Latham & Watkins LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Transparency”
  • “Global reach”
  • “Kind people”

Downers

  • “The demands on your time”
  • “Billable hours requirement for bonus eligibility”
  • “Technology measures are cumbersome”

The Buzz

  • “Good all around the firm”
  • “New top-tier”
  • “Boom and bust”
  • “Fratty”

About Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham is one of the world's largest law firms, a bona fide member of the clique that includes the Magic Circle and the elite U.S. heritage firms. With more than 2,000 attorneys in 30 offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major jurisdictions in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and regularly represents companies doing business in Latin America and Africa. The firm is a global leader in corporate transactions, environmental law, finance matters, litigation and tax services―founding partner Dana Latham was a former commissioner of the IRS.

Hollywood Goes Global

Over its more than 80-year history, Latham has determinedly grown beyond its SoCal roots and evolved into a global player. As a small Los Angeles outfit in 1934, the firm was well-positioned to take advantage of Southern California's swiftly-escalating postwar industrialization and population growth. By 1969, Latham employed 42 lawyers-a healthy practice, but still undeniably local. Over the ensuing three decades, Latham aggressively and steadily expanded around the globe. So successful was the expansion that the New York office is now the firm's largest. Latham has long disavowed the notions of headquarters and "satellite" offices, with the firm proudly touting its "one firm" culture and insisting that it has no dominant practice or power base.

A+ Alumni

As might be expected of a firm of Latham's stature, firm alumni have held weighty titles and responsibilities: Bruce Babbitt, former governor of Arizona and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior; Sharon Bowen, Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Christopher Cox, former Chairman of the SEC; David Hayes, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior; Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA); and Donald Remy, General Counsel of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

One Firm

Despite having its hand in nearly every cookie jar around the globe, Latham's guiding management principle is the idea of "One Firm." Not only does the firm eschew the notion of a headquarters, but it also actively works to emphasize the team effort of legal work, rather than elevating individual star attorneys. Latham extends this cultural ideal in a truly unique way: by including an equal number of partners and associates on its Associates Committee, which plays a central role in the firm's evaluation and promotion process as well as in determining associate compensation and other policy issues.

Perks for Parents

In addition to the firm's generous parental leave policies (we're talking at least 18 weeks of leave for birth mothers and adoptive parents who are primary caregivers), Latham also helps attorneys successfully reintegrate into practice, offering a "pace reduction" program that automatically gives new parents the option of returning at a reduced schedule for six months, with no prior approval necessary. The firm hopes that the program will help new parents transition back to work without the immediate pressures of a full-time billable hours requirement. No wonder the firm has been recognized as one of Working Mother magazine's "Best Law Firms for Women" and a Gold Standard Firm by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

IN THE NEWS

May 2016
Litigation Hat Tricks

Latham litigators have scored a range of impressive courthouse wins recently, with several coming in waves of three. For example, IP lawyers won three separate cases at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the summer of 2015 that set precedents for patent eligibility, and the firm's antitrust practice followed in May 2016 with a trio of victories in high-profile competition cases involving sports event ticketing and consumer products such as fruit beverages and propane gas tanks.

April 2016
Straight "A"s

The American Lawyer again named Latham to its "A-List" for 2015, marking the firm's inclusion in the prestigious ranking every year since its inception in 2003. The survey assesses law firms across four key metrics-including revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, associate satisfaction, and diversity-all of which are "integral to a well-rounded successful brand" and represent "the best of the best in the already exclusive world" of law firms, according to Am Law.

Diversity Matters

Latham's programs support the next generation of great lawyers committed to diversity and inclusion. Held each spring, Diversity Leadership Academy brings together attorneys and law students to develop leaders in the legal industry and create community. Latham also invests in its 1L Fellowship Program, which provides an opportunity to work both at Latham and with a client. Through the 2L Diversity Scholars Program, US law students received $10,000 scholarships and offers of employment. Latham's Diversity Leadership Committee is active in spearheading global diversity initiatives including the Women Enriching Business Committee, global affinity groups and the Multicultural Promotion and Attainment Coalition.

February 2016
That's a Big Deal

In just one example of Latham's prowess in cross-border deal making, the firm advised Avago Technologies in closing the largest semiconductor industry merger to date, a $37 billion acquisition by Broadcom that utilized a novel deal structure through which a new Singapore holding company was formed as the parent company. More than 10 Latham practice groups were engaged, including notable work by an antitrust team to gain regulatory clearance for the merger in multiple markets.

Student Loan Refinancing

Media have featured an innovative program at Latham through which associates can refinance student loans that exceed $50,000 for rates as low as 2.5 percent. To date, some 150 associates have refinanced more than $20 million in student debt, for an estimated $4 million in savings.

January 2016
Serving Those Who Served

Latham is committed to helping veterans to rebuild their lives. Lawyers in nearly all of the firm's US offices participate in Lawyers Serving Warriors, an initiative instituted by the nonprofit National Veterans Legal Services Program to provide legal assistance to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with disabilities. Over the past three years, Latham attorneys have taken on more than 120 matters on behalf of US veterans relating to combat-related special compensation, a significant benefit offered to eligible veterans for combat-related injuries, as well as appeals related to disability ratings under consideration of the Physical Disability Board of Review.

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Latham & Watkins LLP

885 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 906-1200

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman & Managing Partner: William H. Voge
  • Recruiting Chairs: Manu Gayatrinath (Washington, DC), Kem Ihenacho (London), Laurence Seymour (Los Angeles)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 2,000

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,470/week
    2L Scholar: $3,470/week
    1L Fellow: $3,470/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    168 out of 170 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Departments and practice groups include: Corporate (including Activism, Capital Markets, Communications, Corporate Governance, Derivatives, Emerging Companies, Investment Funds, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity, Public Company Representation, Technology Transactions) • Environment, Land & Resources (including Air Quality & Climate Change, Energy & Infrastructure Project Siting & Defense, Environmental Litigation, Environmental Regulatory, Environmental Transactions) • Finance (including Banking, Financial Regulatory, Islamic Finance, Private Equity Finance, Project Development & Finance, Public & Tax-Exempt Finance, Real Estate, Restructuring, Insolvency & Workouts, Structured Finance) • Litigation & Trial (including Antitrust & Competition, Complex Commercial Litigation, Creditors Rights & Bankruptcy Litigation, Data Privacy, Security & Cybercrime, Export Controls, Economic Sanctions & Customs, Government Contracts, Insurance Coverage Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, International Arbitration, Product Liability, Mass Torts & Consumer Class Actions, Securities Litigation & Professional Liability, Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation, White Collar Defense & Investigations) • Tax (including Benefits, Compensation & Employment, International Tax, Tax Controversy, Tax-Exempt Organizations, Transactional Tax)

    Industry groups include: Aerospace, Defense & Government Services • Automotive • Cleantech • Communications • Energy-Oil & Gas • Energy-Power • Entertainment, Sports & Media • Financial Institutions • Healthcare Services & Providers • Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure • Industrials & Manufacturing • Information Technology-Systems & Solutions • Internet & Digital Media • Life Sciences • Mining & Metals • REITs • Retail & Consumer Products • Semiconductors

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA • Chicago, IL • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Orange County, CA • San Diego, CA • San Francisco, CA • Silicon Valley, CA • Washington, DC • Barcelona • Beijing • Brussels • Dubai • Düsseldorf • Frankfurt • Hamburg • Hong Kong • London • Madrid • Milan • Moscow • Munich • Paris • Riyadh • Rome • Shanghai • Singapore • Tokyo