Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

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Which Firm Should I Choose?

Poll ended at Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:07 pm

Latham
20
49%
Freshfields
21
51%
 
Total votes: 41

Anonymous User
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Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:07 pm

I am trying to decide between these two firms. I am not concerned with prestige. But I am concerned with the work environment and exit options. I know I like litigation, but I might just as easily like corporate. Also, I don't care about the fact that Latham Lathamed its associates.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:15 pm

I had a CB with Freshfields and really liked their office as well as the people I met. I was particularly interested in their litigation practice, which was a big plus for me. I had offers from several V10s; had I received an offer from Freshfields I would have seriously considered them over the V5 that I ended up accepting.

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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:17 pm

OP, here. Would people mind explaining their votes? As I mentioned, I am not concerned with the firing spree Latham went on during the recession. I am more concerned with the work environment at both firms and the exit options from them. Isn't the Latham name better known than Freshfields? Will I be doing a very specific type of work at Freshfields (eg. international) that would limit my ability to move elsewhere?

Thanks!

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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:54 pm

I very seriously considered Freshfields versus firms of similar to Latham, although I was more focused on corporate at both firms. Freshfields' litigation practice is fairly new (launched in 2009) but has already become relatively well-ranked, mostly through aggressively attracting very decorated laterals but also through internal growth. A significant proportion of litigation work seems to be investigations/white collar (think FCPA, SEC enforcement, etc) although there is also a mix of securities litigation and general commercial. The type of work you'll be doing is not untypical for a large New York firm, but with a particularly heavy emphasis on white collar (especially FCPA). Note that white collar work is one of the practice areas regularly in demand for those who want to lateral into government. Freshfields' litigation practice is rapidly growing both in size and reputation, which is good for a young associate, but you're right that it probably doesn't have the reputation of a Latham just yet. (Note that I didn't discuss international arbitration, which Freshfields truly excels at. As a junior, you would get put into the dispute resolution group which means you can work on both litigation and arbitration.)

One downside is that the heavy mix of international clients means you might have to do the occasional conference call at a weird time (due to time zone differences) and deal with documents/witnesses in a foreign language (well, this was a downside for me, but if you truly love international flair, you might enjoy it).

Work environment at Freshfields seemed pretty good. You get an extra week of vacation compared to most firms (5 weeks) and associates seemed to use all their vacation days. Offices have gorgeous views and a slick aesthetic. I enjoyed the people I met more at Freshfields than at Latham, although that is in part because I'm not at all a fratty guy and Latham associates seemed to be actively proud of their "social" reputation, which I found slightly obnoxious.

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gyarados
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby gyarados » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:25 pm

This is a no-brainer. Latham is a powerhouse in every area of US legal practice nationwide. Freshfields is a British outpost that is decent in some fields, but only in New York. Associates both places are reasonably happy for biglaw. Unless you really clicked with the Freshfields people, or want to do one of the areas they excel at (international, antitrust), you should take Latham.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby somewhatwayward » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:02 pm

Why aren't you worried about no offers and lay offs? Perhaps it should not be the decisive factor but it is unwise to think you are immune. Personally I would probably pick Freshfieds bc of a combination of job stability and a more relaxed environment (more relaxed, not relaxed, LOL).

fingersxd
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby fingersxd » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:40 pm

Voted Latham since you seem uncertain as to what you want to do going forward and Latham will give you more options (in the sense of strong lit AND corp. practices). Also, I'd guess Latham has better exit options at this point.

If you were sold on Lit, and had any interest in ADR, I'd probably say Freshfields. The QoL is much better there by all accounts and while the NY office is fairly new, it's expanding rapidly (which to me suggests job security and also that there is plenty of new work coming in the door -- a big plus). Admittedly, it's not a hugely well-known firm in the U.S. (as compared with Latham), but it's one of the top firms internationally so if you have any interest in doing int'l work, that's def. a draw. Also, at the end of the day, people in the legal profession know Freshfields and it has a great reputation.

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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:17 pm

This should not be even close. Latham by a mile and a half.

somewhatwayward trolls hard against Latham because of their past layoffs but the fact remains that Latham is a V10 that is still a great firm that offers great exit options.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:18 pm

No doubt in my mind that Latham is one of the best firms out there to be a partner at.

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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:36 pm

According to laterallink.com, their offer rates for the summer classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively were 92%, 100%, and 100%. They consistently rank in the top 10 on all midlevel surveys and their hiring has been more conservative in this economy.

Unless OP wants international exit options, Latham is the clear choice - as an associate as well as a partner (superior chambers and vault rankings).

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gyarados
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby gyarados » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:31 pm

IMO, Latham is LESS likely to do mass layoffs in the future because they saw the negative publicity they got (also now that work's picked up they have to hire them all back). The only reason the layoffs enter anyone's calculus is because they're still butthurt about it. That shouldn't even factor into your decision.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:48 pm

gyarados wrote:IMO, Latham is LESS likely to do mass layoffs in the future because they saw the negative publicity they got (also now that work's picked up they have to hire them all back). The only reason the layoffs enter anyone's calculus is because they're still butthurt about it. That shouldn't even factor into your decision.


Funny. People were saying the same thing after 2000 and in the early 90s.


http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company- ... s-history/

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gyarados
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby gyarados » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:15 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
gyarados wrote:IMO, Latham is LESS likely to do mass layoffs in the future because they saw the negative publicity they got (also now that work's picked up they have to hire them all back). The only reason the layoffs enter anyone's calculus is because they're still butthurt about it. That shouldn't even factor into your decision.


Funny. People were saying the same thing after 2000 and in the early 90s.


http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company- ... s-history/

I don't think you'd be safer in 2018. Everyone will have moved on by then. But right now, they are really sensitive to it.

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IAFG
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby IAFG » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:48 am

gyarados wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
gyarados wrote:IMO, Latham is LESS likely to do mass layoffs in the future because they saw the negative publicity they got (also now that work's picked up they have to hire them all back). The only reason the layoffs enter anyone's calculus is because they're still butthurt about it. That shouldn't even factor into your decision.


Funny. People were saying the same thing after 2000 and in the early 90s.


http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company- ... s-history/

I don't think you'd be safer in 2018. Everyone will have moved on by then. But right now, they are really sensitive to it.

Unless they find it more convenient to do it again tomorrow. Don't be naive.

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tww909
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby tww909 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:59 am

while i think others have done a decent job outlining the pluses of freshfields, i should point out i'm not positive how great the hours will be.

i did a callback there and the 2-3rd year associate i had lunch with told me that he works significantly longer hours than his friends at other NY firms. given that he went to harvard i'm fairly sure he has a decent number of friends at a decent number of other firms. he chalked it up to the time difference issue the other posters have mentioned.

that said i know nothing about quality of life at latham, and i'm sure something this anecdotal shouldn't decide what firm you go to. i just felt that it was worth pointing out.

09042014
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:01 am

Why would they be sensitive to it. They paid virtually no price for it. By 2011, law students were back to licking asshole to get an SA at Latham.

johnralf
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby johnralf » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:30 am

SPAM

Anonymous User
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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:07 am

Desert Fox wrote:Why would they be sensitive to it. They paid virtually no price for it. By 2011, law students were back to licking asshole to get an SA at Latham.


This.

They've seen that they can engage in mass layoffs and still rebound back to have $2billion in revenue [last year] while still constantly expanding globally. I would be very weary of Latham. You might enjoy it for the mean time...but I wouldn't kid myself into believing job security is not a major concern at Latham.

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Re: Latham (NY) or Freshfields (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:24 pm

OP, here. Thanks everyone for the replies and votes, especially those who chose not to let the discussion devolve into the Latham firing squad. For the record, I do think Latham cares that their reputation was damaged, because even though there are still people who would do anything to get an SA position from Latham, plenty of people chose other V10s when they have the chance. Personally, I realize what Latham did, but prefer to not let that affect my decision. Like I said, I am concerned with exit options, variety of work, and social dynamic. I really don't know which way I am leaning, and, based on the poll, neither does TLS.




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