Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:18 am

Seeking input on the best BigLaw firms for litigation in Texas and which SA offer to accept - want to be there for family reasons (Houston or Dallas), and have offers for lit from the below firms.

Top concerns are a) doing substantive work early on and b) generally being at a prestigious shop that is a respected player in litigation both in the region (or on track to be one) and nationally should I ever leave TX. I'm a woman so having at least one female partner is also important since it gives me more of a concrete mentor possibility.

I like Dallas as a city more and know there's more lit there, but welcome thoughts on the BigLaw litigation market in both Houston/Dallas.

2018 SA Offers:

-Kirkland & Ellis (Houston): 11-person lit group is swallowed in 100-person office, but potential chance to get involved in substantive work earlier because of it and one female partner (of the 3 in lit) is a star.
-Gibson Dunn (Dallas): 2/3 of 60-person office is lit; concern is not enough proximity to working with the 'star' partners there and doing less substantive work due to large size of the lit group.
-Weil (Dallas): Only 2 lit partners, both male, and a handful of mid-level and senior associates; lots of people defected to Sidley in 2013 and it doesn't feel like the office has recovered
-Sidley Austin (Dallas): Odd office layout with lots of closed doors, place felt super busy and almost neurotic, but on the plus side has lots of female partners and associates (many came from Weil in 2013)
-Jones Day (Dallas): Feels commercialized and like it's not the most prestigious player in Dallas lit, focused more on international work than competing in Dallas
-Baker Botts (Dallas): Seems more buttoned-up than V&E but on the plus side lots of practical experience early on from what I can tell, concern is w/general prestige nationally
-Vinson & Elkins (Dallas): Very laidback but vibrant office, concern is w/general prestige nationally

User avatar
wiz

Diamond
Posts: 44573
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:25 pm

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby wiz » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:27 am

I would take GDC if you want to do litigation and have a preference for Dallas.

Avoid Weil since they had massive defections a few years ago, as you said, and they're more of an outpost in TX now. I'm sure you read the ATL articles on Weil Dallas. I've also heard bad things about the culture in JD Dallas (described to me as toxic), and they're a step below the top tier in TX anyway.

V&E is mostly a corporate shop these days since they made a big bet on MACM/ETP (and, based on rising profitability, won that bet). V&E Dallas and BB Dallas both kind of play little brother to their Houston HQs, though.

K&E is a great firm, but they have a very specific culture, and it's not for everyone. If you think you might leave TX and care about a national brand name, the choice to me is between GDC Dallas and K&E Houston (and Latham Houston if you wanted corp, but it sounds like you're set on lit).

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:29 am

Would probably go GD. Either way, you should reject at least a couple of those offers ASAP- it will help out your classmates, and NALP only allows you to have 5 open offers at one time.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:11 am

Not sure about the "more lit in Dallas" part. Also did you apply to boutiques? Houston has a ton of good ones (although they are pretty competitive) and would likely be good for your desire to get early experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Seeking input on the best BigLaw firms for litigation in Texas and which SA offer to accept - want to be there for family reasons (Houston or Dallas), and have offers for lit from the below firms.

Top concerns are a) doing substantive work early on and b) generally being at a prestigious shop that is a respected player in litigation both in the region (or on track to be one) and nationally should I ever leave TX. I'm a woman so having at least one female partner is also important since it gives me more of a concrete mentor possibility.

I like Dallas as a city more and know there's more lit there, but welcome thoughts on the BigLaw litigation market in both Houston/Dallas.

2018 SA Offers:

-Kirkland & Ellis (Houston): 11-person lit group is swallowed in 100-person office, but potential chance to get involved in substantive work earlier because of it and one female partner (of the 3 in lit) is a star.
-Gibson Dunn (Dallas): 2/3 of 60-person office is lit; concern is not enough proximity to working with the 'star' partners there and doing less substantive work due to large size of the lit group.
-Weil (Dallas): Only 2 lit partners, both male, and a handful of mid-level and senior associates; lots of people defected to Sidley in 2013 and it doesn't feel like the office has recovered
-Sidley Austin (Dallas): Odd office layout with lots of closed doors, place felt super busy and almost neurotic, but on the plus side has lots of female partners and associates (many came from Weil in 2013)
-Jones Day (Dallas): Feels commercialized and like it's not the most prestigious player in Dallas lit, focused more on international work than competing in Dallas
-Baker Botts (Dallas): Seems more buttoned-up than V&E but on the plus side lots of practical experience early on from what I can tell, concern is w/general prestige nationally
-Vinson & Elkins (Dallas): Very laidback but vibrant office, concern is w/general prestige nationally


First of all, congrats on many great offers. Secondly, if you don't mind me asking, when did you get these offers for V&E, Weil and Sidley in Dallas? I had callbacks at all three last week and didn't think any offers had gone out.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:57 am

OP here. Thank you, everyone.

-Kirkland - Is the specific culture referred to meaning that they're intense and work a ton of hours? I didn't get that impression from the Houston office, not any more than other Big Law in TX anyway.

- Boutiques - I shied away from boutiques just because I like the safer bet of the national prestige of a brand name. It wasn't an easy decision but I think to start a career I'd like to be at a larger national firm with a more concrete path for training and working in junior associates. I could be wrong.

-Offers - I'm closing out some offers today. They all came so fast it was odd but of course I don't want to be a hog or violate NALP guidelines.

-Weil, Sidley, V&E - Due to my family ties to Dallas (Dad Works at a major company there) I was able to get early callbacks and thus an early offer from these three. I know it's not the norm and I'm grateful and don't mean to brag in any way.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:-Weil, Sidley, V&E - Due to my family ties to Dallas (Dad Works at a major company there) I was able to get early callbacks and thus an early offer from these three. I know it's not the norm and I'm grateful and don't mean to brag in any way.


This actually made me feel better! I was afraid offers were going out for CBs last week and I wasn't getting any. Congrats on your options. I'm sure you can't go wrong.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:40 pm

GDC easily.

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby arklaw13 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:41 pm

I wasn't aware that Sidley did much, if any lit in Dallas. When I was going through OCI a few years ago they were only hiring for corporate. Given the small lit practices in those offices, I would cross off K&E, Weil, and JD from your list.

If it were me it would come down to GDC or V&E. For GDC I would wonder how much of their work is sourced locally vs. cross-office work. For V&E I would wonder how many lit people they've taken the past few years, their offer rates, etc. GDC is obviously the better national brand, but if you're planning to stay in TX your whole life, V&E's name will likely get you just as far. If you have an overwhelming sense of which people you liked the best, that should probably win out. If not, maybe try for a second look.

User avatar
radio1nowhere

Bronze
Posts: 462
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:01 pm

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby radio1nowhere » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:47 pm

I think GDC and K&E are the clear favorites as far as the combo of national prestige and strong lit practices. I wouldn't worry too much about K&E's lit group being small -- there isn't going to be any shortage of work and K&E has been expanding the Houston office pretty rapidly so it wouldn't be surprising if the group continued to grow.

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:-Weil, Sidley, V&E - Due to my family ties to Dallas (Dad Works at a major company there) I was able to get early callbacks and thus an early offer from these three. I know it's not the norm and I'm grateful and don't mean to brag in any way.


Why would special treatment be something to brag about?

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:32 pm

radio1nowhere wrote:I think GDC and K&E are the clear favorites as far as the combo of national prestige and strong lit practices. I wouldn't worry too much about K&E's lit group being small -- there isn't going to be any shortage of work and K&E has been expanding the Houston office pretty rapidly so it wouldn't be surprising if the group continued to grow.


Agreed - decide between K&E and GDC based on city preference. All those firms are great spots, but I think K&E and GDC are the safest bets, give you the best exit opportunities and will pay you the most.

Jchance

Silver
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:17 am

Re: Houston/Dallas BigLaw Lit: K&E, GDC, Weil, Sidley, JD, BB, or V&E?

Postby Jchance » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:05 pm

GD over K&E, over the rest.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.