K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates – Irvine, CA
The global law firm of K&L Gates seeks to hire a corporate associate to join their dynamic practice. The ideal candidate will have 3-6 years of… Experteer
K&L Gates – Orange, CA
K&L Gates LLP delivers legal services on an integrated and global basis, with more than 2,000 lawyers located in 47 cities across five continents… K&L Gates
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at K&L Gates LLP full-time (more than 10 years)Pros
■My practice group has tried to retain the collegiate work atmosphere among staff and professionals pre-merger and keeping employee morale high. I work with and among some of the most talented, experienced, and ethical people. My immediate bosses give me a good amount of assignments that go beyond the duties expected of me in my position, allowing me to use my brain and be creative.
■7.5 hour work week
■a free, well-equipped on-site gym
■employee discounts on Dell and Lenovo products
■office location is in close proximity to good restaurants and shoppingCons
○Saying staff aren't appreciated is an understatement. Tenure is not rewarded nor appreciated. Exceptional performance and talent are not rewarded with bonuses. Raises are small or nonexistent despite the fact that firm revenue has increased every year (albeit, sluggish but not unlike current law firm trends) and we've remained debt free.
○Overtime is discouraged and/or advanced notice needs to be given before working which in some cases, is inconvenient. I routinely work "for free" because of this policy and a couple of my collleagues have done the same at one time or another.
○A few years ago, at the start of the "economic crisis," a week of leave was inexplicably taken away from employees who with tenure, earned 6 weeks of leave per year. Why? Yes, the firm would be paying for that week off but they would be paying that same week of pay if you were there. We don't bill hours and the firm doesn't hire a temp to cover you while you're out. Neighboring assistants cover you so really, there was no financial benefit to the firm (equity partners) in reducing our paid leave. It is my belief that this was implemented at a time when support staff were between a rock and a hard place due to the recent change in the job market.
○As of January 1, 2015, health insurance here stinks. Health insurance coverage is Aetna PPO, and quite frankly, it sucks. For me, the in-network providers changed drastically. None of my doctors that were previously covered by my Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO are part of Aetna's in-network. Furthermore, Aetna believes that they know better than your doctor, who has been treating you for the past 6 years, what the max dosage of your prescription should be. Yes, you can have your doctor request preauthorization from Aetna, but that doesn't mean you will get it. Mine was denied. And, my doctor is not in Aetna's in-network. And, it's slim pickings finding another doctor in the same specialty. And, the employee's share of the Aetna premium remained unchanged from our former Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
○Staff should not become seriously ill or have babies while working here. First, you have to exhaust all of your remaining leave. Then, take 6 weeks unpaid leave. Then, if you havent died or haven't recovered from your illness or want more time with your new baby, you can take additional time off with 60% pay for another few weeks. However, if you are someone that makes 6 figures, the firm gives you 6 weeks paid convelescent leave.
■Inadequate software application training
○Training for new employees is lacking - I'm not sure what department is dropping the ball on this one, but I have found myself training new employees to use various applications that somehow, did not make it into orientation week.
○Training for soon-to-be rolled-out applications is not really training. You either sit in the training room and listen to a pre-recorded webinar or get a demonstration by the trainer. No hands-on training despite the fact each participant sits in front of a PC in the classroom. The thing isn't even turned on!
○User/application support could be better. For the most part, I have come across knowledgeable help desk technicians for the few instances my bosses needed them. My experience with software application support was horrible. The 'application specialist' wasted 3 weeks trying to figure out what the cause was for an issue we were having with software that we were required to use in order to do filings with a government entity. Despite my boss and I telling him what the past issues were and how they were solved, he stubbornly tried to troubleshoot the issue himself, refusing to contact the software guy who worked for said government entity. Desperate, I contacted that guy, and the issue was resolved within an hour.
■Firm is slow to upgrade PCs and software. We were using XP right up until Microsoft announced they would no longer support it. You would think with the firm using K&L Gates as their brand (Bill Gates' uncle was one of the founding partners of the Seattle-based firm, Preston Gates & Ellis, having merged with K&L in 2007) would be technologically up to date, right? Nope.
■Management: They don't manage. Management for all departments routinely fail to inform of changes to policy or a department's standard operating procedures. There seems to be a reluctance among managers to make effective changes to procedures that are clearly not working. Service-oriented departments don't provide good service, almost making it impossible to do our jobs. Complaints/suggestions to the next level of management falls on deaf ears.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Manage better. We depend on you to convey to the powers-that-be what it's really like "down in the trenches" so that we're not looked at as just numbers - that the policies and tools given to do our job help the staff to work efficiently. Most of the time, it feels as though the firm is working against this. Staff and up-to-date software and technology should not just be seen as administrative overhead. We help the attorneys do what they do best and when they do their best, the whole firm becomes the best.Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookDisapproves of CEO