Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

  www.fragomen.com
  www.fragomen.com
There are newer employer reviews for Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

2 people found this helpful  

Great company culture, high work volume, understaff

  • 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

It's a great place to improve interpersonal skills, time management, problem solving skills and learn immigration law. The folks are generally nice. The schedule isn't rigid.

Cons

Understaffing makes everyone's job exhausting due to very high volume of work. Clients can be very demanding.

Standardizing processes = monotonous work.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Hire interns.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

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

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    TURN BACK WHILE YOU STILL CAN- TERRIBLE place to work

    • 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

    You will learn a lot about immigration law, business immigration law that is, at Fragomen because you will be forced to. Maybe you will be lucky to get a good manager who will teach you something and not leave you to sink or swim on your own.

    Cons

    Fragomen works hard at hiring young people from top-tier schools and almost always has openings. You're interview and first week will be a honey-moon (the HR department courts all its new APs) but then will have to hit the ground running. Welcome to corporate slavery. Fragomen has a high employee turn over rate an less than 50% of Assistant Paralegals make it through 2 years.

    You will have to do a lawyers job at Fragomen whether your a paralegal, legal assistant, or simple team manager (people who are meant to manage mail correspondence). You will get no useful training whatsoever to complete your tasks and manage the responsibilities you have for your caseload.

    Caseloads are inconsistent, rushed, and rarely manageable. There are few Fragomen paralegals who go home on time and its more rare to go home completing all of one's work. Team leaders frequently put client opinions and wishes (possible or not) before their employees well-being and rarely take into consideration what is reasonably doable in a day's time.

    All "lower" employees (non-lawyers and non-CSMs) do repetitive work literally filing out paper work all day in front of a computer screen. You will not be taught more than the bare minimum and will rarely interact with your clients (lawyers and CSMs take credit for all of their team's work on the client side). Talking with fellow employees is highly discouraged by team leaders who would chain you to your desk if they could. It is not uncommon for people to work through their lunch (which is time you are unpaid and clocked out) because they are afraid of losing their jobs.

    The expectations of partners and associates are unattainable. You're expected to know everything the moment you step in, even if you have no background in law, no JD, and no experience with immigration. You are given full responsibility for your cases (lawyers do little or no work besides signing papers and billing clients) which is a very scary thing when you are dealing with people's legal status in the U.S.

    This is a burn-out job. You'll work long hours for leaders who severely underrate and under-appreciate your work. I have also heard Fragomen paralegaling called the "black hole" because many people are so miserable but have become so pigeon-holed in their positions that they cannot escape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using your HR department to cope for all the human functions (training, criticism, case problem solving and management) your managers are too incompetent, stressed-out, and nasty to do themselves.

    Stop treating people like machines and creating unlivable expectations for new, green employees.

    Create a reasonable training program and provide more support to green employees. The training is a joke and your APs are frequently bearing too much responsibility for their cases.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 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
There are newer employer reviews for Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

Work at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy? Share Your Experiences

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.