Berry Appleman & Leiden

www.balglobal.com
Employer Engaged

Berry Appleman & Leiden Reviews

Updated February 4, 2015
Updated February 4, 2015
39 Reviews
2.9
39 Reviews
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Jeff T. Appleman
21 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

     

    Good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Immigration Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Immigration Paralegal in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden

    Pros

    Great place to work. Nice people and good opportunity.

    Cons

    Can be a high stress environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Thank god I am out

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

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden

    Pros

    Bagel Thursdays (pretty pathetic). The summer I worked there, they were trying this cool 80 something schedule - basically you work your butt off during the week and every other Friday you have off. doubt they do this anymore, the management only allowed it because work environment was miserable. I believe it was only temporarily for the summer.

    Cons

    I read the reviews on glassdoor and completely ignored it. It was my first job after graduating college and I was just stoked someone decided to hire me. How could it be that bad?

    Boy, was I wrong! My first day at work I was surprised. Everyone looked burnt out. You walk through the rows of cubes, and colleagues were hidden behind endless piles of files. Nobody talked. It was mostly always silent. Lunch time will be the best part of you crappy day.

     very fast paced environment-but that's expected in every company, the only difference is that other companies actually train you for the work that lies ahead. With that being said, training was lousy and no forgiveness from management when you made a rookie mistake. And must I say how terrible some lawyers are. If you just got hired, hope and pray you are put in a good team-because your lawyer will make or break your experience.

    No upward mobility, no career development, no liveable wage. You push papers all day, file after file, application after application with no real end.

    I can honestly say I am glad I am out of BAL. For all you young and naive newly grads, save the hassle- there are better companies out there to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of fear and intimidation tactics, how about actually spending some on money on new hire training instead of recruitment. Perhaps then you will actually retain some valuable employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a good environment for law students (Law Clerk position)

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

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden (less than a year)

    Pros

    Pays reasonably well
    Easy access by BART

    Cons

    - Minimal training
    - Being referred to as a "temp" if you are a Law Clerk
    - Not a friendly nor challenging environment
    - Very little opportunity to learn from and connect with attorneys

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor firm culture

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

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden

    Pros

    -Helpful co-workers
    -Great exposure to immigration law and what it is like to work at a law firm

    Cons

    -Poor pay, although starting pay is what most law firms will start legal assistants at
    -Extremely heavy caseload from the beginning.... Complete your tasks and they will find more work for you
    -Turnover is extremely high..expect cases to be passed to you which can cause confusion
    -Lots of politics
    -Very pushy clients..as should be expected as you will be working for people who want their green cards right away
    -Horrible training..no formal training...they will ask a senior paralegal to train you and they do a horrible job

    As you can see from most of the ratings, this is not a great place to work. It really is like a sweatshop. You will be working A LOT for little pay (close to compensation at a fast food restaurant for an office job, seriously). Add on top of that all the politics, high turnover, and drama and this work environment is pretty bad. You will get exposure and learn the concepts of immigration law because of high caseload and BAL is very reputable in immigration law so it will look great on your resume however I highly recommend you invest your time in finding another place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire much better management... treat employees with more respect

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    MicroManagement, stressful and gender/ethnicity discrimination

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

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    All silicon valley giant tech companies are their clients.

    Cons

    No performance review or feedback and one morning you'll find out that you have terminated and they would give a lame excuse.
    Too many women in management and they follow traditional gossipy way to collect information about new employees.
    They discriminate against young women and international people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have a clear standard for terminated employees and give regular feedback to employees. It should not bases on input from co-workers, gossip or personal likness.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Temporary Legal Assistant in McLean, VA
    Former Contractor - Temporary Legal Assistant in McLean, VA

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The people there make you want to stay overtime through the weekends. The culture is amazing, the attorneys are the sweetest people on earth, and the paralegals are exceptionally hardworking people. Everyone is on the same boat and helps each other out. We had potlucks, happy hours, birthday celebrations, other significant date celebrations every week I was working there. A diverse group of people, but mostly women and young crowd.

    Cons

    No diversity in gender ratio. Mostly female environment

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Payroll consultant

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

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Law firm with international employees good payroll experience.
    Impressive big name clients from hi-tech.
    Paralegals work hard for very little reward.

    Cons

    Lot's of turnover - weekly termination checks.
    Payroll and HR system - Ultipro horrible.
    CFO was a difficult manager to work for - not pleasant, high stress environment.
    To much office politics between HR and Finance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have issues within Finance and HR.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Rewarding and Challenging Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I'm surprised by the negative reviews here (and recognize a few disgruntled ex-coworkers). Yes, BAL is a very fast paced, deadline-driven place to work. I believe that can be said of many law firms. Immigration law isn't easy. It's a challenging field that requires intelligence, organization and a methodical approach to getting your work done. High volume doesn't equal "sweatshop." I don't know of any sweatshops that give mid-year and year-end bonuses to their staff every year. (And this summer we got iPad minis.) Benefits are great. When the firm does well, they always pass it on. If you are smart, industrious and have a good work ethic, BAL is a very rewarding and interesting place to work.

    Cons

    Business immigration can be stressful: managing the demands of corporate clients, high volume caseloads, dealing with (understandably) anxious international clients immigrating to the US or abroad. There are busy seasons where everyone works overtime, but that is not the norm. Turnover of paralegal staff can be painful. Many paralegals tend to stay for a couple of years, then move on to law school or other pursuits. I think that's just the nature of the beast. On the other hand, there are a lot of great "career paralegals" in varying positions at BAL. And several of those law school bound paralegals have returned to BAL as attorneys, which is awesome. The firm continues to grow and with that there can be growing pains, but overall it is a great place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Working for BAL is and has been a great learning experience in the area of Immagrations, and the people are wonderful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Records Clerk/Facilities Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Records Clerk/Facilities Assistant in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    One of the best reason is everyone is so friendly, it feels like one big family. We laugh, give advice, a hug is always good to things will work out. You always have a good day, have a good weekend, how was your weekend and just all around kindness. We all appreciate each other, it's a team.

    Cons

    I can honestly say that I don't have many cons except that I am not doing what I was hire for and that is Records Clerk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I beleive that some of the employees work load could be more structured and distributed evenly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    pathetic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Paralegal in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Paralegal in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    benefits, job stability, fast paced environment, good on your resume

    Cons

    poor salary, too much work, politics between attorneys.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to retain the staff then pay them well.

    Doesn't Recommend

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