Haynes and Boone, LLP - The Inside View

A very happy 50th birthday to Haynes and Boone, the Texas-born firm whose reach stretches far beyond the Lone Star State.

YOUR football team’s a-winnin’, your music is a-rockin’ and your oil is a-flowin’ – it’s 1970 in Texas and for Haynes and Boone, “everything started here.” Against the backdrop of a booming economy, Richard ‘Dick’ Haynes and Michael ‘Mike’ Boone came together to create Haynes and Boone (“and Mr Boone is still at the office every day!”). Fifty years on, half of the firm’s 14 domestic offices are located outside of Texas. There are three more offices overseas in Shanghai, Mexico City and London (which has seen its partner headcount double since opening in 2016). Back on US shores, there are more hints that the firm’s growth is ticking away: it recently boosted its IP practice in Chicago and opened a small finance-focused office in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Of course, the Texan roots still run old and deep. The firm is headquartered in Dallas, with a further six offices in the Lone Star State. “A lot of clients are based here but have employees all over,” one associate explained. “If I’m researching something on any given day, there’s a 50% chance it’ll be Texas-centric.” At a state level, this is where the firm really shines, with top rankings from Chambers USA in bankruptcy, insurance, appellate litigation and white-collar crime work. It also has strong marks in banking and finance, real estate, IP and, of course, energy work – we are in Texas, after all. New York is noted for its real estate finance, and the firm gets national nods for its bankruptcy and franchising work.

Strategy & Future

Haynes and Boone has four core focus areas: energy, technology, financial services, and private equity. The firm is committed to its ‘2025 plan,’ which is “related to technology and client interfacing.” For incoming juniors, this will mean learning about business development and how to talk to clients: “They’ve already given us lunch conferences across offices.” Thanks to committees, juniors felt “we’re all getting a say” in the firm’s future.

The Work

Eight of the firm’s 14 domestic bases housed junior associates at the time of interviews. The Dallas HQ was home to just over half, while just over a quarter were housed between New York and Houston. There were a few based in Richardson and Austin, and just one or two in the OC, Fort Worth and Palo Alto offices. It’s worth noting that different offices have a different spread of work available. Real estate is a key focus in New York, while Richardson houses a patent prosecution team. Incoming juniors are spread across a huge host of practice groups – 17 were represented on our list, with many broken down further into ‘sections.’ Over a fifth of the juniors fell under the litigation umbrella, while just under a fifth were in real estate. Roughly a third were spread between the financial transactions, private equity and capital markets/securities groups. Juniors submit weekly workload surveys “to level out work among associates who’re light and who’re swamped.” Some also preferred to get work through their “softer relationships” with partners.

“Herding cats to make sure everyone is on track to hit the closing date.”

The financial transactions group encompasses restructuring and finance. The restructuring group advises clients in the oil and gas industry, while over in finance, “we do everything from general commercial lending and real estate lending to energy finance and project finance.” Finance is one of the firm’s largest groups: “There are more than 60 of us across ten offices.” The team tends to represent lenders rather than borrowers on “all different types of credit transactions.” One niche the firm handles is a type of loan to a private equity firm known as subscription secured facilities. “It’s really interesting work,” one Dallas junior enthused, explaining: “Its distinguishing feature is that the collateral is the commitment of the investors.” Other finance newbies could be found “herding cats to make sure everyone is on track to hit the closing date.” On the borrower side, associates were responsible for “commenting on ancillary documents and consulting with specialists on loan agreements.” Others reported “helping partners prepare for presentations. It’s not billable, but it’s good to make sure I know what’s the latest out there and build key relationships.”

Financial transactions clients: Citibank, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse. Recently represented Wells Fargo as the arrangers of a $4 billion secured credit facility.

Litigators can be found in subgroups such as labor and employment, insurance, IP litigation, energy litigation, and white-collar and government investigations. Each sub-team housed one or two juniors, with the exception of white-collar and government investigations, which was home to a Dallas-based trio. This group takes on a lot of healthcare work in false claims cases, class actions and government investigations. Juniors had gotten involved with third party independent reviews of potential insider trading, where they “called everyone who traded and got the information that led to their trade.” If you’re after real contentious work, the ‘securities and shareholder’ subgroup may be the one – “that ends up being a lot of litigation. We do a lot of derivative lawsuits and defend against class actions.” Just a note of caution: “There are so many transactional terms – it’s quite confusing!” As well as typical discovery work and doc review, litigation juniors were “really surprised to get drafting as a first year.” Interviewees had drafted “substantive documents and some more procedural documents.” The latter could be letters to the FCC and client updates, while the former included motions and pleadings.

Litigation clients: Chevron USA, ExxonMobil, Toyota, the National Football League. Recently secured a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court to uphold public pension reforms concerning over $500 million in pension assets for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.

Hours & Compensation

Billable hours: 2,000 target in Texas; 1,800 in New York

Associates were “satisfied” with their salaries,and told us: “You’re generally very happy with your bonus for a Texas-based firm.” Market-rate bonuses are given to those who hit the billable hours target, which happened “pretty naturally” for the transactional associates we spoke to. Litigation interviewees, however, found themselves coming in a few hundred hours short, “which is challenging because I’m working really hard.” Sources hinted that the firm considers other factors when distributing bonuses to junior associates.

“There are always emails post-8pm.”

In the Texas offices, juniors tended to arrive in the office between 8:30am and 9:30am and leave before 7:30pm. A 10am start was more typical in New York, and finish times averaged around 8pm. It wasn’t uncommon for “people log on back home – there are always emails post-8pm.” We also heard weekends were sometimes interrupted by a handful of hours’ work.

Pro Bono

Up to 100 hours of pro bono can go toward the billable target. If a case takes off, juniors can apply to bill even more, “but the details are hazy – it’d be nice to have a little more clarity on that.” Most litigators had done 60 to 70 hours of pro bono, while those on the transactional side tended to bill less. We heard of associates undertaking immigration and asylum cases, supporting nonprofits, drafting wills and handling divorces. Dallas juniors regularly get involved with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. Associates rated the firm’s commitment: “They know we have a responsibility to our community – we step up and show that we care.”

Pro bono hours

  • For all US attorneys: 11,330
  • Average per US attorney: 24.4


Dallas houses almost 200 lawyers, “so there are subcultures within each section.” Anyone else picturing the cafeteria in Mean Girls? Fortunately associates said: “It’s a positive thing – everyone can find their place here.” And what’s more, “we sit with Mr. Boone in the cafeteria!” Presumably wearing pink on Wednesdays is optional. Many of our Dallas interviewees pointed to Mike Boone as something of a guiding light in the firm: “We’re hard-working people who tend to be humble and reflect the values of Mr. Boone.” Another added: “He remembers everyone’s name and what’s going on in their lives.” Associates felt the fact that everyone has the same size office (including Boone) shows “everyone is equal – it’s an open, collaborative vibe.”

“Everyone can find their place here.”

Houstonians were a happy bunch overall, albeit a bit irked that their building is under construction – “it’s temporary but it doesn’t seem too temporary sometimes!"New Yorkers did away with stereotypes: “Contrary to what people might think, it’s very laid back and easygoing – no one’s uptight here.” An associate in a smaller office told us their workplace is “much quieter and calmer than the bigger offices.” On the social front, happy hours were common across offices, and juniors often go for coffee together. Dallas associates also pointed out that “the managing partner wants to make an effort to show that nonalcoholic beverages are available” at social events too.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity is reportedly “a huge part” of the 2025 plan we mentioned earlier. The firm recently hired a new diversity and inclusion director, Jennifer Reddien: “She and her team are always open to talk and give advice.” Associates acknowledged: “We’re still having a hard time retaining diverse associates, but we’re moving in the right direction.” The firm has several diversity subcommittees and hosts events for holidays and celebrations. There’s also a biennial diversity retreat, which some described as “a bit ‘preaching to the choir.’ The messages don’t always get to leadership.” Others thought that “implicit bias training could help – there are small comments that get said and I want those to disappear.” The firm confirmed that implicit bias training was given following our calls.

Career Development

Interviewees felt that they were being nurtured for big things from day one: “Partners were reaching out to me asking if there was a particular kind of work I want to do.” All juniors get a senior associate mentor, who “takes you to coffee to talk about development.” There’s also the ‘take a partner to lunch’ program, which lets juniors have lunch on the firm with up to four partners a year – “it’s a great excuse to connect with senior people.”

The firm’s attorney development department also got a lot of praise. “It’s purely dedicated to helping associates in their careers,” one explained. “They put on training like public speaking and they can meet you individually if you want help developing your practice.” All new starters spend a week in Dallas for official training and are given developmental assignments over their first three months at the firm.

Covid-19 updates

The firm has pushed back its upcoming summer program to start on 22nd June 2020; it will take the form of a six-week clerkship and will be run virtually. In more normal circumstances, Haynes and Boone's program runs for nine or ten weeks (depending on the office). We've received confirmation that the firm will be hiring the same number of new associates, and all 2L summer associates will receive a full-time new associate job offer.

Get Hired

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus

OCI applicants interviewed: 238

Interviewees outside OCI: N/A

Around 60% of 2L summers have completed either a 1L summer or other work experience at the firm before their 2L summer. The other 40% are found through OCIs, job fairs and resume collects, as well as direct applications.

Attorneys (one partner and one associate) see around 20 candidates a day at OCIs, with all schools recruiting for any office running a summer program. Polly Fohn, the firm's hiring partner for entry level hires, tells us that interviewers will be looking for candidates to demonstrate “effective communication; acting as a willing and effective member and leader of teams; leadership potential and community service; and an established motivation to succeed.” Typical questions till see interviewees quizzed on their accomplishments, motivations and why they’re interested in Haynes & Boone.

Top tips for this stage:

“I was a little skeptical about big firm life. But there was promise of having a work life balance here and that’s what initially drew me to the firm. Once I got to meet and know people, it was an easy decision.” a junior associate

“Come prepared to discuss why our firm/practice areas are a fit for your skills and ask specific questions that relate to the firm or our clients.” – hiring partner Polly Fohn


Applicants invited to second stage interview: 8

Callbacks consist of two to four 30-minute interviews, with the candidate meeting with two attorneys in each. If the interview is held in the morning, candidates tend to be invited to lunch with the two associates afterwards. Fohn tells us that during the callback process, the firm is “particularly interested in a candidate’s reason for interest in our firm, the chosen city for which they are interviewing, and any practice areas the candidate may be interested in.” As such, during callbacks, candidates can expect the questions and conversation to be more focused on specific practice areas and jurisdictions.

Top tips for this stage:

"Show genuine interest in the firm, the office location, and people. Have specific interest in or questions about practice areas in the office in which you are interviewing.” hiring partner Polly Fohn

Summer program

Offers: 17

Acceptances: 9

Summers tend to sample one or two practice areas that they’re interested in. They get involved in client meetings, closings, negotiations, depositions, trials and hearings. Typical tasks include drafting research memos, motions and briefs, and sampling a “broad range of transactional documents.” Fohn tells us that the firm has a “well-rounded approach that lets each summer demonstrate their analytical, advocacy and writing skills.”

The firm assigns each summer a partner supervisor, who oversees their work. Everybody also receives an associate mentor to “help answer questions and navigate the clerkship.” Summers also get to experience pro bono work, presentations, a public speaking seminar, and CLEs and training. Around 90% of summers are given offers to join as associates, and offers are usually extended for a specific department.

Notable summer events: dinners, events and outings. “We design the social aspects of the summer so the summer associates can meet a broad array of the lawyers in their office and fully experience the city in which they are clerking.”

Top tips for this stage:

“Invest your time in your work assignments, the events, and the attorneys. Meet and connect with as many people as possible (attorneys and peers.).” hiring partner Polly Fohn

Haynes and Boone, LLP

2323 Victory Avenue,
Suite 700,
TX 75219
Website www.haynesboone.com

  • Head Office: Dallas, TX
  • Number of domestic offices: 14
  • Number of international offices: 3
  • Worldwide revenue: $404,200,000 million
  • Partners (US): 246
  • Associates (US): 322(including other attorneys)
  • Recruitment details 
  • Main recruitment contact: Amanda Kelly, Manager of Entry-Level Recruiting
  • Hiring partner: Polly Fohn, Firmwide Entrylevel Hiring Partner
  • Diversity officer: Jennifer Reddin, Director of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Recruitment details 
  • Entry-level associates starting in 2018: 26
  • Clerking policy: Yes
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2020: 29
  •  Clerking policy: Yes
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2020: 1Ls: 23, 2Ls: 33
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2020 split by office: 1Ls: Dallas – 7; Dallas – North – 3; Houston – 10; New York – 2; Palo Alto – 1 2Ls: Austin – 1; Dallas – 16; Dallas – North – 5; Houston – 6; New York – 2; Orange County – 1; Palo Alto – 1; San Antonio – 1
  • Summer salary 2019:
  • 1Ls: $3,654/week
  • 2Ls: $3,654/week
  • Post 3Ls: $3,654/week
  •  Split summers offered? CBC
  • Can summers spend time in an overseas office? TBD

Main areas of work

  Corporate/securities/M&A, private equity, hedge funds, business litigation (including IP, insurance coverage, environmental, energy, real estate, securities, healthcare and appellate), restructuring, energy, banking and finance, franchises, intellectual property/technology, labor and employment and real estate.

Firm profile

 Haynes and Boone, LLP is one of the American Lawyer top 100 law firms, with more than 575 lawyers in 17 offices and 40 major legal practices. We are among the largest firms based in the United States. Our growth has been driven by our client service strengths, especially our problem-solving acumen and our ability to collaborate with clients. It is our mission to be a preeminent law firm that serves clients globally on sophisticated legal matters while maintaining a special culture founded on teamwork, a healthy work environment, and a strong work ethic. While every law firm believes culture is an important component of success, our culture is truly unique. Our culture is defined by our collaborative work environment and by putting the interests of our clients first. It focuses on teamwork, an environment of mutual respect, and a long-term view that supports investing in the future and the success of Haynes and Boone as an outstanding professional service institution.

Recruitment Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2020: Harvard, Southern Methodist University, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, University of Houston, University of Texas, University of Virginia

Recruitment outside OCIs: Loyola Patent Law Interview Program, Texas Interview Program, Lavender Law Career Fair, Southeastern IP Job Fair, Sunbelt Minority Job Fair. The Firm also participates in resume collects from the following schools: Baylor, Brooklyn, Cardozo, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Emory, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, Howard, Loyola (LA), Santa Clara, South Texas, St. John’s, St. Mary’s, Texas A&M, Texas Southern, Texas Tech, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, USC, Vanderbilt, and Yale.

Summer associate profile: To sustain what we feel is a blend of culture and sophistication of practice that is unmatched in the market, Haynes and Boone is looking for internally driven law students with a personality that would augment our firm’s commitment to teamwork and a longterm approach to the practice of law.

Summer program components: Our summer associates spend nine to ten weeks (depending on office) with us working in one or two of our practice areas. Each summer associate is given a supervisor who assigns them work and they are able to attend client meetings, negotiations, hearings, etc. Feedback is provided throughout the summer as well as through the mid-clerkship review. Our summer associates also enjoy several social events designed to get to know our attorneys.

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2020

Ranked Departments

    • Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (Band 4)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 4)
    • Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation (Electricity) (Band 2)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 4)
    • Insurance (Band 1)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 4)
    • Litigation: Appellate (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Tax (Band 4)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 1)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 2)
    • Financial Services Regulation: Banking (Compliance) (Band 4)
    • Franchising (Band 3)