Cooley

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Cooley Reviews

8 Reviews
3.0
8 Reviews
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Joe Conroy
8 Ratings

8 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Cooley is a great place to work although there is nothing that makes it stand out from other big firms IMHO. Congenial

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Paralegal in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Paralegal in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Cooley full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Cooley has a congenial office culture. The people are professional, courteous and respectful. I have stayed in touch with many of my former colleagues.

    Cons

    The day to day experience is typical of other big law firms. There is a fair amount of overtime and sometimes weekend work. Given the firm's history, I think the biggest fear is the possibility of layoffs

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I hope there will be no more major layoffs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Better than most law firms but far from perfect.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Professional in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Professional in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Cooley full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent vacation time which grows the longer you have been there. Most people are friendly. Environment is better than most other law firms.

    Cons

    Slow to promote people. Managers have no desire to mentor employees. Management can be cutthroat. Each office seems to be run differently depending on the Partner in Charge of the office. Some administrative departments are unfairly compensated. Some people are fired over making one mistake while others that are lazy, poor performers are kept around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management has been making questionable choices recently. Seems as though they are hiring their friends who are not right for the task at hand. Think about compensating your non exempt staff more in their bonuses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Smart People, but no "big" egos.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cooley full-time

    Pros

    The work is interesting and you work for some big name clients. The firm tries hard to make sure that there are no "big" egos even though the people are all really smart and really good. Everyone works hard, including the partners, but the firm does not work their associates to death, like at other large firms. The Firm does not try to take itself too seriously. It is possible to keep a decent work/life balance

    Cons

    I can't think of any.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Upstairs/Downstairs?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Cooley

    Pros

    Firm still has solid 'high tech, emerging markets' reputation. Some business-oriented and business-savvy partners.

    Cons

    There's an 'upstairs, downstairs' mentality amongst many in the partnership - if you're not a partner then get below stairs to the sweatshop. There used to be a 'Cooley culture' espousing collaboration and 'we are one-firm' mentality. Not anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat the firm as if it were a business, not a high school football team.

    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Let's talk turkey, legal staff!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Cooley

    Pros

    Not too many extreme personalities among the attorneys. Has a reputation for quality legal work.

    Cons

    Support staff don't generally feel valued. Mid-level management is not professional. For example, HR people are not professionally trained. More needs to be done to establish teamwork, cooperation and respect between attorneys and staff. Firm needs to loosen up the purse strings and invest in higher-quality infrastructure and training. Huge Profit Per Partner ratio does not relate down to staff level. Staff salaries do not increase at anywhere near the rate of associate salaries, let alone partners.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Demand more of your mid-level management in terms of qualifications and continued education in their fields. Encourage more communication and teamwork among the offices. Provide more training and educational opportunities for staff as well as attorneys. Look at your personal income compared to the lowest paid workers at your firm and ask yourself if you are part of the problem or the solution when it comes to widening class differences in the U.S.

    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    About the Same as Other Big Law

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate

    I worked at Cooley

    Pros

    Good compensation; Good contacts with client companies for your in-house job after Cooley; some excellent partners, especially the most senior partners in the firm; many smart associates; excellent locations and ability to switch offices if needed; some lawyers in other departments are terrifically helpful

    Cons

    Partnership chances are minimal; despite supposed emphasis on training, seemed to lack sustained training for associates or partners, with no emphasis on attending outside seminars if no CLE requirement in your state; younger partners in management seem more focused on hanging out with their buddies in the various offices than connecting with other partners or associates; the usual office politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better and ongoing training of attorneys at all levels. Younger partners in management need to learn from the senior partners.

    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Its probably not better or worse than anywhere of comparable prestige in the area.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cooley

    Pros

    Money, nice office space, some quality colleagues

    Cons

    Little transparency in decision making on the part of management; indifferent supervisors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is always room for improvement

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Typical Biglaw experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cooley

    Pros

    Standard Biglaw salary, good benefits, and opportunities to learn from talented and accomplished colleagues who are also generally friendly. As one would expect, the salary is the biggest "pro."

    Cons

    The firm exists to make money, so work-life balance is not a part of the program. Reviews are based largely on quantity of work done (billing billing billing) rather than quality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lawyers are notoriously bad managers. Invest in some people-management training for partners.

    No opinion of CEO

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