State of the Dallas Market 2020

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:22 pm

Are y’all positive that HayBoo compresses the scale for mid levels? I was under the impression that they were consistent with the cravath scale throughout for base salaries, but bonuses varied according to hour targets.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:22 pm
Are y’all positive that HayBoo compresses the scale for mid levels? I was under the impression that they were consistent with the cravath scale throughout for base salaries, but bonuses varied according to hour targets.
You may be right for base comp for HB but for mid levels the bonuses become significant on the Cravath scale. Having that $50-80k bonus (for years 3-5) tied to an hours requirement or some kind of black box becomes more of a downside.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:36 pm


Regional Firms
Jackson Walker, Winstead, and Gardere. Less-sophisticated work, and less compensation, but all of these firms offer good culture and reasonable partnership prospects.

I am positive that I missed some firms. There are litigators at Weil, and firms like Polsinelli and Baker McKenzie, but I don't know enough about them to fit them into any kind of ranking.
I'd add Munsch Hardt to regional firms too. They only pay 170, but no furloughs or layoffs and over a month ago they returned associate pay to full and reimbursed for everything that was previously cut. They seem to be doing quite well compared to some other firms.
I haven't heard about this firm but I like that approach.

It would be attractive to me if some of these more regional firms stopped trying to keep up with the NY first year base pay and instead lowered first year pay but kept have good lockstep raises and be transparent about midlevel pay. And get rid of the hour requirement for bonuses.

Basically just take the system of a firm like Weil (significant lockstep raises for midlevels, no hours requirement for bonus) and reduce the pay by 10-20% or whatever they need based on their billable rates. Comp might be less the first couple years but firms could make up for that with consistent bonuses and good transparent raises for midlevels. If it makes the firms financially stronger, I think that is good for associates in the long term.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:22 pm
Are y’all positive that HayBoo compresses the scale for mid levels? I was under the impression that they were consistent with the cravath scale throughout for base salaries, but bonuses varied according to hour targets.
My info is a few years old and prior to the raises to 180/190k: HayBoo has/had a hi/lo system for base salaries where the high-end of the scale matches the Milbank/Cravath scale and is tied to a reasonable hours requirement (I think it was 2000 hours but not 100% sure on this). There is/was a true-up where if you were on the low-end one year and then hit the high-end hours the next, your salary would be trued up to the high-end scale.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:12 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:36 pm


Regional Firms
Jackson Walker, Winstead, and Gardere. Less-sophisticated work, and less compensation, but all of these firms offer good culture and reasonable partnership prospects.

I am positive that I missed some firms. There are litigators at Weil, and firms like Polsinelli and Baker McKenzie, but I don't know enough about them to fit them into any kind of ranking.
I'd add Munsch Hardt to regional firms too. They only pay 170, but no furloughs or layoffs and over a month ago they returned associate pay to full and reimbursed for everything that was previously cut. They seem to be doing quite well compared to some other firms.
I haven't heard about this firm but I like that approach.

It would be attractive to me if some of these more regional firms stopped trying to keep up with the NY first year base pay and instead lowered first year pay but kept have good lockstep raises and be transparent about midlevel pay. And get rid of the hour requirement for bonuses.

Basically just take the system of a firm like Weil (significant lockstep raises for midlevels, no hours requirement for bonus) and reduce the pay by 10-20% or whatever they need based on their billable rates. Comp might be less the first couple years but firms could make up for that with consistent bonuses and good transparent raises for midlevels. If it makes the firms financially stronger, I think that is good for associates in the long term.
I would probably put Munsch Hardt one tier below the main regional firms. It's not a bad spot, but I'd compare it to Porter Hedges or Kelly Hart before comparing it to Jackson Walker or Gardere.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:11 am
The previous post about tiers is pretty flawed. Writing mainly from a corporate perspective.

Bracewell - Dallas office is only 20 lawyers, and has been in decline. No idea why anyone would work there, unless they have no other choices.
HAK - Doesn't seem to have much of a corporate group. AK corporate group left and created Katten office after merger announcement.
Jones Day - Entire corporate group just left to start the Shearman & Sterling office. It is my understanding that the office is half the size that it was 10 years ago. No idea why anyone would want to go to a firm that uses blackbox compensation if they have other offers.
V&E- Of the TX firms, V&E has positioned itself very well. It is the only TX firm still competing with the top national firms and I think it will stay that way. Definitely has the heaviest amount of oil and gas of the Dallas corporate groups. Still has a very strong litigation group.
Shearman & Sterling - office opened in the spring. Brough over the entire Jones Day corporate group, several of TK's top corporate partners, along with some Baker Botts partners, and a V&E senior associate.
Winston & Strawn - strong office, but strength is mainly in litigation. Corporate group is made up of former Locke Lord attorneys along with a smattering of attorneys from other mid-tier firms.

Corporate Bands
Band 1: Gibson, K&E, Sidley, Weil, V&E
. . . Big Gap . . .
Band 2: Akin Gump, Shearman & Sterling
Band 3: Baker Botts, Haynes & Boone, Thompson Knight, Winston & Strawn
Band 4: Foley Gradere, Jackson Walker, Katten, NRF
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:16 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:29 pm
The old Texas firms are going downhill fast. Baker Botts cut salaries and deferred incoming associates to January. V&E also deferred incoming associates to January. Neither firm has announced extra stipends for the affected associates. These are not the actions of financially healthy firms.

The current tiers look like this:

Tier 1: KE, Weil

Tier 2: Gibson Dunn, Jones Day, Sidley, Winston

Tier 3: Akin Gump, HayBoo, Thompson Knight, VE

Tier 4: Baker Botts, Bracewell, Hunton Andrews Kurth

Tier 5: Fulbright, Gardere, Jackson Walker, and the rest
I’m not sure I would put Weil/KE a tier above Gibson, Sidney and Winston. Maybe they have an edge given their restructuring platforms in a recession but those other national firms are definitely comparable.

The trouble with a tier list like this is that Dallas is fundamentally a different market than somewhere like Houston. In Houston, you have a good number of large offices all competing for that local energy work and it’s relatively easy to rank who is winning that business. Dallas has a robust economy but it’s more diverse and most of the local deals are more middle market and don’t necessarily support the NY rates of these national firms. So corporate departments are generally smaller and I think tend to work more with other offices. I think national firms like having a presence in Dallas because there are those deals at the top of the market and it is a good place for legal talent and the comp goes a long way, which may help with associate retention. Associates looking to go in house in Dallas could be looking at 50%+ pay cuts coming from the national firms.

I think it will be interesting what happens with the split in comp between the national/Texas-based firms in the aftermath of COVID. Pre-COVID, it seems like a lot of the Texas firms could keep up with base salary and maybe raises but bonuses would be more hit or miss and tied to hours. The national firms have lockstep raises and bonuses (some with no hours requirement) and I think if the Texas firms fall behind in comp, it will begin to be harder to turn down a national firm offer for a Texas based firm.
This is spot on. Dallas is such a different market than Houston. There are no huge Corporate groups in town. It seems like 2/3 of the big deals in the state (i.e., those reported in the Texas Lawbook) all come from Houston. A lot of the top Dallas work goes to New York, and I think the national firms like having a presence in Dallas for the reasons noted above plus they think it will give them an edge over the New York firms with zero Texas presence when competing for Dallas work, even if the main team staffing the deal will be out of New York/elsewhere.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:11 am
The previous post about tiers is pretty flawed. Writing mainly from a corporate perspective.

Bracewell - Dallas office is only 20 lawyers, and has been in decline. No idea why anyone would work there, unless they have no other choices.
HAK - Doesn't seem to have much of a corporate group. AK corporate group left and created Katten office after merger announcement.
Jones Day - Entire corporate group just left to start the Shearman & Sterling office. It is my understanding that the office is half the size that it was 10 years ago. No idea why anyone would want to go to a firm that uses blackbox compensation if they have other offers.
V&E- Of the TX firms, V&E has positioned itself very well. It is the only TX firm still competing with the top national firms and I think it will stay that way. Definitely has the heaviest amount of oil and gas of the Dallas corporate groups. Still has a very strong litigation group.
Shearman & Sterling - office opened in the spring. Brough over the entire Jones Day corporate group, several of TK's top corporate partners, along with some Baker Botts partners, and a V&E senior associate.
Winston & Strawn - strong office, but strength is mainly in litigation. Corporate group is made up of former Locke Lord attorneys along with a smattering of attorneys from other mid-tier firms.

Corporate Bands
Band 1: Gibson, K&E, Sidley, Weil, V&E
. . . Big Gap . . .
Band 2: Akin Gump, Shearman & Sterling
Band 3: Baker Botts, Haynes & Boone, Thompson Knight, Winston & Strawn
Band 4: Foley Gradere, Jackson Walker, Katten, NRF
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott
Agree with this. Curious if there are any updates on how K&E is doing. Haven’t heard too much about them recently.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:32 am

I have a handful of friends at KE Dallas. From what I have been told recently, there is really only one corporate partner generating any business. The others have been total duds and there is some expectation they will be forced out (or de-equitized) before too long. As a result, there is a heavy reliance on other offices for work. Revenues may be up this year due to the firm having a large and prestigious FR practice, but from a corporate perspective, it sounds like many folks who lateraled there hoping for the Dallas partners to generate work have been very disappointed.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:32 am
I have a handful of friends at KE Dallas. From what I have been told recently, there is really only one corporate partner generating any business. The others have been total duds and there is some expectation they will be forced out (or de-equitized) before too long. As a result, there is a heavy reliance on other offices for work. Revenues may be up this year due to the firm having a large and prestigious FR practice, but from a corporate perspective, it sounds like many folks who lateraled there hoping for the Dallas partners to generate work have been very disappointed.

I work there so anon. Just to shed a little light, yes that’s correct that the corporate share partners are mostly pretty young and still working on generating business (although one is quickly becoming a big rainmaker). No talk of de-equitization though that I’ve heard. I’ll say this: the quality of work really has been incredible. We work cross office with NYC and Chicago a lot as well as Houston obviously. Revenues are the highest they’ve ever been in the office and TX leadership seems really happy with the move. The internal generation of work will come, but it hasn’t affected my experience as an associate. Would say hard pressed to find as high profile work in Dallas as what you can work on at KE.

So yes, true internal generation of work not as high, but hasn’t really affected much for me.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:03 pm

Image

And here comes the Kirkland PR machine, like clockwork in any thread that is anything less than glowing towards K&E....

My sense from friends in town is that the situation is closer to what the first poster described and the office is having trouble originating Dallas business after two years. But plenty of work is coming in from other offices, which means good experience but also makes the office a true satellite. Really just a matter of how you view it.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:03 pm
Image

And here comes the Kirkland PR machine, like clockwork in any thread that is anything less than glowing towards K&E....

My sense from friends in town is that the situation is closer to what the first poster described and the office is having trouble originating Dallas business after two years. But plenty of work is coming in from other offices, which means good experience but also makes the office a true satellite. Really just a matter of how you view it.
Im the anon above. Can see that was too glowing, but did make the point that it’s true we’re not an origination office right now (but this is also true of tons of “top” firms in Dallas). It’s a matter of whether or not that practically winds up mattering to an associate. To me it hasn’t because I get great experience and doesn’t matter to me where it comes from. Office has been very profitable, so no concerns in my view.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:59 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:03 pm
Image

And here comes the Kirkland PR machine, like clockwork in any thread that is anything less than glowing towards K&E....

My sense from friends in town is that the situation is closer to what the first poster described and the office is having trouble originating Dallas business after two years. But plenty of work is coming in from other offices, which means good experience but also makes the office a true satellite. Really just a matter of how you view it.
Im the anon above. Can see that was too glowing, but did make the point that it’s true we’re not an origination office right now (but this is also true of tons of “top” firms in Dallas). It’s a matter of whether or not that practically winds up mattering to an associate. To me it hasn’t because I get great experience and doesn’t matter to me where it comes from. Office has been very profitable, so no concerns in my view.
I mean, shit on the Kirkland strategy all you want but as someone with a stake in the performance of a traditional Texas firm's corporate office the consensus seems to be that Kirkland's model has worked several places and assuming that it won't work in Dallas is ignoring a serious threat. Getting the smallest piece of a deal, even just the crumbs, so that you can establish relationships for the future is not overtly stupid. Poaching established partners when they need them and building presence is not something many firms can do when they need a shot in the arm. Kirkland has shown that they're capable of doing this. Yeah they sound like a sweatshop, yeah work is reportedly inconsistent, but five years from now if they're in the same position in Dallas that they're currently in in Houston they're going to continue poaching business from other firms that do things in a more conservative way.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:59 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:03 pm
Image

And here comes the Kirkland PR machine, like clockwork in any thread that is anything less than glowing towards K&E....

My sense from friends in town is that the situation is closer to what the first poster described and the office is having trouble originating Dallas business after two years. But plenty of work is coming in from other offices, which means good experience but also makes the office a true satellite. Really just a matter of how you view it.
Im the anon above. Can see that was too glowing, but did make the point that it’s true we’re not an origination office right now (but this is also true of tons of “top” firms in Dallas). It’s a matter of whether or not that practically winds up mattering to an associate. To me it hasn’t because I get great experience and doesn’t matter to me where it comes from. Office has been very profitable, so no concerns in my view.
I mean, shit on the Kirkland strategy all you want but as someone with a stake in the performance of a traditional Texas firm's corporate office the consensus seems to be that Kirkland's model has worked several places and assuming that it won't work in Dallas is ignoring a serious threat. Getting the smallest piece of a deal, even just the crumbs, so that you can establish relationships for the future is not overtly stupid. Poaching established partners when they need them and building presence is not something many firms can do when they need a shot in the arm. Kirkland has shown that they're capable of doing this. Yeah they sound like a sweatshop, yeah work is reportedly inconsistent, but five years from now if they're in the same position in Dallas that they're currently in in Houston they're going to continue poaching business from other firms that do things in a more conservative way.
Fair point but I think Dallas is a completely different market than Houston so not convinced the same strategy will work. I just don't see it as a huge growth market for a firm with NY rates. That work is spread out across the other national firms and I don't think it will be easy to win those relationships.

I always saw the K&E Dallas office as a great play to get more associates to support Houston. Some people may just prefer to live in Dallas but don't mind doing Houston work. All the better if some of these young partners build a book of Dallas work. Just not convinced the Dallas office is going to be the next Houston office.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott

The real practical purpose of these threads is for 1Ls and 2Ls to take the pulse of the market and see which firms they should target. That being said, I don't see why any law student would pick Sidley, VE, or Winston over KE, Weil, or Gibson. Sidley/VE/Winston have all pushed start dates to 2021. KE/Weil/Gibson are letting associates start in the fall. As a law student, you won't find a more useful differentiator between firms that all otherwise follow the Cravath scale.

Regarding the bickering about "satellite offices" in this thread -- if you don't want to work in a satellite office, don't work in Dallas. Go to Houston.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:54 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott

The real practical purpose of these threads is for 1Ls and 2Ls to take the pulse of the market and see which firms they should target. That being said, I don't see why any law student would pick Sidley, VE, or Winston over KE, Weil, or Gibson. Sidley/VE/Winston have all pushed start dates to 2021. KE/Weil/Gibson are letting associates start in the fall. As a law student, you won't find a more useful differentiator between firms that all otherwise follow the Cravath scale.

Regarding the bickering about "satellite offices" in this thread -- if you don't want to work in a satellite office, don't work in Dallas. Go to Houston.
As a COVID 2020 grad who chose Sidley/VE/Winston over KE/Weil/Gibson, I am DEFINITELY regretting my decision. Any spin on the situation is just that, a spin, and it's BS. Many firms are starting associates this fall and those that aren't are either (i) financially unhealthy or (ii) cheap as hell. That goes for all firms up and down the V list.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by getty » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am

Any thoughts on DLA?

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:14 pm

getty wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am
Any thoughts on DLA?
Not a “top” firm in town by any means. The above poster who put them in a band with Katten, Baker McKenzie, etc. is correct.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:54 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott

The real practical purpose of these threads is for 1Ls and 2Ls to take the pulse of the market and see which firms they should target. That being said, I don't see why any law student would pick Sidley, VE, or Winston over KE, Weil, or Gibson. Sidley/VE/Winston have all pushed start dates to 2021. KE/Weil/Gibson are letting associates start in the fall. As a law student, you won't find a more useful differentiator between firms that all otherwise follow the Cravath scale.

Regarding the bickering about "satellite offices" in this thread -- if you don't want to work in a satellite office, don't work in Dallas. Go to Houston.
As a COVID 2020 grad who chose Sidley/VE/Winston over KE/Weil/Gibson, I am DEFINITELY regretting my decision. Any spin on the situation is just that, a spin, and it's BS. Many firms are starting associates this fall and those that aren't are either (i) financially unhealthy or (ii) cheap as hell. That goes for all firms up and down the V list.

THIS

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by lawlo » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:24 am

Anyone have any color as to how the Houston office is doing?

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by lawlo » Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:25 am

lawlo wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:24 am
Anyone have any color as to how the Houston office is doing?
Oops. KE Houston.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:13 am

lawlo wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:25 am
lawlo wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:24 am
Anyone have any color as to how the Houston office is doing?
Oops. KE Houston.
Busy. But kind of in the way that a star burns brightest and hottest before it implodes and becomes a neutron star.

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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:11 am
The previous post about tiers is pretty flawed. Writing mainly from a corporate perspective.

Bracewell - Dallas office is only 20 lawyers, and has been in decline. No idea why anyone would work there, unless they have no other choices.
HAK - Doesn't seem to have much of a corporate group. AK corporate group left and created Katten office after merger announcement.
Jones Day - Entire corporate group just left to start the Shearman & Sterling office. It is my understanding that the office is half the size that it was 10 years ago. No idea why anyone would want to go to a firm that uses blackbox compensation if they have other offers.
V&E- Of the TX firms, V&E has positioned itself very well. It is the only TX firm still competing with the top national firms and I think it will stay that way. Definitely has the heaviest amount of oil and gas of the Dallas corporate groups. Still has a very strong litigation group.
Shearman & Sterling - office opened in the spring. Brough over the entire Jones Day corporate group, several of TK's top corporate partners, along with some Baker Botts partners, and a V&E senior associate.
Winston & Strawn - strong office, but strength is mainly in litigation. Corporate group is made up of former Locke Lord attorneys along with a smattering of attorneys from other mid-tier firms.

Corporate Bands
Band 1: Gibson, K&E, Sidley, Weil, V&E
. . . Big Gap . . .
Band 2: Akin Gump, Shearman & Sterling
Band 3: Baker Botts, Haynes & Boone, Thompson Knight, Winston & Strawn
Band 4: Foley Gradere, Jackson Walker, Katten, NRF
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott
Surprised to see you move Akin Gump down below BB/Hayboo in this list, considering the somewhat unclear nature of BB's firm health right now and the recent poaching of several corporate partners from Hayboo to AG. They're definitely a group that isn't in the news or talked about that much, but seem to be on a better footing than most of the other traditional Dallas offices other than V&E right?

Anonymous User
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Re: State of the Dallas Market 2020

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:37 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:11 am
The previous post about tiers is pretty flawed. Writing mainly from a corporate perspective.

Bracewell - Dallas office is only 20 lawyers, and has been in decline. No idea why anyone would work there, unless they have no other choices.
HAK - Doesn't seem to have much of a corporate group. AK corporate group left and created Katten office after merger announcement.
Jones Day - Entire corporate group just left to start the Shearman & Sterling office. It is my understanding that the office is half the size that it was 10 years ago. No idea why anyone would want to go to a firm that uses blackbox compensation if they have other offers.
V&E- Of the TX firms, V&E has positioned itself very well. It is the only TX firm still competing with the top national firms and I think it will stay that way. Definitely has the heaviest amount of oil and gas of the Dallas corporate groups. Still has a very strong litigation group.
Shearman & Sterling - office opened in the spring. Brough over the entire Jones Day corporate group, several of TK's top corporate partners, along with some Baker Botts partners, and a V&E senior associate.
Winston & Strawn - strong office, but strength is mainly in litigation. Corporate group is made up of former Locke Lord attorneys along with a smattering of attorneys from other mid-tier firms.

Corporate Bands
Band 1: Gibson, K&E, Sidley, Weil, V&E
. . . Big Gap . . .
Band 2: Akin Gump, Shearman & Sterling
Band 3: Baker Botts, Haynes & Boone, Thompson Knight, Winston & Strawn
Band 4: Foley Gradere, Jackson Walker, Katten, NRF
Totally agreed with the first part of this post. I might tweak the bands as follows:
Band 1a: Gibson, Sidley, V&E
Band 1b: Winston (surprised to see this group so low above - I hear they are doing really well), Weil, K&E (I still think K&E Dallas is a giant question mark with very few business generating partners in Dallas - most work comes from Houston)
Band 2: Shearman
Band 3a: Baker Botts, HayBoo
Band 3b: TK, Akin Gump
Band 4: Gardere, JW, Katten, NRF, DLA, Baker McKenzie, HuntonAK, Sheppard Mullin, Polsinelli, Alston, McDermott
Surprised to see you move Akin Gump down below BB/Hayboo in this list, considering the somewhat unclear nature of BB's firm health right now and the recent poaching of several corporate partners from Hayboo to AG. They're definitely a group that isn't in the news or talked about that much, but seem to be on a better footing than most of the other traditional Dallas offices other than V&E right?
It sort of depends what you're looking for. By virtue of it being a satellite office of an East Coast firm, it will undoubtedly offer more opportunities to work on larger, sophisticated deals than HB (and maybe even BB, though the difference there is likely negligible). That being said, from a career planning perspective, I'd still probably rather start out at BB or HB than Akin (when looking at Dallas offices only) for a variety of reasons (mostly having to do with office culture). To be honest, there simply aren't a lot of great options for where to start in Dallas if you want to do Corporate work, stay relatively busy on sophisticated deals and have any chance of making partner at the firm you start at.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


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