The Legal Cheek View
“There is no formal training” at Latham & Watkins, an insider at the firm tells us, “Just doing”. And what did you expect at an organisation where the NQ salary is £124,000? To justify that extraordinary remuneration, Latham’s rookies are expected to hit the ground running. That means grindingly long hours dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s on the high-end corporate finance transactions in which the firm specialises.
Still, this is not quite the Wild West environment of some of the small US firm London offices, where UK trainees can be something of an after thought. With 24 training contracts a year on offer, Latham offers more London graduate opportunities than many sizeable British firms and as such has a fairly well-developed (if minimalist) training infrastructure.
What’s more, unlike certain big-paying US outfits which offer few to zero international secondment opportunities for trainees, Latham allows its youngsters decent travel opportunities. Hong Kong is the most popular placement destination.
The perks are, basically, money, but the firm is also said to be “not stingy with evening and weekend meals and taxis, and good about reimbursing cancelled social plans”. These aren’t really extras, though, so much as “mitigants of the downsides of working here”. Oh, and there’s a funky iPad coffee maker to facilitate the delivery of caffeine.
Which brings us to the hours – pithily summed up by one London rookie as “7 on a good day, you don't on a bad day”.