices. Will be interesting to see how the Texas market changes over the next 10-20 years. Its funny how the national firms being in Texas has been great for associate pay, but that short-term benefit is really messing up the plans for people who wanted to be partners at BigTex firms and work for loyal, institutional clients like what used to be commonplace for the last 100 years - BigTex as we knew it is quickly fading away.


If anyone on this thread hasn't read it, y'all need to read Texas Monthly's classic piece on Houston biglaw: http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/empires-of-paper/

From 1972 or 1973, I think.

this article felt like I was reading something related to the movie "the firm" especially when it describes Andrew Kurth. Also 196 lawyers was huge firm back then ha that's cute. Super interesting article, thanks for sharing.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I'm not the author of the post you are actually referring to (and I'm a practicing attorney in Dallas), but I believe Latham has actually made 4 Houston partners in the last 2 years (which I found surprising). I was curious about it this morning when I saw that post, and googled - I could be off, though. But agreed re BB/VE PPP (kind of shocking how high they've gone). And agreed that being at BB Houston/VE Houston is wayyyyy better than being in their respective Dallas offices.


The whole Houston/Dallas dichotomy is very interesting. In Houston, I feel like there are good arguments for going to LW/KE/Sidley/STB/AG, good arguments for going to VE/BB, and good arguments for going to AK/BG/Fulbright - heck, even some good arguments for going to HB/TK/LL. In Dallas, though, I find it hard to make a good case for GDC/Weil (the top national firms in the market from a prestige/dealwork perspective) unless you only want to go in-house, hard to make a good case for going to AG/JD (great national firms but less prestige/pay than GDC/Weil but also a bit more Dallas presence) unless you want to go inhouse AND can't get an offer at GDC/Weil, hard to make a good case for going to BB/VE in any circumstance, and hard to make a good case for going to most of the Dallas-based shops (ie, Winstead/Gardere/Strasburger/JW) unless offers at the other places aren't gonna happen since you will get lower pay and similar partnership chances as the HB/TK/LL's in Dallas. So... that only really leaves HB/TK/LL in Dallas if partnership is a high priority.


Attorney at one of the nationals with contacts at LW -- I think it's been 5 (3 from two years ago, and 2 from last year). With an office of less than 85-100, that seemed like a decent number/% of homegrown partners. The real winners in this game are partners from the TX shops with portable books. Some of these guaranteed comp numbers I've heard are insane, and I can expect the increased completion (rumors of GDC entering, along with several other recent entrants), will likely just drive those numbers up.

Also, in other news, heard that FulbrighTTT is going to 180...in October. Some sort of compression for mids and seniors. Folks there probably not the happiest considering "lesser"/peer firms did the full match. May have to reconsider their "Big 3" status, especially if they have a talent exodus. This won't be a good look at OCI, especially when coupled with their horrible offer rates.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:30 am

mvp99 wrote:
gp86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Exactly right. Legacy Dallas firms have been getting squeezed out by national firms for a while now. And the Houston firms enjoyed a relative monopoly on Houston legal work, but that is changing. The only difference is that it seemed to take the national firms actually setting up shop in Houston for that switch to occur whereas Dallas clients been using NYC-based firms and lawyers for a while now even if those firms didn't have Dallas offices. Will be interesting to see how the Texas market changes over the next 10-20 years. Its funny how the national firms being in Texas has been great for associate pay, but that short-term benefit is really messing up the plans for people who wanted to be partners at BigTex firms and work for loyal, institutional clients like what used to be commonplace for the last 100 years - BigTex as we knew it is quickly fading away.


If anyone on this thread hasn't read it, y'all need to read Texas Monthly's classic piece on Houston biglaw: http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/empires-of-paper/

From 1972 or 1973, I think.

this article felt like I was reading something related to the movie "the firm" especially when it describes Andrew Kurth. Also 196 lawyers was huge firm back then ha that's cute. Super interesting article, thanks for sharing.


My biggest takeaways:
1. Holy crap how were 3 of the 10 largest firms in the country based in Houston?
2. Current salary raises for associates are justified - based on the article, senior associates were in the 25k-30k range (as 6th years), which means a tenfold increase today for senior associates. And the top partners were making 150k-250k - which, when multiplied by 10, also seems to be about what top partners are making.

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Re: What's going on in Texas?

Postby nealric » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
My biggest takeaways:
1. Holy crap how were 3 of the 10 largest firms in the country based in Houston?


Some of it had to do with the peculiar banking laws in Texas until the collapse in the 80s. Basically, Texas severely restricted out-of state banks, which meant that Texas banks had the whole state to themselves (the article kind of alludes to a bank charter as being a license to print money). They got rich off oil and gas finance until lose lending standards caused a financial crisis (which actually began prior to the 80s oil crash but went totally pear-shaped afterwards). The law firms kind of rode the coat-tails of the banks upwards in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s because the volume and nature of the deals more or less demanded full-service expertise that small firms couldn't offer. Effectively all of the large Texas banks were gone or merged out of existence by the early 90s, but the law firms survived by courting the foreign and out-of-state banks who had the opportunity to enter a bit of a vacuum.

The insularity of the Texas market at the time also had something to do with it. Texas companies only hired Texas law firms, and the state had very strong growth compared to other parts of the country.



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