What's the Real Deal with Latham

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Old Gregg
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, I'm fucking sure you would've rather been at Latham.


He/she didn't say that he/she would rather be at Latham. He/she simply said that he/she would have rather been "Latham'd" at Latham than "pushed out of" DP. I think that most attorneys, on assessing the situation, would agree.


Yup. Anonymous dude can't read worth shit.

Anonymous User
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:22 am

There are enough Latham apologists in this thread so I'll limit my comment to this: your problem doesn't seem to be anything a little self-confidence won't fix. I am proud to work at Latham. When people bring up the layoffs I am honest about how I feel about it - I acknowledge that it was brutal and that it's definitely still a black mark for the firm. But if I regret anything about my decision (95% of the time I don't) it's missed opportunities from turning down other options, not the fact that people talk shit about my job in the comments on ATL.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Would rather be part of a massive layoff than be stealthed for "performance reasons." In the former situation I get severance and I don't have as much of a black mark when looking for a new job. In the latter situation, some firms used the situation to provide no severance, whereas other firms didn't even provide as much severance as Latham, and on top of that stealthed associates looked like they were fired because they were incompetent, which put them at a disadvantage when they looked for that new job.

I'd go so far as to say that I'd rather have been Latham'd than pushed out of Davis Polk.


You don't really know how stealth layoffs work, do you? There's no black mark, and it's not immediate, so you're actually at much more of a disadvantage if you get Lathamed.

How stealth layoffs generally work is you'll be told in your performance review that your future at the firm is in question, and be given 6 months to look for a job. During this 6 months you continue to be employed at your firm, but obviously they aren't giving you too much work given that you'll be leaving soon. So when you go on interviews, it looks as if you still have a job and are performing fine, you just want to change firms (for cultural reasons, practice areas, whatever). Unless someone directly asks (which they never do), you don't have to say anything about the fact you were told to look for a job. And as a matter of policy firms will not say you were laid off for performance reason - all they will ever confirm to a prospective employer is that you in fact worked there, and your dates of employment.

If you are Lathamed, you are called into an office and told you are being laid off and made to leave the same day. When you look for work, there's no way you can disguise the fact you were laid off, since you're not currently employed.

Would you still rather be Lathamed?

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:18 am

If you have other options, why in the world would you go to Latham? If you don't, why the fuck are you asking this question?

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:41 am

Aside from a few uber-prestigious firms (WLRK, W&C) all firms carry with them the possibility of a stealth or not-so-stealth layoff. Work dried up at Latham, partners ran the firm, and partners didn't want their earnings reduced by the bad economy so they laid off a bunch of associates. A law firm is a business just like any other: engineers, financial sector employees, and even some health care employees were laid off because people running these businesses are looking out for #1 above all else.

itbdvorm
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby itbdvorm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would rather be part of a massive layoff than be stealthed for "performance reasons." In the former situation I get severance and I don't have as much of a black mark when looking for a new job. In the latter situation, some firms used the situation to provide no severance, whereas other firms didn't even provide as much severance as Latham, and on top of that stealthed associates looked like they were fired because they were incompetent, which put them at a disadvantage when they looked for that new job.

I'd go so far as to say that I'd rather have been Latham'd than pushed out of Davis Polk.


You would've been much, much more likely to have been Latham-ed as a first year than pushed out from Davis Polk as a first year.

Look at the attorney counts at three firms over the last few years:
http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2430111960 (2008)
http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2489360193 (2010)

Davis Polk grew by 14%, Sullivan grew by 13%, while Latham contracted by 8%.

Look at these #'s: http://xoxohth.com/thread.php?thread_id ... forum_id=2

Latham cut 34% of the associates in NY and DC, disproportionately in the junior ranks.

Latham cut 99 associates in NY from an office of ~300, versus (according to ATL's estimates), DPW cutting 20-30 associates in NY from an office of ~600, and Sullivan cutting 15-20 associates in NY from an office of ~600. Plus, Latham did additional stealth layoffs after the real layoffs: http://lawshucks.com/2009/11/nlj-number ... h-layoffs/

Yeah, I'm fucking sure you would've rather been at Latham.


You do realize, of course, that the Xoxo thread compares NALP numbers (reported by the firm) with website numbers (only attorneys admitted in the relevant jurisdiction)? So of course it's significantly lower - it leaves out the entire first year class.

Both DPW and S&C cut SIGNIFICANTLY more than you're suggesting. In each of those two years, 100+ person classes were coming into the firm (and no one was leaving). The growth would have been enormous unless significant cuts were undertaken. Ask some folks at the senior associate ranks. And good luck finding that new job in that 6 month "get out" period back then...so afterwards, you're the fired guy, not the laid off guy.

Furthermore, where do you / should you feel safer: a firm that has made itself leaner over the past few years, or a firm that still has fat to cut a la DPW/S&C?

As someone working at none of these places, I'm legitimately asking. I'm not sure what the right answer is.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:26 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would rather be part of a massive layoff than be stealthed for "performance reasons." In the former situation I get severance and I don't have as much of a black mark when looking for a new job. In the latter situation, some firms used the situation to provide no severance, whereas other firms didn't even provide as much severance as Latham, and on top of that stealthed associates looked like they were fired because they were incompetent, which put them at a disadvantage when they looked for that new job.

I'd go so far as to say that I'd rather have been Latham'd than pushed out of Davis Polk.


You would've been much, much more likely to have been Latham-ed as a first year than pushed out from Davis Polk as a first year.

Look at the attorney counts at three firms over the last few years:
http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2430111960 (2008)
http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2489360193 (2010)

Davis Polk grew by 14%, Sullivan grew by 13%, while Latham contracted by 8%.

Look at these #'s: http://xoxohth.com/thread.php?thread_id ... forum_id=2

Latham cut 34% of the associates in NY and DC, disproportionately in the junior ranks.

Latham cut 99 associates in NY from an office of ~300, versus (according to ATL's estimates), DPW cutting 20-30 associates in NY from an office of ~600, and Sullivan cutting 15-20 associates in NY from an office of ~600. Plus, Latham did additional stealth layoffs after the real layoffs: http://lawshucks.com/2009/11/nlj-number ... h-layoffs/

Yeah, I'm fucking sure you would've rather been at Latham.


You do realize, of course, that the Xoxo thread compares NALP numbers (reported by the firm) with website numbers (only attorneys admitted in the relevant jurisdiction)? So of course it's significantly lower - it leaves out the entire first year class.

Both DPW and S&C cut SIGNIFICANTLY more than you're suggesting. In each of those two years, 100+ person classes were coming into the firm (and no one was leaving). The growth would have been enormous unless significant cuts were undertaken. Ask some folks at the senior associate ranks. And good luck finding that new job in that 6 month "get out" period back then...so afterwards, you're the fired guy, not the laid off guy.

Furthermore, where do you / should you feel safer: a firm that has made itself leaner over the past few years, or a firm that still has fat to cut a la DPW/S&C?

As someone working at none of these places, I'm legitimately asking. I'm not sure what the right answer is.


The XOXO thread addresses the NALP versus website issue. Comparing the 2008 NALP numbers for Latham NY to today: 293 -> 233 (20% reduction even after bringing on 22 laterals)

As for # of entry-level hires brought on board, DPW grew by 90 attorneys from 2008 to 2010 while bringing on board 162 entry-level associates (out of a 100-person summer class, a big chunk will leave for other firms or for clerkships). Say 25 people were pushed out, as ATL estimates. That leaves about 50 people unaccounted for. It's quite possible for 50 people to have left on their own accord in the last two years. The lateral market actually started heating up less than a year after the mass-layoffs, especially in NY.

As for cutting the fat---there is no indication that DPW or S&C have fat to cut. Both grew, but both also grew top line revenue by around ~10%. Latham's revenues have been flat, possibly because they don't have the bodies to take on more work.

What happened at Latham was simply a bad business decision. They thought that the downturn in legal demand would be much more protracted than it was, and fired too many people. It cost $80k in severance to fire a junior associate, followed by another $50k-70k in recruiting costs to turn around and hire a replacement 9 months later. They almost certainly lost money from the firings.

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Old Gregg
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:41 pm

You don't really know how stealth layoffs work, do you?


(1) Davis Polk stealthees were given 3 months to look for a new job.
(2) You don't really know how hiring works, do you? You're in the thick of the economic crisis, you're a legal recruiter at another big law firm, and you get a resume from someone at Davis Polk who's looking to leave. What's the first thought that comes through your mind?

lol.

CanuckObserver
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby CanuckObserver » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:48 am

I know a few people who went through stealth layoffs as a result of the economy. After seeing the stress they went through, I know I would rather be dealt with openly, and receive a sizable severance, then deal with the emotional strain that came along with being "stealthily" laid off (it's not that stealthy, because you know and everyone else knows it too...).

And not all stealth layoffs come in the form of 3-6 months "notice". Many more come in the form of slow starvation of work followed by negative performance reviews (where they were all positive before). Sure, you "know" it is coming as you have seen it before, and so does everyone else. That just makes it feel 1,000x worse to show up at work everyday so you can keep getting paid (and either twiddling your thumbs or getting crap work, and hearing negative reviews that you know are unfair) until the final axe drops. At least with Latham you got a severance and did not have to keep showing up pretending all was fine and dandy; and could get out there are start looking around for something else.

Yes, they had said they would not be laying anyone off. But things got worse than expected. Things changed and thus their position had to change as well. No job is ever certain.

Also, any potential employers knew what happened at Latham, and what was happening at other firms. It was not like someone still working and going through a "stealth layoff" looked better on paper than someone who was laid off by Latham. Also, it was hard for ANYONE to find new employment, whatever form the layoff took.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:51 pm

I see accepting my offer at Latham as a win/win. Either I get a great job, or I can consider myself a member of the 'Ghosts of 2013.' Equal chance of successful pickup line either way.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:58 pm

The day after I got into law school, I told a secretary at the firm where I was working. She said, "Just promise me you'll never work for Latham." Why, I asked. "I worked there for 5 years and hated every minute of it. On my first day, I introduced myself to a partner, who scoffed at me and walked away. I then found out 'you're not supposed to talk to any of the attorneys.'"

Says everything you need to know about its culture.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:51 pm

Or just one person's opinion of it. I summered there and there was not one secretary who was ignored or treated poorly from what I saw. Partners regularly interacted with them.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:56 pm

I imagine a lot of a firm's culture will depend on location. I'm guessing the people at Latham LA will be more similar to Gibson LA or Paul Hastings LA, than they will be like Latham NYC.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:The day after I got into law school, I told a secretary at the firm where I was working. She said, "Just promise me you'll never work for Latham." Why, I asked. "I worked there for 5 years and hated every minute of it. On my first day, I introduced myself to a partner, who scoffed at me and walked away. I then found out 'you're not supposed to talk to any of the attorneys.'"

Says everything you need to know about its culture.


I have heard the regular criticisms Latham (boom-bust business model, too fratty, etc.), but a "bad place for secretaries" criticism is one of the last things that I would expect, and I think that its general accuracy is highly unlikely.

Bachmann and the HPV vaccine mom, anyone?

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The day after I got into law school, I told a secretary at the firm where I was working. She said, "Just promise me you'll never work for Latham." Why, I asked. "I worked there for 5 years and hated every minute of it. On my first day, I introduced myself to a partner, who scoffed at me and walked away. I then found out 'you're not supposed to talk to any of the attorneys.'"

Says everything you need to know about its culture.


I have heard the regular criticisms Latham (boom-bust business model, too fratty, etc.), but a "bad place for secretaries" criticism is one of the last things that I would expect, and I think that its general accuracy is highly unlikely.

Bachmann and the HPV vaccine mom, anyone?


I don't know anything about Latham's secretaries, but it's definitely something that people should watch out for on a CB. One of the things I loved about DPW is that the secretaries are all middle-aged women who have been there for 15-20 years. People are extremely respectful of their secretaries, and I think it says a lot for how civil the culture is.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:45 am

It's obviously an office-to-office distinction, but I definitely saw people that were at LW for over 20 years and just knew everything and were extremely well-respected.

People shouldn't make decisions just based on one person's opinion, obviously.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:32 pm

Relevant to this thread re: stealth layoffs versus open layoffs: http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdail ... ugees.html

According to a study, 65% of attorneys laid off from Heller, Thalen, etc, in 2008-2009 found jobs in NLJ250 firms. This suggests that there were more available positions for people getting stealth-ed and being told to find new jobs than some ITT may have assumed.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:14 am

Great thread, but outdated. Anyone care to comment on the wisdom of picking LW these days, considering the improved business environment, layoffs at other firms, and other considerations? Latham is a good fit for me in terms of practice areas and geography. I have offers at other firms, some ranked higher, some lower, but Latham seems to hit most boxes for me, except for the massive uncertainty of financial stability. Thanks a million.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby mr. wednesday » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Great thread, but outdated. Anyone care to comment on the wisdom of picking LW these days, considering the improved business environment, layoffs at other firms, and other considerations? Latham is a good fit for me in terms of practice areas and geography. I have offers at other firms, some ranked higher, some lower, but Latham seems to hit most boxes for me, except for the massive uncertainty of financial stability. Thanks a million.

You could be laid off at any firm. You could be no offered at any firm. Even if neither of those things happen, chances are overwhelming that you'll be gone in a few years anyway. So if you really like it there more than other places, you can decide the risk is worth it. If you're looking at a 2L summer I'd be most concerned with offer rate, because you are a lot more likely to graduate unemployed than to be latham'd.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:06 am

Pretty sure they no-offered 2 summers out of 20 something or so last year in the NY office. HTH

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:13 am

What was the offer rate for summer 2013?
Also curious to hear what the general word is on Latham these days.

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IAFG
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby IAFG » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:Great thread, but outdated. Anyone care to comment on the wisdom of picking LW these days, considering the improved business environment, layoffs at other firms, and other considerations? Latham is a good fit for me in terms of practice areas and geography. I have offers at other firms, some ranked higher, some lower, but Latham seems to hit most boxes for me, except for the massive uncertainty of financial stability. Thanks a million.

It's really not outdated. Latham poses the same risk it did 2 years ago.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:What was the offer rate for summer 2013?
Also curious to hear what the general word is on Latham these days.

24/26 in the New York office last year. The other offices I checked all show 100%.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:16 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What was the offer rate for summer 2013?
Also curious to hear what the general word is on Latham these days.

24/26 in the New York office last year. The other offices I checked all show 100%.


100% in NY this year. And the no offers from the previous year were largely deserved.

The office was/is very busy and a great place to practice corporate law IMO.

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Re: What's the Real Deal with Latham

Postby IAFG » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:17 pm

Co-summers almost always say no offers were "well deserved." And they have a big incentive to want to believe that. Otherwise they have to admit to themselves and others that their firm is being run by dickbags.




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