Cooley Reviews | Glassdoor

Cooley Reviews

Updated May 1, 2017
80 reviews

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3.8
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Joe Conroy
43 Ratings

80 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work environment, Great benefits, positive atmosphere for a law firm, casual environment, Good people (in 4 reviews)

  • Great work life balance at cooley (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Heavy workload; difficult to achieve work life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • as a law firm - poor work-life balance, high stress environment, poor paralegal management (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Legal Secretary"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Generous, cares about all employees

    Cons

    Nothing yet except no work from home options for lower staff.


  2. "Great Firm to Work for!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cooley full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great work environment, teamwork! Cooley is very generous in pay and treats their employees well.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity to promote within the firm.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Decent place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Agent in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Patent Agent in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The work is engaging, and the attorneys and staff are generally pleasant to work with and show an interest in training inexperienced patent practitioners. The attorneys I work with are respectful of my opinion, and place significant trust and responsibility on me.

    Cons

    The hours are absolutely brutal, there is way too much work to go around, and compensation is somewhat below market in Boston. There has been some turnover in the practice which has contributed to the ever-increasing workload.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more junior-level people for the patent practice, and raise salaries to stay competitive with the market.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Very smart people. Strong team collaboration across different offices.

    Cons

    Some partners are extremely difficult to work with. Rigid policy committee.


  6. "Legal Secretary"

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

    I worked at Cooley full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some wonderful people, even the attorneys! They encourage secretaries to attend quarterly meetings where the attorneys give presentations on some of the more important cases they are working on so that one feels more a part of the whole firm rather than just their own practice area.

    Cons

    Some management details are neglected leaving staff scrambling to organize themselves and provide some measure of consistency in their work.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Not worthy to be on the list of "Fortune's 100 Best Places to Work for""

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

    I have been working at Cooley (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay and benefits. Monthly socials. Gym reimbursement. Start with twenty days off a year.

    Cons

    Favoritism. Communication is terrible. Dress attire is a double standard. Ladies cruise around (including the lobby and conference room area) in yoga pants and flip flops. I would like to wear basketball shorts a flip flops but know I can't. "Cooley Culture" is a thing of the past - was much better years ago.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate and take some accountability.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Telecommunications Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Telecommunications Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Telecommunications Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Cooley full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible, Family Oriented, Bonus structure

    Cons

    No 401k matching, cannot work from home full time.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "standard BigLaw jerks, but won't admit it"

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

    I worked at Cooley full-time

    Pros

    BigLaw salary. Did not have to share an office. Administrative staff is treated very well.

    Cons

    It may have been a collegial place to work at one time. The focus on moving up the rankings has killed that.

    The firm touts its rankings as a great place to work. First, several of those rankings require an initial payment to be considered. Second, the firm treats its administrative staff very well, and the staff boost the rankings; associates' experience is quite different from staff's. And third, the firm has no tolerance for any sort of "life interference;" I spoke to associates who took time off for illness, parental leave, or disability and had their bonuses reduced.

    Associates are expendable cogs in the profit-generating wheel. So long as associates bill, the firm does not care if they are mistreated, disconnected, or they burn out. Associates constantly try to one-up each other, so there is much stealing of credit and throwing under the bus.

    The firm will take any opportunity to cheat associates out of their bonus, to the extent of punishing those juniors who get a bad review from impossible-to-please managers. I got stuck working for a manager who literally refused to work with anyone else. Even though no one else was good enough to work with that manager, I was still penalized with a substantial bonus reduction when the manager bashed me in reviews (then turned around and added me to a new matter).

    Partners have no interest in training associates, and no patience when associates do not instantly and magically know everything. Because Cooley markets itself as a cost-effective firm, matters are often staffed too leanly for there to be a senior- or mid-level associate to whom the junior can turn for guidance. I had matters that were staffed only by a partner and me, yet the partner still refused to answer strategy questions. (I was not stupid enough to ask a partner questions about substantive law I could research myself; I asked about the direction I should take for the client.) This was in my first year, when I had never handled any similar task. I only had 1-2 questions per week...and the partner still refused to answer them.

    In short, it's like any other BigLaw firm. The difference is that Cooley won't admit it.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your associates like people. If you learned a little about their lives, said thank you once in a while, and tried to develop them into better lawyers, associates might actually stick around.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "As good as it gets with big law"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cooley full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Considerate and intelligent co-workers. Excellent facilities and IT support. Enthusiastic paralegals and secretarial staff. Senior attorneys respected junior attorneys and treated them like a human beings.

    Cons

    Typical big law hours make work/life balance difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more associates to spread out work and provide better work/life balance.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Attorney"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Strong company tries to have a collegial office

    Cons

    Pays below market bonuses, under skilled secretaries

    Advice to Management

    More training no clear path


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