2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Sophisticated work with top-tier clients.”
“The people and culture are second to none.”
“Lack of transparency into partnership track.”
“Expected to be responsive at all times.”
“Unpredictable work schedule.”
About Vinson & Elkins LLP
Founded in Houston in 1917, this Lone Star State institution rode the wildcatter era to build its name on (what else?) oil and gas matters. Vinson & Elkins hasn’t looked back since, establishing itself at the forefront of the global energy industry while growing its expertise in an array of other practice areas, such as technology, banking/finance, M&A/private equity, real estate, media, complex litigation, and tax.
A North Carolina native who adopted the city of Houston as his own, attorney William Vinson teamed up with local judge James Elkins in 1917. While representing its share of oil titans, Vinson & Elkins hedged its efforts by advising scores of smaller, independent oil prospectors—risky relationships with the potential to reap enormous paydays. V&E went from Houston straight to London in 1971 and went to the Asia Pacific before the bulk of BigLaw did (although the firm didn’t open an office in New York until 1998).
V&E’s low leverage, smartly managed finances, and willingness to diversify its practice portfolio—which now includes specialties in areas including banking/finance, technology, transportation, intellectual property, digital media, and other complements to its corporate, environmental, regulatory, and renewables practices—should prove helpful no matter which way the economic winds blow.
V&E is a go-to firm for Big Oil. In fact, the firm ranks No. 1 in Vault’s Energy, Oil, & Gas ranking, where it has been a mainstay in the top 3 for over a decade. With the industry’s major players consistently reporting multi-billion-dollar quarterly profits, V&E seems well positioned for the future.
The firm also has a top-notch Clean Energy & Renewables practice with experience working with hydro, solar, and wind energies; energy storage; fuel cells; smart-grid applications; biomass; waste-to-energy; and more. The team works across practices, bringing in the firm’s experience in environmental law counseling, licensing, M&A, project development, project financing, and regulatory counseling.
Aside from its energy work, the firm has a bustling corporate practice, with particular strengths in M&A, project finance, real estate, securities, and venture capital and emerging companies.
Plus Pro Bono
V&E isn’t just a big player in the financial, industrial, and digital worlds—it also has a strong commitment to pro bono—V&E lawyers perform an average of 30,000 hours of pro bono work every year. V&E is most known for the legal aid it provides veterans, nonprofits, low-income individuals, asylum seekers, and those seeking medical guardianship. You can read about V&E’s pro bono highlights as well as other stories on V&E’s values and ventures on its companion V&E+ site.
Vinson & Elkins hosted a number of virtual events for students, including presentations on different practice areas, legal markets, pro bono opportunities, research training, burnout prevention, receiving feedback, and diversity and cultural awareness programs. For 2021 OCI, V&E is interviewing (most) 2L students virtually for next year’s Summer Program and looks forward to being fully back on campuses and engaged in person with students and affinity groups as soon as it is safe!
News & Awards
- In 2020, advised on $7 billion worth of renewable energy and clean technology matters, including SPAC IPOs. Clients include Goldman Sachs, Sixth Street Partners, Riverstone, Macquarie, Global Atlantic, and The Carlyle Group.
- Advised Noble Energy in its acquisition by Chevron Corporation, a transaction with an enterprise value of $13 billion. At the time of its announcement in 2020, it was the largest energy deal of the year.
- In 1998, defended CBS’ 60 Minutes in a libel trial over a news report tying a Hispanic family to ownership of a slum colony on the U.S.-Mexico border.
- As early as 1940, Vinson & Elkins lawyers helped to secure a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring more racially diverse representation on grand juries in Texas.
- 21 ranked Tier 1 nationally, including Corporate, Capital Markets, Environmental, Labor, Litigation, M&A, Project Finance, Real Estate, Tax, and White Collar Defense, 2021—U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
- 46 practice categories and 141 individual lawyers recognized; named Energy & Projects Law Firm of the Year, noting strategic growth and expansion of renewable and sustainable energy and tax practices, 2021—Chambers USA
- Mansfield Rule Certification 4.0, 2020-21—Diversity Lab
- Gold Standard Certification, 2021—Women in Law Empowerment Forum
- Perfect score for 10 years on Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ workplace equality, 2021—Human Rights Campaign
1001 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 758-2222
Chairman: T. Mark Kelly
Managing Partner: Scott Wulfe
Talent Management Chair & Firm Hiring Partner: Steve Gill
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2021:
All U.S. offices
Class of 2021: $202,500
Class of 2020: $205,000
Class of 2019: $215,000
Class of 2018: $240,000
Class of 2017: $275,000
Class of 2016: $305,000
Class of 2015: $330,000
Class of 2014: $350,000
Class of 2013: $365,000
Summer Associate: $3,894/week
Director of Attorney Recruitment
Application information and links for Entry-Level and Lateral positions are available here: https://www.velaw.com/careers/
No. of U.S. Offices: 8
No. of International Offices: 4
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC | Dubai
Complex Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)
Employment, Labor and OSHA
M&A/Private Equity/Venture Capital
Restructuring & Reorganization
Tax/Employment Benefits/Executive Compensation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.