Houston Big Law Market

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TexasHays

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Houston Big Law Market

Postby TexasHays » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:19 am

Hey everyone,

I've seen some older posts but nothing recent talking about the Houston market in general. OCI starts soon and I'm beginning the mass mailing process but I'm not really sure what firms to target.

V&E and Baker Botts are always big here, but outside of that... who's doing well right now? I know Orrick is growing, Winston & Strawn looks goods, Thompson & Knight is moving to a new building and I've liked everyone I've met from there so far. I've heard Paul Hasting's Houston office is not so great.

Any other opinions/thoughts on the Houston market?

AFS

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby AFS » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:33 am

In addition to BB and VE, Kirkland and Latham have been doing really well. Assuming, of course, you're interested in transactional work.

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nealric

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby nealric » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:31 pm

TexasHays wrote:Hey everyone,

I've seen some older posts but nothing recent talking about the Houston market in general. OCI starts soon and I'm beginning the mass mailing process but I'm not really sure what firms to target.

V&E and Baker Botts are always big here, but outside of that... who's doing well right now? I know Orrick is growing, Winston & Strawn looks goods, Thompson & Knight is moving to a new building and I've liked everyone I've met from there so far. I've heard Paul Hasting's Houston office is not so great.

Any other opinions/thoughts on the Houston market?


If you are getting past the most obvious names, your desired practice area will have a lot to do it. Also relevant are your credentials. There's a difference between someone who can take their pick of jobs and someone who is just hoping to get any biglaw job. There's no point in looking at Susman if you are top 25% at South Texas, and there's no point in looking at Gardere if you are a Sears Prize winner at HLS.

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emkay625

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby emkay625 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:46 pm

We need some more information to be able to help you. What kind of practice area are you interested in? Also, school/rank?

TexasHays

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby TexasHays » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:56 pm

I was hoping to just have it be more general, for everyone else's benefit that might peruse this post.

But I'm primarily interested in litigation, especially appellate, commercial, and other financial/corporate litigation areas. I'm at UH, top 2%, A's in both legal writing classes, and several years of non-legal career work with a major corporation, so I feel pretty good about my chances at most Houston firms (except Susman Godfrey, as I'm not sure I want to do a clerkship or not after graduating.)

Thanks!

BigZuck

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:25 pm

You want to do appellate work but you don't want to clerk?

TexasHays

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby TexasHays » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:31 pm

Was just listing my interests, not absolutes. If I have an opportunity with a big law firm that has a strong appellate practice, then I likely would look to clerk as well. There's just a litany of factors, the fact that I'm older than most and am about to start a family plays a role too (30+).

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:39 pm

If this thread is just talking in generalities then I would say don't try to be a litigator in Houston.

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nealric

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby nealric » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:39 pm

TexasHays wrote:I was hoping to just have it be more general, for everyone else's benefit that might peruse this post.

But I'm primarily interested in litigation, especially appellate, commercial, and other financial/corporate litigation areas. I'm at UH, top 2%, A's in both legal writing classes, and several years of non-legal career work with a major corporation, so I feel pretty good about my chances at most Houston firms (except Susman Godfrey, as I'm not sure I want to do a clerkship or not after graduating.)

Thanks!


I'd generally advise against appellate litigation. It's not a big profit driver at firms, and tends to be a tough career track unless you are a former SCOTUS clerk level person (not just getting in, but staying in). It also tends to end up being less sexy in practice than it sounds. If you do want to do it, an appellate clerkship is basically a prerequisite.

If you are looking for a general litigation job, I'd look into some of the better boutiques. It can be hard to get good substantive experience at the big shops. I'd much rather be at a place like AZA than BB if I were a junior litigator.

favabeansoup

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby favabeansoup » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:43 pm

TexasHays wrote:I was hoping to just have it be more general, for everyone else's benefit that might peruse this post.

But I'm primarily interested in litigation, especially appellate, commercial, and other financial/corporate litigation areas. I'm at UH, top 2%, A's in both legal writing classes, and several years of non-legal career work with a major corporation, so I feel pretty good about my chances at most Houston firms (except Susman Godfrey, as I'm not sure I want to do a clerkship or not after graduating.)

Thanks!


Well if you are litigation you can cross out Kirkland at least. That's pretty much all PE work. To my knowledge Orrick new office does mostly corporate as well.

Not sure who the other best lit firms are in Houston besides your typical boutiques like Susman or AZA, etc, but I know others here who are in that city can probably speak up.

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Aergia

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Aergia » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:46 pm

Is it possible to get Houston biglaw with garbage grades from CCN? Strong ties, hoping for corporate.

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nealric

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby nealric » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Aergia wrote:Is it possible to get Houston biglaw with garbage grades from CCN? Strong ties, hoping for corporate.


Yes. You might not get an offer at the top tier firms, but your chances of at least one biglaw offer are pretty good. CCN carries a lot of weight.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby candidlatke » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:58 pm

Aergia wrote:Is it possible to get Houston biglaw with garbage grades from CCN? Strong ties, hoping for corporate.

probably, just depends on firm.
stuff like sus/ve are for sure out and a sliding scale down to less and less selectivity.

try stuff like AK/JW/NRF

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:18 pm

favabeansoup wrote:
TexasHays wrote:I was hoping to just have it be more general, for everyone else's benefit that might peruse this post.

But I'm primarily interested in litigation, especially appellate, commercial, and other financial/corporate litigation areas. I'm at UH, top 2%, A's in both legal writing classes, and several years of non-legal career work with a major corporation, so I feel pretty good about my chances at most Houston firms (except Susman Godfrey, as I'm not sure I want to do a clerkship or not after graduating.)

Thanks!


Well if you are litigation you can cross out Kirkland at least.


This isn't strictly true. Not sure if they are taking SAs in the lit group, but they did hire a few litigation partners in Houston last year and they are growing the group in the Houston office, so I'd at the very least ask about it before discarding Latham or K&E.

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Aergia

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Aergia » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:27 pm

candidlatke wrote:
Aergia wrote:Is it possible to get Houston biglaw with garbage grades from CCN? Strong ties, hoping for corporate.

probably, just depends on firm.
stuff like sus/ve are for sure out and a sliding scale down to less and less selectivity.

try stuff like AK/JW/NRF


What is JW?

Thanks.

TexasHays

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby TexasHays » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:31 pm

I believe Jackson Walker. I've gotten good impressions from the partners I've met from there: they run the place lean, so don't expect a lot of the fancier SA events, but other than that, they seem pretty cool.

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Roy McAvoy

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Roy McAvoy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:43 pm

TexasHays wrote:I believe Jackson Walker. I've gotten good impressions from the partners I've met from there: they run the place lean, so don't expect a lot of the fancier SA events, but other than that, they seem pretty cool.


Don't know about Houston, but JW Dallas has had some interesting events this summer. They did some sort of navy seal training simulation (some team building thing, I guess) and a chopped-style cooking competition. I'm not at JW personally, but the snapchats I saw from friends there piqued my interest.

Don't know if you'd consider that "fancy" but it looks like they have a good time.

TexasHays

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby TexasHays » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:45 pm

Roy McAvoy wrote:
TexasHays wrote:I believe Jackson Walker. I've gotten good impressions from the partners I've met from there: they run the place lean, so don't expect a lot of the fancier SA events, but other than that, they seem pretty cool.


Don't know about Houston, but JW Dallas has had some interesting events this summer. They did some sort of navy seal training simulation (some team building thing, I guess) and a chopped-style cooking competition. I'm not at JW personally, but the snapchats I saw from friends there piqued my interest.

Don't know if you'd consider that "fancy" but it looks like they have a good time.


That's really cool, actually! In Houston, they just have the reputation of being cheap, but I have no evidence to back that up; thats just the stereotype they've been labelled with.

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Roy McAvoy

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Roy McAvoy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:58 pm

TexasHays wrote:
Roy McAvoy wrote:
TexasHays wrote:I believe Jackson Walker. I've gotten good impressions from the partners I've met from there: they run the place lean, so don't expect a lot of the fancier SA events, but other than that, they seem pretty cool.


Don't know about Houston, but JW Dallas has had some interesting events this summer. They did some sort of navy seal training simulation (some team building thing, I guess) and a chopped-style cooking competition. I'm not at JW personally, but the snapchats I saw from friends there piqued my interest.

Don't know if you'd consider that "fancy" but it looks like they have a good time.


That's really cool, actually! In Houston, they just have the reputation of being cheap, but I have no evidence to back that up; thats just the stereotype they've been labelled with.


I thought it looked cool too. I don't know what else they've done, but thought I may as well throw my anecdote out there.

WaitersIsland

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby WaitersIsland » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:21 pm

Not to hijack the thread, but what kind of ties are needed to get Houston or Dallas Big Law? Are s/o ties strong enough?

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:54 pm

Also sort of hijacking the thread, but I'm above median HLS and am considering litigation in Houston, with the goal to get out in a couple years and work in public defender or innocence work. I'm trying to pick good litigation firms with strong pro bono programs so I can make contacts to transition. Does anyone know where I can find that sort of info?

ETA Also no ties, but I lived in Texas for a few months.

TexasHays

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby TexasHays » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also sort of hijacking the thread, but I'm above median HLS and am considering litigation in Houston, with the goal to get out in a couple years and work in public defender or innocence work. I'm trying to pick good litigation firms with strong pro bono programs so I can make contacts to transition. Does anyone know where I can find that sort of info?

ETA Also no ties, but I lived in Texas for a few months.


Can't speak to their litigation strength but V&E, from the associates I've spoken to, really pushes its support of pro bono programs and allows it to count towards billable hours. And they're huge here in Texas.

Texas Innocence Network is also based out of Houston and would likely enjoy any pro bono support from a Big Law office as possible, if you wanted to simultaneously strengthen your resume for when it comes time to transition.

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Aergia

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Aergia » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:14 pm

nealric wrote:
Aergia wrote:Is it possible to get Houston biglaw with garbage grades from CCN? Strong ties, hoping for corporate.


Yes. You might not get an offer at the top tier firms, but your chances of at least one biglaw offer are pretty good. CCN carries a lot of weight.


That's good to know. Any advice for someone in my position would be appreciated. Not sure how to make my bid list..I'm assuming I should still try BB and VE?

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby MangoPapi » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:25 pm

BigZuck wrote:If this thread is just talking in generalities then I would say don't try to be a litigator in Houston.


Can you elaborate on why? Is it primarily due to the fact that Houston is centred around corporate work along the likes of oil and gas and litigation just doesn't have a strong presence there? Or is there another reason?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'd assume that Dallas has a stronger presence in regards to litigation than Houston would ?

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HenryHankPalmer

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby HenryHankPalmer » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:38 pm

BigZuck wrote:If this thread is just talking in generalities then I would say don't try to be a litigator in Houston.

Would you mind elaborating, in general terms



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