Meet Daniella and learn about her experience at Lathan & Watkins

Having lived all over the world, future trainee Daniella always wanted to work at a truly international law firm, with colleagues from a wide variety of backgrounds. After completing a vacation scheme in London, she is looking forward to returning to the firm as a trainee.

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Daniella Kis

Future Trainee

Latham & Watkins

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am originally from Budapest, where I lived for the first nine years of my life, then moved to Amsterdam, where I spent most of my teenage years. After attending a Dutch school, and later on an international school, I moved to Berlin for a year, where I graduated in 2020. I came to London that same year to study law at UCL while my family moved to the US. Now, I spend most of my time here in London, studying and working, and fly to the US occasionally to see my family.

What attracted you to Latham?

Having moved often growing up, I wanted to work at a truly international law firm with offices and opportunities across the globe. The chance to complete an international secondment, work on high-profile cross-border deals, and collaborate with colleagues worldwide drew me to Latham. This was reinforced when I experienced the firm’s culture through the first year scheme and the vacation scheme. The firm is enriched by its diversity, and I love working with people from such a wide variety of backgrounds. The firm demonstrated its investment in building our careers from the onset, and dedicated much time and effort to developing our understanding of different practice areas, sectors, and the key elements of the commercial world. Latham’s international culture, capabilities, resources, and commitment to trainee development are truly outstanding.

What did you enjoy the most about your vacation scheme?

Gaining true insight into how Latham operates — experiencing the work in my chosen seat, getting to know everyone at the firm across levels, and spending time with my amazing vac scheme cohort. A particular highlight was when the Corporate Department invited me to their team drinks, and everyone from the trainees to the partners treated me as if I was already part of their team!

What surprised you the most?

How welcoming and friendly everyone was; in that regard, the culture at Latham is certainly unique. I was also surprised by how patient my supervisor was, as he took time to explain details of the deal he was working on, allowed me to sit in on meetings, and assigned me tasks. I felt truly involved in the everyday life of a lawyer at Latham.

Is the office environment different to what you expected?

Yes, the office felt more relaxed than I anticipated. I felt comfortable speaking to trainees and partners alike, further reflecting the welcoming environment of the firm.

How would you describe your experience overall?

Two words come to mind: enjoyable and eye-opening. The vacation scheme is designed to give you the best possible experience at the firm. I was introduced to areas that I couldn’t be exposed to by reading a brochure or browsing the firm’s careers website. I gained invaluable insight into the type of work I would be carrying out as a trainee, the diverse range of personalities that work at Latham, and what life is like as a commercial lawyer at an international firm. I also made some great friends, had incredible food and coffees, and genuinely enjoyed every minute of the scheme.

What is a key takeaway from your experience at Latham?

Both the first year scheme and the vacation scheme showed me that this is the work I want to go into, and that Latham is the place to do it. Applying for these experiences proved so worthwhile, and helped me decide where to spend the next few years of my life.

Can you briefly outline a typical day during your vacation scheme?

The vacation scheme flew by quickly, as we were kept busy with both work and fun! I spent my week sitting in the Corporate Department (with an incredible office view). I would arrive in the morning and grab a coffee, then touch base with my supervisor on the tasks assigned to me. In these meetings, we would discuss whether I could help with anything additional, or sit in on any of his meetings. The rest of the day would mostly be spent meeting lawyers at the firm, attending lunch socials, and working on my assigned tasks. The evenings always featured a fun activity, from team socials to dinners to Puttshack, where I could network with others in my cohort.

Do you have any advice for individuals looking to apply for Latham’s vacation scheme?

As cliché as it may sound, be yourself. Your own interests and personal values need to align well with the firms you apply to. Otherwise, not only is securing a training contract more difficult, you are also less likely to enjoy your time at the firm. Also, keep in mind that Latham can teach you most of the technical things you need to know as a trainee, but the firm cannot teach you passion — that starts with you.

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