Latham & Watkins Legal Secretary Reviews | Glassdoor

Latham & Watkins Legal Secretary Reviews

Updated April 13, 2017
11 reviews

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Legal Secretary

4.3
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Latham & Watkins Global Chair & Managing Partner William Voge
William Voge
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Long hours, high expectations for paralegals (in 18 reviews)

  • Being the largest money making law firm, they should reward their staff more (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Legal Secretary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Legal Secretary in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Legal Secretary in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Awesome people to work with. I truly enjoyed mastering the challenges there. They had the best of everything while I was there with them, and they were happy to share.

    Cons

    Latham is scaling down the home office (Los Angeles) as many of the older partners are retiring and those left there would prefer to work in the new Century City office as that is closer to where they live. This does not bode well for many of the staff, most of whom do not live near there.

    Advice to Management

    You are all doing a great job and I appreciate the encouragement and guidance you gave me during the 18 years I was at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles. Keep up the good work.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "International Firm Strange Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Salary - high as long as you strongly negotiate; status of L&W on your resume.

    Cons

    Admin for Staff: insultingly strict (miss a subway and 3 minutes late? goes into your file, even if you make up the time; reverse is also true->back from lunch early because your boss asked you to be? OK, but must receive OT aproval in advance (what happens when mgmt is out to lunch? tell your supervisor you can't do OT). You're told to send out all "work": copies to copy department, faxes to fax dept, catering to catering, conference room, etc....far too many avenues for major errors to occur to the dismay of bosses & very "high-value" clients and it will be your fault. Meanwhile, you get to sit at your desk and NOT use the internet, phone, cellphone, for personal use (something I agree with, but when you're bored...?) etc. My years of experience is wasted; when I ask if any surrounding attys would like some assistance...a resounding "no" and permanent stinkeye & gossip from their secretary. Don't dare to ask for something to do. "Just send it to .... department".

    Advice to Management

    Don't pay salary according to job title, instead pay according to the work that the department/role in question actually does (copy department worked far more than I did and deserved more salary). Eliminate the HR attitude and walking around at 5pm to be sure all staff is (a) gone for the day or (b) approved for OT. Provide opportunities for growth. Expect attorneys to pass on more work to staff. We can do it.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Corporate Legal Secretary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in La Verne, CA
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in La Verne, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good company to work for.

    Cons

    There is a reduction of secretarial jobs within the firm.

    Advice to Management

    Should be more sympathetic to staff employees.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "legal secretary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in Van Nuys, CA
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in Van Nuys, CA

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    They pay well - that's the only "pro" I can think of.

    Cons

    There are many cons. Management is terrible, and they provide a very unpleasant atmosphere to work under. They are very cut-throat at that firm.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Legal Secretary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in Jersey City, NJ
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in Jersey City, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Large majority of the lawyers are humane.

    Cons

    Don't pay well. Other firms pay 10 to 20k more. Manager is a yes [wo]man.

    Advice to Management

    pay better


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Great company but huge machine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in New York, NY
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Excellent benefits compared to other companies
    -One of the things the firm has going for it is its fantastic culture which is really collegial with great people.
    -Lots of opportunities to make yourself stand out.

    Cons

    -Unless you're an attorney or someone higher up in the staff, you're just another cog in the machine.
    -Work you do is not valued and does not contribute to success of firm.
    -Relationships between staff and management can be a bit political.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent working conditions and benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Goal was to create global law firm with small office environment

    Cons

    Lost that tight-knit family feel through growth of firm; too many management layers in organization.

    Advice to Management

    Create avenues of growth for administrative and legal support staff. Shed the legal secretaries who are not carrying their weight, but "married" to their partners. Giving them raises/bonuses just because of who their partners are hurts morale of the best employees.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work if you are not a secretary."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in Chicago, IL
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Outstanding benefits and perks. Free Pop. Free donuts/fruit every Friday. Charitable jeans day every Friday. Staff appreciation days (seasonal treats). Chair Massages.

    Cons

    After the big lay-off, every employee was made whole (bonuses raised, raises reinstated) EXCEPT FOR SECRETARIES. Despite the perks, we would happily trade all of it for our previous pay (including raises and bonuses).


  9. "Work Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly and welcoming staff members
    Encourage the learning and development of staff

    Cons

    Nothing to say on this matter


  10. Helpful (1)

    "The job is perfect if you like boredom and being looked down"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits package is definitely a plus. It comprehends a very good health insurance and a pension plan.

    Cons

    No chance to career-up and lack of managerial skills for the people who should be in charge . Very strong hierarchy and inability to put balance among employees workload.

    Advice to Management

    Attorneys are not Medieval Landlords who can dispose of their staff as if they were vassals. You need to motivate your employees to work for you and stop considering them just empty brainless jars.