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2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:15 pm
by Anonymous User
For those interested in the Dallas market, I thought it might be helpful to have a thread solely dedicated to Dallas. I'll post my general thoughts below as to the hierarchy of firms in Dallas from both the transactional and litigation perspectives. If anyone has questions, please chime in.

TRANSACTIONAL:

Overall thoughts - Transactional work is much hotter in Texas than litigation (especially when you're talking corporate, finance and to some extent tax - real estate is generally less lucrative than those practice areas and is not of focus of the national firms)
Also, the Dallas legal market is not nearly as hot as Houston - almost all of the big deals in the state come out of Houston and the corporate groups in Dallas are much smaller than in Houston (HayBoo Dallas' corporate group is probably the biggest group at 30ish lawyers whereas VE Houston easily has over 100 corporate lawyers)
There is also less capital markets work in Dallas than Houston - it seems like 2/3 of all capital markets work in the state is done out of VE Houston

Band 1:
-Gibson: Has some of the biggest names in the market and access to some high-profile work but you hear of many associates that are slow
-Vinson & Elkins: Lost some big names to GDC a few years ago but keeps chugging along; you hear mixed reports on culture and that its a satellite office but this is probably the best name in the state
-Sidley: Mostly former Weil and BB people; their Houston office is growing faster, but this is still a well-respected group
-Thompson & Knight: Very energy focused; mid-size group, was targeted heavily by Kirkland; TBD if anyone goes over; not a huge national name but well-regarded in Dallas
-Jones Day: Recently lost people to Kirkland but historically a great name; diversified wrt industries; mixed reports on culture
-Kirkland: In Band 1 for name alone; the first batch of lawyers to sign on leave a little to be desired, but the office will surely be busy
-Winston & Strawn: the transactional side is a mix of former Locke and Jones Day people for the most part; diversified with respect to industries; no energy presence
-Weil: Great name and was once the top name in the market but recent defections to Kirkland, Sidley, etc. have really hurt the group - unclear what it will look like in 10 years

Band 2:
-Haynes and Boone: largest group in town; very mid-market; diversified with respect to industry; you hear reports that they overhire and that many associates are slow
-Baker Botts: firm as a whole seems to be losing ground to VE (plus BB lost a couple big partners to Sidley a couple years ago); you don't hear much about their corporate group in town but there are definitely some good people there
-Akin Gump: most work comes from other offices but it is good work; mixed reports on culture; not somewhere to go if you want to make partner

Band 3:
-Norton Rose Fulbright: the corp group is formerly from Winstead (as of probably 20 years ago); you don't hear much about them
-Locke Lord: most of the top transactional folks went to Winston
-HuntonAK: a small group but have good private equity work (most of the former AK people went to Katten instead of coming over though)

Band 4:
-Winstead: Very mid-market but a good place to go if you want to make partner
-Foley Gardere: Similar to Winstead

Other Firms:
-Bracewell, Alston, Holland & Knight, Squire Patton Boggs, Katten, Greenberg, Munsch, Strasburger, DLA Piper, McDermott, Polsinelli, Baker McKenzie, McGuire Woods: All of these firms are good firms with very capable lawyers, but they all have small/new corporate groups or are very regional and likely have fewer spots than those firms listed above (if any)

LITIGATION:

Overall thoughts - Litigation as a whole is slower than transactional work in Texas and is generally less lucrative, though Dallas litigation sections usually represent a larger percentage of the office than their Houston counterparts

Band 1:
-Gibson: in a league of its own and certainly has the most number of heavy hitters

Band 2:
-Vinson & Elkins: Great Texas firm that is still seen as a force in the market after losing some big names to GDC a few years ago
-Winston & Strawn: The newest force in the market, and generally took the biggest name partners from Fish to launch the litigation section
-Sidley: The former Weil litigation group, prestigious, but you hear mixed reports on culture
-McKool Smith: A quasi-boutique that has a good reputation for work and a mixed reputation for culture

Band 3:
-Baker Botts: Stable group but not one you hear a ton about in Dallas
-Akin Gump: Light on general commercial litigation but with its DC ties is stronger in antitrust and other similar practices
-Jones Day: Similar to Akin Gump; mixed reports on culture here too (what you gain in "sophistication" here and at Akin Gump you probably lose in courtroom experience)
-Norton Rose Fulbright: Similar to Baker Botts above but at least at Fulbright, the litigators have more power
-Locke Lord: See Fulbright above
-Thompson & Knight: Mostly general commercial litigation, a busy group that is quite large; not bet-the-company litigation but probably good experience

Band 4:
-Haynes and Boone: Once a litigation force, now a very slow group that has been slow for probably a decade; still a great name
-Fish: Unclear how viable office is after losing big group to Winston
-Jackson Walker: Sort of like a smaller TK
-Winstead: Less sophisticated work but a fairly large section
-Foley Gardere: Same as Winstead

Other Firms:
-Bracewell, Weil, K&L Gates, Morgan Lewis, HuntonAK all have some litigation, but I don't think any of them have a more than a couple partners that litigate, so these are probably less viable options for most

-Note that this list leaves off a bunch of great boutiques, as it is my understanding those positions are hard to snag during OCI and are generally seen as options you would pursue after having worked in Biglaw for a few years (but if I'm wrong about this, please correct me)
-Note, also, that the most prestigious boutiques are in Houston and not Dallas (i.e., Susman, Yetter, AZA, Beck Redden, etc.)

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:16 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:For those interested in the Dallas market, I thought it might be helpful to have a thread solely dedicated to Dallas. I'll post my general thoughts below as to the hierarchy of firms in Dallas from both the transactional and litigation perspectives. If anyone has questions, please chime in.

TRANSACTIONAL:

Overall thoughts - Transactional work is much hotter in Texas than litigation (especially when you're talking corporate, finance and to some extent tax - real estate is generally less lucrative than those practice areas and is not of focus of the national firms)
Also, the Dallas legal market is not nearly as hot as Houston - almost all of the big deals in the state come out of Houston and the corporate groups in Dallas are much smaller than in Houston (HayBoo Dallas' corporate group is probably the biggest group at 30ish lawyers whereas VE Houston easily has over 100 corporate lawyers)
There is also less capital markets work in Dallas than Houston - it seems like 2/3 of all capital markets work in the state is done out of VE Houston

Band 1:
-Gibson: Has some of the biggest names in the market and access to some high-profile work but you hear of many associates that are slow
-Vinson & Elkins: Lost some big names to GDC a few years ago but keeps chugging along; you hear mixed reports on culture and that its a satellite office but this is probably the best name in the state
-Sidley: Mostly former Weil and BB people; their Houston office is growing faster, but this is still a well-respected group
-Thompson & Knight: Very energy focused; mid-size group, was targeted heavily by Kirkland; TBD if anyone goes over; not a huge national name but well-regarded in Dallas
-Jones Day: Recently lost people to Kirkland but historically a great name; diversified wrt industries; mixed reports on culture
-Kirkland: In Band 1 for name alone; the first batch of lawyers to sign on leave a little to be desired, but the office will surely be busy
-Winston & Strawn: the transactional side is a mix of former Locke and Jones Day people for the most part; diversified with respect to industries; no energy presence
-Weil: Great name and was once the top name in the market but recent defections to Kirkland, Sidley, etc. have really hurt the group - unclear what it will look like in 10 years

Band 2:
-Haynes and Boone: largest group in town; very mid-market; diversified with respect to industry; you hear reports that they overhire and that many associates are slow
-Baker Botts: firm as a whole seems to be losing ground to VE (plus BB lost a couple big partners to Sidley a couple years ago); you don't hear much about their corporate group in town but there are definitely some good people there
-Akin Gump: most work comes from other offices but it is good work; mixed reports on culture; not somewhere to go if you want to make partner

Band 3:
-Norton Rose Fulbright: the corp group is formerly from Winstead (as of probably 20 years ago); you don't hear much about them
-Locke Lord: most of the top transactional folks went to Winston
-HuntonAK: a small group but have good private equity work (most of the former AK people went to Katten instead of coming over though)

Band 4:
-Winstead: Very mid-market but a good place to go if you want to make partner
-Foley Gardere: Similar to Winstead

Other Firms:
-Bracewell, Alston, Holland & Knight, Squire Patton Boggs, Katten, Greenberg, Munsch, Strasburger, DLA Piper, McDermott, Polsinelli, Baker McKenzie, McGuire Woods: All of these firms are good firms with very capable lawyers, but they all have small/new corporate groups or are very regional and likely have fewer spots than those firms listed above (if any)

LITIGATION:

Overall thoughts - Litigation as a whole is slower than transactional work in Texas and is generally less lucrative, though Dallas litigation sections usually represent a larger percentage of the office than their Houston counterparts

Band 1:
-Gibson: in a league of its own and certainly has the most number of heavy hitters

Band 2:
-Vinson & Elkins: Great Texas firm that is still seen as a force in the market after losing some big names to GDC a few years ago
-Winston & Strawn: The newest force in the market, and generally took the biggest name partners from Fish to launch the litigation section
-Sidley: The former Weil litigation group, prestigious, but you hear mixed reports on culture
-McKool Smith: A quasi-boutique that has a good reputation for work and a mixed reputation for culture

Band 3:
-Baker Botts: Stable group but not one you hear a ton about in Dallas
-Akin Gump: Light on general commercial litigation but with its DC ties is stronger in antitrust and other similar practices
-Jones Day: Similar to Akin Gump; mixed reports on culture here too (what you gain in "sophistication" here and at Akin Gump you probably lose in courtroom experience)
-Norton Rose Fulbright: Similar to Baker Botts above but at least at Fulbright, the litigators have more power
-Locke Lord: See Fulbright above
-Thompson & Knight: Mostly general commercial litigation, a busy group that is quite large; not bet-the-company litigation but probably good experience

Band 4:
-Haynes and Boone: Once a litigation force, now a very slow group that has been slow for probably a decade; still a great name
-Fish: Unclear how viable office is after losing big group to Winston
-Jackson Walker: Sort of like a smaller TK
-Winstead: Less sophisticated work but a fairly large section
-Foley Gardere: Same as Winstead

Other Firms:
-Bracewell, Weil, K&L Gates, Morgan Lewis, HuntonAK all have some litigation, but I don't think any of them have a more than a couple partners that litigate, so these are probably less viable options for most

-Note that this list leaves off a bunch of great boutiques, as it is my understanding those positions are hard to snag during OCI and are generally seen as options you would pursue after having worked in Biglaw for a few years (but if I'm wrong about this, please correct me)
-Note, also, that the most prestigious boutiques are in Houston and not Dallas (i.e., Susman, Yetter, AZA, Beck Redden, etc.)


Is there any significance to the ordering within each band? For example, is Sidley transactions considered better than Jones Day transactions according to this list?

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:22 am
by Anonymous User
Is McKool Smith Dallas considered at the same level as the prestigious non-Susman boutiques in Houston (AZA, Beck Redden), etc? Noticed that they're in Chambers band 1 in lit for Texas ahead of AZA.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:47 am
by Anonymous User
I think the main point to take from OP’s description is that it’s focused on the people that work at these firms. When you’re interviewing with a firm that has suffered recent departures, ask if/where from they’re replacing people. You don’t want to work at a satellite office where half the people there are newly-hired band 4 attorneys at a band 1/2 firm. Your training will suffer, the flagship offices won’t integrate you, and your lateral options will be limited.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:07 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For those interested in the Dallas market, I thought it might be helpful to have a thread solely dedicated to Dallas. I'll post my general thoughts below as to the hierarchy of firms in Dallas from both the transactional and litigation perspectives. If anyone has questions, please chime in.

TRANSACTIONAL:

Overall thoughts - Transactional work is much hotter in Texas than litigation (especially when you're talking corporate, finance and to some extent tax - real estate is generally less lucrative than those practice areas and is not of focus of the national firms)
Also, the Dallas legal market is not nearly as hot as Houston - almost all of the big deals in the state come out of Houston and the corporate groups in Dallas are much smaller than in Houston (HayBoo Dallas' corporate group is probably the biggest group at 30ish lawyers whereas VE Houston easily has over 100 corporate lawyers)
There is also less capital markets work in Dallas than Houston - it seems like 2/3 of all capital markets work in the state is done out of VE Houston

Band 1:
-Gibson: Has some of the biggest names in the market and access to some high-profile work but you hear of many associates that are slow
-Vinson & Elkins: Lost some big names to GDC a few years ago but keeps chugging along; you hear mixed reports on culture and that its a satellite office but this is probably the best name in the state
-Sidley: Mostly former Weil and BB people; their Houston office is growing faster, but this is still a well-respected group
-Thompson & Knight: Very energy focused; mid-size group, was targeted heavily by Kirkland; TBD if anyone goes over; not a huge national name but well-regarded in Dallas
-Jones Day: Recently lost people to Kirkland but historically a great name; diversified wrt industries; mixed reports on culture
-Kirkland: In Band 1 for name alone; the first batch of lawyers to sign on leave a little to be desired, but the office will surely be busy
-Winston & Strawn: the transactional side is a mix of former Locke and Jones Day people for the most part; diversified with respect to industries; no energy presence
-Weil: Great name and was once the top name in the market but recent defections to Kirkland, Sidley, etc. have really hurt the group - unclear what it will look like in 10 years

Band 2:
-Haynes and Boone: largest group in town; very mid-market; diversified with respect to industry; you hear reports that they overhire and that many associates are slow
-Baker Botts: firm as a whole seems to be losing ground to VE (plus BB lost a couple big partners to Sidley a couple years ago); you don't hear much about their corporate group in town but there are definitely some good people there
-Akin Gump: most work comes from other offices but it is good work; mixed reports on culture; not somewhere to go if you want to make partner

Band 3:
-Norton Rose Fulbright: the corp group is formerly from Winstead (as of probably 20 years ago); you don't hear much about them
-Locke Lord: most of the top transactional folks went to Winston
-HuntonAK: a small group but have good private equity work (most of the former AK people went to Katten instead of coming over though)

Band 4:
-Winstead: Very mid-market but a good place to go if you want to make partner
-Foley Gardere: Similar to Winstead

Other Firms:
-Bracewell, Alston, Holland & Knight, Squire Patton Boggs, Katten, Greenberg, Munsch, Strasburger, DLA Piper, McDermott, Polsinelli, Baker McKenzie, McGuire Woods: All of these firms are good firms with very capable lawyers, but they all have small/new corporate groups or are very regional and likely have fewer spots than those firms listed above (if any)

LITIGATION:

Overall thoughts - Litigation as a whole is slower than transactional work in Texas and is generally less lucrative, though Dallas litigation sections usually represent a larger percentage of the office than their Houston counterparts

Band 1:
-Gibson: in a league of its own and certainly has the most number of heavy hitters

Band 2:
-Vinson & Elkins: Great Texas firm that is still seen as a force in the market after losing some big names to GDC a few years ago
-Winston & Strawn: The newest force in the market, and generally took the biggest name partners from Fish to launch the litigation section
-Sidley: The former Weil litigation group, prestigious, but you hear mixed reports on culture
-McKool Smith: A quasi-boutique that has a good reputation for work and a mixed reputation for culture

Band 3:
-Baker Botts: Stable group but not one you hear a ton about in Dallas
-Akin Gump: Light on general commercial litigation but with its DC ties is stronger in antitrust and other similar practices
-Jones Day: Similar to Akin Gump; mixed reports on culture here too (what you gain in "sophistication" here and at Akin Gump you probably lose in courtroom experience)
-Norton Rose Fulbright: Similar to Baker Botts above but at least at Fulbright, the litigators have more power
-Locke Lord: See Fulbright above
-Thompson & Knight: Mostly general commercial litigation, a busy group that is quite large; not bet-the-company litigation but probably good experience

Band 4:
-Haynes and Boone: Once a litigation force, now a very slow group that has been slow for probably a decade; still a great name
-Fish: Unclear how viable office is after losing big group to Winston
-Jackson Walker: Sort of like a smaller TK
-Winstead: Less sophisticated work but a fairly large section
-Foley Gardere: Same as Winstead

Other Firms:
-Bracewell, Weil, K&L Gates, Morgan Lewis, HuntonAK all have some litigation, but I don't think any of them have a more than a couple partners that litigate, so these are probably less viable options for most

-Note that this list leaves off a bunch of great boutiques, as it is my understanding those positions are hard to snag during OCI and are generally seen as options you would pursue after having worked in Biglaw for a few years (but if I'm wrong about this, please correct me)
-Note, also, that the most prestigious boutiques are in Houston and not Dallas (i.e., Susman, Yetter, AZA, Beck Redden, etc.)


Is there any significance to the ordering within each band? For example, is Sidley transactions considered better than Jones Day transactions according to this list?


OP here. No significance within bands - sure, some firms will be a bit “better” than others in the same band but the point of the bands was to indicate that those differences would likely be immaterial from the perspective of a student (so cultural fit should really be the tiebreaker within a band). That being said, there are also plenty of great reasons to go with a firm in a lower band than a higher band - and firms regularly hire laterals from firms that are not in the same band. I was just trying to give general impressions for someone who may be overwhelmed by the process.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:08 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Is McKool Smith Dallas considered at the same level as the prestigious non-Susman boutiques in Houston (AZA, Beck Redden), etc? Noticed that they're in Chambers band 1 in lit for Texas ahead of AZA.


I think that’s generally true. Though you hear much better things about culture at Beck Redden, AZA and Yetter Coleman than Susman and McKool.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:44 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I think the main point to take from OP’s description is that it’s focused on the people that work at these firms. When you’re interviewing with a firm that has suffered recent departures, ask if/where from they’re replacing people. You don’t want to work at a satellite office where half the people there are newly-hired band 4 attorneys at a band 1/2 firm. Your training will suffer, the flagship offices won’t integrate you, and your lateral options will be limited.


OP here. Excellent point.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:52 am
by Anonymous User
In my opinion Baker Botts Dallas corporate is way ahead of at least Winston and TK, ahead of Kirkland as of now at least in Dallas, and probably Weil. I never see TK on anything except small O&G and haven't seen Winston Dallas on anything.

JD is a little hard to compare given the extent to which they staff across offices. V&E and GDC are both strong but BB is across from them regularly.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:27 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:In my opinion Baker Botts Dallas corporate is way ahead of at least Winston and TK, ahead of Kirkland as of now at least in Dallas, and probably Weil. I never see TK on anything except small O&G and haven't seen Winston Dallas on anything.

JD is a little hard to compare given the extent to which they staff across offices. V&E and GDC are both strong but BB is across from them regularly.


As someone at VE/Weil in Dallas, I can say that we see TK Dallas way more than BB Dallas. We see NYC firms a lot and then a mix of VE/Weil, Kirkland, Latham, Sidley Houston, BB Houston, TK Dallas, and Akin Gump Houston.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:35 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In my opinion Baker Botts Dallas corporate is way ahead of at least Winston and TK, ahead of Kirkland as of now at least in Dallas, and probably Weil. I never see TK on anything except small O&G and haven't seen Winston Dallas on anything.

JD is a little hard to compare given the extent to which they staff across offices. V&E and GDC are both strong but BB is across from them regularly.


As someone at VE/Weil in Dallas, I can say that we see TK Dallas way more than BB Dallas. We see NYC firms a lot and then a mix of VE/Weil, Kirkland, Latham, Sidley Houston, BB Houston, TK Dallas, and Akin Gump Houston.


Fair enough, we may be on different types of deals. For what it's worth, I think TK is a good shop and like the attorneys there. And agreed, on the last few big deals I haven't been across from any TX people.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:03 pm
by Anonymous User
I think the first post roundup is excellent but I would say if you want to stay in Dallas, but not biglaw, long-term than Haynes and Boone has really good exit options just because of the role they play in the market.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:56 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In my opinion Baker Botts Dallas corporate is way ahead of at least Winston and TK, ahead of Kirkland as of now at least in Dallas, and probably Weil. I never see TK on anything except small O&G and haven't seen Winston Dallas on anything.

JD is a little hard to compare given the extent to which they staff across offices. V&E and GDC are both strong but BB is across from them regularly.


As someone at VE/Weil in Dallas, I can say that we see TK Dallas way more than BB Dallas. We see NYC firms a lot and then a mix of VE/Weil, Kirkland, Latham, Sidley Houston, BB Houston, TK Dallas, and Akin Gump Houston.


Fair enough, we may be on different types of deals. For what it's worth, I think TK is a good shop and like the attorneys there. And agreed, on the last few big deals I haven't been across from any TX people.


Doesn't BB Dallas have less of an energy focus (similar to most Dallas firms other than VE/Weil/TK)? That could probably explain the discrepancy.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:59 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I think the first post roundup is excellent but I would say if you want to stay in Dallas, but not biglaw, long-term than Haynes and Boone has really good exit options just because of the role they play in the market.


OP here. 100% agree. And even though I feel like HB Corp work is more "mid-market" than some of the other players in town, the training a lawyer gets there is just as good, so a HB associate is very marketable to other Biglaw shops and plenty of great in-house gigs.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Doesn't BB Dallas have less of an energy focus (similar to most Dallas firms other than VE/Weil/TK)? That could probably explain the discrepancy.


I think that's probably right -- less of an energy focus and less of a PE focus. Although a partner came over from TK that does a good amount of both.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:33 pm
by Anonymous User
The litigation rankings make me think this was written by a Gibson attorney. Gibson has a good reputation for appellate work in Dallas, but there's a reason they're in band 3 of Chambers for general commercial litigation. If you want to do appellate work, they should be towards the top of your list. If you want to try cases in state or district court, there's 10 or so firms that you're better off applying to. Crazy to have them ranked in a tier of their own for litigation.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:41 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:The litigation rankings make me think this was written by a Gibson attorney. Gibson has a good reputation for appellate work in Dallas, but there's a reason they're in band 3 of Chambers for general commercial litigation. If you want to do appellate work, they should be towards the top of your list. If you want to try cases in state or district court, there's 10 or so firms that you're better off applying to. Crazy to have them ranked in a tier of their own for litigation.


I’ve actually been trying to get some insight into trial-oriented firms in Dallas. Care to provide some?

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:45 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Is McKool Smith Dallas considered at the same level as the prestigious non-Susman boutiques in Houston (AZA, Beck Redden), etc? Noticed that they're in Chambers band 1 in lit for Texas ahead of AZA.


Probably slightly ahead of AZA in terms of prestige, but that is good and bad. You'd work on bigger cases at McKool, but you'd likely get a little bit more early experience at AZA. The hours at both firms are going to be roughly equal. Choosing between these sorts of firms should come down to fit more than anything else.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:53 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The litigation rankings make me think this was written by a Gibson attorney. Gibson has a good reputation for appellate work in Dallas, but there's a reason they're in band 3 of Chambers for general commercial litigation. If you want to do appellate work, they should be towards the top of your list. If you want to try cases in state or district court, there's 10 or so firms that you're better off applying to. Crazy to have them ranked in a tier of their own for litigation.


I’ve actually been trying to get some insight into trial-oriented firms in Dallas. Care to provide some?


Sure, what do you want to know? Dallas doesn't have as many trial-oriented firms as Houston (at least not paying market), so a lot of it comes down to practice groups and the partners you end up working for. McKool is probably the most trial-oriented firm in the city, but firms like Winston, Sidley, V&E and Baker Botts all have well regarded litigation groups.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:00 pm
by HenryHankPalmer
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The litigation rankings make me think this was written by a Gibson attorney. Gibson has a good reputation for appellate work in Dallas, but there's a reason they're in band 3 of Chambers for general commercial litigation. If you want to do appellate work, they should be towards the top of your list. If you want to try cases in state or district court, there's 10 or so firms that you're better off applying to. Crazy to have them ranked in a tier of their own for litigation.


I’ve actually been trying to get some insight into trial-oriented firms in Dallas. Care to provide some?


Sure, what do you want to know? Dallas doesn't have as many trial-oriented firms as Houston (at least not paying market), so a lot of it comes down to practice groups and the partners you end up working for. McKool is probably the most trial-oriented firm in the city, but firms like Winston, Sidley, V&E and Baker Botts all have well regarded litigation groups.

Aside from McKool, any other boutiques or quasi-boutiques you’d consider notable?

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:03 pm
by Anonymous User
HenryHankPalmer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The litigation rankings make me think this was written by a Gibson attorney. Gibson has a good reputation for appellate work in Dallas, but there's a reason they're in band 3 of Chambers for general commercial litigation. If you want to do appellate work, they should be towards the top of your list. If you want to try cases in state or district court, there's 10 or so firms that you're better off applying to. Crazy to have them ranked in a tier of their own for litigation.


I’ve actually been trying to get some insight into trial-oriented firms in Dallas. Care to provide some?


Sure, what do you want to know? Dallas doesn't have as many trial-oriented firms as Houston (at least not paying market), so a lot of it comes down to practice groups and the partners you end up working for. McKool is probably the most trial-oriented firm in the city, but firms like Winston, Sidley, V&E and Baker Botts all have well regarded litigation groups.

Aside from McKool, any other boutiques or quasi-boutiques you’d consider notable?


Original anon who asked about trial-oriented firms. What about non-biglaw shops? I'm thinking Lynn Pinker, Sayles Werbner, Figari Davenport, etc.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:45 pm
by Anonymous User
What do people think of Akin Gump? Good place to start in town?

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:22 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:The litigation rankings make me think this was written by a Gibson attorney. Gibson has a good reputation for appellate work in Dallas, but there's a reason they're in band 3 of Chambers for general commercial litigation. If you want to do appellate work, they should be towards the top of your list. If you want to try cases in state or district court, there's 10 or so firms that you're better off applying to. Crazy to have them ranked in a tier of their own for litigation.


OP here. Not at GDC. And not a litigator. I wouldn’t disagree with anything you said at all - I was under the impression that their general commercial lit practice was as strong as their appellate work. But I seem to be off on that.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:28 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:What do people think of Akin Gump? Good place to start in town?


Honestly no. I would try to avoid at all costs unless you are dead set on doing Funds work and don’t get HB or TK offers. The type of work you get at AG will be comparable to other shops in town but the office environment is terrible. Over half the Corp work comes from other offices, so it’s almost impossible to make partner since the office is not seen as a revenue generator. I have many friends who left there and have almost nothing positive to say about their experience. That being said - the pay is top of the Texas market so if you want to go in house after 3-5 years, I would consider it if the other Cravath paying firms in town (which includes all the NYC/Chicago based firms (other than JonesDay) plus VE/BB/TK/Bracewell/HB(for most HB associates at least)) aren’t available.

Just anecdotally I also know of at least three associates who lateral to to Akin Gump and went back to where they came from within 3 to 4 months.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:36 am
by Anonymous User
Thoughts on Jackson Walker? I have heard great things about the culture, curious to know more about the quality of work and development. Leaning towards litigation, but open to corporate work.

Re: 2018 Dallas Thread

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:46 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts on Jackson Walker? I have heard great things about the culture, curious to know more about the quality of work and development. Leaning towards litigation, but open to corporate work.


Great firm. I would say that JW and Winstead are prob the preeminent regional firms with Winstead being more RE Finance focused and JW more Lit and general Corp focused. You also tend to hear better things about JW’s culture than Winstead’s.