Lateral Look: Bracewell

Associates are braced for changes in global energy at this Texas firm, which also has sector focuses on finance and technology.

Bracewell has long been known for its oil and gas expertise, but it's been increasingly focusing on the renewables space. Managing partner Greg Bopp explains: “We are very focused on the energy transition. Energy transition is a broad area that cuts across multiple practices, including renewable energy, carbon capture, energy storage and environmental, social and governance, or ESG. All of this is in our sweet spot, and the client interest in these areas is booming.” Alongside its energy expertise, Bracewell focuses its efforts on the finance and technology sectors. 

The firm’s Chambers USA nationwide rankings certainly reflect Bracewell’s prowess in the oil & gas and electricity energy sectors, while the firm’s projects work highlights its renewables expertise. Bracewell picks up the rest of its domestic rankings in its home state of Texas, where it shines for banking & finance, environment and labor & employment work especially. Beyond accolades, our sources uniformly praised the firm.

View the firm's Chambers USA rankings here>>

Associates say…

I picked Bracewell because it felt like the firm that was going to give me a chance to work on big deals while getting a ton of mentoring, exposure to clients, and a sustainable work-life balance.”

The people made me feel at home.”

"People at Bracewell are kind to each other and care about each other's lives outside of the office. I think that environment contributes to us having a really strong work-life balance, which was another reason I was drawn to the firm initially."

"I chose Bracewell because I could see a long-term path for myself there with people who would genuinely care about my career and growth as an attorney."

 

Strategic recruitment focuses 2022

Energy careers

The view from the firm: Bracewell represents participants in the oil and gas, conventional power, solar, wind and renewables sectors. With over 50 years of industry experience and one of the largest dedicated energy teams of any law firm in the world, we have a deep understanding of the global energy markets and the drivers for commercial success. Our strong global platform effectively positions us to advise market participants on opportunities presented by the energy transition, including developments in hydrogen and carbon capture utilization and sequestration technologies. Our deep knowledge of the energy industry and strong global platform makes us the firm of choice for the clients listed below for sophisticated transactional, regulatory and litigation matters.

Energy clients: Apache Corporation, Cheniere, Competitive Power Ventures, Eni, Equinor, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, Kinder Morgan, Marubeni, Phillips 66, Storegga Geotechnologies, Targa Resources, TC Energy, Total Solar.

Recent highlight: Bracewell represented Phillips 66 in the formation of a joint venture with Trafigura Group to create an offshore deepwater port project in the Port of Corpus Christi.

Finance careers

The view from the firm: Bracewell advises on billions of dollars in financings each year. We represent some of the world’s leading banks — including 15 on the Global Finance 20 — on a diverse range of sophisticated financings. We also help state and local governments throughout the United States raise revenue for diverse economic development projects.  Our industry focus gives us a deep understanding of global financial and energy markets, which allows us to help clients identify investment opportunities and develop creative financing structures that support their business objectives. We represent a broad cross section of banks, financial institutions and investment funds in highly sophisticated and complex transactions.

Finance clients: Citibank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Macquarie, MUFG, Société Générale, Wells Fargo.

Recent highlight: Bracewell represented Kinder Morgan as borrower on a $3.5 billion loan with Barclays Bank.

Technology careers

The view from the firm: Our comprehensive platform helps companies protect the technologies that maintain their competitive advantage. We represent technology companies such as Big Fish Games, HTC, Sysco, Tetra Technologies, Toshiba and Xiamoi, as well as global companies such as Baker Hughes, Lockheed Martin and Saudi Aramco on the technologies vital to their businesses. Our lawyers work together to provide a well-rounded approach to every facet of technology and intellectual property. With deep industry knowledge and experience, we are a firm of choice for sophisticated patent prosecution, IP litigation, trademark and copyright protection, outsourcing, technology transactions and data security.

Technology clients: Big Fish Games, HTC, Sysco, Tetra Technologies, Toshiba, Xiamoi, Baker Hughes, Lockheed Martin, Saudi Aramco.

Recent highlight: Bracewell renegotiated Oncor’s $130 million IT outsourcing agreement with a major Indian vendor.

Infrastructure careers

The view from the firm: With offices in the world’s leading financial and energy capitals, our infrastructure lawyers provide integrated and seamless service to a diverse mix of stakeholders. We draw on our strengths as a leading global law firm to provide industry-informed advice on renewable energy, power, and oil and gas projects, many of which are the first of their kind.

Infrastructure clients: Alcazar Energy, AP Energy, Basalt Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Infrastructure, Eni, Equinor, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, Kinder Morgan, Macquarie, Marubeni, Phillips 66, Star America Infrastructure Partners, TC Energy, Total Solar.

Recent highlight: Bracewell represented a portfolio company of BlackRock in developing an industrial scale carbon capture pipeline system.

 

 

Career development & the path to partnership

 

4

1.5 : 2

partners made
in 2020    

    associate : partner
gearing

 

70%

45%

60%

felt partnership was achievable for attorneys
with children
strongly agreed the firms name adds value
to their resume
agreed partners are nurturing
future leaders

 

The view from the firm: Professional development at Bracewell spans the life cycle of our lawyers' careers. From summer associates to partners, the firm tailors training and development initiatives to meet the needs of lawyers at all levels. Bracewell provides interactive weekly boot camps on practice specific topics for junior attorneys and biennial academies for all midlevel and senior associates. We host more than 70 internal CLE courses during the year and maintain access to 10,000+ hours of on demand eLearning content.    

 

Hours & compensation

 

2,000

5

49

billable hours
target

average number of vacation days associates took
in one year

average number of hours associates worked
in one week

56%

60%

76%

agreed they had a good work-life balance

said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile

found the bonus allocation fair and transparent

 

Salaries

1st year: $202,500
2nd year: $205,000
3rd year: $215,000
4th year: $240,000
5th year: $275,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $330,000
8th year: $350,000
9th year: $365,000

 

The view from the firm: Up to 100 hours is given for diversity and pro bono work.  Bracewell has a market-matching lock-step salary and bonus structure. 

 

Is Bracewell the right firm for you?

 

79%

76%

68%

said they’d chosen the right firm

were happy in their current role

felt comfortable being themselves

 

The view from the firm: Our goal with lateral hiring is to recruit a diverse group of highly motivated attorneys who can contribute to our firm in a meaningful way. We are looking for individuals with exceptional work experience and a desire to become part of our One Bracewell culture. Once at Bracewell, your professional development and well being are our top priority.  

What stands out about the firm's culture?

Everyone at the firm - from the top down - genuinely cares about you as a person and is interested in seeing you succeed on a personal and professional level.”

"People at Bracewell genuinely like each other. They know the names of each other's babies/pets/significant others/etc. They spend time together over the weekends and they go to each other's weddings. I think this leads to the fact that a lot of our partners have been at Bracewell their entire careers (and the fact that a lot of people who have left Bracewell have ended up coming back)."

"Partners and senior associates might ask you to work late or to make edits, but it's always done in a respectful way that makes you feel like you're all peers."

We have a firmwide meeting every Monday, which is a great way to know what is going on in the firm.”

 

Diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

 

50%

83%

24%

23%

reported strong performance in inclusivity training

said the firm managed the impact of Covid-19 well.

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse

 

The view from the firm: Bracewell continuously champions diversity and inclusion, both within the firm and the legal community. Our shared diversity makes us stronger as a firm, giving us different perspectives that allow us to see the world more completely and better serve the needs of our clients. Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee focuses on four key areas: (1) recruiting/pipeline initiatives; (2) retention, development and promotion; (3) inclusion and engagement; and (4) partnerships and outreach. The Bracewell Women’s Network (BWN) was founded to provide strategic leadership in promoting a firm culture committed to the advancement and retention of talented women lawyers. The BWN focuses on four areas: (1) leadership; (2) community involvement; (3) client relations; and (4) professional development.

 

Pro bono

 

29

88%

average pro bono
hours 
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is
committed to pro bono

 

The view from the firm: Bracewell traces its commitment to serving the public good to the firm’s founding more than 75 years ago. Our founder J.S. Bracewell enjoyed a reputation throughout his career as a champion for the underdog, including the poor and disenfranchised. We continue this legacy through our pro bono representation of individuals who cannot afford legal services. Notably, this work has most recently included providing pro bono services to immigrants impacted by the Southern border crisis as well as Afghan women and girls seeking asylum.

 

Sustainability and CSR

The view from the firm: Bracewell is a pioneering firm on ESG matters. We have been at the forefront of legal and policy developments concerning climate change, social responsibility and corporate governance for over two decades, and we were among the first law firms to recognize the importance of these issues for our clients. 

 

Contact

See opportunities at the firm here>>

Recruitment contact: Jennifer Queen, Chief Talent Officer (jennifer.queen@bracewell.com