Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

  www.fragomen.com
  www.fragomen.com
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5 people found this helpful  

Incredibly misleading and disappointing

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Assistant Paralegal  in  New York, NY
Former Employee - Assistant Paralegal in New York, NY

I worked at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

Pros

Benefits (health insurance, retirement plans, PTO) are about on par with other law firms and companies; great workplace diversity; blue jeans and free breakfast on Fridays; fairly lax in terms of hours and demands; requested time off is almost always given without issue; decent camaraderie within project teams; seemingly no distinction or "barriers" between and among the attorneys, paralegals, management, etc.

Cons

To say that their training program is a waste of time would be to say that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west... for the first week, we were subjected to various presentations and slideshows that were incredibly superfluous and, even worse, not helpful at all in terms of preparing us for the actual work environment. HR and management do a horribly deceiving job at making new hires feel welcome, excited, and prepared for the tasks they will perform, only to subject the vast majority of them to weekly, month-long "performance review plans", where the HR department essentially acts as a liaison between management and the bottom tier of paralegals, offering hardly constructive criticisms on what they are doing wrong and offering little in terms of encouragement or advice to improve for the future. I was hired with nine other people towards the end of July 2011, and employed with the company for slightly more than four months (at which point I found a much more suitable and intriguing opportunity). At least three of the people with whom I did training were either encouraged to leave, or outright fired within that timeframe (and this does not include a second round of new hires who joined roughly two months after we did, at least one of which was also let go during that time period.)

It seems as though there are genuine infrastructural and institutional problems in terms of Fragomen's hiring process and employee retention and development programs. As previously stated, the training program does absolutely nothing to prepare new hires for the work they will perform. Fragomen is almost exclusively an immigration law firm, and the vast majority of assistant paralegals (the very bottom rung on the corporate ladder) are young adults freshly out of college (maybe some graduate school), with little to no experience in immigration law, or immigration in general. "AP's" (the colloquial nickname for assistant paralegals) are expected to have a phenomenally short learning curve, and to make absolutely zero mistakes, in what appears to be an effort to almost completely reduce the relevance of, and work needed to be done, by management, as well as the associates and partners who seem to do exceedingly little. I can safely say that this is just about the only law firm of which I have ever heard where you are actually *encouraged* to work slower and bill less, for the sake of reducing the amount of work management must do in a given day.

And this really goes without saying, but the work done in a given day is monotonous, boring, and lethally repetitive. If you are considering pursuing a career in law, or as a paralegal, my word of advice would be to stay the hell away from Fragomen. It should come as no surprise that they are constantly hiring and have openings. I'm confident a simple review would show an employee turnover rate that far exceeds any comparable firm or company. I can truly say that despite the amenities and efforts to make Fragomen a desirable place to work, it is not enjoyable and the vast majority of entry-level employees are more than displeased with the overall environment.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Stop using HR as a mechanism to review employees, and instead give sound, useful, constructive advice directly to those who need it; cool off on the insistence that forms and documents be absolutely flawless on the first draft, especially for new employees; develop a training program that actually provides help and insight as to what the new hires can realistically expect to do while employed

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

75 Other Employee Reviews for Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was a very stressful and mostly bad experience. I did enjoy some of the people I worked with (attorneys included)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Paralegal  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Assistant Paralegal in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

    Pros

    Good pay. Most of the co-workers were very approachable and really nice when it came to questions I had about cases. Very good when it came to asking for vacation or just needed time off.

    Cons

    Sweat shop! Very stressful environment. Absolutely no room for error. Worked close to 80 hours a week on some occasions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One word: "Streamline". It seemed like there were 3 immediate supervisors plus attorneys that were involved in a variety of cases at a given time. It was very confusing and stressful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Two years of austerity = mass burnout

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

    Pros

    Business casual attire, no issues if you need to come in late or leave early occasionally for a doctor's appointment, very good group of co-workers, most non-attorneys are non-exempt, no billable hours.

    Cons

    Upper-management is so worried about maintaining their bonuses that they are working the rank and file to the bone. With no new hiring, despite a significant increase in business, there is no opportunity for upward mobility. Also, while the overtime does help to make up for only getting one small raise in the last two years, it would be nice to not feel under constant stress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People cannot work at maximum capacity indefinitely. We need more new blood both to reduce our stress, and give us hope of future advancement.

    Doesn't Recommend
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