The competitive environment for top legal talent has never been tighter, for both sought-after associates and partners, according to law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann of Zeughauser Group. As a result, many law firms are aggressively hiring out of law school and some are expanding their summer and first-year classes.

Texas is home to increasing numbers of national and international law firms, so it pays for any firm operating in the Lone Star State to foster relationships with the so-called feeder schools that produce the legal talent firms require.