Cooley Reviews | Glassdoor

Cooley Reviews

Updated March 22, 2017
78 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
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Joe Conroy
41 Ratings

78 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits and vacation policy even for new people, great work life balance and people are very reasonable to easy to work with (in 4 reviews)

  • Cooley provides great benefits, a friendly environment, a large organized support system, and they also encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle (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. "Director IT Infrastructure"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cooley full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work period.

    Cons

    None None None None None.


  2. "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.


  3. 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.


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


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great firm, great clients, some leadership and management challenges"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cooley full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great clients (particularly in Silicon Valley), great case experience. Lawyers were generally very bright and hardworking. Some major stand-out partners providing good mentorship and feedback. As good as any Biglaw firm to get your chops out of law school.

    Cons

    With a few exceptions, partners in my department were not interested in developing associate talent. I witnessed many associates being driven out instead of being developed, and this occurred more often with the female associates. There is a "blue collared shirt/khaki" club that dominates several practice groups. Working hours were long, billable pressure significant, but that is to be expected of any Biglaw firm. There were several rounds of layoffs during my time - they called them "performance based" reductions - but everyone knew the truth.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Decent company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cooley full-time

    Pros

    Respectful coworkers, laid back vibe

    Cons

    Compensation not up to market standards


  7. "Associate"

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

    I have been working at Cooley full-time

    Pros

    Energetic partners and terrific clients

    Cons

    It's a big law firm.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good place, has some cultural issues"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cooley full-time

    Pros

    Coworkers are smart, motivated, lots of different project options.

    Cons

    There is not a strong team- people do not work together to help each other succeed. Every man for himself. Several NY partners have changed the laid-back SF culture.

    Advice to Management

    More focus on team success and cohesiveness.


  9. "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.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "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.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "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.



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