Haynes and Boone, LLP - The Inside View

Born and raised in the Lone Star State, this dedicated Texan offers associates a “prestige” name with a healthy lifestyle to match.

“It’s incredibly well known in Texas,” one associate proudly said of H&B, which has seven offices within its home state alone. Much like fellow Texas success stories Beyoncé, Dell and frozen margaritas, the firm has now made a name for itself far and wide, “selectively and assuredly.” Haynes and Boone attorneys now operate from eleven offices outside Texas including three international bases in Shanghai, Mexico City and London.Recent openings in Charlotte and San Francisco characterize the firm’s “selective growth plan to capture synergies of clients in those markets.” Sounds exciting.

“I feel very fortunate to be at a firm that cares about us as individuals.”

The firm shines on home Texas turf and picks up strong rankings from Chambers USA in bankruptcy, energy, insurance, IP, appellate litigation, investigations and real estate. The NYC office scoops a nod for its own real estate practice: “We’re really well known for our real estate work in New York,” associates there beamed. Property law expertise is one thing, but juniors were happy not to feel like property themselves: “I feel very fortunate to be at a firm that cares about us as individuals,” one noted. “They care about my career and development, but importantly also about me as a person.”

The Work



Over two thirds of second and third-year associates were based in Texas, with Dallas absorbing the lion’s share and a handful each housed in Austin, Dallas North and Houston. A decent chunk were in New York, with Orange County home to just two juniors. There’s more variation across practice areas – 15 groups were represented – with real estate being most popular, followed by an even spread between capital markets, financial transactions, investment funds and other corporate teams. Whereas Dallas “has a lot of really strong practice groups in all areas,” other offices have particular specialties, including capital markets and real estate in New York;the “mining focus” in Denver; IP and tax on the West Coast; and energy in Houston, where “the market is huge. 90% of the firm’s energy team is there.” Work assignment varies by group, largely sticking to an informal approach.

Corporate at H&B includes capital markets, securities and M&A. Interviewees worked on reverse mergers for private clients going public, securities filings and corporate governance; “revising bylaws, certificates of corporations and drafting organization documents for new companies” were typical tasks. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies are core clients in New York, where juniors typically drafted prospective health registration supplements, opinions and proxy statements: “I was working with clients one-on-one.” The firm’s growing West Coast presence means more venture capital work too. “Standard junior associate tasks” including diligence review, transaction updates and monitoring specialist document review are on the cards in M&A deals. “I might take the first crack at drafting or making specialist comments more coherent,” an insider said.

Corporate clients: American Airlines, Chief Oil & Gas, Bank of America. Represented investment firm Capitol Peak in its joint $340 million offer with KKR to buy Borden Dairy out of bankruptcy.

“I’m getting more exposure on the loan documents and credit agreements.”

The financial transactions group primarily represents lenders on subscription liabilities, syndicated credit facilities, and middle-market and asset-based lending. Energy work is a shining light here: juniors worked on diligence reviews for energy bankruptcies, plus oil and gas provisions. Associates confessed there’s “not as much creative drafting in finance” due to its technical nature. “I’m very rarely adding anything substantive to a draft,” one junior admitted, “because I don’t understand most of the issues well enough yet.” They and others instead kept checklists updated, assisted the senior associates with research and reviewed facility pages. “You get more exposure on loan documents and credit agreements,” according to sources.

Financial transactions clients: Citibank, Crédit Agricole, Wells Fargo. Advised hospitality giant Landry’s on a term loan repricing and $200 million increase for its acquisition of Houlihan’s Restaurants.

H&B’s real estate group does “everything imaginable,” so long as your imagination spans investment funds, REIT formations and dirt work in development and construction. “I focus mainly on the acquisition or dispositions of properties,” a typical junior said, before regaling us with tales of “construction financing and borrower-side secure lending.” Because many deals here “are defined by New York state law,” the firm’s office there is a crucial piece of the (inter)national puzzle. “Lots of secured lending requires a New York local counsel function.” When first starting, juniors acted in more of a “backup role, learning from mentors.” In their second and third year, associates took the lead on inputting document changes and negotiating with clients and opposing counsel.

Real estate clients: Hillwood, Blackstone Group, AT&T. Acted for Allsup’s Convenience Stores in its sale to Yesway.

Career Development



“The firm does offer training programs,” juniors noted, “but the day-to-day investment [from colleagues] is where you develop most.” Our survey showed associates felt joining the firm was good for their development and at nurturing future leaders. “Partners are genuine and upfront about tough criticism, but not in a harsh way. It’s about improvement rather than criticism for its own sake,” we heard. Sources also commended the “great” attorney development programs and openness to conversations around the partnership track. During the summer program, associates get example sheets of what’s required, followed by midlevel workshops. “Haynes is very clear about the process and what they look for,” interviewees explained. “It’s around a nine-year track and the firm is very transparent about what goes into partnership decisions.”

“Partners are genuine and upfront about tough criticism… it’s about improvement rather than criticism for its own sake.”

Pro Bono



Most of the junior associates we surveyed came to the same conclusion: H&B is strongly committed to its pro bono practice. “It’s taken very seriously here,” one expanded. “Even in 2020 with so much going on in the world, the head of attorney development made it easy to sign up.” Opportunities included immigration and asylum cases in Dallas; a voting rights collaboration with AT&T; drafting wills for health workers alongside the San AntonioLegal Service; and a partnership with Feed America. Although up to 100 hours of pro bono can count toward an associate’s billable target, most ended up logging less than that allowance.“The firm encourages pro bono, but there doesn’t seem to be a mandate,” juniors explained.

Pro bono hours

  • For all US attorneys: 13,137
  • Average per US attorney: 25

Hours & Compensation



“Not only does the firm care about balance, they insist upon it,” one of our associate sources declared. “I was jokingly sent home once when I was working too late.” On average, juniors were billing eight to ten hours each day. "Our work/life balance is pretty good,” another reckoned. “People try to respect personal time and weekends.” The ebb/flow nature of corporate practice means more volatile hours in that group, with later finishes running to 2am; other groups are much more consistent.

“Not only does the firm care about balance, they insist upon it.”

Billable hours: 2,000 target

Fiscal conservativism runs through the firm’s (metaphorical) veins, ensuring it could get through 2020 without COVID-19 prompted layoffs or salary cuts. Hitting the billing target secures associates a market bonus, though we’re told other factors – like pro bono or other contributions to the firm – can make up the difference if hours fall short. Many saw H&B’s value in terms beyond money: “It’s hard to put a dollar value on not feeling anxious or resentful every day, thanks to the management style.”

Culture



“From the top down they emphasize civility and mutual respect,” associates said of this management style. “On day one the managing partner said: ‘Treat everyone with respect. Just because you have a JD it doesn’t make you better than anyone.’” Establishing kindness as the baseline for firm interactions has paid dividends. “People are so friendly, nice and helpful,” we heard from juniors. “There’s no competition or worry that someone will steal my work. It’s a very congenial atmosphere, and I mean that genuinely.” Firms based in the South are renowned for a warmer culture than their East or West Coast counterparts, but we heard similar reports from across Haynes and Boone’s national network.

While making it clear that missing a dinner here and there won’t leave you out of the in crowd, sources uniformly enjoyed firm-organized socials. “I know everyone in the New York office,” a Big Apple source told us. “You know everyone’s life stories, and because our hours aren’t as demoralizing it’s easy to go for lunch or drinks and not to stay until 1am.” Logging into the virtual video conference calls that typified 2020 for “casual conversations just to stay in touch,” juniors were also clearly happy to hang out over webcam.

Diversity & Inclusion



"Texas is an old-school place; that’s reflected in the firm’s partnership.” Associates went on to note that counter-action is being taken, with the firm hiring a new diversity director in recent years who “has brought a ton of new ideas and will monitor ethnic minority employees’ career progress. It’s about finding concrete ways to make this work rather than just discussing diversity and saying why it’s important.” Retention of diverse attorneys seems to be the great challenge and Haynes is “now looking at how we can fix that with steps in the works.” As for gender diversity, sources were largely impressed: “They do a very good job, and this is a good place to have kids and start a family.” The firm’s most recent associate class is reportedly the most diverse in its history, with 45% of incoming juniors coming from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds.

“It’s about finding concrete ways to make this work.”

Strategy & Future



Incoming managing partner Taylor Wilson tell us Haynes and Boone has “stayed committed to a long-term 2025 strategy. We’re relentlessly focused on our commitment to those goals and to be recognized as a national firm with strategic international presence.” He cites energy, technology, financial services and private equity as target growth areas in the future. Juniors were impressed with the plans: “We’re conservatively budgeted and managed well. H&B is heading in the right direction.” 

Get Hired



LATERAL RECRUITMENT: Find out more about lateral opportunities with Haynes and Boone here.

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus

OCI applicants interviewed: 76

Interviewees outside OCI: 20

Around 70% of 2L summers have completed either a 1L summer or other work experience at the firm before their 2L summer. The other 30%are found through OCIs, job fairs, resume collects, and direct applications.

Attorneys (one partner and one associate) typically see around 20 candidates a day at OCIs and represent each office running a summer program. Brad Holdbrook, the firm's hiring partner for entry-level hires, tells us that interviewers will be looking for candidates to demonstrate “effective communication skills, acting as a willing and effective member and leader of teams, leadership potential, commitment to community service, and an established motivation to succeed.” Typical inquiries of interviewees include requests to describe their accomplishments, motivations, why they are interested in Haynes and Boone, and how they could add to the firm’s culture.

Top tips for this stage:

“Come prepared to discuss why our firm/practice areas are a fit for your skills, ask specific questions that relate to the firm or our clients, and explain how you can add to the culture at Haynes and Boone.” – entry-level hiring partner, Brad Holdbrook

Callbacks

Applicants invited to second stage interview: 10 from OCI + 20 interviews outside of OCI (as mentioned above)

Callbacks consist of two to four 20-minute interview sessions, with the candidate meeting with two attorneys in each interview session. Holdbrook 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 markets.

Top tips for this stage:

"Be able to articulate your interest in the firm and office location.  Describe your specific interest in, or ask questions about, practice areas in the office in which you are interviewing.”  entry-level hiring partner Brad Holdbrook

Summer program

Offers: 9 offers extended out of Fall/Spring Recruiting in addition to 27 returning 1Ls

Acceptances: 7/9 accepted

Summer associates tend to sample one or two practice areas in which they are interested. They are 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.” Holdbrook tells us that the firm has a “well-rounded approach to our summer programs that enables each summer associate to demonstrate their analytical, advocacy, and writing skills.”

The firm assigns each summer associate a partner supervisor, who oversees their work. Each summer associate 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, CLEs, and training. Around 90% of summer associates are given offers to join as associates and offers are usually extended for a specific department.

Notable summer events: dinners, events, and outings. “Social events throughout the summer are designed 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:

“Take advantage of the resources provided by the firm, including the many attorneys that will make themselves available to you for guidance and mentorship.  Ask questions and pay attention to detail on assignments.  Finally, pay attention to the way attorneys in your office interact with each other and the clients of the firm; that will give you invaluable insight into a “day in the life” of a future at Haynes and Boone.” – entry-level hiring partner Brad Holdbrook

 

Haynes and Boone, LLP

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

  • Head Office: Dallas, TX
  • Number of domestic offices: 15
  • Number of international offices: 3
  • Worldwide revenue: $430,200,000
  • Partners (US): 238
  • Associates (US): 319 (including other attorneys)
  • Recruitment details 
  • Main recruitment contact: Audrey Kerr, Manager of Entry-Level
  • Recruiting Hiring partner: Brad Holdbrook, Firmwide Entry-level
  • Hiring Partner Diversity officer: Jennifer Reddien, Director of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Recruitment details 
  • Entry-level associates starting in 2021: 34
  • Clerking policy: Yes
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2021: 1Ls: 30, 2Ls: 36
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2021 split by office: 1Ls: Dallas - 5; Dallas-North - 4; Houston - 8; New York - 7; Orange County - 2; San Antonio - 1; San Francisco - 1; Washington, D.C. - 2 2Ls: Austin -2; Dallas - 20; Dallas-North - 3; Houston - 6; New York - 1; Orange County - 1; Palo Alto - 1; San Francisco - 1; Washington, D.C. - 1
  • Summer salary 2020: 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 18 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 2021: Harvard, UC Berkeley, SMU, Stanford, UC Irvine, University of Houston, University of Texas, University of Virginia

Recruitment outside OCIs: Loyola Patent Law Interview Program, Lavender Law Career Fair, Southeastern Minority Job Fair, American, Baylor, Brooklyn, BYU, Cardozo, Columbia, Cor¬nell, Duke, Emory, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, Howard, Loyola (LA), NYU, Santa Clara, South Texas, St. John’s, St. Mary’s, Texas A&M, Texas Southern, Texas Tech, Tulane, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Penn¬sylvania, USC, Vanderbilt, and Washington University.

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 mentor and supervisor who assign them work. They are also 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, 2021

Ranked Departments

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