Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C.
Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C. – Concord, MA
Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds, a leading law firm specializing in intellectual property law, helps clients protect and defend their ideas and… Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C.
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-timePros
For those who have no experience and want to learn patent prosecution, the firm's initial training program focuses on how to get up to speed on the required documents. The firm has fairly good benefits. If you get the right people on your side, you are sure to be happy.Cons
For those who have extensive experience with prosecution, the training program was frustrating at best. The firm trains solely based on paper filings (nearly extinct in the field now) and puts a heavy burden on the tech-savvy admins to help those in the Quality Review department who aren't as tech-savvy themselves. Training focused very little on the actual functionality of the office, and once it was over, it was extremely difficult to find the "correct way" to do things based on the firm's preferences. The firm memos, emails and procedures trumped all discussion of the rules for support staff, which made it complicated for those who have not been part of the firm throughout the rule changes and subsequent office procedure changes. The procedure book that is referred to constantly in training as a reference has not been updated in years, frustrating attorneys when it is used as a guide, and leaving staff without much guidance, unless those "in the know" are willing to assist.
The partnership does not appear to get along, and the conflicts at the top of the firm are evident in the way the firm is managed. Support staff focuses on making attorneys happy, not ensuring a quality product, or becoming proficient themselves in their field of expertise. Very little value is placed on the support staff and their contributions to the value of the firm. If you do not have a J.D., anticipate being treated as though you are just at a job, not a career. There is a distinct lack of respect for the administrative role in the prosecution practice, and unless you are an attorney, the word "professional" is not even used to address you (see the website). The majority of the feedback received is about attendance, tardiness, attorney preferences and typographical errors.
The only additional training or education was to ensure the staff understands new forms; education about the legal aspects or implications of rules changes are not evaluated from a support staff perspective.Advice to ManagementAdvice
The administrative management of the firm needs to be addressed with regard to professionalism and favoritism. It would be additionally helpful to have supervisors who are experienced with Intellectual Property, not just those who have experience managing staff, so the hurdles that are faced are better understood by those who are supposed to remedy them. Those who are in management roles need to attend some updated seminars on management; both their ideas and focus are antiquated.
The Partnership needs to determine what matters to them, and get on the same team with their goals. The disagreements about how to proceed with the new office is clear to those who are subjected to the decisions made by a disgruntled partnership. The lack of support for the new Boston office, the lack of attentive management given until chaos ensued, and the lack of useful procedures to accomodate the new office are indicative of these issues.
Listen more to Human Resources, and the ideas that come from those who are optimistic in the firm. The constant negative feedback from the administrative management is disheartening. Support staff is more than just a warm body to sit at a desk awaiting an attorney's instructions or babysitting the front door. Should the value of each team member be acknowledged, the firm may find the bottom line increases once the staff are recognized as a valuable asset.
(I do not anticipate any such changes to occur any time in the near future, despite the increased turnover at the firm with both the legal and administrative staff).Doesn't RecommendNegative OutlookNo opinion of CEO