Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C.

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  www.hbsr.com

Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. Reviews

Updated October 14, 2014
Updated October 14, 2014
9 Reviews
2.7
9 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John L. DuPré
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good work/life balance. Good benefits/great people.

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

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great teamwork among legal assistants. Day and night support make it easy to maintain home and family life balance. HR and management are accessible and supportive. Long time emoyees are very supportive to newcomers. Great training resources by the firm and shared information among the legal assistants.

    Cons

    A few negative employees who aren't happy and want others to join them. It's tough to stay positive in a small office when someone is complaining every minute of the day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It takes a long time to weed out the bad apples. By the time they leave, they have brought morale down and left a mess in their wake.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    If you're green, you may give it a go. If you have experience, you may want to reconsider.

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

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time

    Pros

    For those who have no experience and want to learn patent prosecution, the firm's initial training program focuses on how to get up to speed on the required documents. The firm has fairly good benefits. If you get the right people on your side, you are sure to be happy.

    Cons

    For those who have extensive experience with prosecution, the training program was frustrating at best. The firm trains solely based on paper filings (nearly extinct in the field now) and puts a heavy burden on the tech-savvy admins to help those in the Quality Review department who aren't as tech-savvy themselves. Training focused very little on the actual functionality of the office, and once it was over, it was extremely difficult to find the "correct way" to do things based on the firm's preferences. The firm memos, emails and procedures trumped all discussion of the rules for support staff, which made it complicated for those who have not been part of the firm throughout the rule changes and subsequent office procedure changes. The procedure book that is referred to constantly in training as a reference has not been updated in years, frustrating attorneys when it is used as a guide, and leaving staff without much guidance, unless those "in the know" are willing to assist.

    The partnership does not appear to get along, and the conflicts at the top of the firm are evident in the way the firm is managed. Support staff focuses on making attorneys happy, not ensuring a quality product, or becoming proficient themselves in their field of expertise. Very little value is placed on the support staff and their contributions to the value of the firm. If you do not have a J.D., anticipate being treated as though you are just at a job, not a career. There is a distinct lack of respect for the administrative role in the prosecution practice, and unless you are an attorney, the word "professional" is not even used to address you (see the website). The majority of the feedback received is about attendance, tardiness, attorney preferences and typographical errors.

    The only additional training or education was to ensure the staff understands new forms; education about the legal aspects or implications of rules changes are not evaluated from a support staff perspective.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The administrative management of the firm needs to be addressed with regard to professionalism and favoritism. It would be additionally helpful to have supervisors who are experienced with Intellectual Property, not just those who have experience managing staff, so the hurdles that are faced are better understood by those who are supposed to remedy them. Those who are in management roles need to attend some updated seminars on management; both their ideas and focus are antiquated.

    The Partnership needs to determine what matters to them, and get on the same team with their goals. The disagreements about how to proceed with the new office is clear to those who are subjected to the decisions made by a disgruntled partnership. The lack of support for the new Boston office, the lack of attentive management given until chaos ensued, and the lack of useful procedures to accomodate the new office are indicative of these issues.

    Listen more to Human Resources, and the ideas that come from those who are optimistic in the firm. The constant negative feedback from the administrative management is disheartening. Support staff is more than just a warm body to sit at a desk awaiting an attorney's instructions or babysitting the front door. Should the value of each team member be acknowledged, the firm may find the bottom line increases once the staff are recognized as a valuable asset.

    (I do not anticipate any such changes to occur any time in the near future, despite the increased turnover at the firm with both the legal and administrative staff).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Outstanding training process, quality review department and support services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant/Paralegal in Concord, MA
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant/Paralegal in Concord, MA

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Not much room for advancement but excellent work-life balance and benefits.

    Cons

    Support services management is inappropriate with regards to behavioral management of paralegals/legal assistants, managing with coercive dialogue and negative criticism.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate favoritism of support staff.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Unpleasant Work Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Boston, MA

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you want exposure to patent prosecution, this firm has a relatively extensive and thorough training program.

    Cons

    The firm's culture is not geared towards making staff feel valued or an integral part of the team. Many partners feel that when one staff person leaves, another one is waiting at the door to be hired. This philosophy does not encourage any loyalty on the part of the staff. The work environment often times feels like that of a factory and partners do not show much appreciation to staff members.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Until management (partners) realize that staff members need to be shown appreciation for their expertise and the high quality of work that they provide to the firm's clients, the firm will continue to loose members of its staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Interesting work, good clients, great experience

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

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. (more than an year)

    Pros

    New office in Seaport District, Boston

    Cons

    Working with attorneys and supervisors in two offices is sometimes a challenge

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Extremely demanding of employees... new hires in particular

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Concord, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Concord, MA

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C.

    Pros

    Good benefits are offered including free medical and dental for single employees
    Completely smoke free environment - cannot even smoke in your automobile

    Cons

    No room for learning curve - management has extremely high expectations of new employees
    must come with complete and thorough knowledge of their way of doing things
    very unforgiving place to work
    very low morale

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please express your unreasonably high expections during the Interview process...don't wait until the employee is hired!

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Most dysfunctional place I ever worked

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

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The benefits are great and lots of the people there are nice. I'm sure certain employees find it a challenging (in a good way) workplace. I very much enjoyed many of the attorneys and technology specialists I worked with.

    Cons

    Management of the company is poor. The CEO continues to keep managers who are managers in name only. Change is extremely difficult and certain departments experience high turnover due to this poor management - especially in the IT department. Big egos should be tamed to minimize the workplace bullying I witnessed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management is to actually manage. You have some fantastic potential, but my experience there was to watch a lot of spinning wheels with no progress and some big egos misdirect some good initiatives. Also, listen to the advice of the audit - there was some valid advice given.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    The most dysfunctional experience of my life

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

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time

    Pros

    Some of the people are really nice

    Cons

    Unprofessional management. Unrealistic expectations. Constantly reversing demands. Micromanaged to the point of being completely paralyzed. HR has no power over the other managers so there's no recourse when being harassed. Expected to work through lunch. No boundaries. No opportunity for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire professionals to run your non-legal departments. If you insist on retaining these so-called professionals invest in some management training courses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Talented people, interesting work assignments, generous benefits!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C.

    Pros

    The firm provides a lot of training and support for support staff. Legal staff are treated as professionals and able to telecommute and manage their own schedules. Inclusive culture, generous benefits (including Firm payed individual health/dental insurance), friendly co-workers. Nice location, top notch training, ability to get hands on experience at a junior level for legal staff. Ability to contribute and work directly with Principles early on in career.

    Cons

    Firm currently located in Concord, so this makes for a great commute and free parking for some, but not easily accessible by public transportation.

    Recommends

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