Houston Big Law Market

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:09 pm

What about a Houston native right at median-tiny bit above- from ND/USC/Emory hoping for any type or transactional work( that is the only thing I want to do) w a big firm- or mid sized. Should I mass mail right now, or wait till journal announcements have been made. In the meantime, I've been emailing on average 3 attorneys a day for coffee since mid last week and will continue to do so. I haven't been getting many hits w the emails, but I'm gonna keep on chugging. Any and all advice is welcome.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:12 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.


Baker Botts has a strong pro bono program. It credits pro bono hours 1:1 as billable hours with no cap and gives you the full resources of the firm. Partners are happy to help and you can choose pretty much anything that interests you.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:14 pm

I've just seen too many good people with good grades laid to waste by trying to snag a lit job in Houston. From what I understand most of the lit work in Houston is trending toward the aforementioned lit boutiques. New shops seem to be virtually all corp, and I've heard of other established shops scaling back (or they have been for years)

I think it's fine to pursue if you're very well qualified (like the OP) but in general? If you're a schmo-y candidate and want to be in Houston I'd pursue corporate work.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:52 am

I think the general advice regarding litigation in Houston is sound. The big firms do not do a lot of it anymore. V&E, for example, had 150+ litigators in 2000. Today they have maybe 25, all of whom are support for the corporate practice (handling disputes that arise from contract/reporting issues). As far as I know, they have few if any of their own clients or cases.

Latham has maybe 2 litigators listed in their office roster, neither of whom work from the Houston office regularly. Kirkland is, in fact, hiring some litigators (who knows if this will bring Latham along to add more), but I would suspect they are going to be a support group a la V&E.

Fulbright, Akin, Haynes & Boone and JW and the like have some litigators, but a majority of all of those offices are transaction/financed focused.

No real idea about Baker Botts. I know they have litigation, but not sure how that group fits into the larger office.

If you are deadest on both (i) litigation and (ii) Houston, shoot for some of the smaller shops - AZA, Beck Redden, etc.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:54 am

BigZuck wrote:I've just seen too many good people with good grades laid to waste by trying to snag a lit job in Houston. From what I understand most of the lit work in Houston is trending toward the aforementioned lit boutiques. New shops seem to be virtually all corp, and I've heard of other established shops scaling back (or they have been for years)

I think it's fine to pursue if you're very well qualified (like the OP) but in general? If you're a schmo-y candidate and want to be in Houston I'd pursue corporate work.


So it's not smart at all to look for lit at big firms in Houston? I'm the HLS poster.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:55 am

WaitersIsland wrote: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?


I am not from Houston, and had no family in the state of Texas until about a year ago when my parents moved here. I got Houston big law with finance (now wife) ties (strong, admittedly - most of her family is here) alone. I will note that, in my experience, Houston is less tie sensitive than Dallas or Austin.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I've just seen too many good people with good grades laid to waste by trying to snag a lit job in Houston. From what I understand most of the lit work in Houston is trending toward the aforementioned lit boutiques. New shops seem to be virtually all corp, and I've heard of other established shops scaling back (or they have been for years)

I think it's fine to pursue if you're very well qualified (like the OP) but in general? If you're a schmo-y candidate and want to be in Houston I'd pursue corporate work.


So it's not smart at all to look for lit at big firms in Houston? I'm the HLS poster.


I do not think there are many jobs to be had, and if you got a job there, I do not think you would put yourself on the best career path. That being said, no harm in interviewing as broadly as possible. There may be a group that is fantastic that the general hive mind here is not aware of.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


Baker Botts has a strong pro bono program. It credits pro bono hours 1:1 as billable hours with no cap and gives you the full resources of the firm. Partners are happy to help and you can choose pretty much anything that interests you.


This is most firms anymore (a lot still cap the hours, but there are many that do not). And remember, pro bono, despite the marketing put forth by firms, will almost never be a priority. It is a great way to do something different, and get experience (partners generally will let associates run with things because they don't have time or desire to be too involved), but a great way to annoy people is to turn down paying work because you have a pro bono deadline.

Pro Bono is great, and every lawyer should do it, but more than once I have finished a project at 2 am or on a Sunday because other work pushed it off to the last possible moment.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby nealric » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:45 am

Aergia wrote:
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?


If you are at CCN, there's no reason not to bid BB/VE. When I did OCI, you could interview at every Texas firm that came without exhausting your bids. Your chances aren't good, but they are better than zero. I'd also do targeted mail towards firms that don't come to OCI.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:57 am

People here radically overestimating how hard Texas big law is without ties.

Had 0 ties, top 15% at lower T14, got plenty of offers, working in Texas this summer and worked here last. Others much lower than me in class rank also got many good offers.

I will second point about litigation. There are not many litigation spots opening and the New York firms coming here and opening largely are not opening lit practices.

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HenryHankPalmer

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby HenryHankPalmer » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:15 pm

Is there truth to the conventional thinking that while Houston is more focused on transactional work, Dallas firms are a little more litigation-centric?

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby favabeansoup » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:People here radically overestimating how hard Texas big law is without ties.

Had 0 ties, top 15% at lower T14, got plenty of offers, working in Texas this summer and worked here last. Others much lower than me in class rank also got many good offers.

I will second point about litigation. There are not many litigation spots opening and the New York firms coming here and opening largely are not opening lit practices.


I mean your success may be more a function of being top 15% at a T14, not that Texas doesn't care about ties. Few firms will pass on someone with grades like that in any market, ties or not.

But I do think you are mostly right. You don't need amazing ties to get Texas at all, especially in recent years. At minimum, you generally just need to get past the basic not a flight risk test. I got asked in every single interview why Texas and why Dallas as a UT student who was from out of state. However, rather basic answers like "I like it here, NYC sucks, Houston sucks, blah blah" got me through just fine.

Nowadays I think Texas ties are akin to what one needs in CA/Chicago/ other big non NYC markets.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:23 pm

It's as if every TLS thread discussing TX big law has to devolve into a "HAR HAR look at me tiez don't matterz!!" debate

Time truly is a flat circle

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby law9898 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:21 pm

My experience has been that Houston firms care less about ties. There are a few Dallas firms that stress ties to Dallas such as HayBoo, TK, LL, JW and the rest of the Texas based firms. That doesn't mean you have to have ties though so I always think it's sort of a strange thing to fret over because it is nearly impossible for there to be a clear answer on the topic. If you were strained for bids or something then I would focus on the national firms (plus BB & VE). But you should still bid/massmail all of them if feasible because great grades can still overcome ties.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:05 pm

Sorry to jump in on a slightly unrelated question, but what is the big law market like in Minnesota or Missouri?

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:slightly

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby grixxlybear99 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to jump in on a slightly unrelated question, but what is the big law market like in Minnesota or Missouri?


Sorry to jump in on a slightly unrelated question, but does Pizza Hut offer any online deals on Fridays OCONUS?

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:20 pm

Strongly considering applying to Texas Biglaw firms. Came from a non-Texas top-40 law school, now clerking for a COA judge (also not in Texas), but about to start with a federal district court judge in Texas. I have zero other ties. Is that enough of a tie? Do I have a good shot at litigation in Dallas or Houston?

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:02 pm

Adding to the litigation discussion for Houston, I interviewed with Morgan Lewis in Houston today and they seem to have a pretty robust litigation practice here. I was pleasantly surprised since I want to do litigation and live in Houston. I realize it's just one data point but there is some litigation to be had here in small pockets.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Strongly considering applying to Texas Biglaw firms. Came from a non-Texas top-40 law school, now clerking for a COA judge (also not in Texas), but about to start with a federal district court judge in Texas. I have zero other ties. Is that enough of a tie? Do I have a good shot at litigation in Dallas or Houston?


Yes and yes.

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Re: Houston Big Law Market

Postby MangoPapi » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:32 am

HenryHankPalmer wrote:Is there truth to the conventional thinking that while Houston is more focused on transactional work, Dallas firms are a little more litigation-centric?


I'd like to know about Dallas' litigation and how strong it is as well if someone could be so kind



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