Latham DC v. Cleary DC

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Which firm should I choose?

Latham DC
14
74%
Cleary DC
5
26%
 
Total votes: 19

Anonymous User
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Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:09 am

Rising 2L here unsure about what practice areas I'm interested in--I liked government investigations work I did for my 1L summer, but also interested in transactional work. I want to exit to an in-house in 3-5 years. I liked the people at Latham better, but like Cleary's lockstep system. Thoughts?

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Mr. Blackacre

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Re: Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby Mr. Blackacre » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:42 am

Cleary DC is mostly known for its antitrust practice, and not for much else.

Latham is a sweatshop (don't be fooled by the zomg great summer), but seems to fit your goals better. They're a jack of all trades and have both a good corporate group and a good white collar group. FYI, those are completely different areas of law and your odds of exiting in-house, while worth considering out of a transactional practice, are very small out of a white collar / government investigations group.

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Re: Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:08 am

To be fair, while Cleary DC is known for its antitrust practice (which is considered to be the best), it does have other practice groups in DC -- there's a strong corporate group, a sanctions group, gov't investigations group and general litigation.

I have also heard bad things about Latham as the above about it being a sweatshop, but that is purely anecdotal. Your experience is likely too (and will) vary considerably at biglaw.

Best bet: if you have offers at both firms, go back and have coffee with associates. Ask about the type of work you are interested in, and most importantly, ask about how associates can switch between types of work. If you're locked in to one practice area from the start, that can lead to a bad experience.

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Re: Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:33 am

Latham DC 100% (unless you wanted antitrust or financial regulatory). The sweatshop thing is a bit overblown, they all work you hard. Latham DC is a better office (it is a full shop), while I really don't think Cleary DC is. The culture of these firms is very different (at least in NYC).

monopoly731

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Re: Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby monopoly731 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:The culture of these firms is very different (at least in NYC).


Can you elaborate on how the culture is different?

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Re: Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:50 am

I've actually heard that Cleary is a sweatshop...

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Re: Latham DC v. Cleary DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:23 pm

DC Latham associate here (so take the following with a grain of salt): the sweatshop mentality depends largely on practice group. Some lit groups and main M&A work hard. Really hard. But I haven't met anyone who really feels that it's an uncompromising grind with unpleasant people. From what I hear from friends over at Cleary, the culture is pretty good there too. (For the record, I'm in a specialist practice and love my practice group and work, but I fully recognize I drank the koolaid ages ago)

Latham is actually serious early on about letting you hit lower in the hours spectrum (read: ~2000) and nobody bats an eye or takes away your bonus. Also being able to pick from a wide range of practice areas appealed to me.

Cleary is a damn good shop for certain things and the people also seem nice so I don't think you can really go wrong here.



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