Winston & Strawn Reviews

Updated August 22, 2015
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3.4
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Tom Fitzgerald
9 Ratings

Pros
  • Very professional, mostly good people, opportunities available within company (in 3 reviews)

  • Great location, fantastic views of city and Lake Michigan, competitive compensation packages (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Putting a group of legal secretaries who work in differing practice groups together just because they sit near each other does not constitute a "team" (in 9 reviews)

  • It was not a good fit but secretarial management did not care at all (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

70 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    Accounting Department

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

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A great place to work, don't be fooled by any of the negative information you've heard about Winston. It's a great place to work the people are very nice and friendly, they speak when they walk past you, even if they don't know your name. You are always learning interesting things about the firm, we all work well as a team to help one another.

    Cons

    Winston now has a café called Winston café, the environment is so friendly, you can relax and enjoy your lunch with a group of co-workers or just by yourself. We get free bagels and donuts on payday and on special occasional we do get all kinds of great treats. During open enrollment, were provided with very detailed information at your fingertips. Human resources are always willing to assist you with any issues or concerns you may have.

    Advice to Management

    Great firm and a awesome team of workers firm wide.


  2. Associate

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

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, interesting cases. It is a great firm for associates because you can get solid legal experience (eg depositions, trials) early on. The firm has made an effort in the past year to be more candid with firm policies affecting associates.

    Cons

    Litigation department is very busy and could stand to hire some laterals.


  3. Great Mentors

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

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've been with the firm for more than 20 years, and I've stayed because I've been given multiple opportunities to expand my skill set and take on new challenges and roles. It's a very collegial environment. I genuinely enjoy working with both my attorney and staff teams. I've also had great mentors here; people who were invested in me and my career.

    Cons

    As with all big law firms, there is always a need to balance resources against requests and to do "more with less." That being the case, our team is well-respected within the firm, and, if we say no to something, we generally don't get too much pushback.


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  5. Very happy after 8 years

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits, superior technology and office facilities. Strong community of people. Good communication from management. Frequent staff meetings facilitate communication among departments and practice areas. Management and HR is understanding and fair when employees have personal issues. They have shown me flexibility during difficult times and it makes me even more loyal to the firm. I've worked at other large firms and Winston by far has been the best. The people are fantastic and the work is challenging.

    Cons

    The cons here are the same as any other large law firm or large company.

    Advice to Management

    Continue your open communication to staff and associates - we appreciate it and it makes us feel part of the team.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Hard Work and Loyalty Are Rewarded Here

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

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Winston is built on providing exceptional client service, so the firm values staff employees who consistently go the extra mile to provide resources and support to its attorneys. I have worked for the firm in various communications and business development roles for nearly 20 years. During this time, I have demonstrated a strong work ethic and produced high quality work, and in turn have found the firm to be accommodating as my life situation has evolved over the years. While most of my career at Winston was in a full-time position, I have at times been able to work part time or on a contract basis. This flexibility, along with the challenging work and highly competitive compensation, are key contributors to my loyalty to the firm.

    Cons

    The firm is a partnership so there are bound to be a variety of different personalities among its ranks. By and large the attorneys and managers are nice people to work with, but there can be a learning curve in terms of varying your approach and honing your diplomacy skills as situations demand.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to place an emphasis on increasing the diversity of firm partners and leadership.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Working in the meat grinder

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

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very nice people, good benefits, training. As in life, there are some good people to work with (or for) and some that are more challenging.

    Cons

    Another "blood from a stone" company that really cares about the profits of the partners above all else. Make sure to cover your assets, because some of your peers might throw you under the bus to save themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Not a big fan of the class structure going on. Non-attorneys are literally eating crumbs off of the tables. The annual Staff Appreciation lunch was served on paper plates while the attorneys have weekly free lunch on china.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Attorney

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great pay, top lawyers. Great tech support.

    Cons

    No integration of younger or lateral attorneys for growth or succession planning. You eat what you kill. Chicago cares about Chicago.

    Advice to Management

    Need more diversity. Top level management in Chicago is institutional white males, and the Managing Partner pays lip service to diversity. Need to get more forward thinking, diverse lawyers in management as the firm does not seem to understand that corporations are no longer run by white males.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Worst of Big Law

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Some big law perks and some very impressive people

    Cons

    The money, compared to other big law, is terrible. I worked TONS of hours beyond the minimum requirement every year I was there, with terrible bonuses.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your associates with more respect. If you treated people better and paid them for the work they did, you'd be able to keep a lot more good people.


  10. Top global firm. Good work experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Top firm. Smart people. Nice offices. Deep resources.

    Cons

    Often opaque management. Sometimes cliquey.


  11. Helpful (3)

    If You Want To Be Happy Where You Work, Stay Away From This Firm!!

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

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Only 2 people left in the secretarial management department, hoping there will soon be zero because no one can stand the 2 incompetent self-absorbed gals already there.

    Cons

    Another recent support staff layoff; they plan to hire clerical assistant at low starting salary to eventually phase out their highly paid legal secretaries and replace them all with clerical assistants; changing staff's staggered work schedules to mostly 9-5; still have secretarial manager's long-time favorites surviving each layoff despite the fact that they are utterly useless, highly paid airheads; unfriendly management and staff; I think you get the drift.

    Advice to Management

    The firm has a miserable outlook and, as such, attorneys are voluntarily leaving and taking their high paying clients with them. I plan to jump this sinking ship as soon as I find another job.



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