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Berry Appleman & Leiden

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Berry Appleman & Leiden

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Berry Appleman & Leiden Employee Reviews about "high turnover"

Updated Dec 4, 2021

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Found 572 of over 573 reviews
4.1
80% Recommend to a Friend
Berry Appleman & Leiden Managing Partner Jeremy Fudge
85% Approve of CEO

Found 16 of over 573 reviews

4.1
80%
Recommend to a Friend
85%
Approve of CEO
Berry Appleman & Leiden Managing Partner Jeremy Fudge
Jeremy Fudge
323 Ratings

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Reviews about "high turnover"

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  1. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Stay Away

    Jul 8, 2021 - Legal 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Super casual dress code; great location for suburban residents.

    Cons

    Constant shuffling of clients to different teams makes for poor client service, terrible morale, insecurity and anxiety with little to no guidance on transferred workloads; constant turnover at production and administrative levels. Horrible management with urgency as the norm for operations.

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    9 people found this review helpful
  2. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Don't Get Comfortable

    Feb 19, 2021 - Administrative in Houston, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    BAL is a great place to get your foot in the door, especially if you're a recent graduate with no prior work experience with large corporations. At the beginning of my tenure with BAL, things were good - kind, supportive teammates and high enough pay to live comfortably and build a substantial savings account. When it's time to look for a new job, having the BAL brand-name on your resume will help open doors to bigger and better jobs at bigger and better corporations. Depending on your team, you also might make lifelong friends. And depending on your ambition, the skills you'll learn at BAL will help set you up for future entrepreneurship.

    Cons

    Every rose has its thorns, and BAL sadly has a lot of them. Towards the end of my tenure with BAL, the company atmosphere started to feel culty. Talk of 'persuing the exceptional' abounded, with zero talk of how to set employees up for exceptional performance. Exceptional performance means providing exceptional pay, benefits, vacation, and professional development opportunities, which BAL falls short on. The C-Suite seemed like they were more interested in talking the talk instead of walking the walk. Managers can also be hit or miss - thanks to BAL's high turnover, expect to go through several managers and teammates in a multi-year period. I also noticed that there is little room for advancement within BAL; most promotions went to team favorites or those who had poor personal and professional boundaries. Lastly, covert abuse seems to be a widespread issue with BAL, and my office branch was sadly a hotbed of clinical narcissism/ predatory personality types. If you're someone who's vulnerable or who sticks out in any way, keep your eyes open and be aware of the red flags for workplace bullying.

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    19 people found this review helpful
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  4. 1.0
    Current Employee

    Bad time to be in immigration law

    May 14, 2020 - Paralegal 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Casual dress code when it was a perk before pandemic

    Cons

    BAL has suffered from poor mgmt decisions like excessive expansion, fake company culture resulting in expensive high turnover, and too much specialization. Their eggs are all in the immigration basket, so when the economy is at its present condition, BAL isn’t posed to do so well. On top of that, they have all sorts of employment treatment issues related to working from home. There’s obviously a lot of fake reviews praising BAL here, I advise everyone to be weary about those. It’s obvious they’re not real by the word choice.

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    22 people found this review helpful
  5. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Corporate Immigration

    May 22, 2017 - Paralegal II in San Francisco, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Dependent on your manager/attorney, BAL will either be a rewarding experience or it will be the place where your passions come to rest. The work is routine, template, stressful, and boring. You will specialize in one type of petition/process, and for the remainder of your days at BAL, that will be the work you complete day in and day out. If your attorney cares about you, every once in a while you will get to learn a new process. But don't hold your breath, this IS a corporate immigration firm, and the high caseload will have you dodging new processes in order to stay on top of deadlines. Mid-year and end-of-year bonuses are nice, but honestly it's the least they could do seeing as our holiday schedule is extremely limited. BAL makes you take vacation time for Christmas Day, can you believe that?! Again, if your manager/attorney is understanding and supportive, the experience is do-able for 2-3 years, but I really don't understand how people can stick around for longer than that.

    Cons

    High caseload that's impossible to keep up with, limited holidays (9 per year), promotion to paralegal from immigration assistant is no longer 'automatic', which means you can be an immigration assistant for up to 2 years (WTF?!) Some attorney's have no clue how to build a healthy team dynamic, instead they treat paralegals as replaceable monkeys. No wonder the turnover rate is ridiculously high.

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    10 people found this review helpful
  6. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Misery at its finest

    Jun 24, 2017 - Immigration Assistant in Houston, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Decent benefits, team members bond, peers generally get along

    Cons

    Literally felt like I was working at a sweat shop. Cases are dropped on paralegals and immigration assistants in huge batches that are sheer messes with impossible deadlines. Managing attorneys have demands but little to no idea how to manage or provide positive feedback. Turnover is high and morale is generally low. Most lower level staff fear for job security and or rath for mistakes that any human could make.

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    16 people found this review helpful
  7. 2.0
    Former Employee

    A good place to learn how to handle volume; lack of management.

    Jul 5, 2011 - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    BAL is a great place to learn how to handle volume processing of cases. They have a good data base system to assist you in managing your case load.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, volume processing can lead to many mistakes and thus, quality of work suffers. The biggest weaness of BAL is lack of leadership and management by the partners in all of its offices. While there are some good attorneys and paralegals - many are not competent but will not be disciplined, trained or let go - giving the appearance, that BAL is just focused on keeping up the body count. Turnover is very high, leading to staffing issues, client discontent and issues with service. Management does not value their strong employees, which is why many leave.

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    8 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Great Place to Work

    Aug 30, 2021 - Associate in Houston, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Competitive compensation; good culture with friendly people; collaborative environment; industry leading technology.

    Cons

    High turnover due to workload.

    Be the first to find this review helpful

    Berry Appleman & Leiden Response

    Sr. Manager Talent Acquisition

    Thanks for your thoughts on BAL. Yes, I agree that the culture is amazing here. The workload can be overwhelming but glad to know that leadership is aware and working on a solution. Thanks, again!

  9. 2.0
    Former Employee

    Poor firm culture

    Dec 21, 2014 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Helpful co-workers -Great exposure to immigration law and what it is like to work at a law firm

    Cons

    -Poor pay, although starting pay is what most law firms will start legal assistants at -Extremely heavy caseload from the beginning.... Complete your tasks and they will find more work for you -Turnover is extremely high..expect cases to be passed to you which can cause confusion -Lots of politics -Very pushy clients..as should be expected as you will be working for people who want their green cards right away -Horrible training..no formal training...they will ask a senior paralegal to train you and they do a horrible job As you can see from most of the ratings, this is not a great place to work. It really is like a sweatshop. You will be working A LOT for little pay (close to compensation at a fast food restaurant for an office job, seriously). Add on top of that all the politics, high turnover, and drama and this work environment is pretty bad. You will get exposure and learn the concepts of immigration law because of high caseload and BAL is very reputable in immigration law so it will look great on your resume however I highly recommend you invest your time in finding another place to work.

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    8 people found this review helpful
  10. 1.0
    Former Employee

    No respect and little regard

    Aug 15, 2015 - Law Clerk in Dallas, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule; bagel/donuts on Thurs.

    Cons

    Do not work here as a law clerk. The firm hires licensed attorneys, or those with JDs, to serve as law clerks. Clerks are rarely regarded, treated very poorly, and given no respect. First, the firm sits all the law clerks in the training room where meetings are conducted. Some meetings that are small enough to be held in a conference room are still conducted in the training room. This shows what little regard they have for law clerks. Bigger meetings that logistically require a larger space are rightly held in the training room, however these meetings rarely (if ever) involve the clerks. During this time, the clerks cannot work because typing and printing will disrupt the meeting, yet those holding the meetings do not care when/if their meetings disrupt the clerks. Second, clerks are not properly trained nor do they receive immediate feedback regarding their work, and then faulted for generating mediocre or poor work product. Training is horrible. Clerks are either expected to “just know,” or talked about when they do something incorrectly. Third, clerks are talked down to and demeaned by both the attorneys and paralegals. Clerks are frequently referred to as 'temps' and paralegals constantly give files back to clerks to revise minor things such punctuation marks, or printing documents that should have already been printed. Once a file is complete, the paralegal gets the credit and appreciation. This is especially true of CAP season. During CAP season, there are 4-6 paralegals for every 1 law clerk. While each paralegal does have a hefty number of cases, those cases roll up the clerks assigned to that team. As a result, the clerks are responsible for generating ALL the CAP documents for thousands of cases and yet the paralegals get all the appreciation. Fourth, the work itself is not rewarding or challenging. It basically amounts to document production and clerical work that does not require any specialized skill set. No analysis or writing or researching is involved. While this may appeal to some, those who want to actually practice law will find it extremely mundane. Coupled with the fact that the pay is extremely low and no respect is given, it’s no wonder why there is such high turnover for law clerks. Unfortunately, the firm is not concerned with the turnover rate as they acknowledge the position is not a permanent one nor one that would lead to permanent employment. The firm constantly holds meetings on how to improve work culture and environment, but nothing material to law clerks is ever implemented. When an attorney position opens up, management does not consider the clerks who are licensed, but opt to hire an external candidate instead. Attorneys constantly complain they are drowning in work, yet the firm has a (training) room full of licensed attorneys they could easily hire on permanently to help, but rather choose to keep them stunted as law clerks instead. However, given how the clerks are treated, who would want a permanent position there anyway? In short, as a law clerk you will be underpaid, under-appreciated, and (most of the time) unnoticed. Unless this environment is appealing to you, do not work here.

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    10 people found this review helpful
  11. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Consular Services Advisor

    Jun 3, 2018 - Consular Services Advisor I in Houston, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Hires recent graduates with little to no experience in immigration -More relaxed business-casual dress code (can wear jeans outside of Friday) -Great healthcare benefits and offers Roth 401(k) -Flexible schedule (provided that you get your work done) -Learned A LOT about immigration that can benefit my own life down the line

    Cons

    -Workload: When you are first hired as a CSA, the training takes 3-4 weeks (including your first week), so initally, it feels incredibly slow. However, things will pick up as you become responsible for your own cases, and that is when the REAL multi-tasking begins. Due to this multi-tasking aspect and BAL's over the top commitment to their client (see Culture point below for more info), this job then becomes a major stress point. The expectation to provide exceptional customer service and doing everything near perfection (NEAR since we are all humans and will make mistake) cause an emotional and mental toll on you. For people who really care about doing a great job every time, the job will follow you home. I was mentally exhausted to the point where once I recovered on Sunday, the Hell starts on Monday again. Lastly, this is TMI, but it was starting to affect the sexual relationship aspect with my significant other, and that is part of the reason where I decided that staying here long term wasn't going to benefit my personal life. -Culture: While watching Simon Sinek's interview on London Real, I realized that BAL's supposed culture of 'One BAL' does not foster what they set out to achieve. One BAL is intended for all of their office locations to work together, but at the end of the day, everyone only wants to protect their people and themselves. The manager I worked under does protect his team, but the other managers (e.g. UK, China, etc) don't play with the same rules. They are just protecting themselves and their team members. It took me awhile to understand why after I left, but upon hearing Sinek talk about the psychological safety, I believe that BAL employees do not psychology feel safe working there. I can also attest to this sentiment because while we do get praised for doing a good job, my honest opinion is no matter how many exceptional survey feedbacks or praise you get, one mistake (boo-boo) will drop you back to start of point A. If this is the mentality that my other former colleagues share, it means that the culture is just a facade. -Management/Career Growth: Another observation made while working at BAL is how cliquey everyone is. Granted, office politics exist everywhere, but I feel like you either fit in or you don't at BAL. It was hard for me to be my true self, and I do not feel like questioning my opinions were 100% welcomed. I cannot attest to whether the employees' opinions were valued or executed by leadership once they had expressed them since I was only there for a year. In terms of career growth, it exists but is very between the lines. In my department, my manager did not reveal what I had to to do in order to be promoted to the Senior rank. I wasn't sure if that is something that I am supposed to ask? Another factor is you can grow horizontally, meaning by working at a different department, but it isn't explicity spoken about. A manager from another department had to approach me prior to my decision to leave in order for me to learn that. Therefore, the concern I have with this whole picture is do you really want your employees in general to grow regardless of which department they belong to? Technology - BAL is trying to distinguish themselves as innovators within the immigration sector. They have proprietary software such as Cobalt, but I feel like the transfer of systems made it very confusing to focus on work. The old system of VisaBase seems to make more logical sense, but they developed Cobalt. Cobalt, while it is new and supposed to be more innovative, took more time out of the job to either try to figure out or fight with how slow the server is. Sense of fulfillment: Overall, during my one year at BAL, I did not see a bright future outlook for myself. This is a personal opinion since I didn't dream about joining immigration while growing up. I actually did like the industry for what I was about to learn, but I started feeling that I was becoming stagnant. As CSAs, we wouldn't be the ones who attend conferences nor will we have the time to explore other areas within immigration since we have soooo many cases to work on. Towards the end, I feel like a hamster on the wheel doing the same thing - just different situations or more last-minute requests. Promises to clients: BAL is on the right track about providing exceptional customer service. However, somewhere along the line, it became confused with at the expense of the employee. At the forefront, we can deal with some really unreasonable and demanding clients. If management really understood, they would take actions to do more things to show that they value our hard work (Starbucks and Amazon gift cards do not last in the long term). My personal opinion of why the turnover rate is so high is because we are expected to go above and beyond while the pay and hours do not justify each other. I was told by my manager that they want us to have work life balance (personal opinion: that doesn't exist in general, even outside of BAL), but my question is how can you balance life and work without just dropping and go? You can literally stay all day to work at the office, and we have to pick & choose on what matters, what needs to be done THAT DAY. This sounds easy, but when you have a crisis, all of your to do list gets pushed back, so tell me, how can you truly achieve work/life balance without accepting the fact that you have to simply leave for the day? Salary: They pay you just enough to survive but not more to where you can save and eventually have the extra cash flow for investments. There is no doubt that you can survive when budgeted well, but it is not a place to make massive amount of money (unless perhaps if you are the equity partner [EP]).

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    8 people found this review helpful
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