Latham & Watkins Reviews | Glassdoor

Latham & Watkins Reviews

Updated April 18, 2017
181 reviews

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3.8
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Latham & Watkins Global Chair & Managing Partner William Voge
William Voge
33 Ratings

181 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Entrepreneurial in nature (for a big law firm) (in 15 reviews)

  • Very good benefits; good work-life balance (in 7 reviews)

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

  • Being the largest money making law firm, they should reward their staff more (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good Firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good for big-law. Good benefits, nice holiday parties, good comp.

    Cons

    In the NY office, the work environment varies greatly depending on the department you are in. Some are progressive, great places to work while others are run by long time Latham diehards where very little good work happens.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "International Firm Strange Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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)

    "Cutthroat and backstabbing culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    No face time, have the flexibility working from home.
    High standard in terms of work quality.
    Have some talented and hardworking partners to learn from.

    Cons

    Cutthroat and backstabbing culture
    Two faced coworkers who constantly undermine other colleagues, making the job inefficient and unnecessarily difficult
    Slow moving and bureaucratic
    Stealth layoff
    Partners play favoritism and show no interest in developing junior associates
    Fratty and clique culture
    Lack of diversity
    Difficult personalities to work for

    Advice to Management

    Look around and weed out the associates who are destroying the culture of the firm and turning it into a toxic work environment.


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  5. "Good overall"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good breadth of work, strong pro bono culture

    Cons

    Lack of partnership opportunities

    Advice to Management

    Increased career mentoring


  6. "Operations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent co workers great team work room for advancement tools for training on computer skills

    Cons

    Certain managers had big egos


  7. "the review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Para Legal in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Para Legal in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    very good people to work with

    Cons

    some people are really bad to work with


  8. "Great people, standard NYC big-firm culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time

    Pros

    Most people are smart and friendly. It's an internationally recognized name, which is useful when you leave, especially is working overseas. Offices are fine.

    Cons

    The work in the NYC office can be very niche, as you might expect from an office originally set-up as a satellite of the LA headquarters. As with most NYC firms, the hours are brutal and you don't have much of a life outside of work. No on-site cafeteria. Slightly backstabbing culture, but it's certainly not the worst. Bonuses are market, but never leading.

    Advice to Management

    Turnover is very high and many employees literally hate their jobs. This mirrors most biglaw firms in NYC, but if L&W can genuinely give lawyers a work-life balance, they'll commit more to the firm. This is obviously easier said than done given client demands, however.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in Menlo Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Latham & Watkins full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very well-run business; great benefits, pay, and perks; support staff is great; firm is very efficiently run; very talented attorneys; global presence and prestigious.

    Cons

    Lots of hierarchy; hard to obtain front-line experience as a litigator; partner yelled and cursed a lot; not a lot of mentorship - had to repeatedly ask for a mentor to no avail; no diversity at the firm, especially at the partner level; stealth lay-offs; female associates did not get as many opportunities as male associates.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Latham & Watkins (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great firm, excellent culture that focuses on associates. Wouldn't work at another biglaw shop

    Cons

    Like all biglaw jobs, hours can be bad


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Technical Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Technical Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent people to work with. Extremely knowledgeable team willing to share ideas and work together toward goals. Good support from management and good work life balance for a top tier law firm. Overall, an excellent place to work that I highly recommend.

    Cons

    Can be challenging to work with a remote team depending on the office location. Open to new ideas, but it can take a long time to implement changes due to the size of the organization.


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