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Amazon Counsel Reviews

Updated September 8, 2018
11 reviews

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Counsel

4.0
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Work/life balance seems comparable to other places I've worked - not worse" (in 2384 reviews)

  • "I have no work life balance issues" (in 497 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place for inhouse counsel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work on cutting edge opportunities. Clients are smart, respectful and appreciative.

    Cons

    It's a large organization, but a meritocracy that insists on high standards. Not the place for those who just want to coast.


  2. "AWS Legal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, strong work ethic, close integration with business partners, casual atmosphere, new things happen every day.

    Cons

    Inequitable expectations & work pressure, over-reliance on stock price growth, arbitrariness disguised as frugality.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Legal Counsel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Counsel in Reston, VA
    Former Employee - Legal Counsel in Reston, VA
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Stock keeps going up; good experience for employees that you can take to a more employee friendly company; interesting products

    Cons

    No work-life balance; not near market for salary, vacation time; not friendly to parents; slave labor mentality from exec management

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Ripped Jeans and Office Dogs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    My management supports me and my business clients value me. Plus, I get to wear ripped jeans to the office, cuddle puppies on my breaks, and ignore my email when I'm on vacation.

    Cons

    Days are intense. The business moves fast, and it has a lot of moving parts. Working here requires learning new time management and delegation skills, because what made you successful before you got to Amazon just won't be enough here.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Just a sweatshop with no personal or career growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Counsel, Patents
    Former Employee - Corporate Counsel, Patents
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazon makes some great products so it is fun to be part of that

    Cons

    Worst management I have had in my career. Virtually no interest in providing employees with an interesting and fulfilling career.


  6. Helpful (15)

    "Don't be fooled by the big paycheck - it's not worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is great. It is pegged to law firm market salaries, so you will be able to move in house without a drop in compensation. You will get to be a mini GC and will be very involved in the business you support.

    Cons

    There's a reason that Amazon pays so much more than other companies. If they didn't, they wouldn't be able to retain any talent. And despite the big paychecks, the legal department is still a revolving door. The company seems to recognize the turnover issue, but has chosen to address it by building repayment obligations into your employment agreement. Want to leave before you hit two years? Get ready to pay back some of that "signing bonus" and a chunk of your relocation benefits.

    This is not an easy, satisfying, or fun place to work. Whether your experience at Amazon will be extremely difficult or absolutely unbearable depends entirely on your manager and your clients.

    Advice to Management

    High pay is not an excuse for creating a sustainable working environment. If you are actually committed to data, recognize the turnover rate and change your ways.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Adversarial, distrustful, all-encompassing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great compensation, particularly in the early years (when it's mostly in cash)
    Working with incredibly talented and dedicated people is inspiring
    Projects are cutting-edge: you'll be telling your grandkids about them

    Cons

    Darwinian (Hobbesian, even) ethos takes it toll on your personal life: the company will take everything you will give it, and it won't hug you back.
    Balance is a bad word, never to be uttered
    It hasn't grown up as a company: this is not yet a good corporate citizen.

    Advice to Management

    Match charitable contributions
    Start being concerned about the churn: it cost money and time to hire and train the replacements. It would serve the company's mission, as well are the shareholders (if they ever become a concern), if you were to focus on creating a more sustainable work environment.

  8. Helpful (10)

    "corporate counsel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great learning experience with earlier responsibilities and little support - sink or swim.

    Cons

    Average turnover 18 months. No perks. None. Not even maternity or paternity leave. Company baseball game? Buy your own tickets and food. No admin support, so you burn lots of time in self-service. I had no lights in my office when I joined.

    Advice to Management

    You need to reduce churn. Losing people that quick is not frugal - it's penny wise and pound foolish (aka frupid)


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Sort of like a law firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Be a mini GC. You get a lot of responsibility and, depending on the role, can become a true generalist. Other companies will love to have you.

    Cons

    Very big company. Very slow moving. It is also a large legal department so advancement isn't easy. Very long hours.

    Advice to Management

    The GC is not a great leader. He is very aloof and does not really lead the department. While the lawyers are excellent, the department is not a well oiled machine.


  10. Helpful (31)

    "Pure misery - much worse being an associate at a law firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Corporate Counsel in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very competitive salary for Seattle market

    Cons

    - Workload and work/life balance (was even worse than being at a big law firm)
    - Inadequate training
    - Uninteresting work (get ready to spend your days writing disclaimers)
    - Few perks
    - Unsupportive environment with virtually no secretarial or paralegal support
    - Cramped, noisy and dark offices
    - Endless goal setting and review processes that keep you from doing your work
    - Dishonest personnel misrepresented the nature of the job and the benefit/compensation packages I would be given during the interview process
    - Only 2 weeks paid vacation per year during first 2 years of employment
    - Dogs all over the office - if you don't like hearing/seeing/smelling other people's dogs all day, you'll be miserable

    Advice to Management

    If they have any interest in retaining talent, they should try to improve training and support, improve work/life balance, streamline the endless cycle of goal-setting and reviews and generally encourage an environment of teamwork and mutual support. Backbiting and dishonesty pervades throughout the legal department, beginning during interview process and lasting past when I gave notice. It surely is costly to have a revolving door of a legal department, but virtually everybody I know there left, or intends to leave, at the first opportunity.