Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY) Forum

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beforeithaka

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Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by beforeithaka » Mon Jul 01, 2024 10:05 pm

Interested in general commercial lit; not sure about specific industry/group.

I see that K&E is Band 1 elite for general commercial lit on Chambers, while Latham is Band 2 elite. Is there any meaningful difference in the quality, actual or perceived, of each of these firms' litigation practices in NY? Are they seen as peers in litigation?

Anyone have insight about the partners in these groups?

Interested in clerking (after working first) and potentially working as an AUSA further down the road. Are there any differences in the exit opportunities from these two NY offices if I wanna clerk or be an AUSA in the future? What about exit opps for lateraling?

If the quality of the practices are the same, should I weigh quality of life more heavily? My assumption (correct me if wrong) is that Latham might be a somewhat more tolerable place to work, even if it's still a sweatshop?

Would appreciate any insight into working in lit at either of these places in NY.

beforeithaka

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Re: Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by beforeithaka » Fri Jul 05, 2024 3:28 pm

Thoughts, anyone?

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Re: Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:43 pm

According to the megathread on the topic, Kirkland does not allow for MBDR. Big issue if true.

Would talk to people to get a sense of culture and also gauge the relevance of benefits stuff like the above.

beforeithaka

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Re: Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by beforeithaka » Fri Jul 12, 2024 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:43 pm
According to the megathread on the topic, Kirkland does not allow for MBDR. Big issue if true.

Would talk to people to get a sense of culture and also gauge the relevance of benefits stuff like the above.
Thanks for the tip about the MBDR! Would not have known otherwise.

Do you think the two options are close enough that I should basically start looking at other stuff like benefits?

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Re: Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jul 13, 2024 8:09 am

Preftige wise, the two are roughly on par, so yes, I would think about other things like culture/benefits.

Anecdotally, everyone I know at K&E either hates it or is a K&E Kool-Aid-drinking jerk. Most of the Latham folks (aside from a K&E->Latham lateral) were pretty chill. K&E attracts a weird sort of elitism - it's like Tom Brady meets that bro you know who used to be in finance who brags about how much $$$ he made.

Both have pretty robust long term NEP (or similar) roles. That is, even if you don't make partner, there's a good chance that if you're decent and willing to grind you can make $500k-$1m into perpetuity.

Note that there are some offices/practice areas where there are distinctions. For example, in my niche area of lit - K&E already has a strong reputation, but Latham is an up-and-comer, which is an interesting (and potentially rewarding) dynamic to join. If it's worth anything to you, I've considered a lateral to Latham (they specifically recruited me), but I'd never ever jump ship to K&E.

I don't know much about NYC/exit options/AUSA, though I don't think either have been mentioned much on this forum when people talk about the AUSA route (Paul Weis, Wilmer, S&C, and some others seem to be better candidates). Are you a rising 2L? Have you applied elsewhere/do you have offers at just K&E/Latham?

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beforeithaka

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Re: Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by beforeithaka » Sat Jul 13, 2024 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2024 8:09 am
Preftige wise, the two are roughly on par, so yes, I would think about other things like culture/benefits.

Anecdotally, everyone I know at K&E either hates it or is a K&E Kool-Aid-drinking jerk. Most of the Latham folks (aside from a K&E->Latham lateral) were pretty chill. K&E attracts a weird sort of elitism - it's like Tom Brady meets that bro you know who used to be in finance who brags about how much $$$ he made.

Both have pretty robust long term NEP (or similar) roles. That is, even if you don't make partner, there's a good chance that if you're decent and willing to grind you can make $500k-$1m into perpetuity.

Note that there are some offices/practice areas where there are distinctions. For example, in my niche area of lit - K&E already has a strong reputation, but Latham is an up-and-comer, which is an interesting (and potentially rewarding) dynamic to join. If it's worth anything to you, I've considered a lateral to Latham (they specifically recruited me), but I'd never ever jump ship to K&E.

I don't know much about NYC/exit options/AUSA, though I don't think either have been mentioned much on this forum when people talk about the AUSA route (Paul Weis, Wilmer, S&C, and some others seem to be better candidates). Are you a rising 2L? Have you applied elsewhere/do you have offers at just K&E/Latham?
Thanks for the great advice!

I have offers at other places that I'm not as seriously considering for one reason or another, and it's come down to K&E/Latham for the final decision.

Of the two, it does seem like, at a general level, K&E is more well-known (and perhaps a little more well-regarded) for litigation, while Latham seems a bit more transactional heavy (but not quite as one-sided as a place like Simpson or Weil). Is this an accurate impression of the market perceptions? What do you mean by it's an interesting and potentially rewarding dynamic to join?

Honestly, benefits seem roughly on par to me, apart from what the poster above mentioned, so I'm not really sure how to distinguish the two based on that.

What questions should I be asking at this point of these two options?

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Re: Litigation: Kirkland (NY) vs. Latham (NY)

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jul 13, 2024 2:02 pm

(Previous anon here)
beforeithaka wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2024 1:33 pm
Of the two, it does seem like, at a general level, K&E is more well-known (and perhaps a little more well-regarded) for litigation, while Latham seems a bit more transactional heavy (but not quite as one-sided as a place like Simpson or Weil). Is this an accurate impression of the market perceptions? What do you mean by it's an interesting and potentially rewarding dynamic to join?
Caveat that I'm less familiar with NYC, but IMO I don't think there's enough of a difference here to make that a big deciding factor. Both are good at litigation and both are well known firms. For general lit, I don't think you're going to get materially better matters or work with materially better associates at one or the other.
beforeithaka wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2024 1:33 pm
What do you mean by it's an interesting and potentially rewarding dynamic to join?
To me, I was interested in the following: more opportunities both substantively and for partnership, prioritization at the management level/for firm politics, lots of laterals coming in with diverse perspectives. But these things can also be cast in a bad light: lots of work/understaffing, pressure to succeed/lass clout if the growth slows, culture clashes with non-homegrown folks.
beforeithaka wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2024 1:33 pm
Honestly, benefits seem roughly on par to me, apart from what the poster above mentioned, so I'm not really sure how to distinguish the two based on that.
Don't underestimate the power MBDR. You can save tens of thousands more each year with tax-free growth. If you plan to exit to government these will be your biggest savings years, and it's super useful to have those savings in a tax favored account.
beforeithaka wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2024 1:33 pm
What questions should I be asking at this point of these two options?
Culture. Think about it - you're going to be spending A LOT of time working over the next few years.
The culture can make or break that experience, and potentially cut short what would have otherwise been a good (or just lucrative) experience. There's a lot on the culture at both of these firms online. I won't rehash that here, but based on my experiences with both of them Latham seems to be a much better place to be.

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