Covington & Burling Reviews | Glassdoor

Covington & Burling Reviews

Updated September 16, 2018
81 reviews

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3.6
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Maria Ivy
15 Ratings

81 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Interesting work, good benefits, more positive people than negative" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Good salary, generally nice people" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "As big law firms go, Covington does THE BEST at achieving work-life balance, but when you practice law at this level, there's no way around it" (in 7 reviews)

  • "No work life balance and tough benefits" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Corporate Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Corporate Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Respectful, brilliant and all around quality place to work as a lawyer as far as big law goes.

    Cons

    Could work on having a more forward thinking training process for junior associates.


  2. "Big Brother"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Paralegal in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Paralegal in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful office; nice people. You don’t have to click in or out but your key fob is needed to walk around the office, so they know when you’re there and when you’re not.

    Cons

    This place is too big for its own good.

    I was misled about the position I had applied for; I was told I would get remote access and email on my phone my first day and that I could work as much overtime as I wanted. Turned out none of this was true, and when I questioned why, I was told that the person who told me this was “new” and “shouldn’t have told [me] that”. I’m not sure why this person was allowed to interview me, but...

    I was hired as a mid level paralegal instead of a senior, which I am, and was primarily assigned the task of reorganizing files. I was allowed to cite check but was required to sign up for future training and a test to determine whether or not I could cite check (doesn’t make sense, right?)

    There are cameras everywhere including in your office. There are uniformed police outside and cops dressed like lawyers walking around inside. You cannot share your email address with friends or family and you cannot use your computer for banking, etc during your lunch break.

    My office was a storage room with boxes and bins stacked everywhere. Paralegal management never checked to see if my office was set up beforehand, hence the mess.

    I felt like I was basically put in my office and forgotten about. No one responded to my calls or emails when I had questions and after three weeks of reorganizing files a senior paralegal sent an email demanding to know who had been reorganizing the files.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your new hires. They are probably lost right now trying to find the mailroom, or their way out!

  3. "Former Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Compensation, benefits, bonuses. Junior attorneys are really nice.

    Cons

    No work life balance. Experience depends on who you work with.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Engineer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - IT Engineer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful space at City Center right near Chinatown
    Professional working environment.
    Heath benefits on par with other law firms
    There’s isn’t much good I can say about this firm. They drive good people to the ground.

    Cons

    Micromanage
    IT staff is run thin and morale is low,
    Management only has short term vision., constantly buying for the near term.
    The firm reuse old out dated equipment running their network.
    The firm doesn’t contribute to your 401k until 2 years of service. So for 2 yrs they’re not investing in your retirement. Most firms contribute right away but won’t fully vest until 3 yrs.
    Still using paper time sheets.

    Advice to Management

    Let the engineers work and let the managers manage.


  5. "Prestigious global law firm, and they care about Associates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Tech licensing, strategic partnerships & M&A for biotech and pharma are best in the world. I lateraled into the Life Sciences group and practiced there for 2 yrs. Whenever a pharma merger or partnership made headlines, I worked on it in some way. Truly unique firm to get this type of experience.

    Regulatory and privacy practices are amazing. You work directly with former senators, agency directors, and agency general counsels. When I worked in the SF office, a partner who I interacted with regularly (but didn't directly work with) was appointed to be a federal judge, which was really cool.

    Insurance practice is US News' Law Firm of the Year. If you want to learn insurance law from the best, come to Covington.

    I went in-house from Covington, and I made sure it was my company's go-to firm for our insurance, privacy, and any other regulatory needs. (We're not a life sciences company. Otherwise, I'd use them for that too.)

    Cons

    As big law firms go, Covington does THE BEST at achieving work-life balance, but when you practice law at this level, there's no way around it... you'll work hard.

    Covington is extremely selective in hiring. (I still don't know how I slipped through.)

    Advice to Management

    All associates in my class felt they had a real chance to make partner if they really wanted it. Management gives associates lots of opportunities to prove themselves. My advice to management would be to keep that up.


  6. "associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many excellent partners who care about teaching and mentoring associates. Good partners far outweigh the ones to avoid. High quality of work in many practice groups. Generally there is respect for personal lives. Highly respected firm in DC.

    Cons

    The pace of the work can be unrelenting and the hours long. Firm has become extremely large and impersonal. Has a culturally uptight and old fashioned reputation, which is largely true. Some practice groups offer far greater professional growth opportunities than others.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good luck!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You do get your paycheck.

    Cons

    You are just a number!

    Advice to Management

    Learn to treat people as human beings.

  8. "Head of Ops"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Covington & Burling full-time

    Pros

    Great Exposure to additional functions in field

    Cons

    No work life balance and tough benefits


  9. "Genteel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Covington & Burling full-time

    Pros

    Very genteel for attorneys. Some siloing.

    Cons

    The attorneys who are actually good at litigating aren't necessarily the ones who make partner.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "An alright place to start"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Covington & Burling full-time

    Pros

    Learned a lot and worked with good people.

    Cons

    A bit too stuffy at times.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the talent you have before it leaves.


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