Since the financial crisis of 2008, this is the second year in a row that the large firms participating in Texas Lawyer's New Associate Hires survey have brought in a larger entering class than the previous year. The firms are filling in their associate ranks to make up for smaller or nonexistent first-year associate classes since 2008, says one firm consultant.
Texas Lawyer's editorial department is pleased to announce the winners of our first annual Legal Departments of the Year awards. The awards bestowed are not based on scorecards or data-driven metrics but rather on success stories.
Women make up 15.9 percent of the 1,701 equity partners at the firms that participated in Texas Lawyer's 2013 Women & Minorities survey. At four firms, the percentage of women equity partners in Texas exceeds 20 percent. Equity female partners or shareholders at each of the four firms talk about their successful business development techniques.
Our 2013 Litigation Departments of the Year award has two distinct categories: one for the top department in general litigation and one for the top specialty-litigation practice groups. The award was open to any law firm in Texas or litigation groups led by Texas attorneys. Here are this year's winners.
Alternative, or non-hourly billing, is used by 89 percent or 82 of the 92 firms that responded to Texas Lawyer's 2013 Salary and Billing Survey. While the firms are balancing the risk and reward of alternative billing, 80 percent are also offering discount fees or rates to their clients.
Texas' largest firms are bringing in about the same number of summer associates as they did last year, but a larger proportion of those summer associates are 1Ls.
A chart of the 100 largest law firms in Texas.
Energy work, both transactional and litigation, is a main driver behind strong 2012 financials at large Texas firms, although firm leaders also cite lateral hiring, a strong Texas economy, attention to collections and client year-end tax planning as major contributors.
Texas Lawyer's editorial has selected "Legal Leaders on the Rise," spotlighting 25 up-and-comers in the Texas legal community.
For Andrews Kurth corporate and securities partner Stephanie Beauvais, an understanding manager's accommodation showed her she could balance her career and her family life. Beauvais is one of 31 new female partners at Texas' largest firms.
Once the wining and dining, the vetting and the negotiations are over, the process of successfully adding a lateral partner to a firm really begins. "It takes two years for a firm to integrate a lateral partner," says Tim Powers, lateral hiring partner and member of the board of directors for 521-lawyer Haynes and Boone.