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Latham & Watkins Training Contracts & Interview Questions

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

Latham & Watkins’ applications open at the beginning of May and finish around the middle of July, for the training contract period two years after that point. 

Firm Overview

Latham & Watkins describes itself as being ‘dedicated to working with clients to help them achieve their business goals and overcome legal challenges anywhere in the world, from a global platform spanning 14 countries.’ The firm has more than 3000 lawyers, who speak more than 60 languages. They are a ‘one-firm’ firm, with no headquarters, and management spread throughout the world. This allows them to provide the best service anywhere in the world. There are more than 60 international practice groups and industry teams. Latham staff performed around 260,000 hours of pro bono services globally, valued at more than 208 million dollars, in 2020. Between 2000 and 2020, the firm provided almost 4 million hours in pro bono hours. The firm made $4.33B in its last revenue cycle, making it the second highest grossing in the world. Its Chambers UK rankings highlight its banking, capital markets and private equity teams.

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Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

You will rotate across different seats which will cover corporate and finance, amongst others. The firm emphasises that ‘completing a training contract at a full-service firm as big as Latham means having the opportunity to experience a breadth of interesting practice areas from litigation to fintech.’ You will receive in-practice group training during each seat, and practice-wide training to ensure that you are integrated into your team and the practice group. There are practice retreats to attend as well. You will have the chance to go on secondment in offices as varied as Dubai, Hong Kong, Madrid, Moscow, Singapore, and across the US.

Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

Latham & Watkins outline that, after the online and video parts of the application, you will attend an assessment day at the London office. Here, you will complete a written task, and take on two interviews – one of which will involve a presentation. 

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Written Task

According to previous applicants, the case study has not changed much in recent years. Per one, you are ‘asked to advise your client and write a report on whether they should go through with an acquisition. You have four options to choose from. Acquire company A, acquire company B, acquire both or acquire neither. 45 mins to read documents and type up the report.’ Another student outlines that you will have 45 minutes to read through a mergers & acquisition bundle and advise a company whether to i) To purchase company X, (ii) To purchase company Y, (iii) To purchase both company X and Y, or (iv) To purchase neither. You will then have to write a business report on the option that you chose, and outline why you did so. It should therefore be apparent that the written task / case study exercise is likely to be very similar for you too, if you attend the assessment day.

Presentation

This part of the assessment at Latham & Watkins also appears to be the same for most applicants in recent years. You will be given a topic which you will present on, a full working week before your assessment centre day. You will then be able to spend as much time as you want researching your presentation topic. There is apparently no facility to project a presentation, but you can provide a handout. You should therefore ensure that you understand your topic and exactly what you will say and have practised presenting without the aid of slides.

Interview

The interview is described as being ‘highly commercial’ by previous applicants and you should be well-prepared by keeping up to date with commercial and financial news. You should ensure that you read the FT and research anything that comes up repeatedly.

Previous questions include:
– Commercial questions based on your application
– What are issues facing the retail industry at the moment?
– What can you tell me about the IPO market?
– What is the difference between US and UK firms, in your opinion?
– Where have you done vacation schemes?
– Why did you choose Latham, instead of [other firms that you have interned at]?
– Why are you interested in private equity?
– Why are you interested in commercial law?
– Why are you interested in working in London?
– What does pro bono law mean to you?

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