After carrying out a two week vacation scheme at Latham & Watkins, I was offered a training contract. I chose Latham because I thoroughly enjoyed the vacation scheme, wanted to work in an international law firm with great retention rates, and because I wanted to be part of a smaller cohort of trainees. Latham appealed to me because trainees are given a lot of responsibility and exposure at an early stage. The training is very ‘hands on’ and I felt I would learn best by actively getting involved in the work.
Having joined the firm, my role as a trainee solicitor has been varied and interesting. My first seat was in the Banking department. I was involved in several large financing transactions and was given a lot of client contact. My second seat was in the Litigation department. Typical tasks included legal research, drafting legal memorandums and drafting sections of pleadings for our client. I enjoyed tackling difficult legal questions and getting involved in several arbitration matters. I have two more seat rotations which include the opportunity to do an international secondment.
I like working at Latham because my colleagues are friendly and approachable. Although the hours can be demanding, it really makes a difference when you are working with friendly people who have a sense of humour. My trainee cohort are supportive and I really like the open door policy at Latham. People are willing to answer questions and willing to set aside time in their busy schedules.
The biggest challenge has been the transition from university to Latham. Developing my writing style from an academic style to a more practical approach can be difficult. However, the great thing about Latham are the opportunities offered to develop your skills as a practical lawyer. I have been involved in several pro bono matters which are great to develop your communication skills and at Latham, you are given the chance to do the first draft of documents – allowing you to continuously practice and refine your skills.
At Latham you are assigned a mentor who will meet up with you every month. This support is excellent and something which has made my training contract enjoyable. My mentor has given me lots of career advice and has been very helpful in helping me decide on my choices for seats. I have found this network very supportive and enjoyable as each month we either go out for lunch, for drinks or the theatre for example.
Overall, Latham is a great place to work. The firm is going from strength to strength and is always looking to improve the training experience.