Bennett Jones LLP Reviews | Glassdoor

Bennett Jones LLP Reviews

Updated Aug 11, 2019

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Found 24 reviews

3.3
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
65%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
Bennett Jones LLP CEO Hugh MacKinnon (no image)
Hugh MacKinnon
9 Ratings
  1. Helpful (6)

    "Lack of transparency; Very unprofessional; Outdated human resources policies"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    2% Yearly bonus Pension plan $150 gift cards at Christmas Small tax deductions offered at Christmas Cheap dental plan Cheap vision plan

    Cons

    Pay for legal assistants is at least $5,000 lower than the market rate--$10,000 at most. Health benefits are extremely unaffordable for assistants. The Human Resources department abuses their power. For example, my pay rate was changed to hourly, although I had originally signed an agreement letter for a salaried pay rate. Afterward, HR responded that "it wasn't a big deal," and "why am I making it a big... deal?" The work environment at the Washington DC location is not conducive to a friendly and safe workplace. For example, I have personally been insulted, belittled, and manipulated by the lead attorney--Melanie Aitken. Additionally, there were undertones of race-based socioeconomic prejudice. For example, assuming that I take public transportation to work, assuming that I do not understand current events, etc. You will be asked to work outside of your regular job duties such as running personal errands. Training is very limited, and even the most critical components of the job are learned "on the fly."

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    Advice to Management

    Employees need a voice to speak for them when there is an injustice in the workplace. Benefits for lower staff should be affordable. Job duties for legal assistants must be transparent. Workplace development and ongoing training should be provided to all non-attorney staff. Company social events should be coordinated for legal assistants, not just attorneys. Camaraderie among assistants is important to a... functioning law firm. Especially one as large as Bennett Jones. Do not treat educated and hard-working people like commodities.

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    Bennett Jones LLP2016-03-09
  2. "Good Employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bennett Jones LLP full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work. Is great for students who have completed their legal assistant diploma. Extensive training that sets you on the right path to work with the lawyers.

    Cons

    Culture needs a little reformation

    Bennett Jones LLP2019-08-12
  3. "No room for growth, low salary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Calgary, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Job security, you have to be really really bad to be let go. Never once feared I'd lose my job. Excellent HR Department that listens to you and resolve issues rapidly. If they can't, it's not because they didn't try. For example a lawyer said he would pay for my overtime then said my time was worthless and wouldn't be...my boss spoke to HR and that lawyer rarely comes our way now. Competitive vacation, flex, and... sick days. Took a month and half off my first year to travel and got paid every minute.

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    Cons

    They do no believe in advancing so understand what you're asked to do day 1 will be what you do every day. As a lawyer you have to have to have a family tie or political sway to be promoted within. The older people in the firm lawyer or staff recommend the younger people to leave ASAP if they want growth, training, and more experience. Great place to retire. Very very low compensation. Raises have nothing to do... with your work ethic so no need to excel. It is a small increase when they can "afford" it.

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    Advice to Management

    Particularly for the staff, please listen to all areas and departments and respond by giving your employees the opportunity to grow and be challenged. My entire department is planning on leaving because after 5 - 15 years we are all in the same position despite the options to move up. Also pay market value. At the very least you should respect your staff. It was disheartening to know after working so hard and... covering three positions my raise was the lowest it's ever been AND after five years I'm still not even market value for a PERSON GRADUATING FRESH OUT OF SCHOOL!!! Other firms and companies both small and large pay at least minimum so you have no excuse.

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    Bennett Jones LLP2019-08-08
  4. "Pretty good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Edmonton, AB

    I worked at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great People, challenging work environment, good benefits and good social events. Opportunities to move around within office.

    Cons

    Pay based upon salary survey and not based on performance. To some degree it is, but not really. Some lawyers disrespect staff - like all law firms. Staff's input is not taken to heart through office management.

    Bennett Jones LLP2019-05-28
  5. "Legal Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in Calgary, AB
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Big firm, exposure to different areas of law.

    Cons

    “Old boys club” mentality.

    Bennett Jones LLP2019-05-24
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Lawyer in Calgary, AB

    I worked at Bennett Jones LLP

    Pros

    Learnt a lot, great place

    Cons

    Work you hard, pay less

    Bennett Jones LLP2019-03-15
  7. "Legal Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Calgary, AB
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bennett Jones LLP for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Great working environment - Different departments are available to help whenever - Lawyers are mindful of assistant's time - Firm puts on events for the support staff

    Cons

    - HR is sometimes slow to make changes

    Bennett Jones LLP2018-09-20
  8. "work/life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in Calgary, AB
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    takes care of the well being of their employees. Lawyers in my current department are all wonderful to work with. Culture is good.

    Cons

    little opportunity for career growth

    Advice to Management

    Continue to reach out and listen to your employees - they are the backbone of the company.

    Bennett Jones LLP2018-08-28
  9. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Excellent clients and reputation. Great training as a junior associate.

    Cons

    Billable hours are seen as a badge of honour. There is a 'soft' target of 1,800 hours billed per year, but there is a pressure to far exceed that. In some years, I have billed as high as 2,400 hours with pressure to work hard, including comments that I don't seem to "have the work ethic". Some partners are clueless as to how to manage files or client expectations. When this goes bad, the negative impact flows... downhill to the associates. In the Vancouver market, the firm does not pay at the top of the market but demands top of market hours.

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    Bennett Jones LLP2018-07-10
  10. "Decent Environment and People"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing and Business Development in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bennett Jones LLP full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The overall culture and environment was great. There were great benefits and employees felt valued and like they were part of the team. My managers were highly flexible when it came to taking time off, needing personal days for mental health issues, and in general they were just nice people who trusted you to do your work with minimal "management".

    Cons

    Some of the lawyers are difficult and rude. This wouldn't be such an issue, except that each lawyer is given freedom to run their practice like a business owner, so you can't really complain or escalate situations where they behave inappropriately or when they make poor decisions. Also, the buy-in wasn't great - felt that the lawyers really didn't trust/want to work with marketing because they didn't see any benefit... or value. This should have been the higher ups/the practice leaders to implement.

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    Advice to Management

    Work more with lawyers to get them to think of marketing not just as an exercise, but as a valuable and necessary part of the process. This will also prevent situations where the lawyers treat marketing staff like crap.

    Bennett Jones LLP2018-06-24
Found 24 reviews