2019 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#14
- Pro Bono#21
- Health Care#12
- New York#12
“No face-time requirement”
“First years have to share offices”
“Unpredictability of work flow”
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 2,500 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.
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, former Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Chris Brearton, Chief Operating Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Christopher Cox, former Chairman of the SEC; Sean Edgett, General Counsel of Twitter; Donald Remy, General Counsel of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); and DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). Quite the impressive roster.
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 22 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. Latham also has a breast milk shipping program for nursing mothers (including attorneys’ spouses and domestic partners) who travel for business. 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
Latham serves as pro bono counsel to the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, a group of experts, policymakers and advocates charged with analyzing the correctional facilities on Rikers Island, notorious for violent and inhumane conditions. Chaired by Judge Jonathan Lippman, of counsel in Latham’s New York office, in 2017 the commission released a report recommending that Rikers be closed. More than 30 lawyers and staff contributed to this high-profile project and continue to represent the commission as it implements these and other recommendations to reform the NYC criminal justice system.
Latham is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting diverse legal talent at the firm and in the profession at large. Diversity Leadership Academy brings together attorneys and law students to develop leaders in the legal industry. Latham invests in its 1L Fellowship Program, which provides an opportunity to work at Latham and with a client, and its 2L Diversity Scholars Program, through which select U.S. law students receive a $25,000 scholarship and an employment offer. Latham’s Diversity Leadership Committee spearheads the firm’s global diversity initiatives together with its Women Enriching Business Committee, affinity groups and Multicultural Promotion and Attainment Coalition.
Latham represented Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming subscription service, in its groundbreaking direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Unlike in a traditional initial public offering, Spotify did not offer any new shares and there were no underwriters, a first-of-its-kind deal that required innovative thinking and a sophisticated understanding of securities laws.
Latham’s global platform attracts top legal talent across markets. The firm transformed its practice in Spain, for example, with the recent additions of Juan Picón, the former Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper, and a team of corporate partners that also includes the former Prime Minister of Spain, José Maria Aznar.
Latham again ranked among the Top 10 law firms in the Financial Times’ 2017 North America Innovative Lawyers index, earning recognition across a variety of categories for landmark legal work, creative business strategies and individual leadership. The annual report reflected Latham’s pioneering approaches to the practice and business of law, as well as the visionary efforts of Chief Operating Officer LeeAnn Black, who was named a Top 10 legal innovator.
Among the plethora of awards won by the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department, Latham was honored as Dispute Resolution International Firm of the Year by China Law & Practice for helping clients resolve high-stakes arbitration proceedings, enforcement actions and shareholders’ disputes. Soon after, Law360 named the firm’s global Antitrust, Technology, and White Collar teams as Practice Groups of the Year, and the National Law Journal recognized Latham with top overall honors in its DC Litigation Department of the Year contest and as a winner in the IP litigation category.
885 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 906-1200
Employer Type: Private
Chair and Managing Partner: Richard M. Trobman
Vice-Chairs: Ora T. Fisher and Brad Kotler
Recruiting Chairs: Abid Qureshi (Chair); Julie Crisp (Vice-Chair, US); and Ross Anderson (Vice-Chair, EAME)
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 2,000
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year: $350,000
Summer associate: $3,700/week
2L Scholar: $3,700/week
1L Fellow: $3,700/week
192 out of 193 (2Ls) (2018)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Departments and practice groups include
Environment, Land & Resources
Litigation & Trial
Industry groups include
: Aerospace, Defense & Government Services
Energy-Oil & Gas
Entertainment, Sports & Media
Healthcare Services & Providers
Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure
Industrials & Manufacturing
Information Technology-Systems & Solutions
Internet & Digital Media
Mining & Metals
Retail & Consumer Products