Gibson DC or Latham DC?

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Which firm should I choose?

Poll ended at Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:46 pm

Gibson DC
24
75%
Latham DC
8
25%
 
Total votes: 32

Anonymous User
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Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:46 pm

2L interested in lit, some appellate. I feel like Gibson has better work but Latham has better people. Thoughts?

anon168
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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby anon168 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L interested in lit, some appellate. I feel like Gibson has better work but Latham has better people. Thoughts?


Gibson. Easy call.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:03 am

OP here. Why easy?

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:05 am

i think Gibson's bona fides are so clearly better that if you're even making this topic you must have really preferred latham, so I'd lean there

just remember that once you get there it won't be smiles and sunshine - but that's true of anywhere

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thesealocust
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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby thesealocust » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:i think Gibson's bona fides are so clearly better that if you're even making this topic you must have really preferred latham, so I'd lean there


Totally disagree out of DC. They're both good firms but out of towners in Washington, and I really don't see GDC walking away with it.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby anon168 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Why easy?


The place isn't dominated by regulatory work.

It's SCOTUS work (but that's true with just about any DC firm) first and foremost, but general litigation is right behind. Won't get lost with regulatory crap.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:19 am

As a native Washingtonian with many D.C. lawyers in the family, I'd say Gibson does walk away with it in D.C.. Gibson might not be considered a D.C. institution like some of the other firms, but its appellate practice gives it serious recognition here where everything is so political and Latham just cannot match that.

TBH, I just went through OCI here, and worked in D.C. firms for several years before school and yet I couldn't really you what Latham D.C.'s marquee practice is.

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Why easy?


The place isn't dominated by regulatory work.

It's SCOTUS work (but that's true with just about any DC firm) first and foremost, but general litigation is right behind. Won't get lost with regulatory crap.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you meant here, but SCOTUS work for junior associates is not something you will find with "just about any D.C. firm."

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby thesealocust » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:27 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Why easy?


The place isn't dominated by regulatory work.

It's SCOTUS work (but that's true with just about any DC firm) first and foremost, but general litigation is right behind. Won't get lost with regulatory crap.


wat. SCOTUS work is hardly first and foremost and basically any DC firm that isn't a boutique specializing in it. There's barely any money in it and not that much work to go around.

SCOTUS work is for headlines, not keeping the lights on, and sure as hell not for junior associates.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:28 am

I had an offer at Latham DC. The "people are so cool" thing is epic flame. None of that will matter once you're there. Latham DC's marquee practice is corporate work, they outperform every firm in the city in that type of work with the exception of Covington. Latham gets a ton of PE work. They have a great appellate practice but you're only going to get a sniff of it if you have a tremendous clerkship. They have SCOTUS clerks doing that work.

It amazes me how soon everyone forgets that Latham just nuked a ton of first years when things went bad. Plenty of firms had layoffs but no firm had the remorseless carnage of Latham. If law students with good options don't punish a firm for that behavior then it is bound to happen over and over.

You could and should do better.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby anon168 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:As a native Washingtonian with many D.C. lawyers in the family, I'd say Gibson does walk away with it in D.C.. Gibson might not be considered a D.C. institution like some of the other firms, but its appellate practice gives it serious recognition here where everything is so political and Latham just cannot match that.

TBH, I just went through OCI here, and worked in D.C. firms for several years before school and yet I couldn't really you what Latham D.C.'s marquee practice is.

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Why easy?


The place isn't dominated by regulatory work.

It's SCOTUS work (but that's true with just about any DC firm) first and foremost, but general litigation is right behind. Won't get lost with regulatory crap.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you meant here, but SCOTUS work for junior associates is not something you will find with "just about any D.C. firm."


You are misunderstanding.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:TBH, I just went through OCI here, and worked in D.C. firms for several years before school and yet I couldn't really you what Latham D.C.'s marquee practice is.


As the poster above said, it's most definitely corporate. I interviewed with them and noticed in my research and with talking to people that their corporate group was pretty impressive. In fact, according to NALP, it's only a little smaller than Latham's NY corporate group:

http://www.nalpdirectory.com/employer_p ... tham%22%7D
http://www.nalpdirectory.com/employer_p ... tham%22%7D

Sorry, I don't have much input on litigation, as I didn't really look into that.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby ryanmot » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
It amazes me how soon everyone forgets that Latham just nuked a ton of first years when things went bad. Plenty of firms had layoffs but no firm had the remorseless carnage of Latham. If law students with good options don't punish a firm for that behavior then it is bound to happen over and over.

You could and should do better.


This. People are nuts if they think Latham won't be Lathaming again when things get bad.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:24 pm

This Gibson appellate thing is somewhat overrated. Not to say their appellate practice isn't great (it obviously is one of the very best), but it's not leaps and bounds above every other firm in DC, as people on this board portray it. There are several firms in DC that are as active or nearly as active as Gibson is before the Court. And it's not like Ted Olson is the only big name out there. In fact, he's getting kind of old...

Latham, for instance, is usually merits counsel on at least 4-6 cases per term. Their practice is led by Greg Garre, a former SG. Just this month alone, he's arguing Fisher (the blockbuster case of the term) as well as one of the two dog-sniff cases. While semi-retired, Maureen Mahoney remains involved in a fair amount of the SCOTUS work there, and they also have at least two other partners with oral argument experience before the Court.

It's true that you probably need to have done a SCOTUS clerkship (or at least clerked for a feeder-ish CoA judge) in order to do appellate work full-time at Latham, but that doesn't mean non-SCOTUS clerks are totally shut out of that work. I have trouble believing Gibson is much different on that score.

As for the broader comparison between the two places, I would probably say Gibson is a little more prestigious in DC (at least for litigation), but I'm not sure it's a material difference. I doubt exit opps will be much different coming from one vs. the other. Like most of the top DC firms, both places have tons of former government atty's as well as alumni currently in government. As a junior associate, you're going to be doing similar work at both places.

I'd say the biggest difference in the two is culture. By all accounts, Gibson has a more formal and serious vibe, whereas Latham tends to be a little less formal (note: this does not translate to working less). Different people will prefer one or the other. In Latham's case, there is also the layoff history to consider. On balance, I think these two places are comparable enough that you should just go to the one where you think you'd fit in best.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby thesealocust » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This Gibson appellate thing is somewhat overrated. Not to say their appellate practice isn't great (it obviously is one of the very best), but it's not leaps and bounds above every other firm in DC, as people on this board portray it. There are several firms in DC that are as active or nearly as active as Gibson is before the Court. And it's not like Ted Olson is the only big name out there. In fact, he's getting kind of old...

Latham, for instance, is usually merits counsel on at least 4-6 cases per term. Their practice is led by Greg Garre, a former SG. Just this month alone, he's arguing Fisher (the blockbuster case of the term) as well as one of the two dog-sniff cases. While semi-retired, Maureen Mahoney remains involved in a fair amount of the SCOTUS work there, and they also have at least two other partners with oral argument experience before the Court.

It's true that you probably need to have done a SCOTUS clerkship (or at least clerked for a feeder-ish CoA judge) in order to do appellate work full-time at Latham, but that doesn't mean non-SCOTUS clerks are totally shut out of that work. I have trouble believing Gibson is much different on that score.

As for the broader comparison between the two places, I would probably say Gibson is a little more prestigious in DC (at least for litigation), but I'm not sure it's a material difference. I doubt exit opps will be much different coming from one vs. the other. Like most of the top DC firms, both places have tons of former government atty's as well as alumni currently in government. As a junior associate, you're going to be doing similar work at both places.

I'd say the biggest difference in the two is culture. By all accounts, Gibson has a more formal and serious vibe, whereas Latham tends to be a little less formal (note: this does not translate to working less). Different people will prefer one or the other. In Latham's case, there is also the layoff history to consider. On balance, I think these two places are comparable enough that you should just go to the one where you think you'd fit in best.


This is a fantastically written/reasoned/researched and extremely informative post. A+ would read again.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This Gibson appellate thing is somewhat overrated. Not to say their appellate practice isn't great (it obviously is one of the very best), but it's not leaps and bounds above every other firm in DC, as people on this board portray it. There are several firms in DC that are as active or nearly as active as Gibson is before the Court. And it's not like Ted Olson is the only big name out there. In fact, he's getting kind of old...

Latham, for instance, is usually merits counsel on at least 4-6 cases per term. Their practice is led by Greg Garre, a former SG. Just this month alone, he's arguing Fisher (the blockbuster case of the term) as well as one of the two dog-sniff cases. While semi-retired, Maureen Mahoney remains involved in a fair amount of the SCOTUS work there, and they also have at least two other partners with oral argument experience before the Court.

It's true that you probably need to have done a SCOTUS clerkship (or at least clerked for a feeder-ish CoA judge) in order to do appellate work full-time at Latham, but that doesn't mean non-SCOTUS clerks are totally shut out of that work. I have trouble believing Gibson is much different on that score.

As for the broader comparison between the two places, I would probably say Gibson is a little more prestigious in DC (at least for litigation), but I'm not sure it's a material difference. I doubt exit opps will be much different coming from one vs. the other. Like most of the top DC firms, both places have tons of former government atty's as well as alumni currently in government. As a junior associate, you're going to be doing similar work at both places.

I'd say the biggest difference in the two is culture. By all accounts, Gibson has a more formal and serious vibe, whereas Latham tends to be a little less formal (note: this does not translate to working less). Different people will prefer one or the other. In Latham's case, there is also the layoff history to consider. On balance, I think these two places are comparable enough that you should just go to the one where you think you'd fit in best.


Gibson's appellate practice is appropriately rated. You're making the mistake of thinking that people are speaking only to the quality of the work when they rave about Gibson. A big part of the reason why Gibson is considered a "no-brainer" if you want to build an appellate practice is because of the quantity of work. At most firms, the entire Supreme Court practice can be handled by one partner (see Williams and Connolly; A&P) and still be very well regarded. What sets Gibson and the other tippy-top practices (Sidley, Mayer, Wilmer) apart is that they are not one-man practices.

Yes Ted is of course the standard-bearer, but Gibson has a slew of appellate partners with well established practices who do fantastic work in the various circuits and the SCOTUS. The result being that Gibson's appellate practice is substantially larger than most any other firm; certainly bigger than Lathams. As you yourself alluded to, Latham's practice pretty much lives and dies with Garre. No one is saying that Garre isn't an excellent advocate and that you wouldn't get to work on high profile cases at Latham, we're simply saying that you will have many more opportunities to do that work at Gibson.

Regardless of how hard you find it to believe, I can tell you that junior associates at Gibson could very easily do nothing but appellate work, regardless of clerking. They have enough of it to go around. Of course this would be a foolish thing to do because the chances of you one day building your own appellate practice without having clerked is nonexistent. It would be career suicide to focus only on appellate work without the pedigree, but you could do it at Gibson. If you do have the said pedigree, however, the reason Gibson is the obvious choice is because you will have the option to work for many more appellate-focused partners with substantial practices. Check the Chamber's rankings. It's no coincidence that the best rated practices are also the largest.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Gibson's appellate practice is appropriately rated. You're making the mistake of thinking that people are speaking only to the quality of the work when they rave about Gibson. A big part of the reason why Gibson is considered a "no-brainer" if you want to build an appellate practice is because of the quantity of work. At most firms, the entire Supreme Court practice can be handled by one partner (see Williams and Connolly; A&P) and still be very well regarded. What sets Gibson and the other tippy-top practices (Sidley, Mayer, Wilmer) apart is that they are not one-man practices.

Yes Ted is of course the standard-bearer, but Gibson has a slew of appellate partners with well established practices who do fantastic work in the various circuits and the SCOTUS. The result being that Gibson's appellate practice is substantially larger than most any other firm; certainly bigger than Lathams. As you yourself alluded to, Latham's practice pretty much lives and dies with Garre. No one is saying that Garre isn't an excellent advocate and that you wouldn't get to work on high profile cases at Latham, we're simply saying that you will have many more opportunities to do that work at Gibson.

Regardless of how hard you find it to believe, I can tell you that junior associates at Gibson could very easily do nothing but appellate work, regardless of clerking. They have enough of it to go around. Of course this would be a foolish thing to do because the chances of you one day building your own appellate practice without having clerked is nonexistent. It would be career suicide to focus only on appellate work without the pedigree, but you could do it at Gibson. If you do have the said pedigree, however, the reason Gibson is the obvious choice is because you will have the option to work for many more appellate-focused partners with substantial practices. Check the Chamber's rankings. It's no coincidence that the best rated practices are also the largest.

I hate to disagree with thesealocust, but this is the (obviously) credited response. As other people in this thread who've worked in the DC market have stated, Gibson walks away with this. Also, seriously, don't forgive Latham for what it did during the recession, at least not while Bob Dell is still managing partner. They need to be held accountable for ruining so many careers.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:17 pm

Serious question: Did Latham even lay off any lawyers in DC? I honestly don't know, but my impression has always been that it was heavily if not exclusively focused on their NY (and corporate within NY) practice.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This Gibson appellate thing is somewhat overrated. Not to say their appellate practice isn't great (it obviously is one of the very best), but it's not leaps and bounds above every other firm in DC, as people on this board portray it. There are several firms in DC that are as active or nearly as active as Gibson is before the Court. And it's not like Ted Olson is the only big name out there. In fact, he's getting kind of old...

Latham, for instance, is usually merits counsel on at least 4-6 cases per term. Their practice is led by Greg Garre, a former SG. Just this month alone, he's arguing Fisher (the blockbuster case of the term) as well as one of the two dog-sniff cases. While semi-retired, Maureen Mahoney remains involved in a fair amount of the SCOTUS work there, and they also have at least two other partners with oral argument experience before the Court.

It's true that you probably need to have done a SCOTUS clerkship (or at least clerked for a feeder-ish CoA judge) in order to do appellate work full-time at Latham, but that doesn't mean non-SCOTUS clerks are totally shut out of that work. I have trouble believing Gibson is much different on that score.

As for the broader comparison between the two places, I would probably say Gibson is a little more prestigious in DC (at least for litigation), but I'm not sure it's a material difference. I doubt exit opps will be much different coming from one vs. the other. Like most of the top DC firms, both places have tons of former government atty's as well as alumni currently in government. As a junior associate, you're going to be doing similar work at both places.

I'd say the biggest difference in the two is culture. By all accounts, Gibson has a more formal and serious vibe, whereas Latham tends to be a little less formal (note: this does not translate to working less). Different people will prefer one or the other. In Latham's case, there is also the layoff history to consider. On balance, I think these two places are comparable enough that you should just go to the one where you think you'd fit in best.


Can someone without any clerkship do non-appellate lit work at Latham DC? It looks like the vast majority of their litigation associates have some federal clerkship.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:55 pm

Serious question: Did Latham even lay off any lawyers in DC? I honestly don't know, but my impression has always been that it was heavily if not exclusively focused on their NY (and corporate within NY) practice.


Former LW summer. We were told at a meeting that they did lay off lawyers, but as far as I understand the numbers were significantly smaller in DC; the firm required that every office cut some attorneys, but the heaviest concentration of cuts was in NY and LA. Suffice to say, when I summered in DC, everyone was pretty positive (and this is from several mid-levels), and the general comments acknowledged the suck, but they all stressed that the firm did everything it could to help those who were laid off land on their feet. I did not see many attorneys open show any ill will toward the firm for what it did.

Can someone without any clerkship do non-appellate lit work at Latham DC? It looks like the vast majority of their litigation associates have some federal clerkship.


Absolutely. Sure, several go to clerkships each year, but it is definitely not a requirement, and there are plenty of first years starting this year and others who are first or second years who did not do clerkships at all. You may be mostly cut out of some of the high-level appellate work (though if you look, there is an associate on the Fisher briefs who did not do an appellate clerkship at all, so you can impress and get in other ways), but you will definitely have plenty of litigation options even without clerking.

Ultimately, if you want more appellate opportunities, Gibson DC may be the best choice for you, all other things being equal. But I don't think that you would be making a mistake by picking LW (obviously I'm biased) if you want to work with excellent partners, a pretty solid group of colleagues, and get on some fascinating cases. I'm sure someone who worked at Gibson would say the same. So just go with your gut.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby KidStuddi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can someone without any clerkship do non-appellate lit work at Latham DC? It looks like the vast majority of their litigation associates have some federal clerkship.


No BIgLaw firm has such a requirement. That's really more for litigation boutiques that are too small to have summer programs. If any BigLaw firm could get away with such a requirement in D.C., it'd be Williams & Connolly and I know several attorneys there who never clerked.
it may dampen your chances of making partner in the long run because you'll be less marketable to clients, but it will not keep you from becoming a productive and successful midlevel associate anywhere.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby anon168 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Gibson's appellate practice is appropriately rated. You're making the mistake of thinking that people are speaking only to the quality of the work when they rave about Gibson. A big part of the reason why Gibson is considered a "no-brainer" if you want to build an appellate practice is because of the quantity of work. At most firms, the entire Supreme Court practice can be handled by one partner (see Williams and Connolly; A&P) and still be very well regarded. What sets Gibson and the other tippy-top practices (Sidley, Mayer, Wilmer) apart is that they are not one-man practices.

Yes Ted is of course the standard-bearer, but Gibson has a slew of appellate partners with well established practices who do fantastic work in the various circuits and the SCOTUS. The result being that Gibson's appellate practice is substantially larger than most any other firm; certainly bigger than Lathams. As you yourself alluded to, Latham's practice pretty much lives and dies with Garre. No one is saying that Garre isn't an excellent advocate and that you wouldn't get to work on high profile cases at Latham, we're simply saying that you will have many more opportunities to do that work at Gibson.

Regardless of how hard you find it to believe, I can tell you that junior associates at Gibson could very easily do nothing but appellate work, regardless of clerking. They have enough of it to go around. Of course this would be a foolish thing to do because the chances of you one day building your own appellate practice without having clerked is nonexistent. It would be career suicide to focus only on appellate work without the pedigree, but you could do it at Gibson. If you do have the said pedigree, however, the reason Gibson is the obvious choice is because you will have the option to work for many more appellate-focused partners with substantial practices. Check the Chamber's rankings. It's no coincidence that the best rated practices are also the largest.

I hate to disagree with thesealocust, but this is the (obviously) credited response. As other people in this thread who've worked in the DC market have stated, Gibson walks away with this. Also, seriously, don't forgive Latham for what it did during the recession, at least not while Bob Dell is still managing partner. They need to be held accountable for ruining so many careers.


Just how principled are you?

Would you rather be doing 4L OCI than to take an offer from Latham?

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:38 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Gibson's appellate practice is appropriately rated. You're making the mistake of thinking that people are speaking only to the quality of the work when they rave about Gibson. A big part of the reason why Gibson is considered a "no-brainer" if you want to build an appellate practice is because of the quantity of work. At most firms, the entire Supreme Court practice can be handled by one partner (see Williams and Connolly; A&P) and still be very well regarded. What sets Gibson and the other tippy-top practices (Sidley, Mayer, Wilmer) apart is that they are not one-man practices.

Yes Ted is of course the standard-bearer, but Gibson has a slew of appellate partners with well established practices who do fantastic work in the various circuits and the SCOTUS. The result being that Gibson's appellate practice is substantially larger than most any other firm; certainly bigger than Lathams. As you yourself alluded to, Latham's practice pretty much lives and dies with Garre. No one is saying that Garre isn't an excellent advocate and that you wouldn't get to work on high profile cases at Latham, we're simply saying that you will have many more opportunities to do that work at Gibson.

Regardless of how hard you find it to believe, I can tell you that junior associates at Gibson could very easily do nothing but appellate work, regardless of clerking. They have enough of it to go around. Of course this would be a foolish thing to do because the chances of you one day building your own appellate practice without having clerked is nonexistent. It would be career suicide to focus only on appellate work without the pedigree, but you could do it at Gibson. If you do have the said pedigree, however, the reason Gibson is the obvious choice is because you will have the option to work for many more appellate-focused partners with substantial practices. Check the Chamber's rankings. It's no coincidence that the best rated practices are also the largest.

I hate to disagree with thesealocust, but this is the (obviously) credited response. As other people in this thread who've worked in the DC market have stated, Gibson walks away with this. Also, seriously, don't forgive Latham for what it did during the recession, at least not while Bob Dell is still managing partner. They need to be held accountable for ruining so many careers.


Just how principled are you?

Would you rather be doing 4L OCI than to take an offer from Latham?


???

OP presumably has offers in hand from both firms. This isn't about principle so much as it is about self-preservation. That being said, encouraging people to vote with their feet and go to firms that didn't axe murder hundreds of careers isn't a bad principle to preach.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby anon168 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Just how principled are you?

Would you rather be doing 4L OCI than to take an offer from Latham?


???

OP presumably has offers in hand from both firms. This isn't about principle so much as it is about self-preservation. That being said, encouraging people to vote with their feet and go to firms that didn't axe murder hundreds of careers isn't a bad principle to preach.


Let's make this simple.

Anyone who decides not to go to Latham simply because they've had layoffs in the past is being shortsighted, if not foolish. It would be like not dating Madonna because she's had more than a few sexual partners.

I don't know how to make this more clear: All Vault firms layoff associates. Routinely.

The thing that associates should worry about is not so much whether there will be layoffs (although it should be a concern), but how those layoffs occur.

When Latham laid off associates back in 2008-09, they did it in probably the best way possible from an associate's perspective. Why? Let me count the ways: (1) it was public; (2) it was public that it was not based on performance (although many people know differently); and (3) market leading severance pkg.

If I was going to be laid off, I'd want it to be publicly known that those layoffs were on a systemic basis so that when I go looking for a job I can just say that I was part of RIF brought on by the economy, instead of saying something mealy mouthed like "I'm looking for a better fit for my talents and a more dynamic focused platform to develop my practice blah blah blah"

Anyone who goes to Latham will know this one reassuring fact: Latham has the business of running a law firm down cold (it's learned its lesson from the KKR fiasco), and it will never go "Dewey". You may get laid off if you go to Latham, but you'll never have your office door locked on you when you show up in the morning.

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Re: Gibson DC or Latham DC?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:43 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Just how principled are you? Would you rather be doing 4L OCI than to take an offer from Latham?


??? OP presumably has offers in hand from both firms. This isn't about principle so much as it is about self-preservation. That being said, encouraging people to vote with their feet and go to firms that didn't axe murder hundreds of careers isn't a bad principle to preach.


Let's make this simple.

Anyone who decides not to go to Latham simply because they've had layoffs in the past is being shortsighted, if not foolish. It would be like not dating Madonna because she's had more than a few sexual partners.

I don't know how to make this more clear: All Vault firms layoff associates. Routinely.

The thing that associates should worry about is not so much whether there will be layoffs (although it should be a concern), but how those layoffs occur.

When Latham laid off associates back in 2008-09, they did it in probably the best way possible from an associate's perspective. Why? Let me count the ways: (1) it was public; (2) it was public that it was not based on performance (although many people know differently); and (3) market leading severance pkg.

If I was going to be laid off, I'd want it to be publicly known that those layoffs were on a systemic basis so that when I go looking for a job I can just say that I was part of RIF brought on by the economy, instead of saying something mealy mouthed like "I'm looking for a better fit for my talents and a more dynamic focused platform to develop my practice blah blah blah"

Anyone who goes to Latham will know this one reassuring fact: Latham has the business of running a law firm down cold (it's learned its lesson from the KKR fiasco), and it will never go "Dewey". You may get laid off if you go to Latham, but you'll never have your office door locked on you when you show up in the morning.

OP (and I for that matter) were both considering Latham vs several other firms. Thankfully it looks like both of us received offers from firms that clearly outclassed Latham even before taking into account its nightmare management practices, but yes, I'll concede that a job with Latham is better than no job at all. Latham apologists need even these small victories, I suppose.

As to your tired old saw about how Latham was totally above board about the hell they unleashed on their junior associates, yes, that's literally the only positive thing you can say about how management handled the recession. You glibly gloss over the fact that Latham's cuts were 1) some of the deepest purges seen during the recession and 2) that the layoffs included first year associates, many of whom had turned down offers from other firms, and were now out in the cold with no appreciable work experience or job prospects. Gutting a class of first years is often the kiss of death for their careers, and other firms that don't follow the Bob Dell management style of ratcheting up leverage during good times and eviscerating first years during contractions (as Latham did when the dot com bubble burst, and now have done for the second time in recent memory), laid off associates - particularly first years - in smaller numbers.

Yes, you're correct that Latham's boom/bust management style is often good for growth and profits per partner, and they likely will not go belly up like Dewey anytime soon, but everyone on this board should be aware that they will flay their junior associates alive to keep their reckless leverage model viable, rather than adopting a more conservative approach that at least takes into account the careers of new associates.

Edit: would you seriously date Madonna? I'd say that would be just about as good for your venereal health as working at Latham would be for your career health, but I think that'd be a little uncharitable to Madonna.




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