Get to Know Us
As you plan your career in law, whatever stage you are at, you will be trying to differentiate between the world’s top law firms. Here we offer some insight into what a career at Latham & Watkins in London is like, to help you decide whether this is the place to make your mark.
Our teams of sharp and intelligent people have built one of the few global law firms with truly integrated strength in the major financial centers across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. As our teams are smaller than those in many large UK law firms, we are looking for future lawyers who are ready to make an important contribution almost immediately in our growing London office — people who will relish playing a key role in international projects and working alongside fellow lawyers worldwide.
If this environment is for you, we look forward to hearing from you.
Your chance to find out more.
We have designed our open days to give you an insight into life at a commercial law firm and the culture at Latham.
Each day provides the opportunity to meet with our partners, associates and trainees, along with our Graduate Recruiting team. You will take part in speed networking, panels and negotiation games, as well as meeting with our trainees in a more informal setting.
We will also cover travel costs for those of you coming from outside London.
Open days for penultimate year law students, all final year students and graduates:
28 November 2018
6 December 2018
Open days for first year law students and second year non-law students:
21 February 2019
13 March 2019
We visit campuses across the UK. Look out for us at law fairs, in your careers services and working with your law societies.
Below is a list of universities we will be working with in 2018 –19, please do take the opportunity to meet us and ask any questions you may have to get a feel for the firm:
York Law Fair – 03 October
Bristol Law Fair – 04 October
Nottingham Law Fair – 15 October
Sheffield Law Fair – 17 October
Leeds Law Fair – 18 October
Cambridge Law Fair – 18 October
Queen Mary Fair – 22 October
Warwick Law Fair – 23 October
Kings Law Fair – 25 October
UCL Law Fair – 29 October
LSE Law Fair – 30 October
Oxford Law Fair – 03 November
Exeter Law Fair – 13 November
Durham Law Fair – 20 November
Birmingham Law Fair – 21 November
Cardiff University Campus Visit – 22 November
Accepting a training contract is an important decision. Our vacation schemes are an exciting opportunity not only for us to get to know you, but also for you to get to know us. You will be exposed to real work, with real clients, experiencing the real life of our lawyers.
During the course of two weeks, you will sit in two practice areas (we will ask you for your preferred areas before the scheme starts). You will share an office with your supervisor each week, and you will also have the support of a trainee mentor and the Graduate Recruitment team.
You can expect to get involved in:
- Research projects specific to your practice area
- Client calls, meetings and court visits
- Detailed practice area introductions
- Q&A workshops
- Social and networking events
- Group work, designed to cultivate your commercial acumen
Towards the end of the two weeks, once you have had a chance to experience the work and culture at Latham, you will have the opportunity to interview for our Training Contract.
You should be in the final year of your law degree, studying the GDL or beyond to apply for our Winter Vacation Scheme. Our Spring and Summer Vacation Schemes are open to penultimate year law students, all final years students and graduates. We would expect all candidates to have achieved AAB at A-level (or equivalent) and a 2.1 in their undergraduate degree where applicable.
Winter: 10 - 14 December 2018
Spring: 1 - 12 April 2019
Summer: 1 - 12 July 2019
Induction at Latham lasts for three weeks and will cover everything required to get you prepared for the first day in your new seat. You will complete part of the professional skills course, receive comprehensive training on IT, time recording and knowledge management and learn more about the firm you have joined. You will also have the opportunity to meet your new colleagues, including partners, your fellow trainees and the Graduate Recruitment and Development team.
You will complete four, six-month seats. Two of these will be in our Corporate and Finance groups as these are at the heart of our London practice. We encourage all trainees to complete a contentious seat in our Litigation department if possible, however a litigation course is available to those who do not have this opportunity. Towards the end of each seat you will be invited to submit up to three preferences for your next seat. The Graduate Development team will work with you to ensure you spend time with teams that will aid your development, suit your skills and challenge you to build an excellent foundation for your career.
In either your third or fourth seat, you will have the opportunity to apply for a secondment. This will either be to one of our international offices or to one of our clients. Both international and client secondments offer invaluable learning experiences, as they involve high levels of responsibility and the chance to experience a different culture.
Training at Latham can be challenging, and there will be some long hours, but we can guarantee that in each department you will be given real work and real responsibility. As you progress through your training contract your confidence will grow, as will your skills. The work will depend on the seat, but it will be varied, fast-paced and exciting. Much of the work you do will be international, as more than 70% of the transactions we work on involve at least five of our offices.
Typical trainee tasks include:
- Research (e.g., reviewing recent deals in a particular market, or court procedure for certain types of litigation)
- Drafting (e.g., adapting a precedent to work for a particular deal)
- Project management (e.g., ensuring all parties have signed the relevant documentation at a transaction closing, or that all elements of a deal checklist are complete when clients and legal teams come together for deal signing)
- Due diligence (e.g., reviewing documentation about a company and highlighting issues or concerns to a potential purchaser)
- Disclosure (e.g., reviewing case documents to help a party bring a claim or defend a contentious dispute)
Before joining the firm you will be assigned a trainee mentor. Mentoring is a key part of the support system at Latham and the firmwide program will be an essential component of your career development. As a trainee you will be matched with an associate who will be your mentor throughout your training contract and your first year after qualification.
In each seat, you will be part of a small team, so will have high levels of responsibility coupled with a strong support network. On a day-to-day basis you will be supervised by an associate or a partner who will provide feedback and guidance.
Your progress in each seat is reviewed regularly, with formal performance management at the middle and end of each seat. You will also meet regularly with the Recruiting Committee and Graduate Development team to discuss your performance, seat preferences and options for qualification.
You will benefit from a comprehensive training curriculum throughout your training contract and beyond. As well as bespoke department training, you will also attend training on soft skills ranging from Google searching to Linked In networks to communication.
Once you qualify, Latham’s Training and Career Enhancement (TACE) Committee will provide interactive, hands-on training, as well as an ongoing legal education series that helps ensure you stay abreast of the latest substantive legal developments. The firm hosts global training academies in your first, third and fifth year post-qualification. These multi-day training academies are designed to build associates’ skills as lawyers and to enhance your understanding of the firm and the practice of law. The academies demonstrate our one-firm culture, fostering interaction with your peers from all Latham offices around the world.
We recognise that formal training programs are best when balanced with learning through doing. So we provide trainees with as much exposure to clients, different types of work and real responsibility as possible. Once you qualify, we invite you to hands-on training programs such as our award-winning Trial Advocacy Program.
Learn more about exploring and advancing your career as a new lawyer and our consensus-based management, including our Associates Committee.
Salary and Benefits
Your starting salary will be £46,000, going up to £50,000 in your second year. Benefits include:
- Life assurance
- Private health insurance
- Private dental insurance
- Pension scheme
- Season ticket loan for transport
- Cycle-to-work scheme
- Subsidised restaurant on-site
- Discounted gym membership
Law School Support
Once you receive your training contract offer, we ask you to enrol for the GDL and LPC (where applicable) at BPP. We support you financially during your studies, paying your fees and a maintenance grant of £8,000 per year. If you have already completed the GDL and/or LPC we will reimburse your fees in full. If you achieve, or have achieved a distinction in your LPC you will receive a £500 bonus.
Latham’s London summer program is designed to give US law students the opportunity to experience life and work as a US-admitted lawyer in London. Latham’s summer program in London runs for 10 weeks. Travel expenses and accommodation are provided.
The London office seeks 2L law students interested in practicing exclusively in the US Capital Markets Practice. US-admitted lawyers in the London office focus on high yield debt and equity capital markets offerings. The practice is fully integrated into the firm’s broader worldwide Corporate and Finance Departments. The US Capital Markets Practice in London consists of approximately 50 lawyers and is part of our growing London office. The US team works closely with our English-law trained colleagues in the London office as well as our Latham colleagues globally.
The London summer associates participate in drafting sessions with opposing counsel, bankers and senior management, reviewing offering documents and a wide range of other projects. In addition to gaining hands-on experience, London summer associates participate in the firm’s formal training curriculum and introductory courses covering a broad range of practical topics relating to equity and high yield capital markets transactions. The training sessions are designed to give summer associates a general understanding of our practice and the work they would do as associates in the London office.
The London summer associates also participate in Summer Academy, which brings together the firm’s summer associates from around the world for three days of training, social events, and the opportunity to meet with lawyers and leaders across the firm. We take pride in the collegial nature of the team in London and our summer associates will meet and interact with the partners and associates, both in the office and at a full range of social events.
Learn more about Latham’s summer program for US law students.