There are newer employer reviews for Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear

2 people found this helpful  

Great place to work

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

I worked at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time

Pros

Knobbe is a really great law firm to work, especially to start out. The training is really good. The attorneys are really nice. The dress code is a casual business casual.

Cons

I can't think of any specific cons. It's a really good workplace for work-life balance. The benefits are really good.

Approves of CEO

31 Other Employee Reviews for Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    High School Environment!!!

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

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time

    Pros

    The only good thing is the benefits. This law firm does have good medical/dental and PTO. Wages are a little lower then other law firms. Just know what your getting into before working here.

    Cons

    This is very much a high school environment. The partners are the cool kids that you have to suck up to in order to survive the working environment. I've seen it many times, when the partners don't like you, you are out. This includes staff and associates. I've seen good staff people and associates belittle by partners. Some have even been asked to leave because the partners don't "like" them.

    Also keep in mind that management works only for the partners. They are not supportive at all of staff or associates.

    This is a good start to a career, but don't plan on staying long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to Management and Partners - get over yourselves and realize you can't operate this law firm by yourselves. But again you can let people go and just hire another victim desparate for a job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Turning the Ship Around

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

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you read some of the earlier reviews on this website, they paint a pretty horrific picture for associates at the firm. Those opinions were not exclusive to just a few disgruntled associates, they were real problems faced by a significant percentage of the associates at the firm. Consequently, a large number of associates got very upset, left the firm, and justifiably wanted to tell the world about their situation.

    Between word of mouth and many postings on websites like these, law students and other attorneys slowly became aware of the situation and it began to hurt recruiting. Now, every summer associate and interviewee asks directly or indirectly about the associate experience and the reviews on this very website. Associates that you meet from other law firms will say things like, “Oh, you work at Knobbe? That must be rough.”

    So yes, the reviews on this site and word of mouth have been very effective. People from outside the firm, particularly law students, no longer think this is a good place to work.

    However, the partners aren’t stupid. They know how to Google too, and the entire partnership is aware of this website. Many partners have even faced uncomfortable questions from interviewees about associate life based almost entirely on what they’ve read here.

    In response to all these problems, the partnership started instituting some major improvements to fix things:

    1. Patent Counsels - Earlier this year, the firm created non-partnership track Patent Counsel positions. Since the arrival of the Patent Counsels, associates have more flexibility to pursue a much wider variety of work.

    2. Billing out time - Knobbe still uses a sometimes problematic “billed” quota system that you can read about in more detail in the other reviews. Under this system, an associate’s “efficiency” is primarily reflective of the budgets and partners that they work under, rather than their own personal effectiveness. Consequently, there is disparity in the associate experience. Lately, there has been quite a bit of progress here and more associate hours are being billed out than before. Partners seemingly face more scrutiny now for time-cutting and this development seems to have helped a great deal. Nevertheless, the partnership needs to continue taking steps to minimize the unfairness between associates because this problem is a major source of morale issues.

    3. Bringing in more work - Likely due to the improved economy and reduced headcount, all the associates are very busy right now and there seems to be more than enough prosecution and litigation work to go around.

    4. Diversity of Work - Both litigation and prosecution have picked up fairly dramatically. Associates are encouraged and allowed to work in both practice areas, but partners do seem to expect associates to focus in one area fairly early on.

    5. Improved Work Environment - Contrary to what the other reviews might suggest, it is a very collegial work environment. Most of the people who work here are kind and helpful, and you’ll make good friends. Partners and senior associates genuinely seem to care about teaching and mentoring. There are still a few abrasive personalities, but they are the exception and not the rule.

    So basically, Knobbe is on the right track again. It’s a lifestyle firm with much more reasonable hours relative to other big law firms. However, it is still a law firm, so don’t expect a typical 9-5. As with any other job, there will always be some upsides/downsides and the partnership should continue making efforts to resolve some of the pending issues. In the mean time, Knobbe is still one of the premier patent law firms in the country and a great place to start a career.

    Cons

    Please see the details above

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please see the details above

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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