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Texas Legal Market

Market Overview – TEXAS GENERALLY 

*scroll down further to see specific information on the Houston and Dallas markets

Texas has the second largest population in the US and offers a variety of options in terms of law firms and practice areas. There are multiple distinct legal markets, and the largest are Houston and Dallas. Austin closely follows, but is very difficult to break into without very strong ties to the area. There are over 50 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in Texas and in the last five years, over 30 national firms have opened offices in Texas.

Recruiting Outlook

The demand in Texas overall is relatively stable. In 2015, 21 of the largest firms in Texas hired 533 summer associates; up from 529 summer associates in 2014. Of these 21 firms, nine hired more summer associates in 2015 than in 2014, eleven hired fewer summer associates, and one firm hired the same number of summer associates. The legal market in Texas is also relatively diverse. In 2015,49% of summer associates were women and 28% ethnically and/or racially diverse.Finally, Texas firms are very 1L friendly and flexible. In 2015,24% of summer associates were 1Ls and firms regularly allowed summer associates to split the summer.

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Local Legal Associations

Market Overview - HOUSTON

Houston is the 4th largest city in the US and is the largest city and legal market in Texas. It is known as the "Energy Capital of the World" and this industry drives much of the legal work in this city.

Practice Area Overview

What's Hot?
  • Energy: still a top practice area for corporate and litigation – although oil and gas work has slowed down this past year
  • Boutique Litigation Firms
What's Not?
  • Bankruptcy
  • Real Estate: lack of zoning in Houston means a dearth of land use work
  • Securities and IPOs

Recruiting Outlook

The energy industry drives the legal market, but there has been an oil and gas slowdown this past year. Firms have coped with the slowdown by diversifying their practices. For example, seven of the top 15 clients at Baker Botts are in the now in the technology industry. Of all the Texas markets, Houston is the easiest to break into without Texas ties and is the most international.

Largest Law Firms

  • Vinson & Elkins
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Baker Botts
  • Bracewell & Giuliani
  • Andrews Kurth
  • Locke Lord
  • Haynes and Boone
  • Baker & Hostetler
  • King & Spalding
  • Latham & Watkins  

Market Overview – DALLAS

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US, with the second largest legal market in Texas. The National Association for Law Placement's Buying Power Index listed Dallas as No. 1 for buying power, based on starting salaries at Biglaw (firms with at least 1,000 attorneys, company-wide). Dallas also has a diverse legal market and is not as energy-dependent as Houston. The Dallas legal market is also relatively open to newcomers who do not have strong ties to Texas.

Practice Area Overview

What's Hot?
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Real Estate
  • Banking, Finance and Corporate
  • Technology
  • Tax
What's Not?
  • Oil &Gas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Environment

Recruiting Outlook

Dallas firms like to see an associate with a go-getter attitude and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Largest Law Firms

  • Haynes and Boone
  • Thompson & Knight
  • Locke Lord
  • Jones Day
  • Winstead
  • Gardere Wynne Sewell
  • Jackson Walker
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Vinson & Elkins
  • Kelly Hart & Hallman  

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Maps & Directions

Google Location Map Georgetown University Law Center 600 New Jersey Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001