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Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

At a Glance


“The lifestyle”

“Important clients”

“It is a laidback atmosphere, but everyone is intelligent and hard-working”


“The pace has been slow lately”

“Has not raised salaries to keep up with the Cravath raises”

“I wish [there were clearer expectations] as far as hours billed and the timeline for gaining certain competencies or skills”

About Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

A leading Texas firm, Kelly Hart is entrenched in the city of Fort Worth, both headquartered there and serving notable Fort Worth clientele like the entrepreneurial Bass family, Justin Brands, Anne W. Marion and the Burnett Companies, American Airlines, Pier 1, and BNSF Railway. As the firm has grown, so has the client list, which includes additional Fortune 500 companies, individuals, investor groups, and governmental entities from around Texas and the nation.

And the Award Goes To

In 1979, successful Fort Worth-based litigation and commercial lawyer Dee J. Kelly, Jr. joined forces with well-known corporate and securities and real estate lawyers Mark L. Hart, Jr. and William P. Hallman, Jr. to found their joint namesake firm Kelly Hart & Hallman. Kelly Hart had no problem acquiring a talented roster of attorneys to expand its practice areas into banking, finance, energy, federal and state tax, and several others which comprise the more than 20 service offerings it has today.

Almost 40 years after its founding, Kelly Hart has claimed its spot atop various notable ratings and rankings in the legal industry. Twenty-eight Kelly Hart attorneys were selected as 2018 Texas Super Lawyers, 17 were named Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, and 43 were among Best Lawyers in America 2019. The firm received The National Law Journal “Energy & Environmental Trailblazer Award” in 2017 and has been recognized by Chambers USA and the National Best Law Firm rankings. But the accolades don’t stop there—Kelly Hart sits atop multiple regional rankings as well, including Texas Diversity Council Top 50 Lawyer list; New Orleans Super Lawyers, New Orleans Rising Stars; Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award; Forth Worth Inc. 400; Fort Worth Business Press Power Attorneys; Fort Worth magazine’s Top Attorneys; 360 West magazine’s Top Attorneys, Tarrant County Bar Association Blackstone Award, and Good Scout Law Award. And the list goes on.

Boutique Buddies

Kelly Hart teamed up with top litigation boutique Susman Godfrey to resolve a $50 million breach of contract claim by aluminum manufacturer Alcoa against Luminant, one of Texas's biggest electricity holdings. The case, which disputed Luminant's compliance with its mining permit, resulted in the jury awarding $10 million in damages to Kelly Hart client Luminant.

Buffett, Trump, and a Mega Estate

Kelly Hart has helped negotiate some very high-profile M&A deals. The firm represented construction materials and cowboy boot manufacturer Justin Industries in its 2000 acquisition by Warren Buffett's mammoth company Berkshire Hathaway and the buyer of the Plaza Hotel in New York City in its sale by Donald Trump. In February 2016, Kelly Hart represented the largest shareholder of the W.T. Waggoner Estate and made history with the closing sale of the largest ranch deal ever in the state of Texas. The Waggoner is an approximately 510,000-acre estate which was established in 1849 and spans across 6 Texas counties and almost 800 square miles. It is currently the largest ranch under one fence in the U.S. and includes thousands of cattle, hundreds of horses and oil wells, and 30,000 acres of farmland.

Commitment to Texans

When not negotiating big-time sales, Kelly Hart attorneys serve the community. In 2018, 79 Kelly Hart attorneys and paralegals devoted more than 2,400 hours to pro bono legal services. Some of the organizations the firm's attorneys work for include Habitat for Humanity, Fort Worth Zoological Association, Austin Bar Association, University of Texas Domestic Violence Clinic, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, the Women's Shelter, The Gatehouse, The Pro Bono Project and Goodwill of Austin. In 2014, the firm's Pro Bono Coordinator received state-wide recognition as she was bestowed the State Bar of Texas Pro Bono Coordinator Award. In 2015 and 2016, several of the firm's attorneys were singled out for their pro bono work, with one receiving the LSBA Pro Bono Publico Award and another the Pro Bono Century Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association. In 2017, The Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services (TVAS) selected two of the firm's attorneys as TVAS Pro Bono Award recipients. The pro bono efforts at Kelly Hart have not gone unnoticed, The Tarrant County Bar Association recognized Kelly Hart with the 2016 Texas Lawyer for Texas Veterans Law Firm Partner Award, the Pro Bono Project in Louisiana named Kelly Hart the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year in 2014, and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation honored Kelly Hart & Hallman with the TVAS Law Firm Pro Bono Partner of the Year in 2015. Plus, for the years 2016 and 2017, twelve Kelly Hart attorneys were admitted to the State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College.


March 2017

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP represented various entities controlled by the Bass family in the sale of over 275,000 acres of Permian Basin and other producing assets for $5.6 billion in stock and an additional $1 billion in contingent cash payouts. The assets produce more than 18,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day. The bulk of the acreage is held in contiguous production units held by production in the New Mexico Delaware Basin.

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

201 Main Street
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Phone: (817) 332-2500


Chairman and Managing Partner: Marianne M. Auld
Recruiting Chair: Marcus Mungioli

Base Salary

1st year: $165,000
Summer associate: $3,100/week

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
5 out of 5 (2Ls) (2018)

No. of Summer Associates:
5 total (2Ls) (2018)

Major Office Locations

Fort Worth, TX (HQ)
Austin, TX
Baton Rouge, LA
Midland, TX
New Orleans, LA

Major Departments & Practices

Administrative Law
Aviation Law
Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization
Bankruptcy Litigation
Banking & Finance
Commercial Litigation
Corporate & Securities
Energy & Environmental Law
Estate Planning/Probate
Healthcare Law
Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment
Liquor Law
Nonprofit Organizations
Oil & Gas/Energy
Public Law
Real Estate
School Law
Transportation Law
Water Law
White Collar Defense