Latham & Watkins recognizes that a strong associate training program contributes to the vitality of the firm. We have devoted considerable resources to developing a formal training program that is designed to give lawyers the skills they need to be at the top of their field.
The Training and Career Enhancement (TACE) Committee, comprised of lawyers located throughout the firm, is responsible for providing comprehensive training opportunities at each stage of an associate's career. The TACE Committee provides interactive, hands-on training, as well as an ongoing legal education series that helps ensure our lawyers are kept abreast of the latest substantive legal developments in each of the firm’s practice areas.
Latham has developed a series of multi-day training academies designed to build associates' skills as lawyers and to enhance their understanding of the firm and the practice of law. Summer associates are first introduced to the academies through the Summer Academy, and then, as associates, continue to attend academies through their first year of partnership — First Year Academy, Third Year Academy, Fifth Year Academy and, finally, New Partner Academy. A Women’s Leadership Academy is also offered to senior associates, and our newly promoted and lateral counsel attend New Counsel Academy. In addition to the invaluable training provided, the academies have the added benefit of solidifying our "one-firm" firm culture by enabling lawyers within a particular class to collectively learn about issues directly relevant to their class.
Formal Training Curricula
In addition to the training academies, the TACE Committee provides a host of training programs to all associates throughout the year through live presentations and firmwide videoconferences. Nearly all of these programs are also posted to the firm’s online training library, so that our lawyers can review them at their convenience. The programs are organized and presented monthly through four formal curricula:
The Core Curriculum — Designed to bridge the gap between law school and practicing at a law firm through a series of training sessions focused on critical, practical lawyering skills, including legal research, persuasive writing, contract drafting, practice management, essential skills for each of the firm’s five major departments, document review and diligence.
The Interdisciplinary Curriculum — Courses on timely issues of interest to all lawyers across the firm's departments, including both substantive legal and professional development topics.
The Advanced Transactional Curriculum — Courses designed to provide in-depth training on essential practical skills and current legal developments of interest to transactional lawyers.
The Advanced Controversy Curriculum — Courses designed to provide in-depth training on essential practical skills and current legal developments of interest to our litigation lawyers.
'Hands-On' Training Programs
Latham believes that some of the best learning comes through doing, so we dedicate significant resources to multi-day, hands-on training programs. Two of the firm’s most well-established annual programs are the Deposition Training Program and Trial Advocacy Program. Latham’s litigation partners act as faculty for these programs, and provide real-time instruction, critique and demonstrations.
The Deposition Training Program is open to all associates interested in litigation or who have an established litigation practice. It provides an opportunity to practice taking and defending depositions of fact and expert witnesses.
The Trial Advocacy Program is divided into two parts — Basic and Advanced. The Basic Program is open to Latham’s junior litigators, and provides an opportunity for them to learn about and, more importantly, practice critical trial skills, such as opening and closing statements and direct- and cross-examinations. The Advanced Program is similar in format, but is open to mid-level and senior litigation associates and uses a more advanced case file.
For Latham’s transactional lawyers, the firm offers workshops on negotiations and has an M&A Academy, which is an intensive, multi-day training program for mid-level and senior corporate associates, designed to cover the nuts and bolts of the law in this area, best practices, major deal documents and our practice.
Latham’s firmwide Mentoring Program is an essential component of an associate’s career development and is designed to facilitate their integration into the firm. In particular, every first-year associate and new lateral associate is matched with a senior associate or partner mentor, who is available to answer questions about the firm, provide career guidance or simply act as a confidential advisor. Over the years, many of Latham’s associates have developed close professional relationships with their mentors. The firm frequently reassesses the program to ensure it meets our associates' career development needs.