Vinson & Elkins LLP - The Inside View


V&E has certainly got the power when it comes to the oil and gas industry, and associates were as much attracted to the firm's “complex work” as they were to its “Texas can-do spirit..." 

AS one of the oldest and largest firms in Houston, it's hardly surprising that slick V&E has a well-oiled energy practice. The 99-year-old firm nabs a top spot nationwide in Chambers USA for its oil & gas litigation, regulatory and projects work. That said, energy is by no means the lone star practice area: it also comes top in Texas for an array of areas, including corporate/M&A, capital markets, bankruptcy & restructuring, real estate, tax, and general commercial litigation.

But the associates we spoke to were not only interested in V&E's “great reputation.” As one gushed, “I interviewed with a few firms, and V&E was the one place where people actually seemed relaxed, relatively happy, and actually interested in what I was doing.” Hiring partner Doug Bland emphasizes this point: “People would describe V&E as a place where there is an open door at all levels. Our partners, associates and staff get along very well across the firm.” He adds that “having interaction at all levels is an important attribute of the firm.” Revenue in 2015 was down 3.9% to $627.7 million, hardly surprising given the oil industry's current woes.

The Work



The majority of the work is split into two broad departments: litigation & regulatory, and corporate. Under these umbrellas, associates are then separated into their practice groups. The corporate department accounted for around 60% of the junior associates on our interviewee list, and of these around half were in M&A & capital markets. The rest were divided between energy transactions & projects, finance, real estate and restructuring & reorganization. In litigation, two-thirds of juniors had joined CCL (complex commercial litigation), with the remainder dotted between energy regulation, general assignment litigation, environmental & natural resources, IP, and appellate. There is a third, much smaller department dedicated to tax-ECB [executive compensation and benefits]. Summer associates typically rotate through a number of these groups, which they then rank. The firm gets in touch just before graduation to see if any preferences have changed, before new first-years are assigned to a practice group.

"Loans anywhere between $200 million and $1.5 billion.”

Those in M&A & capital markets described working on IPOs, private equity deals and “a lot of SEC work. I've also been on public M&A.” When it comes to clients, our interviewees unsurprisingly mentioned a lot of energy companies, plus private equity funds and public-private partnerships. Over in finance, one junior told us: “I almost exclusively work on oil and gas-related matters, specifically syndicated finance. We represent both lenders and borrowers for loans anywhere between $200 million and $1.5 billion.” That said, there are “various other industries” that finance associates can get involved with, including real estate, insurance and commercial banks. How has the recent slump in oil prices impacted the day-to-day work? “Over the past year, my time has been spent working with borrowers, trying to respond to this price environment that has implications for their loans,” a third-year reported. “I've also been advising lenders as to what would be a good way to tackle the situation with borrowers in the current price environment.”

Complex commercial litigation (CCL) associates described their practice area as “pretty much the general litigation section of the firm; anyone who doesn't have a specific specialty will go there. We do False Claims Act work, white-collar, antitrust – basically anything that's not environmental, appellate, or energy litigation.” Responsibility levels within CCL varied. One interviewee remarked that they were “better than expected. I've been able to file substantive motions in court, and I've got to draft small motions and revise some bigger pleadings.” Others, meanwhile, were less convinced: “It's a lot of low-level doc review. They give you one assignment for a case, you do that and then you don't hear back from them.”

Training & Development



"Very productive."

Newbies spend an initial few days in Houston for “team building and training for formal firm policies.” After this, interviewees noted the range of CLEs on offer. Corporate sources spoke of sessions on proxies, 10Ks and SEC filings, while litigators described training for brief-writing techniques, as well as classes “explaining the different portions of the electrical grid and what our role is.” A DC litigator added: “They've flown us twice to Houston for deposition, negotiation and legal writing trainings – those have been very productive.” V&E also recently piloted a writing improvement program.

New starters are assigned a partner mentor and an associate mentor. If they don't turn out great, don't panic, as six months later you get the option to switch mentors. In general, associates felt that they “could go and ask anyone questions.” Further support comes in the form of a careers consultant who “travels around to all the different offices – she's like a career coach! If you had a particular issue she can help you manage it.”

Offices



Around half of the juniors on our list were based in the Houston HQ, and gave the thumbs up to their exterior offices. “We're pretty high up so it's cool seeing the storms come in.” For those with hunger pangs between meals, “they've started a snack closet down in HR, which is full of healthy (and less healthy) snacks.” Juniors also appreciated the on-site Starbucks and a range of restaurants in the near vicinity.

"It's cool seeing the storms come in.”

Over in Dallas, which takes around a fifth of new starters, the focus of the work is more diverse than the energy-centric Houston, and “M&A and finance are two strong groups,” as well as litigation. Dallas interviewees were excited by an upcoming move in 2018, as “the office is a little bit outdated. It's the shape of an almost perfect square,” which makes for “a lot of empty space in the middle.” The new office will reputedly be “a lot more glassy and more modern.” Washington associates meanwhile were chuffed with their “beautiful” office, which was built in 2011. “There's a rooftop deck where we eat in the summer, which is really nice,” and all associates have their own offices with “floor to ceiling” windows looking out across Washington Circle. The energy regulatory, CCL and white-collar defense groups were picked out as being “fairly well known here.”

Culture & Hours



The general consensus was that the firm's more family-oriented culture means there's not a huge emphasis on face time in the office. “A lot of the associates have families, so the office really clears out between about 6.30 and 7pm. People still have work to do, but it's completely fine if you want to go home and work later on.” That's not to say that socializing never happens, however, and juniors mentioned frequent happy hours and lunches. They highlighted summer events in particular: we heard of a 'Top Chef' competition, and one associate excitedly recalled being taken to a Beyoncé concert. “It was very unexpected and very fun!” For those who are more into hitting balls than booty shaking, “there's a very active baseball league in the Dallas office. It runs for 15 weeks and other firms in town participate.” The firmwide V&E prom in Houston, which takes place roughly every two years, is another high point. And in 2017, the firm will be pulling the party poppers and blowing up balloons as it celebrates its centenary...

"It's completely fine if you want to go home and work later on.”

In past years, we've commented on V&E's relatively chilled-out “Texan can-do spirit,” and while most associates agreed with this, there were a few voices of dissent. “I think it's actually the opposite, it's very stressful,” one junior bluntly remarked. “Certain partners are difficult to work with, and they set the culture that then trickles down to associates.” Mostly, though, opinions were far more positive: “Everyone is very respectful; we have a truly open-door policy. I usually feel comfortable walking into a partner's office and asking questions on a type of matter that they've done.”

When it comes to compensation, first-years “have a fixed low bonus regardless of hours,” and after this bonuses are tiered at 2,000, 2,150 and 2,300 hours. We heard there was a fair amount of frustration regarding how bonuses had been calculated at V&E this year. “In 2014, people who exceeded 2,300 hours and got positive reviews got up to 20% above Cravath,” one junior explained. “In 2015, with no warning, only fouth-years and up got 25% above. I billed far above 2,300 for no extra benefit.”

"The people here are extremely humane and polite."

Another frustration was that “there's a lack of transparency, and it's inconsistent year on year. It would be more efficient to be open about the bonus system, because eventually we can piece it together anyway – it just takes longer and creates more angst this way!” The firm replies that it had meetings with associates and explained how bonuses were calculated. A few sources felt the lower bonuses were a fair exchange for the work/life balance, however: “I've been happy with my compensation. The people here are extremely humane and polite and my hours are very reasonable, so I think it's a fair trade-off.” The general consensus was that 2,000 hours is the "unofficial official" target.

Pro Bono



All of the associates we spoke to had participated in pro bono work, and many had done well over 100 hours in the past year, no doubt helped by the fact that there's no formal cap on the number of billable pro bono hours at the firm. (Although, as one associate pointed out, “they probably won't like it if you meet your minimum hours through doing a lot of pro bono.”) Juniors felt that V&E truly respects this type of work. “I've had timing conflicts where I've had pro bono meetings and client meetings at the same time, but because pro bono was scheduled before, that took priority.”

"Because pro bono was scheduled before, that took priority.”

The firm has a dedicated pro bono counsel who regularly sends out emails with various opportunities available. Interviewees reported a large number of real estate-related matters, in the form of landlord-tenant cases, as well as helping nonprofit groups with the acquisition of land. Others mentioned participating in clinics and cases for veterans' affairs, and one Houstonite told us: “We do a virtual clinic which people can participate in if they don't have time to take on an actual client.”

Pro bono hours 

  • For all attorneys across all US offices: 25,566 
  • Average per US attorney: 44

Diversity



Associates generally agreed that V&E is making progress in its male-female ratio. “Among litigation associates it's about 50:50 men to women, although at partner level it's far more male-heavy.” The “really strong” women's initiative has been particularly active: “We've done networking events with clients, speakers have come to talk, and we break out into smaller groups so you can speak to female partners about any concerns.” There is also “a great new parent mentoring program: when you find out you or your partner are pregnant, you can be assigned to someone who has recently had a baby, to talk about your concerns regarding coming back to work.”

“Making positive steps.”

While there is an active diversity committee that is “making positive steps,” several associates felt more could be done. "I do think the firm is committed to diversity,  but I think like most firms there may be a struggle in terms of how to manifest that commitment into concrete action. There is a diversity committee, a diversity scholarship, we organize events, we also have resources, not just financial but people who are available to us to discuss diverse matters. I think it's a good positive first step, but in terms of retention and promotion, for whatever reason our retention of diverse attorneys lags behind our retention of nondiverse attorneys."

Get Hired



V&E's more informal work assignment system means “the partnership rewards initiative in terms of getting the work you want. You can't just sit and wait for the work to come to you.” As such, “you need to be a self-starter,” not to mention “outgoing and energetic,” if you want to do well at this firm. And this forthcoming attitude needs to come across at interview, too: “Grades get you the interview, but once there, you need to be able to have a back and forth – we don't want someone who's very stiff.” After all, “if you can't talk to the interviewer then you're not going to be able to talk to the client!” The firm's hiring partner Doug Bland expands on this: “We like to hear candidates describe and explain what they do and what they think,” he informs us. “Through that we gain an understanding of how they organize and articulate their thoughts.” 

"You need to be able to have a back and forth."

Strategy & Future



Managing partner Mark Kelly reports a "more challenging" year in 2015, due to the slump in oil price. Nonetheless, he goes on to say that "last year was our second strongest year as a firm," pointing to a boom in litigation, restructuring, finance and private equity, with a host of new laterals in those areas. "While we may not be doing as many upstream IPOs, we're seeing a lot more financings, refinancings and restructurings," Kelly adds. When asked about any expansion plans on the horizon, we were told 2016 will likely see multiple offices open up shop: "My gut feeling is that we will be opening some new offices, although we haven't announced anything yet, so stay tuned!"


Vinson's vocations: more on the work

In the energy transactions & projects group, the work is unsurprisingly very focused on oil and gas. One junior told us, “I do a lot of international upstream oil and gas work, which involves government contracts and concessions, and drawing up agreements with partners. I also do a lot of upstream M&A.” It's not all upstream work though, as another associate pointed out, “I worked on a midstream joint venture agreement.” We heard the size of the deals can vary hugely, from $3 billion to $20 million, and clients mentioned included pipeline companies as well as private equity backed companies: “We worked with them to acquire and sell upstream oil and gas assets.” One third-year added that frequent client contact was a definite plus of working in this group. “I'm handling the client and working with them, making sure everything gets done – you get a lot of responsibility early on here.” That doesn't mean you're expected to handle everything on your own though, as “the partners are always there to support and review your work, and to answer questions.”

Associates in corporate real estate described the work as “split between leasing acquisition and finance. A typical day would involve some leasing work, negotiating leases from a landlord's perspective, assisting in diligence matters, and also helping with portfolio financings.” One second-year told us that this often translates into “reviewing sensitive documents like loan agreements and purchase agreements.” That said, there is a clear increase in responsibility levels as associates progress with the firm: “I've really moved up in that sense,” one third-year noted. “I'm doing more free drafting, and taking the first stab at a purchase and sale agreement.” Crossover with other practice areas is fairly common, particularly with corporate M&A. “If there's a big merger happening, for instance, I'll sometimes go and advise on sections of the deal that pertain to real estate.”

Over in tax, juniors reported “a lot of oil and gas and energy law work.” One associate remarked upon proposed regulations released by the IRS in May, “that had a massive effect on almost all of our clients in certain fields, so we had to represent those clients before the IRS to see if we could change the regulations.” This has led to “a lot of comment projects and persuasive writing about the proposed regulations” for new starters. As far as responsibility goes, “I've had a lot, which was tough at first. I got to take the lead on a few of the comment projects.”

Interview with hiring partner Doug Bland



Chambers Associate: How do you pre-screen those who have bid on V&E?

Doug Bland: At a lot of the schools we don't have a pre-screening arrangement – that is partly driven by the schools and partly due to our own choice. We are looking for the top students, so grades are always an important factor. Depending on the school, we generally look at the top 25 - 50% of students, although if a candidate otherwise impresses us, we are willing to stretch those limits. Beyond that, we're looking for connections with the cities where the students are interviewing, or an explanation as to why they're interested in the city. (I should add that I came to Texas from Ohio and didn't have meaningful connections to the city, so we're definitely open to those who don't necessarily have a connection!)

CA: Which law schools do you look at when hiring?

DB: We interview at 26 schools in the US, and we also go to four job fairs and collect resumes from several other schools. We select the schools based on rankings, and beyond the top 20 we look at schools where we have historical relationship, such as the University of Houston or Fordham in New York. Although those aren't in the top 20, they're great schools. Depending on the city we will add other schools.

CA: What is the firm doing to encourage diversity in recruiting?

DB: Diversity is a big focus for us. Through our summer program, we've been successful in bringing in a lot of diverse candidates, from a gender, LGBT and ethnic minorities perspective. In last year's summer class we had 47% women. We'd like it to be at 50/50, but our figure is consistent with the population of the top law schools. From a racial diversity perspective, 34% of our summer associates were diverse.

Our managing partner Mark Kelly and a female partner who is on the Management Committee co-head our diversity and inclusion efforts. We reach out to affinity groups at schools where we interview and regularly participate in events at those schools. Within our summer program we have diversity mentors for our students of color. Those mentors are there to help summers through the program, and that approach has been very successful.

CA: What makes someone really stand out at interview?

DB: We're looking for drive, for people who can show that they have been active during their time as a student. It doesn't have to be a large list of activities, but we look for involvement, and that can be through a job, an activity, or a community service experience. We want to see people who have been engaged in their communities as undergraduates and law students, because that's an important factor for our lawyers here.

We also look for entrepreneurship. We're a law firm that has historically represented companies that started as entrepreneurs, although a lot of them have since grown into larger businesses. We want people who are going to drive their own practice, so they need to be motivated and interested in doing that. Obviously we also want candidates who are bright, and who are able to effectively articulate complex concepts. In interviews, we like to hear candidates describe and explain what they do and what they think, and through that we gain an understanding of how they organize and articulate their thoughts.

CA: Is there anything specific that students can be doing now, for instance in their 1L summer, to increase their chances of impressing you?

DB: That is a difficult question because we have a very open mind about what engagement, drive and motivation means to us; those traits can manifest themselves in so many ways. It may be because someone worked during law school, for another person it may be that they've volunteered. We try not to be limiting.

CA: Associates spoke about a consultant who travels around the offices and acts as a careers coach. Could you tell me more about her role?

DB: She is a wonderful resource for our associates – and even our partners – because she has such a wealth of understanding about human interaction. A lot of the job of a lawyer is about how we deal with people, both the clients, and those within the team. So she is a resource to help our lawyers better interact and communicate with others, and to think about what it is that other people are looking for. She coaches our lawyers about how they should interact with clients, how to develop clients, and how to develop a reputation within the firm. She covers the interpersonal side of the job that is such an important part of our practice.

CA: What do you think V&E offers associates that is unique to the firm?

DB: People would describe V&E (and I believe associates think of the firm) as a place where there is an open door at all levels. Our partners, associates and staff get along very well across the firm, and there are a lot of events where all three of those groups are engaged. To start our summer program in Houston, for instance, we host a party for staff, attorneys, and summer associates. Having interaction at all levels is an important attribute of the firm. I would add that the quality of the work at V&E is as high as any firm across the country. We are at the top of the game in a wide range of practices, starting with energy but including practices such as government investigations, antitrust and other litigation, regulatory, tax and environmental.

CA: On an unrelated note, how has the slump in oil prices impacted the energy work at V&E recently?

DB: A lot of our clients have certainly faced stress. From a lawyer's perspective, there's often transactional work that is generated by economic downturn. Of course, we would rather our clients were in a positive environment, but in an economy like this, we see clients shoring up their balance sheets, and raising capital by doing things like selling assets and entities that they own, so there's still a fair amount of M&A activity.

We haven't had as much activity in pure capital markets recently. In replacement for that, we've seen more private placements, preferred equity, and joint venture arrangements, so our deal flow has been very good, notwithstanding the disruptions in the energy market. Unsurprisingly, bankruptcy has picked up, and we've had more litigation, as there often tends to be in times of downturn. We've been able to sustain a good level of activity (we had our second best year ever last year), it's just not all the type of activity we'd like to see for our clients.

Chambers interview with Mark Kelly



Chambers Associate: What have been V&E's highlights over the past year?

Mark Kelly: Last year was our second strongest year as a firm; 2014 was our strongest year ever at the firm and we've followed on the heels of that with another great year. 2015 was more challenging in certain areas, particularly in the upstream space due to low commodity prices, coupled with our concentration on energy.

We're always looking for talented lawyers, and in addition to the strong entry-level class, we added some really great lateral partners who help us enhance our platform in multiple areas and locations. In Austin, we added Barry Smitherman to our energy regulatory group. Barry is the only person who has served on both the Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Railroad Commission of Texas, so he has brought great experience to the regulatory practice. In energy transactions in Houston, we were successful in attracting to the firm, Bryan Loocke, who focuses on oil and gas. In New York, we saw the need to expand in the restructuring area – which is going to be very busy this year – and we are fortunate to have hired David Meyer, who brings a lot of bankruptcy experience along with some talented associates with additional restructuring knowledge.

In Complex Commercial Litigation in Washington, we added Daniel Graham who has experience in government contracts. Also, we've added talent in our finance area, in Houston and London with key strategic lateral partner hires to better serve our clients. In private equity (a very robust practice for us), we added partner Paul Dunbar to the London office. On a separate note, our London office has moved to the Walkie-Talkie building [20 Fenchurch Street] and in San Francisco we moved to a new office on Mission Street to handle the growth in our national IP and litigation practices.

CA: Any plans to open new offices?  

MK: We always evaluate the expansion opportunities that make sense to the firm and help us better service our clients. My gut feeling is that we will be opening some new offices, although we haven't announced anything yet so stay tuned!

CA: How has the recent slump in oil prices affected V&E's practices?

MK: It changes the nature of the work a bit. We've obviously been known as an energy firm since we started in 1917, and our longevity gives us an advantage over other firms who have opened in Houston recently to try and enter the energy market. While we may not be doing as many upstream IPOs, there is still a lot of legal work to be done and we're seeing a lot more financings, re-financings, and restructurings.

Most people don't realize that 40% of our work is non energy-related and that work has continued. For obvious reasons, litigation picks up in bad economic times; we have about 40% of our lawyers in litigation and they had one of their best years ever in 2015. I started at the firm in 1981 at height of the oil boom but then in 1982, a slump began that continued for several years. I don't think it will be the same lengthy decline this time around, in part because today there's a lot of untapped private equity money out there. We have a large private equity practice, so I think we'll be involved in a fair amount of that type of work. Commodity prices are always going to be cyclical, and the nature of the work will change, but lawyers who deliver excellence in client service are always in demand, and I'm expecting this year to be good for us.

CA: The associates spoke about the cheery Texan vibe at V&E. Why is it important to promote this culture?

MK: I think that our most valuable asset is our people here. I've been at V&E for 34 years, and what gets me excited to come to work is being able to work with people whose company I enjoy. We like each other and we socialize together; if you want to come to work and shut your door and not talk to anybody, we're not the right firm for you. We take our work very seriously, but it is a very light atmosphere and supportive environment.

I've spoken to laterals who have been amazed that every day there is evidence of our open door policy, of partners who build nurturing relationships with associates, and really care about their development. We're invested in our associates and want to make sure they have the opportunity to be the best they can be. We allow associates to work alongside partners and grow their practice and experience – it's something we feel strongly about. This culture wasn't just created in my time; it's been a part of the fabric of the firm since we started.

CA: A few associates mentioned that the bonus system had caused some frustration due to a lack of transparency. What would you say in response, and could you explain how the bonuses are structured?

MK: We strive to be transparent, and over time bonuses are becoming more customized to recognize individual performance, whereas I think associates want to have only an hours marker and know exactly how much they'll get if they work a certain number of hours. We do have a very robust evaluation program; hours play a significant part in it and we do make it known early on that productivity is a key factor, but it is not the only aspect we consider. As part of the bonus determinations, we count all pro bono, which we consider important that all our lawyers give back to our communities.

As part of the annual review process for associates, we undertake a full evaluation of an associate’s work. After bonuses are paid, we have a very thorough process whereby each associate meets with their practice group leader to give them constructive feedback and talk about their individual career development for the coming year. It's not a black box, but it is not totally based on hours only because there's an ability to achieve a higher bonus based on excellence. Associates develop at different rates, and we do our best to try and make sure we're attracting students who are motivated and dedicated to their careers and doing excellent work. Those doing very well are well paid – you can be in any of our offices and make more than the Cravath scale if you've had an outstanding year.

CA: Do you have any advice for our readers who might be interested in applying to V&E?

MK: If you look at our strategy – which is to be an elite global firm that is among the best in the areas we've chosen to practice in – we're heavily focused on having consistent high-quality lawyers across our offices. This means we want associates who are energetic and who really want to develop their practices.

We have great training and mentoring systems; partners take a very active role in the development of associates. We also have a very active and robust evaluation process to make sure the associates are advancing, because our goal is to have them become the best lawyers they can possibly be. So we're looking for those that are willing to learn, who are engaging in terms of personality, and strive to be the best.

From a law school perspective, we focus on hiring the best and the brightest. They don't teach you how to be a lawyer at law school, but we want to give associates the training and tools to help create an incredible foundation for whatever they decide to do later in their careers. We've talked to our alumni base, and they've consistently said that the training at the firm really gave them a foundation to be excellent lawyers today.

CA: What is it about V&E that makes the firm unique?

MK: What makes us unique is that we have an outstanding culture. We have an environment in which we communicate constantly and openly to our partners and associates, so that people know where the firm is going in terms of strategic goals. From day one, we make sure we're developing associates as lawyers, and we are totally vested in making sure they like where they're working and the people they're working with.

This profession is all about developing relationships with clients and between lawyers; we're in the service business, so it's important to develop these longstanding connections. Even if people decide they want to do something else, our alumni networks are incredible. I would tell law students that if you come here, we're going to make sure we create an environment in which you're going to prosper, and we'll nurture you to become an incredible lawyer – that's something we cherish.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

1001 Fannin Street,
Suite 2500,
Houston,
TX 77002-6760
Website www.velaw.com

  • Head Office: Houston, TX
  • Number of domestic offices: 8
  • Number of international offices: 8
  • Worldwide revenue: $627,700,000
  • Partners (US): 211
  • Associates (US): 304
  • Summer Salary 2016 
  • 1Ls: $3,077/week
  • 2Ls: $3,077/week
  • Post 3 Ls: $3,077/week
  • 1Ls hired? Yes
  • Split summers offered? 10 week program, varies by office 
  • Can summers spend time in overseas office? No
  • Summers 2016: 66
  • Offers/acceptances 2015: 69 offers, 55 acceptances

Main areas of work
Antitrust; appellate; complex commercial litigation; condemnation; construction; employment, labor and OSHA; energy litigation; energy regulatory; energy transactions / projects; environmental and natural resources; finance; government contracts; government investigations and white collar; intellectual property; international dispute resolution; M&A/capital markets; media and entertainment; private equity; professional liability; real estate; restructuring and reorganization; securities litigation; tax – executive compensation and benefits.

Firm profile
Collaborating seamlessly across 15 offices worldwide, Vinson & Elkins LLP provides outstanding client service. Our lawyers are committed to excellence, offering clients experience in handling their transactions, investments, projects and disputes across the globe. Established in Houston in 1917, the firm’s time-tested role as trusted advisor has made V&E a go-to law firm for many of the world’s leading businesses, especially in the energy and finance industries. We bring competitive strength, insight and know-how to guide our clients through their most complex transactions and litigation.

Recruitment details
• Number of 1st year associates: 36
• Number of 2nd year associates: 48
• Associate salaries: 1st year: $180,000
• 2nd year: $190,000
• Clerking policy: Yes

Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2016:
Cardozo, Columbia, Duke, Fordham, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Howard, LSU, Loyola University, Cornell Patent Law Program, NYU, Northwestern, South Texas, SMU, Stanford, The University of Texas, Tulane, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Houston, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond, UVA, Vanderbilt, Washington University, Washington & Lee, William & Mary, Yale

Summer details
Summer associate profile:
Vinson & Elkins hires talented and highly motivated individuals who desire a sophisticated legal practice. We look for candidates who take initiative, offer diverse perspectives, are innovative and will enjoy working alongside top lawyers in a friendly and collegial environment.

Summer program components:
V&E’s “one firm” mentality offers summer associates the opportunity to work on cross-office projects from a variety of practice areas of interest. As a summer associate, you’ll experience hands-on legal training, develop mentoring relationships and get an understanding of what it is like to practice law at Vinson & Elkins.