Brown & James, PC
2.2 of 5 5 reviews
www.brownjames.com Saint Louis, MO 150 to 499 Employees

Brown & James, PC Reviews

Updated Feb 13, 2014

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2.2 5 reviews

                             

33% Approve of the CEO

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James E Whaley

(3 ratings)

20% of employees recommend this company to a friend
5 Employee Reviews
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good

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Saint Louis, MO

I worked at Brown & James, PC

Prosleadership was good for young lawyer

Conspay was not as good as other places

Advice to Senior Managementpay should be more for lawyers

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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This firm made me doubt my decision to practice law! RUN!!!!!!!!!

Associate Attorney (Former Employee)
Saint Louis, MO

I worked at Brown & James, PC full-time for more than a year

ProsThrown into court and depositions with no training and guidance immediately, free CLEs, travel reimbursement and decent benefits.

ConsYelling, screaming, people with the emotional intelligence of pre-teens with huge egos known as "principals" in charge, no feedback, no constructive criticism, horrible pay, ineffective and functionally non-existent HR department, sexual fraternization amongst secretaries, employees, and/or principles, no work/life balance potential, unrealistic bonus structure, demoralization as a culture, sexism and thinly veiled racism, and overall unprofessional work environment.

Advice to Senior Management1) Get professional therapy and HR-based training which includes diversity training and information on how to deal with female and minority employees in the 21st Century; 2) Pay associates more, or at least revise the bonus structure so it is attainable for more than 5% or less of the associates; 3) Stop bad-mouthing each other and associates (it's unprofessional and trashy); 4) Stop sexually harassing and/or having affairs with employees of the firm (and in general, but definitely keep it outside the firm AT LEAST); 5) prepare for eternal damnation.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A farm for Associates and Legal Assistants

Legal Assistant (Current Employee)
Saint Louis, MO

I have been working at Brown & James, PC

ProsGood insurance, occasional bonuses, company-paid parties,

ConsDon't expect HR to respond to your problems. It would be beneficial to have an HR director in place who has a formal education in human resources. HR is generally inaccessible and there is a complete breakdown in communication. Lower level employees (assistants and associates) work in a state of fear because the work is intense and fast-paced, and mistakes are met with harsh criticism, yelling, etc. The firm is preoccupied with trying to project a positive image to the public through charity donations and spots on the news about their team spirit for local sports teams, but the employee morale is extremely low within the firm. Establish a rule about romantic relationships within the firm (fraternization).

Advice to Senior ManagementHire HR generalist and HR assistant with formal training and education in Human Resources. Pay associates a salary that will draw at least some associates with some experience, so that they come in having a clue what they are doing--rather than just bringing in a crew of brand new associates who have yet to receive a Bar number and are thrown to the wolves in what is probably one of the fastest-paced insurance/corporate defense practices in the State. If you want the assistants and associates to treat the principals with respect, it should be required that the principals treat the assistants and associates with respect as well.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Disorganization

Secretary (Current Employee)
Saint Louis, MO

I have been working at Brown & James, PC

ProsLittle technology support and management unskilled or knowledgeable about their jobs.

ConsHard work, little pay, little recognition, no camaraderie. Low job satisfaction.

Advice to Senior ManagementLearn your job, get advanced education and treat everyone fairly. Support staff and provide opportunities for growth and more friendly work environment.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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St. Louis might be better, but do not work in the Kansas City office.

Attorney (Current Employee)

I have been working at Brown & James, PC

ProsOne word: benefits. Fantastic benefits, especially if you're single. Pretty cheap for great coverage. One other reason that's it's beneficial to work at Brown & James is the opportunity to undertake many different aspects of discovery during your first year as an associate. New associates are expected to quickly learn to take and defend depositions, draft and respond to discovery, write and defend motions at oral argument.

ConsVery poor management. Constantly yelling at and berating your employees and associates is not a management style; it's a lifestyle issue. No positive feedback is provided to associates. No "thank you" emails for work performed from clients to managment are ever forwarded to the associate that did the work. Associates live in fear of being "let go" regardless of their total hours billed simply because it's management's view that it's cheaper to hire new "talent", pay them cheap for a couple years, then retrain another.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide constructive criticism to your associates. When someone does a good job, congratulate him/her. Don't operate the firm, particularly the Kansas City office, to induce a culture of fear. Simply because the managing partner hates his life, his family, and his work, is no reason to let that attitude overtake an entire office.

Hire better associates. To do so you're going to have to pay more. But in the long run, you'll have a better firm. And get rid of the managing partner of the Kansas City office. He's only bringing down the firm. There is not reason, other than the MP, that the Kansas City office is so small, and the St. Louis office so large. The Kansas City office should be 100 attorneys strong, but no one wants to work for the MP, so all the talent leaves and you're left with the no-talent hack associates that shouldn't have been there in the first place.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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