2020 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#5
- Health Care#13
- New York#12
At a Glance
“The wonderful people.”
“Positive morale and culture.”
“On-demand nature of the business.”
“The stress associated with high-profile clients and high-risk work.”
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 2,600 attorneys in 29 offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major jurisdictions in the U.S., 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.
Small Shop Gets Super Sized
Dana Latham—former commissioner of the IRS—and Paul Watkins founded the firm in 1934 to focus on tax and employment law. In the latter part of the 20th century, the firm began aggressively and steadily expanding around the globe. Despite its sprawling footprint, Latham has long disavowed the notions of headquarters and “satellite” offices, with the firm proudly touting its “one firm” culture. 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.
Junior associates at Latham are part of the firm’s “Unassigned Program” and can experience assignments across areas—which at Latham includes multiple top-ranked practices. In Vault’s recent practice area rankings, the firm placed in a whopping 24 areas. The firm’s recognized practices are wide ranging and include everything from environmental law and project finance to health care and securities to intellectual property and white collar defense—plus so much more.
But just because juniors are unassigned doesn’t mean they have no direction; the firm offers extensive training at all levels. First years are trained through the firm’s core curriculum, which focuses on practical lawyering skills like legal research, persuasive writing, contract drafting, practice management, document review, due diligence, and more. The firm also offers training academies that take place over several days and are based on specific skill levels from summer associate all the way through new partners.
Perks for Parents
In addition to the firm’s generous parental leave policies (we’re talking up to 26 weeks of paid leave for birth mothers, 22 weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents, and 14 weeks of paid leave for other parents), Latham also helps attorneys successfully reintegrate into practice through its PRO-RATA program, which is a “pace reduction” program that automatically gives new parents the option of returning at a reduced schedule for six months. Nursing mothers who travel for business can take advantage of breastmilk shipping. And benefit-wise, the firm offers both surrogacy reimbursement and financial assistance for adoptions and fertility treatments. No wonder the firm has been recognized as one of Working Mother’s “Best Law Firms for Women.”
News & Awards
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 was named by The American Lawyer to its prestigious A-List for the 16th year in a row, marking the firm’s inclusion every year since the list’s inception in 2003. The multi-faceted ranking highlights “the country’s most well-rounded, elite firms” based on “a combination of factors, both financial and cultural,” according to The American Lawyer.
In 2018, 100 percent of Latham’s U.S. lawyers worked on a pro bono matter, and the firm has donated approximately 3.5 million pro bono hours since 2000. The firm’s recent efforts include serving as pro bono counsel to the Legal Services Corporation Disaster Task Force. The Latham team is devising scalable legal strategies to create a nationwide framework for preparing and responding to civil legal needs for low-income victims of natural disasters.
A Latham capital markets team represented Spotify, the world’s largest global music streaming subscription service, in its groundbreaking direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The first-of-its-kind deal was called “a crowning achievement not only for Latham, but for the entire market in 2018” by Law360.
- Select highlights across decades of litigation successes include a landmark antitrust victory in 2004 that cleared the path for Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft (U.S. v. Oracle Corp.).
- The firm’s many appearances before the Supreme Court include a 2012 ruling that a death row inmate’s failure to meet a filing deadline should not be used as a basis for denying his constitutional claims for relief (Maples), and the successful defense of the University of Texas’ use of race as a factor in admissions in 2016 (Fisher).
- In 2019, Latham obtained a trial victory in the first federal securities class action to reach a jury verdict in nearly 10 years (Hsu v. Puma Biotechnology Inc. et al.).
- Innovative Lawyers, 2018 (Financial Times)
- Top score of 100% in the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, and among the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality (Human Rights Campaign)
- International Law Firm of the Year, 2018 (Legal Week)
- Pro Bono Hot List, 2018 (National Law Journal)
- Best Law Firms for Women, 2018 (Working Mother Magazine)
885 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 906-1200
Chair and Managing Partner: Richard M. Trobman
Recruiting Chairs: Abid Qureshi (Global Chair), Julie Crisp (Vice Chair-U.S.), Deborah Kirk (Vice Chair-EAME)
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
2.5K - 3K
All U.S. offices
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
Summer Associate Offers:
186 out of 187 (2Ls) (2019) *Composition of 2L class changed during the summer.
No. of Summer Associates:
200 total (188 2Ls; 12 1Ls) (2019)
Director of Associate Recruiting
Century City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Banking & Financial Services
Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
General Commercial Litigation
General Corporate Practice
Intellectual Property Litigation
Labor & Employment
Mergers & Acquisitions
Media, Entertainment & Sports
Privacy & Data Security
White Collar & Internal Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.