I see your point...
Basically you're saying Latham has no reputation only to the extent
that, in the event of a double dip recession, they might be more willing to fire younger associates than other firms, who would also be forced to lay off young attorneys as well.
I suppose that may be fair... but a LOT of other big firms did the same thing, but they just weren't as large as Latham. I mean, shouldn't all 1st-3rd year associates worry about their job during a recession? If you're really worried about another recession, just go into Bankruptcy law!
I think a lot of firms with big layoffs (not just Latham) have gotten a pretty bad name for doing what, in any other industry, would be considered just another rational business decision.
Back on topic. If this is something that worries you (the riskiness of being a young associate at a firm with layoffs), this seems to be a post-offer topic to discuss with attorneys at the firm, at other firms, and maybe try to track down some ex-associates for a more well rounded view. Everything you hear on forums like these are going to be 3rd, 4th, 5th hand rumors/speculation mixed with hyperbole and miscommunications. Seems an odd place to get life advice!