Berry Appleman & Leiden Reviews | Glassdoor

Berry Appleman & Leiden Reviews

Updated March 5, 2017
103 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

2.7
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Jeremy Fudge
34 Ratings

103 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • Great benifits, work environment and training as improved (in 9 reviews)

  • This company has the nicest collection of interesting, good-hearted people I have ever seen, especially at a law firm (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • High caseload, high turnover, can be stressful (in 9 reviews)

  • The work/life balance is NOT great (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "ONE BAL"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Immigration Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Immigration Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have only been with BAL for about three months, but I've really enjoyed it this far. It's hard to find big firms with positions that are entry level as a recent college graduate. BAL provides this and so much more. I did not expect a corporate law firm to plan social events, have casual dress, and so on. They do a good job at competing with the benefits start ups offer nowadays, especially in SF. The pay is great, the benefits are great, and I have enjoyed my time there and can't wait to see what's ahead. I never thought I'd know this much about immigration in three months, but now I'd consider myself an expert (still learning though!).

    Cons

    Be prepared to work! This is probably BALs biggest complaint. However, the training they now offer (recently improved after lots of feedback) really prepares you. My team (one attorney and three paralegals) were/are never annoyed when I come to them with questions and honestly are still learning things themselves (Laws/rules constantly change in immigration law because of the numerous government agencies involved). As for the work load, yes it is heavy, but as a recent college graduate, it doesn't bother me a whole lot. Sometimes I get stressed when I have multiple projects due at once, but people are around that are more than happy to help. Compared to my recent college graduate friends, yes, I probably have more work to do than them. All in all, I'm learning to manage, and I know the firm has big plans for rearrangement to help distribute work, considering how high volume we are.

    Advice to Management

    Looking forward to the changes coming up this year!

    Berry Appleman & Leiden Response

    Aug 24, 2016 – The BAL Team

    We are absolutely thrilled that you’re enjoying your BAL experience, and we greatly appreciate your feedback! We are continuing our efforts and commitment to tackling workload, but it is so ... More


  2. "Immigration Assistant"

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

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    On the job training regarding immigration procedures

    Cons

    As and IA, you get stuck in either non-immigrant visa or immigrant visa work, depending on which attorney you are assigned to. You can only do one type of work as long as you are with the company. It is very difficult to switch teams due to approvals from higher ups (attorneys, partners, clients). It would be nice to have the chance to learn about and work in both aspects of immigration

    Advice to Management

    Provide more employee benefits/perks to entice employees to stay, especially with the young age group that makes up the majority of immigration assistants/paralegals.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "The people are amazing but the pay and work is on a bare minimum level."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Service Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Client Service Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Laid back environment. Comfortable clothing welcomed. Great benefits. Welcoming team and employees. 6% employer match on 401k. Understanding when Late due to transportation.

    Cons

    No clear growth or path to become more involved and earn more money within the company. Below cities average salary for the position.

    Advice to Management

    To target the millennial in an competitive environment don't underpay by 10k. Make environment more lively, active, and targeted toward the future.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Paralegals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, casual

    Cons

    Heavy case load, reports due ASAP, too many e-mails to respond to. Seems the firm is restructuring and getting rid of higher paid Paralegals and hiring inexperienced Immigration Assistants they can pay less. Impossible to get caught up in your work and if you do, (by working extra hours off the clock) you get more work. It's all about saving them money, whatever it takes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep experienced Paralegals, respect them and pay them well. Stop running them off just to be cheap skates. Raise legal fees to afford all the experienced hard-working legal teams. Firm going downhill and losing respect by current & former employees.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Worst Decision I have ever made"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There is coffee made available.

    Cons

    Unrealistic Expectations of Employees
    No work life balance
    No company direction
    No internal communication
    No sense of inclusion
    No sense of autonomy

    Advice to Management

    Get it together and hire true leaders who have a background in the departments they are supposed to be leading!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "It's Okay."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Account Advisor in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Client Account Advisor in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They're always hiring. If you're looking for something in law / immigration, it's pretty likely there's an open opportunity.
    Experience here really comes down to a few factors: your manager / attorney, your client, and your role. People who say this is an immigration 'sweatshop' have reason to say so as the volume of work is very high. Show me a law firm that isn't?
    Working at BAL will quickly sharpen your professional, communication and client service skills. The firm is growing more open to feedback from employees and trying to improve their own employee experience.
    Overall I am having a positive experience as I've built some good relationships and have enjoyed taking care of my client.

    Cons

    Lack of autonomy for non-attorney staff. Everything you say is read by management, understandably as many non-attorney staff work at the firm.
    Not having a law degree means there is limited growth, unless you are in operations.
    Some personalities here can be EXTREMELY challenging to work with.
    Benefits are really quite poor.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the GPTW initiatives. Slowly but surely there is some progress being made.
    Flexibility is essential for the new generation.
    Spend just a bit more money showing employee appreciation. Bagels aren't really enough. This is a young firm, do something that most of the staff will enjoy. i.e. happy hours, random pizza and beer at 4:00 on a Friday (not just because it's a Halloween costume party.) Make sure managers are taking their teams to the lunches that are in the budget.


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Worst Place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time

    Pros

    BAL has worked hard over the years to get us some great benefits for all of the employees...

    Cons

    Mangement kids do what they want and run company. Don't treat all races the same. Pay, raises and bonuses are a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the company. Pay attention to the good workers and the ones not doing work and lying about their time. Promote the good admins to IA's and not the ones who will not come to work or take all day to do request. If you set rules for some, set them for all.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Immigration Paralegal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Immigration Paralegal in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Immigration Paralegal in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Management won't communicate with you

    Cons

    Management won't communicate with you
    There's very little upper mobility or communication
    It's like working in a factory
    Low salary + benefits

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees better, with better benefits + pay


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Sweat Shop"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time

    Pros

    Vacation (but you can never use it because of workload), sick time, and flex hours (but you always somehow end up staying really late to catch up on work, and that time is not paid unless it is "approved" by your manager because BAL does not give overtime.

    Cons

    WORKLOAD, management, workload, pay, workload, transparency, workload, negativity, workload, advancement opportunities, and workload.

    Advice to Management

    Attorneys at BAL themselves have called this place a sweatshop. The firm itself has attempted to make things better, however, some attorneys are not on the same page. Employees are scared of voicing concerns to management and HR in fear of retaliation from their supervisors. Reevaluate the company. If you want to be on the Great Places to Work list, you actually need to be a great place to work and as of now, you are nowhere near that.


  11. "OK"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Temporary Law Clerk in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Temporary Law Clerk in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden (Less than a year)

    Pros

    People are nice, pay is meh, decent

    Cons

    No outlook for temp employees



Showing 103 of 112 reviews
Reset Filters