Career Paths: Mari Gonzalez ’22L Mari Gonzalez will be working in the corporate department at Latham & Watkins’s D.C. office.
Marifiel (“Mari”) Gonzalez is from Cebu, Philippines and moved to the DC area. She earned her B.S. in Biology, with minors in Sustainability and Classical Mythology, from the University of Maryland – College Park. Prior to law school, Mari worked for Leydig Voit & Mayer and Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. She spent her 1L summer as a judicial intern for the Honorable Loren A. Smith at the Court of Federal Claims and her 2L summer as a summer associate for Latham & Watkins. As a 3L, she served as the German Law Journal’s Programs Editor.
Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?
I will be working at Latham & Watkins’s D.C. office in its Corporate Department, most likely with the Mergers and Acquisitions group. I am fortunate that with the firm’s Unassigned Program, I have the opportunity to explore different practice groups before committing to one in my second year.
Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in this field?
No, I graduated with a biology degree and after working as a patent secretary, I intended to practice Intellectual Property law.
What role did the size and location of the firm play in the search and decision process?
I knew I wanted to work at a large firm in D.C., so I limited my searches to firms in that area with at least 100 lawyers.
Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this career choice?
Working with different practice groups within Latham’s Corporate Department confirmed my career choice. I discovered my ideal working style as a big picture thinker who enjoys seeing the pieces of a deal come together.
What classes do you think are helpful to prepare for this job?
Besides the typical business courses, the two most helpful classes have been Contracts and Negotiations. Understanding the fundamentals of contract law and knowing how to best advocate for the client’s interests are essential to a successful deal.
Can you describe the job search process?
Knowing my interest in large D.C. firms with strong M&A practice groups, I looked up such firms on the Chambers and Partners website. From there, I applied to the firms that fit my search criteria. Once I secured interviews, I researched each firm and each attorney conducting my interviews, so I could tailor my questions and answers accordingly. I chose the firm that best suited my career interests and provided the most compatible cultural fit.
What are you most looking forward to about this job?
I am so excited to continue learning from an array of brilliant legal professionals and to contribute to my community through pro bono work.