Latham a Risky Choice

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Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:53 pm

I am currently considering an offer from Latham. I like the firm a great deal (esp the unassigned program). I know has it dropped a bit but does anyone thing it presents a risky choice in terms of job security etc. Or do you think that fear has passed? Thanks!

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently considering an offer from Latham. I like the firm a great deal (esp the unassigned program). I know has it dropped a bit but does anyone thing it presents a risky choice in terms of job security etc. Or do you think that fear has passed? Thanks!


I'll be struggling with this decision myself if I get an offer from Latham. I guess the answer depends on what other firms you're considering. I'd prefer to go to a firm that hasn't had any layoffs, but Latham is definitely better than firms that haven't given many of their summers full time offers.

Congrats on the offer though. Would you mind sharing which office, when you had your callback, and when you heard about the offer?

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:02 pm

I think I interviewed on a Friday and heard back about 11 days later. I mean pretty much every firm has laid people off, but the stigma w/ Latham is certainly substantial.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote: the stigma w/ Latham is certainly substantial.


Indeed:

--LinkRemoved--

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:10 pm

I imagine it will be OK, though. It is like how it was extra safe to fly planes right after 9/11 (not trying to joke).

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby NYAssociate » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:28 pm

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:29 pm

NYAssociate wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: the stigma w/ Latham is certainly substantial.


Indeed:

--LinkRemoved--


Please do not tell me you used urbandictionary for proof of substantial stigma. There is substantial stigma, but anyone can submit an entry to urbandictionary. And it's not that hard to get approved.



There are two entries. TWO.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby NYAssociate » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:32 pm

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:35 pm

do you think Latham will jump back to V10 anytime in the new future?

also, fwiw, latham has not deferred anyone and has had pretty high SA offer rates... i prefer that to still being deferred indefinitely...

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:45 pm

Your firm's "V" status isn't going to mean much to you once you are working, within that range of top firms.

Latham is going to see poor recruiting #s for the next two-three years, I think. Then incoming law students won't really know better/care, assuming there is a recovery.

Bad for them (great for solid firms like GDC). Good for law students who wouldn't have had a chance at L in better times. Lots of firms behaved badly, Latham took the biggest PR hit. I'm sure they are still a very good firm, and absent "better" choices, you should probably look at their record semi-objectively, without worrying about PR, but looking at what happened there in relation to your other options, and taking other things into consideration, like fit, location, strengths of practices, etc.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:03 pm

I think the above is really helpful in how to go about this. To be honest I do have one offer from a higher "V" firm. But, I really didn't like the people, and they have a tremendous deferral rate (in terms of length of deferrals/number of SAs taking deferrals at those lengths), whereas Latham's deferral situation this summer is not as egregious. Those kind of deferrals that occurred past summer at the other firm rightly or wrongly scare me more than what Latham did 2 years ago. I feel like a firm that does that after all that has transpired is just waiting for another bubble to burst re personnel. I also am totally digging Latham's unassigned system and think the people/vibe there is the right fit for me. I just want to make sure this reasoning isn't completely off-base.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:18 pm

I honestly think Latham isn't as bad as people say it is.

1) There are many firms that laid off just as many, but stealthily.
2) Because they were stealth, disguised as performance-based, severance was correspondingly lower
3) Latham "lead the market" in severance packages. 6 months I believe.

Before DPW's layoffs were publicized, severance was at 2 months. After the story appeared on ATL, severance increased to three months.

I also think it's bad to go through the job search having been laid off, but I think being laid off for economic reasons gives you a slight edge of people laid off for performance reasons, even though the latter lay offs were mostly economy-related.

Regarding lay-offs vs. deferrals:
I think they're both essentially the same thing in abstraction: Strategies for dealing with associates who can't generate revenue for the firm because they don't have any work to bill. Deferrals are risky because they rest on the prediction that work will return. This puts the firm in the difficult position of having to rescind offers if it doesn't, which is probably a bigger black mark than deferring. For some firms, this gamble paid off (Cravath is a good example), and they get the positive press of having un-deferred people.

Latham's move might have reflected a managerial desire not to rest the future of one's firm on a prediction, given how unprecedented the economic crisis was/is, and also that top talent would be theirs for the picking if they needed more bodies.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I honestly think Latham isn't as bad as people say it is.

1) There are many firms that laid off just as many, but stealthily.
2) Because they were stealth, disguised as performance-based, severance was correspondingly lower
3) Latham "lead the market" in severance packages. 6 months I believe.

Before DPW's layoffs were publicized, severance was at 2 months. After the story appeared on ATL, severance increased to three months.

I also think it's bad to go through the job search having been laid off, but I think being laid off for economic reasons gives you a slight edge of people laid off for performance reasons, even though the latter lay offs were mostly economy-related.

Regarding lay-offs vs. deferrals:
I think they're both essentially the same thing in abstraction: Strategies for dealing with associates who can't generate revenue for the firm because they don't have any work to bill. Deferrals are risky because they rest on the prediction that work will return. This puts the firm in the difficult position of having to rescind offers if it doesn't, which is probably a bigger black mark than deferring. For some firms, this gamble paid off (Cravath is a good example), and they get the positive press of having un-deferred people.

Latham's move might have reflected a managerial desire not to rest the future of one's firm on a prediction, given how unprecedented the economic crisis was/is, and also that top talent would be theirs for the picking if they needed more bodies.


I disagree. Deferral=/=laid off at all. There isa chance you can come back after the deferral, and, in a lot of instances, people have come back.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:24 pm

I disagree. Deferral=/=laid off at all. There isa chance you can come back after the deferral, and, in a lot of instances, people have come back.


Again, they are different for obvious reasons.

But they are the same in that they represent strategies for dealing with the same problem: A decrease in productivity.

And for some firms, a deferral might as well be a lay-off. Definitely not places like Skadden or Cravath. Think firms that have already rescinded offers. At least with a lay-off, you have a decent heads up and you have a sense of whether they're happening. The rescinded offers completely blindsighted people.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:07 am

have a latham dc offer and very close to accepting... other people with latham offers, where else are you looking at??

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Unemployed » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:do you think Latham will jump back to V10 anytime in the new future?

also, fwiw, latham has not deferred anyone and has had pretty high SA offer rates... i prefer that to still being deferred indefinitely...


To be fair, they can't Latham someone without giving her an offer first.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:43 am

Currently entertaining an offer as well. I think it's definitely true that they are bearing the brunt of the criticism that should be spread more evenly among most firms. Latham also had particularly high exposure to the financial crisis, which is not really their fault. However, there's no denying that their layoffs were massive. Personally I think Skadden, for example, have been saints through this whole crisis, and I don't think it's been easy for them, and it matters that they made the effort and were able to get through this without massive layoffs. The same can't be said for Latham. But people have short memories and for law students, it's easy to ignore it because it didn't happen to us or our class.

That said, here's the pragmatic side. Latham over the last 20 years has had a stellar reputation, and that means that the people there are top notch, because they had their pick of students. Looking through their associates on the website, everyone is really impressive. I, like the rest of you, also enjoyed meeting the people there. They were genuinely nice, seemed pretty happy despite the trauma, and seemed like really sincere people. The unassigned program, if it's anything like it's cracked up to be, is amazing, and a huge investment from the firm that its associates get the benefit of. The clients and work probably hasn't changed much. And finally, on a truly cynical note, older attorneys are not going to notice that you entered Latham during the years when they were having hiring troubles. So you're potentially getting a lot of bang for your buck in resume value.

In the end it'll probably come down to my other options, but I will say that visiting a Latham office definitely presents a more balanced picture of the firm than reading above the law.

EDIT: oh and finally (and perhaps more on topic) I don't think it's risky at all. I think they will have near 100% offer rates for years to come. People of course will still be laid off for performance, but other than that, probably a pretty safe place to be.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:24 am

Another one with an offer there here (NY office), facing similar quandries. I really liked the people I met with; a senior associate I met with was probably the coolest guy I've met with at any firm (and had done some really interesting deals). I guess I'm coming to similar conclusions given the fact that almost every firm out there seems to have done so stealthily, even so-called "safe" firms (my older sister's a lawyer and her friends got let go from DPW, GDC, S&C, CSM, etc.). And at Skadden, where I'm also considering, I get the weird sense that they're having trouble incorporating all those people they deferred (so it actually seems significantly riskier).

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby chup » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think it's definitely true that they are bearing the brunt of the criticism that should be spread more evenly among most firms. Latham also had particularly high exposure to the financial crisis, which is not really their fault. However, there's no denying that their layoffs were massive.

I can't really comment on the rest (other than to say that you don't seem to be taking into account the long-term effects on morale of an office that saw massive layoffs and generally shitty treatment of its junior associates), but the bolded is just patently untrue. Firms like Latham put themselves in these positions by throwing bodies and money at a bubble as fast as they possibly could. Talk to a firm like Jones Day about how high exposure to financial risk isn't any particular firm's fault and they will laugh in your face.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby 270910 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:46 am

It probably gets a worse rep than it deserves.
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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:59 am

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:57 pm

I'm just worried about the possibility of a double dip. If it does happen, can I trust that my firm will be loyal to me, especially as a first year associate? I think it's the greatest reservation I have about Latham at this point. Job security and paying back loans are more important than V# or "prestige" to me. Just trying to think 5 years down the road.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby dresden doll » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I imagine it will be OK, though. It is like how it was extra safe to fly planes right after 9/11 (not trying to joke).


I actually agree with this. They took a huge PR hit; I don't think they'll be angling for another one.

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:07 pm

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Re: Latham a Risky Choice

Postby edcrane » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:20 pm

Totally depends on your other choices. I'd probably be indifferent between Latham and Shearman, for example, but I wouldn't take it over PW, even if I felt like my Latham interviewers were a little friendlier, etc. The bottom line is that Latham has no reputation to preserve; in the event of a double dip, it will likely cut with abandon.




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