Baker Botts LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Partner accessibility”
  • “Extremely smart people”
  • “Flexible hours”

Downers

  • “Lack of transparency in promotion and bonuses”
  • “A little conservative”
  • “High turnover rate”

About Baker Botts LLP

One of Texas's elite firms, Bakers Botts has deep roots in the Lone Star State-and a long history of counseling the oil industry and Republican administrations. It also fields sturdy teams in technology, energy, life sciences, complex litigation, white-collar defense, and appellate advocacy.

From Agriculture to Oil to Telecom

Baker Botts was Texan before Texas was a state. The firm's origins date back to 1840, when Peter Gray founded a firm in the land known then as the Republic of Texas. Gray's first clients were agricultural interests-sugar, cotton, and timber-and the Southern Pacific and Union Railroads. By 1874 more partners had joined, forming Gray, Botts & Baker. Gray subsequently stepped down from the firm in order to accept a seat on the Supreme Court of Texas, leaving the practice in the hands of Colonel W.B. Botts and James A. Baker (a.k.a Judge Baker), who nudged Gray's name off the firm stationery and began working as Baker & Botts.

The subsequent history of the firm runs parallel to the story of Texas. A hurricane destroyed the prosperous port of Galveston in 1900, shifting the state's commercial epicenter to Baker & Botts' turf in Houston. The following year, dozens of oil wells opened around Houston, and the firm quickly became counsel of choice for the burgeoning industry. Its clients included companies that evolved into Chevron, Texaco, and Exxon.

The Great Depression and ensuing New Deal laws inspired the firm to expand its corporate and regulatory practices; in 1972, Baker & Botts opened a DC office devoted to federal regulatory work. More offices in Texas and a New York location specializing in telecom, technology, and financial services work followed. The firm's name was streamlined to Baker Botts in 2000. Since that time, Baker Botts has continued its growth with the opening of offices in Riyadh, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Palo Alto, and most recently, San Francisco.

Four Generations of Bakers

Judge Baker's son, James A. Baker II (a.k.a. Captain Baker), became a clerk at the firm in 1877, an attorney in 1881, and a partner in 1887. Captain Baker would grow the firm to become one of the largest in the country in the early 20th century and he and the firm played an integral role in Houston's development. Baker & Botts has a long connection to Rice University where Captain Baker chaired the first board of trustees. James A. Baker III, who served in senior government positions under three United States Presidents including as the nation's 61st Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush, is a partner in the DC office. Secretary Baker also served as counsel to George W. Bush's presidential campaign and in the Bush v. Gore litigation stemming from the 2000 recount. George W. Bush had deep connections to the firm himself, having done a tour of duty in the firm's mail room in 1962. James A. Baker IV (a.k.a. Jamie Baker), who chairs the firm's Global Projects department, is a partner in the firm's DC office with his father. Even the firm's Managing Partner is a Baker, though Andrew M. Baker is not related to the rest of the Bakers.

IN THE NEWS

February 2017
Moving On Up

For 2016, Baker Botts' gross revenue increased by 20% to $846.5 million. "Building on the success of the prior year, 2016 was a very strong year for the firm, which again highlights the depth and breadth of our domestic and global platforms," said Andrew M. Baker, Managing Partner.  
 
Family Friendly

Baker Botts Launched Two New Family-Friendly Initiatives. The firm now offers Parental Leave Mentors in each office to assist parents as they welcome a new child through birth or adoption. The firm also partners with Milk Stork. "We are focusing on making the transition back to the workforce for parents smoother and we hope less stressful for them and for their families," said Elaine Walsh, a Washington based partner and Chair of the firm's Global Women's Forum. 

January 2017
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Baker Botts announced that it has acted for its client, Liberty Media Corporation ("Liberty Media") to successfully close its acquisition of Formula One. "We have become a go to firm when clients are working on complex and challenging antitrust issues in Europe and around the world," said Catriona Hatton, Partner in Charge of the firm's Brussels office and Co-Chair of the firm's Global Antitrust and Competition Law Practice.  

Diversity Awards

Baker Botts announced that it has been recognized by two of its clients, AT&T and PepsiCo, for its industry leading diversity programs and initiatives. On April 5, 2017, Baker Botts was recognized for its demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession at PepsiCo's annual diversity recognition day. On May 3, 2017, Baker Botts received the AT&T Legal Department 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Achievement Award. The award is given to the one law firm among AT&T's preferred firms that has made the greatest strides and progress towards diversifying its attorney ranks and enhancing diversity in the legal profession.

November 2016
Putting Energy into IP

Baker Botts, best known for its energy practice, has built one of the nation's largest and most successful intellectual property practices, opening offices in tech hot spots and developing an unusual compensation system to attract and keep talented lawyers. The Texas Lawbook profiled the firm's IP practice in November 2016 under the headline "The Patent for Evolving Intellectually Goes to Baker Botts."

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Baker Botts LLP

One Shell Plaza
910 Louisiana Street
Houston, TX 77002-4995
Phone: (713) 229-1234

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Andrew M. Baker
  • Recruiting Chairs: Mollie Duckworth (Austin); Kurt Pankratz (Dallas); Rob Fowler (Houston); Rich Harper (New York); Kyle Clark (DC); Brian Lee (Palo Alto), Stuart Plunkett (San Francisco)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 725

  • Base Salary
    US Offices
    1st year: $180,000

  • Summer Associate Offers
    70 out of 76 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Corporate • Environmental • Global Projects • Intellectual Property • Litigation • Tax

Major Office Locations

  • Austin, TX • Dallas, TX • Houston, TX • New York, NY • Palo Alto, CA • San Francisco • Washington, DC Beijing • Brussels • Dubai • Hong Kong • London • Moscow • Riyadh (Associate firm)