The law student audience is unique among legal audiences. Research shows they want to work for law firms perceived of as youthful, exciting, open and approachable — difficult qualities for a giant law firm to convey easily and authentically.
When Charette was invited back for the fifth consecutive year to design and produce Latham & Watkins' recruiting brochure, we knew these qualities would be at the top of a short list of project requirements. Therefore, we started by interviewing a score of attorneys — from first-year associates to established partners.
We asked current associates what was important to them when they were recruited in order to identify key content areas. We discussed vital aspects of the firm's culture with partners to capture a distinct sense of place for Latham & Watkins. It then became a somewhat clearer proposition for copywriter Diane Fraser to shape the document.
The interviews, however, were only the first half of the game. Charette turned designer Ross Levine loose on "putting a human face" on all the text. He developed a dynamic layout which featured LW attorneys dramatically scaled next to their pull quotes.
Photographers John Abbott (East Coast), Beth Herzhaft (West Coast) and Dennis Reher (Europe) employed a “high key” studio lighting style and worked with the same codified rigging, shooting subjects against white backdrops. By shooting this way, we had the freedom to easily position attorneys next to each other in virtual rooms in each spread.
One of the most attractive aspects of Latham's new corporate identity is the open nature of its color scheme. Drawing from over 12 approved colors, spreads were colorized in subtle wash tints. We introduced contrast into the typography by enlarging pull quotes to dramatic scales. Key items such as web links and proper names were set off in contrasting colors.
For the brochure cover, a grid of die-cut windows reveals small windows of the personalities featured inside the brochure. Flooded with Latham’s new signature red, the final cover is a kind of gift wrap, hinting at the large images and quotes that jump out inside.
The results of the Latham & Watkins Recruiting brochure are being felt inside the firm, on law school campuses and in the legal marketing world. The marketing manager’s pleasure was doubled when the entire project came in at one-half the budgeted cost.
The brochure was honored with a Legal Marketing Award, with the judges declaring, "The attorneys in this brochure all but shout, 'We LOVE working at this firm!', and we believe it."