Market Overview

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 46 firms opened offices in Houston between 2001 and 2017; 29 firms opened offices in Dallas during that same period.

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. Half of the Am Law 100 firms have offices here.

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US, with the second largest legal market in Texas. 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 in Houston?

  • Energy: Still a top practice area for corporate and litigation, although oil and gas work has slowed down this past year
  • Litigation
  • Corporate

What’s Cold in Houston?

  • Bankruptcy
  • Real Estate: lack of zoning in Houston means a dearth of land use work
  • Securities and IPOs

What’s Hot in Dallas?

  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Real Estate
  • Banking, Finance and Corporate
  • Technology
  • Tax

What’s Cold in Dallas?

  • Oil & Gas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Environment

Recruiting Outlook

The demand in Texas overall is relatively stable and diverse. In Houston, the energy industry drives the legal market, but firms have recently diversified their practices. Of all the Texas markets, Dallas is the easiest to break into without Texas ties and is the most international.

Texas Market Resources

Check out the link below for more information regarding the Texas legal market, networking opportunities, and job listings.

Georgetown Law Resources