Latham & Watkins Reviews in Los Angeles, CA

Updated March 8, 2014
Updated March 8, 2014
83 Reviews

3.8
83 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Latham & Watkins Chairman and Managing Partner Bob Dell
Bob Dell
47 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Very social and nice people as far as law firms go (in 11 reviews)

  • Filled with really great people who care and intelligent folks who enjoy doing a good job (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • The hours can be brutal and just like any other big law firm, you are expected to do the work and not complain (in 6 reviews)

  • Like any other top law firm, they own you - and you will be expected to give everything you have (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

8 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    less talking, more doing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Support  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Support in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Benefits are good, pay is fair. Firm seems to want to develop staff, but sometimes that easier said than done.

    Cons

    Management track seems to based on tenure instead of merit, which is not always a good thing. While review system appears fair, the bottom line doesn't always match the review content.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting based on tenure. Institute a policy for working from home for exempt staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall, a great experience with LW. Most people are great to work with while some can micro manage.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    People are very nice and helpful.

    Cons

    People have long tenure at LW. Not much room for growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't micro manage every detail.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worst I.T Department I had ever worked with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Programmer  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Programmer in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Decent Salary, Decent Benefits, Free Breakfast every friday

    Cons

    Double Standard, Favoritism
    Manager throw someone under the bus in no time.
    Manager will yell at you for his mistakes
    Not allowed to talk/communicate with other coworkers in the office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    complete makeover the IT department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Favortism among staff; top-down approach to management; lack of communication; zero room for growth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Latham & Watkins

    Pros

    Free breakfast, beautiful office, ability to enhance technical skills via free online-tutorials (assuming you have time for this because you ordinarily will not/do not).

    Cons

    Favortism and attrition are the key means that staff members remain employed here. Unless you're an attorney here, your growth and development isn't as important. Performance reviews are designed to keep salary levels low and discourage opportunity to advance into anything more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask questions, listen, and don't leave any stone unturned with regard to your employees. Allocate time to deal with difficult employees rather than punishing your good/strong workers. Playing favorites and employing difficult employees is diminishing to the morale in the firm and it's harming your reputation to a host of viable candidates. Maintaining your status as an elite global law firm will be increasingly difficult in this economy, especially at the macro level so consider the skills of your managers before increasing their budgets. A good manager is a leader and a strong leader is one who develops his/her employees to help enhance/grow the firm, rather than kicking the can further down the road...

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Latham & Watkins - Great benefits, great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Support Staff  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Support Staff in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins

    Pros

    Latham provides some of the best benefits that I've seen with an employer. For the most part, they hire great people and the managers are of high caliber. The Firm is not frivoulous with their spending, but spend intelligently in order to weather the economy. They offer plenty of educational opportunities in order to improve upon your skill-set and encourage growth and promotions within the Firm.

    Cons

    Salary is not the most generous, but overall a great place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer anonymous upward reviews.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Latham: A Mixed Bag

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins

    Pros

    The name carries tremendous weight and clout when attys/staff leave for other firms or opportunities.

    Cons

    Horrid hours, frequently uneven workflow, typical big-firm style politics and personae. The trouble with top tier firms such as LW presents a bit of catch-22. Culturally-speaking, while attorneys and staff are often told (especially during recruitment or interviews) that the Firm prides itself on maintaining a "culture of collaboration" and a free and open exchange of ideas between all organizational levels within the Firm, this seems seldom, if ever, the case. We, like so many other big firms, recruit only the best of the best from the best of the best schools (or so we're encouraged to believe). With such bright an intellectually potent legal minds one frequently encounters individuals who make rather poor communicators and collaborators and often bring with them cultural/social traits which are rather difficult to reconcile with the Firm's insistance that its corporate culture is one of equity and openness. There is, much more than people are comfortable admitting, a very real and palpable "upstairs/downstairs" quality to attorney/staff interactions at Latham which regrettably seems inescapable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't deify attorneys. Treat all strata of staff as the competent, intelligent professionals they are. Be completely honest about expected job performancnce/outcome as well as required competencies/performance minimums. Most importantly, be honest with staff concerning salaries, pay rises, promotions, etc. Don't pigeonhole or limit otherwise talented staff who express an interest in exploring career opportunities in other departments or practice areas with the Firm/local office.

    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Latham & Watkins

    Pros

    Latham has earned their great reputation among the law firms: smart, nice people who are very respectful and enjoyable to work with, good benefits, amazing and useful resources within the firm, overall positive work environment, each office is unique and has different culture, one of the most respected law firms in the world.

    Cons

    Latham has a 24/7 work environment. There is not as much opportunity for administrative level employees to move up. Salaries are often not as competitive as the other major law firms especially for administrative level staff. Sometimes the procedures and policies put in place can be useful but also work against you when trying to move projects forward.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to support your administrative professionals who work hard and exceed expectations of the partners. Offer flexibility in working schedule as the 24/7 environment can really take a toll on individuals.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic resume fodder at a dramatic price

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins

    Pros

    Reputation, true meritocracy until the partnership track levels, great training and fantastic high level clients. The people at L W are nice and the environment is mostly friendly, but when the time exists for work to be done don't expect to go home. great relationships are there for the making as people seem willing to help you in your career growth path. The associates committee is receptive to suggestion and there is a real focus on setting up unhappy assocaites with a good in house position that could turn out to be a mutually beneficial situation for bot the employee and the firm.

    Cons

    It is truly a religion. You have to believe and plege your life to it. No such thing as a personal life. Working 40 hours straight is not something you are likely to avoid in your first few years tehre. The billing rates of the associates are outrageous and for that rate clients get a team of slaves willing to work around the clock to satisfy the client's needs. There is no such thing as a good excuse to be MIA if there is a deal closing. Be it a family party, visitors from out of town or your own wedding, client's needs come first.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take stock of who your bright young people are and don't burn them into the ground. Those that leave LW in their eraly years are typically the good ones who get burnt out by overuse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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