Whether you are embarking on a summer associate position at a firm, a summer clerkship at the courthouse or an internship at a legal aid clinic, there are three universal truths that can make or break the summer.
From 2010 to 2018, the Texas economy boomed and dozens of national law firms opened offices in the state. But the total number of corporate lawyers working at the firms stayed flat. In 2019, that changed. The 50 largest corporate firms in Texas have grown lawyer count in record numbers the past four years, including in 2022. While Big Law has returned to pre-pandemic scrutiny of underperforming attorneys, most of the larger firms are still planning for record-sized summer associate classes and fall hiring of first-year lawyers.
The 50 largest corporate law firms operating in Texas continued to add new lawyers at a near-record pace in 2022, according to the new Texas Lawbook 50 headcount rankings. The top 50 firms now employ nearly 8,000 lawyers in their Texas offices. The only year when the 50 law firms added more attorneys was 2021. More than two-thirds of law firms grew their lawyer headcount in 2022. The out-of-state firms expanded the most, especially firms founded in California. Three perennial top Lawbook 50 firms dropped off the list, replaced by firms growing faster. There are now only 20 Texas-based firms in the top 50.
For half of a century, the Big Three dominated Big Law in Texas like GM, Ford and Chrysler ruled Detroit. Every Texas law school graduate wanted to work at Baker Botts, Fulbright & Jaworski or Vinson & Elkins. Rookie lawyers hired by the Big Three retired there. Two-dozen years ago, the Big Three had roughly the same number of lawyers and nearly identical revenues in their home state. Each faced monumental headwinds and threats to their very existence.
The Big Three survived, though they look a lot differently today than they did in 1998. Baker Botts, Norton Rose Fulbright and V&E remain among the Texas Lawbook 50’s top five largest law firms, though the gap between them in revenues and profits is widening.
When trial lawyer Steve Susman died unexpectedly in 2020, legal industry insiders wondered what would become of the firm he founded four decades ago. The verdict is in.
“We had a record year in revenues and profits in 2022,” Susman Godfrey co-managing partner Vineet Bhatia told The Texas Lawbook in an exclusive interview. “2022 was far and away our best year ever.”
Susman Godfrey does not release annual law firm financials. An analysis by The Texas Lawbook shows, however, that the firm has nearly 200 lawyers – 105 of them in Texas – and ranks in the top five in RPL and PEP. The Lawbook has the exclusive details.
As we commemorate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, two women lawyers in the Austin office of Vinson & Elkins — Marisa Secco Giles and Michelle Arishita — agreed to discuss the importance of women mentoring women from the perspective of both the mentor and the mentee. They share what qualities they think are most important in a mentor, the best advice they have received and how strong mentoring relationships help with the retention of female lawyers.
Exxon Mobil assistant general counsel David Woodcock has departed the energy giant to join the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as the firm’s SEC enforcement practice co-head. The move surprised many within the legal department at Exxon Mobil because Woodcock, who was a past regional director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth office, was viewed as a likely candidate to be the company’s next chief legal officer.
The Dallas-based firm expanded to Northern Virginia by adding 19 lawyers with expertise in government contracts, construction and white-collar law.
Boosted by a huge burst in complex commercial litigation in 2022, many of the largest corporate law firms operating in Texas predict they scored another record year of revenues and profits, according to a new survey of law firm leaders by The Texas Lawbook.
The new survey, which also looks at revenues from firms’ 2022 litigation and M&A practices in Texas, builds on other recent evidence of the successful year for corporate law firms in 2022, including rates of promotion to partner and year-end bonuses for associates. In addition, several law firm leaders openly declare their firms experienced record revenues and profits in 2022.
The Texas Lawbook has exclusive details.
For Mentorship Month, Greenberg Traurig attorneys Lindsey Groos, who is a mid-level associate, and Lou Ann Brunenn, a shareholder, share perspectives from both sides of the mentee-mentor relationship.