Several large Texas firms — including Baker Botts, Gardere Wynne Sewell, Vinson & Elkins, and Winstead — have made permanent, full-time associate job offers for the fall of 2012 to this year’s summer associate classes.
At Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins, the two BigTex firms with the largest summer associate classes, offer rates are slightly higher than they were a year ago, and both firms had larger summer classes in 2011 than they did in 2010.
Houston-based Baker Botts has made offers to 91.7 percent, or 44 of 48, of its second-year Texas summer associates, says Serena Miller, the firm’s director of professional development and recruiting.
Last year, the firm made offers to 91.4 percent, or 32 of 35, summer associates.
The summer associates, who will be third-year law students when the fall semester begins, will have starting annual salaries of $160,000, Miller says.
The firm offers the permanent jobs in specific departments, and although the jobs will begin in the fall of 2012, the specific start dates for each department will be determined in the spring, she says.
“We don’t set start dates [now], so we can get a better grasp on what the business needs will be,” she says.
Houston-based Vinson & Elkins has offered permanent jobs to 94.7 percent, or 71 of 75, of its 2011 Texas summer associates, says Tom Leatherbury of Dallas, chairman of the firm’s talent management committee.
Last year, the firm offered permanent jobs to 91.7 percent, or 55 of 60, of its 2010 Texas summer associates.
Leatherbury says office hiring partners and recruiting committee members began notifying the summer associates about the job offers in the evening of Aug. 5.
“Generally, we talk to them with cell phones and such first and then follow-up with a letter with some of the details,” he says. Those details include an anticipated start date and salary level similar to the start date and salaries of the firm’s 2011 first-year associate class, which means a start date on the first Monday in October with a $160,000 annual salary, Leatherbury says.
“We’ll confirm that, probably after the first of the year, but anticipate it being roughly the same,” he says.
Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell has made full-time job offers to 100 percent, or five of its five, of its Texas summer associates, says Carrie Hoffman of Dallas, the firm’s summer hiring partner. The firm had a first-half summer session and made the permanent job offers in mid-July, she says.
Hoffman says the group will begin their full-time jobs in the fall of 2012 with a starting salary of $150,000.
Due to the uncertain economy in the fall of 2009, the firm did not have 2010 summer associates, she says.
Dallas-based Winstead has made offers to 71.4 percent, or five of seven, of its summer associates, Dallas shareholder Mike Alessio writes in an email. Alessio is a member of the firm’s executive committee, which has not yet set starting salaries for the group that will begin full-time employment in Sept. 2012, he writes.
“No deferred start dates are planned for this group, as working needs dictate that this group commences employment as soon as is practical,” he writes.
Last year, Winstead made offers to four of its five summer associates, for an offer rate of 80 percent. “Our goal is typically 100 percent offers,” he writes.
-- Jeanne Graham