Berry Appleman & Leiden

  www.balglobal.com
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Berry Appleman & Leiden Reviews

Updated Jul 15, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.3 30 reviews

65% Approve of the CEO

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Jeff T. Appleman

(17 ratings)

26% of employees recommend this company to a friend
30 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    It can be rough

    Immigration Paralegal (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsSupportive team members and supervisors.

    ConsSubstandard pay, unreasonable billing requirements, and trickle-down blame.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in your employees. Train them and allow them to outgrow their roles. Allow attorneys to have less work by creating more lead team members to filter out simple issues.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    pathetic

    Paralegal (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

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

    Conspoor salary, too much work, politics between attorneys.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to retain the staff then pay them well.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Micromanagement Galore

    Immigration Legal Assistant (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsCo-workers helpful and nice. Great benefits. In middle of Financial district. Depending on who you end up working for, can have a supportive boss.

    ConsSevere lack of continuous training. Nobody can learn all systems in one week of training. Systems unorganized. Environment does not seem to foster learning. Seems that learning is done through fear and intimidation by superiors. Too much emphasis on billing. Unrealistic expectations on case work and volume. Too much emphasis on protocol and policy. Lack of appreciation towards staff. High turnover of staff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop micromanaging the staff, and show more appreciation through bonuses and other awards. Teach more of the law...employees need to know of whole immigration cycle not just one portion. Set more realistic goals for casework and volume. More training and follow up.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Can Be a Great Place to Work

    Legal Assistant (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsCan be a great place to work as long as you work with the right attorney. Co-workers are nice. Benefits are great.

    ConsNeed better training methods. Seem more like show them once and dump work attitude. Too much of a disjunct between management and staff. Information is not passed down well. Too much process driven. High turnover of people. Managing attorneys need to be trained to work with staff better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementExtend training to be more on continuous basis. Clarify better where to find things. Staff needs to be appreciated and awarded through retreats, monetary awards, time off. Need to spread the work around better.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Controlling and Micro-Managing, Managing Partner

    Human Resources (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe employees - back in the day, there were catered breakfasts, treats, etc. Benefits were OK. Salary structure was all over the place, but not too bad.

    ConsFirst level supervisor was wonderful - she was amazing. When she was moved to another part of the firm, I reported directly to the managing partner - a controlling, demanding, mean-spirited boss who enjoyed intimidating people. Used phrases with me like, "For fear of your job...". Though I was a department head in administration, you wouldn't think so. I think they partners were excellent at what they did, practicing immigration law - however, when it came to managing employees, they were dreadful. Mean. Hateful and fear-invoking. I would never recommend working at this place.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe managing partner should not be in charge of Admin, Ops and Legal - if he has not been dethroned from that position. Hire an administrative director for the department heads to report up to. Let your department heads be just that. Don't rule with an iron fist...you have for years, and look where it has gotten you?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    A waste of 2.5 years of my career

    Marketing (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsIf you're an attorney or on a track to become one, this may be a good stopping point on your journey. If you're not, skip it. I repeat: Working here is a waste of time if you are a) smart and b) not an attorney.

    ConsWhen I read reviews on Glassdoor, I try to take them with a grain of salt. But I will say that almost every person I met at this company was unhappy while working there. I frequently heard others mention the following issues, and I also experienced these things on a regular basis:

    1. Managers who were not educated in the technical aspects of their field.
    2. Promotions that just never came; no opportunity for growth.
    3. Inadequate software/resources to accomplish work tasks. (Company too cheap to spend on solid tools; instead chose to waste employee hours and money on initially cheaper tools that constantly broke.)

    The company culture was the worst I have experienced in the corporate world. Leadership encouraged a culture of "every man for himself." People passed blame to each other constantly, especially managers who blamed their direct reports for just about anything and berated them in front of others. People threw each other under the bus when things went wrong, and managers set their employees up for failure on high-visibility projects by not giving them time, tools, or realistic expectations. Managers piled on more work for the same or even less pay.

    Maybe all of this is typical for a law firm. Which is why I say - if you are on track to become an attorney, this may be a fitting place to stop for a few years. But if you are not an aspiring lawyer, do not waste your time. You will end up in a toxic environment with no potential for growth.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAfter working here, I know how not to manage people and run a company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Highrise Sweatshop

    Anonymous (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsYou can dress comfortably to work.
    You will make at least one life long friend.

    Cons-In the SF office alone out of 300 employees there were 5 Black employees. After I made a comment abt it I noticed 3 more were hired (to replace the 4 they fired).
    -Lack of pay
    -If you are not an attorney you are beneath them and therefore your opinions and feelings about the firm doea not matter. Everything is about pleasing the attys/partners.
    -overwhelming amount of work with unrealistic turnaround times. They bill thousands if not millions of dollars but pay peanuts! Bonus checks are a complete joke.
    -They give you one day of "training" and then throw you out in the den expecting you to just figure it out or "ask questions" if you need to. But will chastise you for making any mistakes.
    -everything is unorganized
    -SUPER HIGH turnover rate which puts more work on others when one quits or is fired.
    -yes the will fire you if you been there too long because you are expensive that is true.
    -there is NO ROOM for growth at all, which I believe is purposely set up that way.
    -the overall morale of the SF office is that everyone hates being there, feel underpaid, under worked, and under appreciated. Everyone is there for a check and many are actively looking for work while working at BAL.
    -Attorneys/Management are extremely rude, disrespectful and condescending.

    Other than being able to dress a bit casual at work this is by far the WORSE place to work. If you want to grow this is not the place, if you are black/latino this is not the place. If you are looking to just be somewhere temporarily until u land a job u TRULY want...this is the place however, the Stress is NOT worth it at all.
    Run far far far away. The day I left was the 2nd happiest day of my life! And I have been stressfree and just truly happy since I've left. And so have the other former coworkers I am friends with.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSo how about you guys stop being cheap as hell and pay your employees what they deserve? Show appreciation! Have realistic caseloads! How about trying to KEEP your employees. The high turnover deeply affects the business. But I guess its all abt the $.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Very unorganized - my experience was not pleasant. They have he reputation of hiring and laying off excessively.

    Immigration Paralegal (Former Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsI can't think of any Pros in being employed by this law firm.

    ConsThere are a lot of clicks in this organization and some of the attorneys are down right ugly in their advising the paralegals as to what they expect.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great Firm to Work For

    Law Clerk (Current Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsThis is one of those jobs where you look forward to coming to work. Each day you are faced with a new challenge and you are constantly learning something new. Additionally, the company does a great job in taking care of their employees whether it is something as simple as Bagel Thursdays or Birthday Cake Celebrations. It's the little things that go a long way.

    ConsBeing such a large firm, it's unfortunate that we do not know everyone's names. Other than that, I have nothing negative to say about the firm.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to update the interface for Career Opportunity website.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Sweatshop work environment, underpaid

    Paralegal (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros-it's a job and it pays the bills

    Cons-no job growth
    -horrible work environment
    -impossible/unreasonable caseload volume sets up employees to fail
    -management chooses to run the company in such a way that employees are miserable at work. they are aware of the problem

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop abusing your employees who make your business successful. The 401k plan is awful also. Carol Mayes the COO is a moron as are the partners.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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