Latham & Watkins recognizes that its lawyers have varied interests outside of the office and its policies reflect a commitment to fostering a healthy work-life balance and to excelling in professional practice.

Unassigned Associate Program

Latham understands that choosing a practice area right out of law school may be difficult for many new associates. So we don't require it. Instead, Latham takes a flexible approach to associate staffing through our hallmark Unassigned Associate Program for US associates.  On arrival, new associates are not assigned to a particular department or practice; rather, they enjoy the opportunity to explore any number of practices, working with and learning from a number of experienced lawyers before choosing a department that best fits their skills and interests. During this unassigned period, projects are allocated based on associate practice preferences, interest in a particular matter or supervisor, and availability.

Generous Leave Policies

Latham has one of the most generous parental leave policies of major law firms. Birth mothers and primary caregivers are afforded 18 weeks of paid leave, while parents in other roles can take advantage of four weeks of paid leave. The firm is also flexible in arranging time off to care for an elderly parent or to tend to a family emergency.

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Reduced-Pace Program

In 2009, Latham introduced a way to help associates transition back to work after a parental care leave by relieving them of the immediate pressure of full-time work requirements. The PRO-RATA (Pace Reduction Option for Returning Associates to Adjust) program gives associates the automatic option of reducing their schedule by working at a reduced pace for six months upon returning to the firm following a parental care leave.

Managing Work Through Technology

Latham’s lawyers also can achieve greater flexibility in managing their workload through the use of firm technology. The firm provides lawyers with notebook computers and Blackberry PDAs or support for personal PDAs that run the RIM or Goodlink secure email application. When working remotely, lawyers can take advantage of multiple methods for seamless and secure remote access to firm systems, including a software-based “SoftPhone” that is used to place, receive and handle calls from a notebook computer.

To help minimize travel and time away from home, the firm’s Telepresence rooms provide high-quality, face-to-face video conference capabilities in many of Latham’s offices. Technology and document support is available 24/7 — whenever and wherever it is needed, allowing lawyers to remotely access the global document center and technology assistance at any time.


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