Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear Reviews

Updated July 1, 2015
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3.3
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Steven Nataupsky
28 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Attorney
    Current Employee - Attorney
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Knobbe is a big firm with a small firm feel. In general, the attorneys reflect the Mid-Western politeness of the founders. Knobbe is particularly supportive of business development activities. The firm will financially support most conferences and bar association activities where you have a leadership position.

    Cons

    Using billed out numbers (bills sent to the client) instead of straight written down time for your quota takes some getting used to. You have to build a padding into your time each month. Try to work only on clients that pay their bills without complaint.


  2. From a Staff Person's Perspective (Not Attorney)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits that include enough PTO days to help you keep good work-life balance. Most of the staff supervisors are family people. So they are understanding and accomodating in that regards. They're supportive of your growth if you express a desire to grow in the company, which can include tuition assistance for classes in your area of work. They try to continue to show appreciation to their staff with social events, random gifts, holiday gifts, and such. It's a fairly friendly environment, but just as any job/company, there's always those few that try to ruin it for you, but at least enough friendlies here to outshine those few.

    Cons

    As the company gets larger, it gets easier to feel lost in the mix, like you're just another unrecognized employee, but that just goes with companies getting larger. What makes it hard though is that more and more attorneys come off as unapproachable. They're rather intimidating, which is unfortunate because they're the ones we're working for.


  3. Helpful (1)

    The reality is...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Staff in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are good. Double flat screen monitors are nice. Air conditioner in the summer is wonderful. Great ergo office equipment and chairs. Conference rooms are upgraded with new technology.

    Cons

    Management is spread too thin.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the firm is a large law firm. Stop trying to brainwash employees into thinking the firm functions with small firm ideologies. There are some wonderful qualities associated with being a large law firm...and yes, this may mean you may have to spend more money to equip your departments with adequate staffing. Recall that your marketing department was composed of one person running it (with a child development degree- 2005). However, you finally gave your Marketing department the attention they needed and you staffed your Marketing department with over 6 qualified people- and growing. My advice is to recognize you're a large law firm and give each department within the firm the same attention and dedication you did with your Marketing department...especially to the profit making departments.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Used to be a great place

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are good, able to work on own, flexibility with schedules. Great hard-working people that will pitch in to help.

    Cons

    A lot has changed the last 5 years. Company is doing great but they don't share with staff. Attorneys get huge bonuses and staff barely get a raise if at all. Salaries are maxed out for long term staff employees.

    Advice to Management

    Get in touch with staff. Some employees don't even know who management is.


  6. International Patent Specialist

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

    I worked at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    High quality support staff and ample internal resources accessible to effectively produce a high quality work product with efficiency and accuracy. Above-average docketing system to ensure deadlines are met by appropriate parties. Attorneys make themselves readily available to provide support, answers and assistance with complicated tasks. The attorneys/agents are a huge plus, they are wonderful to work for and with. The firm for the mos part provides a flexible work environment to accommodate commitments outside the firm, i.e. children, school, etc.

    Cons

    Admin - human resources are one in the same which can lend to a conflict of interest in resolving a potential issue.


  7. Helpful (4)

    Great place to work if you have perspective

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

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Speaking from a staff point of view, I love working at this firm. It's no secret that Knobbe Martens pays a little below market value, but I feel they make up for it through the benefits for the staff, and the more years you put in the greater the benefits. They provide great health insurance, host an annual health fair (cancer tests, health check ups, flu shots etc.), and provide free workout classes each year. The firm is very relaxed on allowing staff to take vacation. There are several social events throughout the year, along with a holiday party at Christmas. The staff are given gift cards on major holidays throughout the year as well. Kitchens are stocked with coffee, tea and snacks. Having multiple kitchens, microwaves and refrigerators on each floor allow staff to bring breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are required to work late (which can happen often in the law environment) the firm provides free dinner. Staff receive nice profit sharing benefits as well as year end bonuses based on years worked. All staff have their parking structure fees paid for, and if you commute to work there are multiple carpool programs offered. I could go on, but you get the idea. Hard to put a monetary value on the benefits. As far as the work environment goes, I can't complain about it like others have. We're all human, so anytime you have 600+ employees sharing the same workspace there are going to be personality clashes and conflicts between people. That can't be avoided. Overall I think most of the staff get along great, and many employees become friends outside of work, especially if you attend trial. You can become very close to your fellow co-workers when you spend a month on the other side of the country working together in such an environment. All though you work your butt off, it can be very rewarding and will provide shared memories for a long time. I think those employees who have negative experiences tend to be more interested in the gossip and the social circles than working hard and keeping their personal lives outside of the building. Either that or they're disappointed that they don't get high praise and huge salary increases for simply doing what they're supposed to do. Hard work over a period of time is what gets rewarded here.

    Cons

    Not many outside of the small bickering that goes with any job. The pay can be a little low compared to other firms of the same size. Opportunity to climb the career ladder within the firm is pretty slim as well, but with so many staff members competing for the limited opportunities, that's expected.

    Advice to Management

    One suggestion would be to have the supervisors be more engaged with the staff they represent. It is not uncommon to go weeks without speaking or even seeing your supervisor. Of course it's a great benefit not having your supervisor hovering over your shoulder all day, but when the annual review season comes supervisors have to reply on feedback from all the staff or attorneys within the department in order to fill out an individuals review. They generally have no idea how an individual staff member performed throughout the year. Obviously I understand that this is largely due to how many people they have to supervise over, combined with all the time they spend doing their own work, but I believe staff would feel a little more appreciated if their supervisor would swing by their desk a few times a year just to check in, talk a little and see how things are going.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Nice attorneys and overall work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in Irvine, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People and support staff were great

    Cons

    Hours were long like any firm


  9. Helpful (2)

    A lot has changed in the last 15 years.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Staff in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The firm provides staff with competitive salaries and great benefits. Work is interesting and never boring. Staff is allowed to be creative when managing their desks.

    Cons

    One reviewer mentioned a high school atmosphere, this statement is accurate. Coworkers are encouraged to micromanage each other. There isn't a human resources department. Internal technology is lacking. Overall the firm can be cheap.

    Advice to Management

    Supervisors need to be more engaging. Don't tell staff how to live outside of work, worry about their work product, and support staff with real issues. Don't allow coworkers to micromanage each other, when you should be present and helpful. If an employee has resolved issues they've encountered, let it stay in the past, don't harp on it. Don't gossip. Perhaps the managing partner could ask staff something besides what their weekend plans are? Shouldn't he be concerned with how their work is coming along? The managing partner is smug and unapproachable.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Staff in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've only been at Knobbe for a short time. In the time I've worked here, I've felt well-compensated for the work that I do, I'm very happy with my work-life balance, my hours are flexible, I have better benefits than ever before, plenty of holidays and great supervisors.

    Cons

    It's hard to think of cons. I think it says a lot that so many people have been with the firm for 10, 20, 30+ years. To me, that means the firm has to be doing something right.


  11. Good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IP Assistant in Riverside, CA
    Current Employee - IP Assistant in Riverside, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great paid time off. 7.5 hour work Days

    Cons

    Limited room for advancement. Assignmnets are not challenging.

    Advice to Management

    It is hard to retain motivated individuals if there is no upward mobility for them.



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