Harmon Law Offices
1.7 of 5 30 reviews
www.hloreinstatement.com Newton, MA 150 to 499 Employees

Harmon Law Offices Reviews

Updated Mar 3, 2014

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1.7 30 reviews

                             

0% Approve of the CEO

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Mark Harmon

(3 ratings)

7% of employees recommend this company to a friend
30 Employee Reviews
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Decent entry level job experience, not much else.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Newton, MA

I have been working at Harmon Law Offices full-time

Pros-They hire a good amount of people with little to no experience, so it's not a bad place to start for recent college graduates.
-Most of the employees are in their 20s, so it's a younger environment
-Free Parking

Cons-Pay is pretty low and the benefits aren't great besides pooled time
-Only recognizes six holidays a year
-Most people are not happy here so the company morale is low. Just a negative vibe throughout
-Not much incentive to want to stay, therefore a high turnover rate.

Advice to Senior ManagementI've gotten along with most of my management, but I've always stories of other people not being treated well. Just treat your employees fairly and they will be more productive. Company morale will always be negative if your employees feel like they are being treated like crap. Simple.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Depressing work in a depressing environment

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Harmon Law Offices full-time

Pros-Free Coffee
-Free Parking
-Nice Gym / Stop n Shop / Sushi restaurant next door
-Will hire just about anyone
-Will pay the rent

ConsWhere to start. The work is depressing. Your job is to facilitate the foreclosure process, and your clients are banks. You help get people out of bankruptcy (which is good for a debtor) so the banks can foreclose on their home. Although many of the debtors are in bankruptcy through their own negligence, it is still morally degrading work to know you're helping force people out of homes.

The overall work environment ranges from apathetic to depressed. Many of the paralegals and legal assistants are young and aspiring to do better things; most of them will quit within a few months. The older folks carry themselves with an aura of missed opportunities and disappointment, wondering how they found themselves in the position they did. Very few of these people woke up and decided to work as foreclosure peons for their career.

The clients you work with are, for lack of better term, idiots. They rarely provide you with the information you need to complete your job, and often times your manager is berating you for things beyond your control, as a direct result of absent-minded clients. To add to this is the hierarchical structure of the office: legal assistant < paralegal < paralegal manager < attorney. Pressure from the top means everyone else gets squeezed.

The people themselves are generally nice, good people, who share a common dislike for their job. Attorneys are usually nice, but lead attorneys are too obsessed with the numbers to really care about office morale.

Company policies are stifling. 6 paid vacation days, which is about as low as it gets. Pooled time off comes out to about 15 days a year, which isn't terrible for an entry-level job, but there's no sick time. Don't feel well? Use your PTO. Not safe to drive because of weather conditions? Use your PTO. The ultimate middle-finger is when most other companies get the day off for various holidays (MLK day is an example), you get to wear jeans. Because that's what Dr. King strove for: jeans days.

To top it all off, the pay starts at $14.42 an hour. You can make better money working at Costco.

Advice to Senior ManagementGive your employees an incentive to work harder.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Horrible

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Harmon Law Offices

ProsIt's a job with benefits

ConsLow Pay, Stressful & Low Company Moral. Your job is to take peoples homes.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay employees more

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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A decent start, I guess

Paralegal (Former Employee)
Newton, MA

I worked at Harmon Law Offices full-time for more than a year

ProsThey give everyone a chance.

ConsBoring, dull, drab work. Incompetent clients. Incompetent management.

Advice to Senior ManagementGo to business school.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Where to begin...

Legal Assistant (Former Employee)
Newton, MA

I worked at Harmon Law Offices full-time for more than 5 years

ProsCo-workers were nice & helpful.

ConsThis firm does foreclosures. The work is not interesting or glamorous. It's repetitive, tedious, and mindless, for the most part. There have been threats (that the directors and management don't bother to tell us about), and you have to talk to a lot of unhappy people.

 There isn't much motivation to do well, other than not being laid off/fired. There have been 3 large lay-offs in the past year, during which many people who were devoted, quality employees, were laid off in favor of less-abled employees who were paid significantly less. They also then immediately started hiring new people. The message is clear to me - the company is more interested in the hard numbers of what they are paying their employees, rather than the quality of work that is generated by the employees. Management are pretty untouchable: I’ve witnessed a lot of discrimination against minority employees and when they were brought to HR’s attention, they shrugged it off & LAUGHED at the individual(s). The discrimination would continue in the form of additional work given to the people who complained (when they were already behind on work and there were other capable people who had nothing to do who could’ve done it) Managers give promotions to people who have become their friends in the past 6 months instead of the people who were willing to stay later and actually did work. Anytime you ask a manager for any assistance he/she will get annoyed with you. A lot of things, consequently, seem to be falling apart. Many of the people who were not laid off, but had been at the company for years, immediately left. Sometimes they would give them an ultimatum to be demoted with a decrease in pay, or quit. There is no formal training at the company, so new hires were/are taught by random team members who may not have actually been properly trained themselves. Most people learn by doing or learn the proper way to do things after they are reprimanded by management - despite never having been told what they're supposed to do in the first place.

 None of the employees are really happy. There are constant complaints. The computers are outdated. The applications themselves are outdated and cause problems when we share files with our clients, who seem to have current equipment and software; a lot of the files become incompatible, or formatting gets messed up when it's converted to the newer version of the software. There are virtually no desk chairs that are not ripped/falling apart. The cubicle walls are old and also falling apart. Nothing is replaced until it absolutely does not work anymore, and it is replaced with whatever they have lying around that still sort of works

Advice to Senior ManagementTake complaints about discrimination seriously. Communicate with employees and be approachable, rather than being aloof and having an attitude of being better than the other employees. Own up to your own mistakes, and listen when people address problems rather than essentially telling them that it's their problem.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Boring, repetitive work in a bad work environment.

Legal Assistant (Current Employee)
Newton, MA

I have been working at Harmon Law Offices full-time for less than a year

ProsThey promote from within. Not a very difficult job. Easy to get hired. Lunch is an hour. Located next to a gym and a grocery store.

ConsVery hierarchical structure, management doesn't cares about improving the workplace morale or workflow. Lot of turnover because there is very little room for promotion and people generally dislike the work (foreclosure law firm aka taking people's homes away). They do not pay people well. Your experience is very contingent on your immediate manager (lot of bad ones).

Advice to Senior ManagementFire the poor quality managers. Improve workplace morale.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It pays the bills.

Legal Assistant (Current Employee)
Newton, MA

I have been working at Harmon Law Offices full-time for more than a year

ProsThe pay is reasonable - about $30k starting. Not great, but about what you can expect these days. The interview process is pretty straightforward and easy.

ConsThis firm does foreclosures. The work is not interesting or glamorous. It's repetitive, tedious, and mindless, for the most part. There have been threats (that the directors and management don't bother to tell us about), and you have to talk to a lot of unhappy people.

There isn't much motivation to do well, other than not being laid off/fired. There have been 2 large lay-offs in the past year, during which many people who were devoted, quality employees were laid off in favor of less-able employees who were paid significantly less. They also then immediately started hiring new people. The message is clear to me - the company is more interested in the hard numbers of what they are paying their employees, rather than the quality of work that is generated by the employees. A lot of things, consequently, seem to be falling apart. Many of the people who were not laid off but had been at the company for years immediately left.

There is no formal training at the company, so new hires were/are taught by random team members who may not have actually been properly trained themselves. Most people learn by doing or learn the proper way to do things after they are reprimanded by management - despite never having been told what they're supposed to do in the first place.

Vacation/sick/personal time is grouped into one category, and you only get 15 days a year starting. I definitely think that this is inadequate. Most people do, and you'll see people going in to work when they're extremely ill because of this policy. Comparatively, a lot of people with similar paying jobs around Boston have told me that they get 20-30 hours vacation, maybe 5 personal days, and anywhere from 15-unlimited sick days.

None of the employees are really happy. There are a lot of constant complaints. The computers are ridiculously old and slow (none have more than 512MB RAM. I didn't know this was even possible anymore). The applications themselves are outdated and cause problems when we share files with our clients, who all seem to have reasonably up-to-date equipment and software; a lot of the files become incompatible, or formatting gets messed up when it's converted to the newer version of the software. There are virtually no desk chairs that are not ripped/falling apart. The cubicle walls are old and also falling apart. Nothing is replaced until it absolutely does not work anymore, and it is replaced with whatever they have lying around that still sort of works.

Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate with employees and be approachable, rather than being aloof and having an attitude of being better than the other employees. Own up to your own mistakes, and listen when people address problems rather than essentially telling them that it's their problem.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Legal Foxconn

Legal Assistant (Former Employee)
Waltham, MA

I worked at Harmon Law Offices full-time for less than a year

Pros-other employees share your disdain of working here.
-some of the attorneys are nice enough I guess.
-you put your paycheck into an ATM, cash comes out.

Cons-although cash comes out, it is a pittance equivalent to top ramen for dinner every night, and the occasional night out for drinking yourself stupid because you work for this foreclosure mill.

-The comprehensive employee training program is great because it's not real and you are constantly running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to figure out how to do something your are expected to do.

-Management. If you are a manager, chances are you either have some sort of 4-year degree, or have worked at the company for an equivalent number of years. So it's safe to assume then, you are at least 4. Most 4 year olds I know understand the importance of being amicable and treating other with even a shred of respect. This is not the case here. The management is rude, unprofessional, unhelpful and extremely disrespectful. They will occasionally (once a month or so, when they are supposed to be once a week) hold meetings where you are intended to strategize and air grievances about the work environment/work in general/work load, and how to improve efficiency. These usually boil down to the manager hearing, but not listening to any employee feedback. Lastly, part of being a manager is managing/improving all facets of employee environment. Things managers here will manage: your use of cell phones, other people's assigned work they assume is yours, sending harassing emails, constant emails about company policy, constant emails about way you can get fired, emails about other departments problems, emails about how all employee interaction with each other is forbidden, emails about absolutely nothing relevant to you. Things they will not manage: everything relating to efficiency, improving employee morale, training, coping with claustrophobia from being locked in a 6x6 bankruptcy space-pod while doing a seemingly endless amount of mundane, monotonous paperwork.

-The workload is what one might call "sweatshop" in nature. there is a overwhelming mountain of evil bankruptcy work. If you stare at it just right, it looks like the pillars of fire coming from mount doom. you are expected to work on files that are now assigned to you because people were either fired or quit. You are expected to juggle around 100+ files and produce an unrealistic amount of work. You have things that pass due dates that are other people's faults and you are blamed. this was my favorite part. Additionally, you work with employees at banks who are at the bottom of their gene pool in terms of intelligence, and more often than not, you will miss "important" dates for something they screwed up.

-Ever seen a Rube Goldberg machine? The employee experience is similar in terms of turnover. Employees go in, are thrown for a loop, then spit out at the bottom.. all while being dragged through a needlessly complex arrangement of obstacles and pitfalls. Never a week goes by where someone does not get fired, laid off, or quits for better opportunity (for example, anything other than Harmon Law).

-The work ethic, expectations, environment, and senior management are about as stagnant as the Dead Sea, and as static as the Colonel's secret recipe. Seriously, nothing ever changes abut this place.

- when you start your employment, you are told not to talk to the media about the company, or you will be fired. This stems from Harmon Law Offices being investigated by the AG's office, and for good reason.

-The farthest you can hope to advance is into a neighboring cubicle. If you're lucky, you may be shifted to another department (or else they will fire you), or perhaps you will get a $ 0.30 raise every 6 months.

-As this being one of my first jobs post-college, I was not expecting a huge of amount of responsibility, but working here made me feel as if going to college was a complete waste of time, as you don't need a college education to do the work here. Chances are a robot will have your job in a few years anyways. There is 0 critical thinking required.

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Advice to Senior Management-Listen to your underlings
-Pay a wage that at least says "thanks for being depressed about the work you do"
-treat your low level employees with at least the same respect you treat your dog
-train. new. hires.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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think again

Paralegal (Current Employee)
Waltham, MA

I have been working at Harmon Law Offices full-time for more than a year

Prosi can't think of anything.

Consthe coffee sucks. so does everyone and everything about this soul-sucking foreclosure factory

Advice to Senior Managementretire

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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An honest review

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Harmon Law Offices full-time for more than a year

Pros-Gain work experience
-Quality paralegal and legal assistants, most graduated from good schools and would work harder if there was an incentive to
-attorneys are for the most part both helpful and understanding
-a good temporary job, transitional experience

Cons-the computers do not work, the amount of money this company loses because they refuse to update their server is absurd
-management is unwilling to listen to paralegals
-impossible expectations
-upper management shows no appreciation for the work that gets done
-absolutely no training, learn as you mess up atmosphere
-constantly being harassed by managers via email
- managers do not trust their paralegals and treat them all like little children

Advice to Senior Managementif you just hired more employees, fixed the servers and paid your employees fairly, the company would make way more money. instead there is chronic turnover, waste time training new people who end up quitting right after they are hired because nothing works. the changes that need to be made are so basic. it's a shame because this company could be great if they were willing to change their attitude.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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