Berry Appleman & Leiden Reviews

Updated May 24, 2020

To filter reviews, or .
3.5
67%
Recommend to a Friend
70%
Approve of CEO
Berry Appleman & Leiden Managing Partner Jeremy Fudge
Jeremy Fudge
116 Ratings
Pros
  • "BAL is a really welcoming company that makes you want to do your best(in 35 reviews)

  • "Top immigration law firm with equally excellent people(in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • "BAL isn't perfect, but it's hard to come up with a serious con that I have experienced(in 37 reviews)

  • "will be additional higher difficulty cases generally reserved for senior paralegals that somehow fall onto the laps of(in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    Helpful (2)

    "Best people with whom I have ever worked."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Attorney in Richardson, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people here are incredible, from the Equity Partners down to the Administrative Assistants. Everyone I have met thus far is friendly, gracious, and a team player. The Partners are approachable, unlike my last firm, and always willing to collaborate on a challenging case. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed. Casual dress code, clubs to join, meditation room, ping pong table next to the cafeteria.

    Cons

    I have not encountered one yet.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-12
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Thankful to be here"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Immigration Assistant in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Pre-COVID, I was satisfied with almost every single aspect of working here. It's especially great as a parent that needs flexibility sometimes and someone who's motivated by positive reinforcement and potential. You can be as dressed up or dressed down as you want. Amidst COVID - I'm grateful to have this job and to have flexibility to work from home. I am grateful I can still go to the office because it's way easier to work there, but I can balance it well and I hope they keep more stay-at-home days post-COVID for those whom are performing...

    Cons

    We can harmonize and train better, for sure. We don't need to use as much paper as we do, but I get it - change is hard and BAL grew super fast.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-20
  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great firm... hope to come back soon!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Paralegal in Richardson, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Quality co-workers, latest technology, positive leadership, excellent benefits, casual dress code, nice offices.

    Cons

    I just got laid off, along with a number of other people, due to Covid-19. That was a bummer, but the firm provided me with a very generous severance and HR treated me with dignity and respect throughout the process. I have been laid off before and have never been treated so well.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-18
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Best job ever!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay is above average. Benefits are amazing, especially for the price. Great work life balance (except during cap season, January - March... but you get paid OT, which helps). Co-workers are friendly and helpful. Office is bright and upbeat. Game rooms and ping pong tournaments are a great way to take a break. This firm is growing quickly and there are plenty of opportunities to grow with it if you work hard. The managing partner is very inspirational and fun.

    Cons

    As with all immigration law, the work is repetitive. That is somewhat offset by the clients you meet from all over the world. Most are incredible people. Parking at the Dallas office is a problem. If you arrive late, be prepared to walk a bit.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-11
  5. "Not Too Much Different from Any Large Immigration Firm"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Paralegal in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Templates and training manuals can be applied to nearly any new client.

    Cons

    Volume of work different depending on team/client

    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-21
  6. Helpful (2)

    "BAL Cares About It's Employees"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I've worked at BAL for over 5 years and in that time I've experienced that BAL really cares for its employees. BAL leadership are constantly asking for feedback from their employees through various channels, and then they actually ACT on that feedback wherever possible. It's so cool to see how willing they are to try new things that their employees are asking for. I can't tell you the number of initiatives I've seen come out of leadership since I started at BAL. They really want to make BAL a great place to work, and it is! The other great thing about BAL is the opportunity they give. If you're smart and a hard worker, you will get promoted at BAL. BAL has trained me, given me so many educational opportunities and has helped me to grow my career lightyears from where I first started. Thank you so much BAL!

    Cons

    BAL isn't perfect, but it's hard to come up with a serious con that I have experienced.

    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-04-22
  7. Helpful (2)

    "Best law firm to work at!!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    BAL is one of a kind! I feel they are family-oriented all across. They do care for employees. Every Friday you can schedule 1:1 meetings with the managing partners where you can talk about anything. Their doors are always opened - this is one of their policies as well. There are always something fun going on and so much room for growth. I love working here! Especially now on these pandemic days, Jeremy Fudge makes sure to connect with the entire company on a daily basis, to not only ensure about the latest news but also to answer any questions, and bring some joy during this time.

    Cons

    Long hours at times, but that's everywhere. Who doesn't like an extra buck on their paycheck anyways? I have no complaints.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-04-20
  8. Helpful (4)

    "LOVE BAL!!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Culture is amazing at BAL. Even before I started working here I had heard how amazing the employees/managers/Partners were at BAL and have not been disappointed. I truly feel that by working at BAL, I am making a difference in the world in a positive way and am proud to be a part of it. Leadership has done an excellent job in creating a positive culture and I only see it getting better and better. Being treated like a human being and not just another employee is one of the many reasons I love BAL. Especially during tough times (such as COVID-19) Our Managing Partner, Jeremy Fudge, takes time out of his busy day each day to give us an update or to just lift our spirits. I haven't experienced anything like that at any other firm/company. Pay is very good too and competitive!

    Cons

    There is an emphasis in the work part of the slogan work hard, play hard. However, that just comes with the industry. Nothing out of the normal.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-04-10
  9. Helpful (11)

    "Every review has an equal and opposite review.. follow the pattern."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Biggest Pro: Coworkers who help you survive. We are bonded together by the stress and anxiety. Casual dress code and some flexibility with the schedule.

    Cons

    First- notice how every single negative review is immediately followed by a 5 star review; management is more concerned with their image than an instagram influencer so as soon as a negative review is posted they coerce someone into leaving a positive review to counteract it. Hint: If the review is higher than 2 stars and mentions "great place to work" or "pursue the exceptional" or talks about how great our "technology" is then it's fake. Okay, Buckle up... Management is incompetent. They implement changes that affect the legal teams without actually consulting the legal teams to see if the change would be helpful Spoiler alert- they usually aren't. They are just pointless updates that make the processes more time consuming and complicated for the legal teams. It slows down productivity, which you will be penalized for, and if you don't adhere to the new process you are penalized. There is no winning. They ask for feedback about the changes but unless you give a glowing 5 star review you will be shut down. There is no transparency. BAL fakes transparency by having an anonymous "Questions to Leadership" forum where you can post questions or you can sign up for office hours with two managing partners, but these are just tools to placate employees and make us feel like we are being heard- no substantial changes actually come from it. They say "closed mouths don't get fed" but if you open your mouth to make suggestions your career will suffer greatly because you "aren't a team player". As with many corporate entities, it's all about who you know. With the recent purge on 5/14 when a significant number of people were let go, there was no discernible pattern as to who was cut. There were some employees who were extremely productive and on top of their game who were cut, while other employees who consistently struggle and show no improvement (but have friends in the right places) are still employed regardless of their underperformance. Putting a bandaid on a bullet hole- we ask for better pay/benefits/flexibility/manageable workloads and instead we receive pingpong tables and video games (that nobody has time to use due to workload). The decor in the Dallas office alone would be enough to pay the yearly salary for several paralegals- maybe cut back on the bling and focus on compensating your people fairly? We are one of the top immigration law firms in the U.S. but our pay does not reflect that. The only thing that gets the employees excited and in a good mood is the free booze carts that come around a few times a month. Like clockwork, anytime there is a particularly stressful day between 3pm-4pm the team managers who are the cause of many of the issues will come walking around playing music and pushing the beer cart. If you have to bribe your employees with alcohol so they don't quit then you should probably rethink your business strategy. Promotions/Raises: There is no pattern here either. Depending on who you ask, you are either told that promotions are merit based or seniority based. If you think it's seniority based and you are due for a promotion based on time then you will be told that it's merit based. If you think it's merit based and your metrics show you are clearly deserving of a promotion you will be told you do not qualify because you haven't been with the company long enough. There is a higher focus on hiring externally than promoting internally, and the new hires are almost always being offered higher wages for the same position than someone who was promoted internally. And they wonder why they have a retention problem? The main client complaints are about timelines: we don't respond fast enough, the case wasn't prepared fast enough, etc. The obvious solution is to have lower caseloads so we can move the cases faster and interact with the clients more. With high caseloads we don't have the luxury of being proactive, everything is reactive and slow. But if you don't meet the standard despite unrealistic workload, it's your fault and you will be penalized. Overtime is don't ask, don't tell: don't ask for it because you will look incompetent and it will be used against you- just work the OT but don't tell anyone (i.e. don't log the hours and don't get paid for it), it's the only way to survive. Some clients are a death sentence. If you have friends who work on a different client account you will learn that we are all being paid roughly the same to do a vastly different amount of work. On a smaller client you may only have 50 cases, while someone on the larger clients doing the same case type will have 100+. I know this is a totally wild and crazy idea, but maybe you could fairly compensate those who are doing more work (therefore submitting higher billing, aka bringing in more money for BAL). I truly believe that BAL has the right ideas about company culture and values, but the execution is terrible and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Honestly this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-21
  10. Helpful (3)

    "If they spent as much time on their staff as they do leaving fake reviews people would actually like it here"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Berry Appleman & Leiden full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You're employed. You make a steady income. That's it.

    Cons

    Like the title says, if HR and senior level staff spent half as much time actually making this place a "great place to work" as they do submitting these spam reviews every time someone speaks up about the nonsense we have to go through then maybe employees would actually tolerate working here. Seriously, who leaves a 5-star review after being laid-off working somewhere for 3 years? What moron believes that? It's so bad they started mandating "Great places to work" committees in each office but instead of pushing forward actual work-related suggestions and issues they push forward suggestions like a soda machine and a full-sized basketball hoop. Survival and promotion here is almost entirely on who you know and what cards you have in your back pocket. Some promotions make sense. You see hard workers and respected individuals rewarded for their time and effort. A lot of other promotions leave you completely baffled with a headache. There's a few people in the office now where it's honestly a mystery as to why they're even still employed. This place is high school re-imagined. Its like they want you to think in a clique mentality and compete with other legal teams in a nonsensical "who can file the most cases this month" competition. They say it's not a competition, yet, literally everything is a competition. Does the "winner" receive any type of reward? No. Is there any type of added incentive like a legitimate raise or promotion? No. Just more cases and an even more ridiculously high caseload. Even attorneys have now formed this supervisor clique where they're right, you're wrong, and they lock themselves together in an office to drink for hours and badmouth paralegals nonstop, while still expecting paralegals to work OT to get an extreme amount of casework on their desk, and answer all e-mails flawlessly without ever needing to step in. They act like your typical high school movie Senior "it crowd" it's ridiculous. The managing partner thrives on all of this: barely concerned with the work you put out, but instead with the most trivial nonsense. We received messed up W-2's and he shows up to the office to play pranks on the attorneys so ridiculous that it almost got an innocent paralegal fired. We bring up suggestions on how the company can improve, immediately shut down. But don't forget about the BAL-cademy awards movie competition that we're reminded of every day. It's the firms crowning achievement and NO ONE CARES BECAUSE WE'RE ALL OVERWORKED. If any paralegal is still with the firm past two years they seriously deserve a benefits-covered therapist and a substantial raise. If that office is still afloat in 5 years it will shock the world.

    Continue reading
    Berry Appleman & Leiden2020-05-24
Found 235 reviews