Fragomen Reviews | Glassdoor

Fragomen Reviews

Updated May 24, 2018
462 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.4
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Fragomen Chairman of the Firm/Partner Austin T. Fragomen
Austin T. Fragomen
137 Ratings

462 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
Cons
  • Not very flexible with work/ life balance (in 28 reviews)

  • Little to no alignment among departments (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Fragomen full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work, highly recommend.

    Cons

    There was a lot of overtime, which mean more money, but less personal time.


  2. "CSM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fragomen full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Positive, Growing, Vibrant, Knowledgeable, and Professional

    Cons

    Old Fashioned, Average Technology,

  3. "Dry, mundane, and routine work with poor social opportunities and zero skill development"

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

    Pros

    I was hired within a week of applying. The pay was decent. The benefits varied from a laughable 401k match/vestment period to a pretty good dental and vision plan. There was free coffee and tea. My desk could be converted into a standing desk whenever I wanted to. I was never yelled at or mistreated. The office was clean and modern. At least 30% of the employees were under 30. There were random snacks in the break room from time to time.

    Cons

    Maybe it's because I've been working for almost a decade before I accepted this position and I wasn't a fresh-faced college graduate with no experience, so I expected much more.

    I realized on my third day that I would resign much sooner than I thought when I shadowed someone of 10 years. We went through billing, the petition form, and the cover letter of support for a client. Why is someone with over a decade of experience performing the same tasks as a new person? I looked around and saw that it wasn't just the one paralegal - it was everyone. It became apparent that entering templates with foreign national and client information would my task every single moment of every single day.

    When I read reviews on Glassdoor that it was a "visa factory", I wasn't sure of what it meant. The job is data entry and when a foreign national doesn't fully explain something, you reword or expand on it. That's it. It is mundane. It is boring. It is dry. Done with one case? They never stop coming, so onto the next one. Outside of my last week, my caseload required me to be constantly processing cases every moment. You walk in, sit down, look at the case calendar, and your whole day is already planned due to you knowing how long it takes you to perform each step; furthermore, there were times when I had to work through my lunch to complete the case load.

    It's absolutely lonely. Due to the caseload necessitating that you stare at your computer for the whole day, most employees will put in their headphones and just focus on the case load; in addition, your team may be spread across different sections of the office and sometimes multiple cities. These factors will lead to a severe lack of social opportunities and social interaction.

    The firm suffers from poor communication. Teams are placed with the type of client and the type of stay (temporary or permanent). As a result, teams with different clients do not interact with each other and even different type of stays (but the same client) teams do not interact to a certain degree. Certain employees may receive updated documentation that other employees do not have. Lawyers may request specific content layouts adjustment in one employee's reviewed draft and others employees won't find out until they make the same draft error. I remember training individuals and I would be asked "Why do you do it this way?" and my only response would be "I don't know, but I haven't been told to change it yet". Why am I being assigned cases when I am on vacation and are due the day I return? Why am I assigned cases at 4PM and I only know from looking at the calendar, not any kind of contact? Why am I being assigned a different types of cases when nobody has told me where to find those documents or how it differs from others?

    There were odd micromanagement tactics that reminded me of a call center at times. Clocking in and clocking out system. Only allowed to take a lunch between 11:30AM and 2PM. Despite technically working 37.5 hours and getting paid for 40 hours, I had to ask permission to work past 37.5 hours even when I wasn't getting paid extra for it. Supervisor would instant message and email for consistent case updates. I would go several days without interacting face-to-face a supervisor. Management that were quite friendly on my first day never greeted me afterwards.

    The firm uses outdated, stitched together technology that runs on virtual machines. This results in weekly and almost daily technical issues that I have never before experienced in any professional environment. 2012-era browsers that many websites don't even allow. 2012-era virtual machine technology. 2008-era email/billing/relationship software. It appears that this may be resolved in the nearby future due to the number of technology related positions they are hiring for.

    As adults, we understand that skill development comes from taking on new projects, interacting with interesting challenges, and learning from your failures. Skill development does not come completing Microsoft Word templates every moment of every day. The promotion trajectory is quite transparent from the email blasted anniversaries. 2 years results in Assistant Paralegal II. 3 - 5 years results in Paralegal. 5 - 8 years results in Senior Paralegal. They perform the same tasks. Unless you go to law school or become a supervisor (after Senior Paralegal), there's nothing else.

    Ultimately, this turned me away from the legal field all together. It could be just Fragomen. It could just be immigration law. It could just be transactional nature of the firm. I'll never know. When I started, I was led to believe that I would be learning an interesting field. That I would be helping foreign nationals for employment purposes. That I would experience professional and skill development. That my responsibilities would grow over time.

    Instead, I experienced useless, long video trainings of powerpoint presentations that did not apply to me. My eyes glazed over when I wrote cover letter after cover letter stating why a certain foreign national was better than everyone else on the planet, when it reality - they could just get someone else. My daily responsibilities required completing Microsoft Word templates and being frustrated with the technology. I performed the same exact tasks at the end of my employment that I had at the beginning, just to an increased frequency due to being reliable.

    Advice to Management

    For starting, decrease the caseload by hiring more staff and promote social interaction through more events, meetings, or literally anything instead of staring at a computer the whole day.


  4. "Revolving Door Law Firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fragomen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free lunch and yoga; Free breakfast; Gym is free but limited

    Cons

    Favoritism, Lack of true team building, some management unbearable. Salary is way under market; Outdated system and methods of work


  5. "Awesome Firm"

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

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

    Pros

    This firm has one of the best cultures of any organization you can ever work for.

    Cons

    More training, a better work/life balance.


  6. "Associate Attorney"

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

    I worked at Fragomen full-time

    Pros

    Overall, great coworkers and a good sense of teamwork. Pay is good.

    Cons

    Management is fine overwhelming people with work so the workload can be unrealistic, with consistently long nights and weekends (beyond just "cap season"), resulting in a general sense of frustration/unhappiness. Perception management is way too important in this office; it's hard to know who to trust.

    Advice to Management

    Train managers on how to be effective people managers.


  7. "Law Clerk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Attorney in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Attorney in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Experience, Learn a lot, friendly attorneys

    Cons

    Zero transparency with respect to hiring

  8. "Stable, decent first job right out of college!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Paralegal in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Paralegal in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fragomen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - The paralegal work is stable and consistent (immigration cases are not as complex as some other practice areas), which means it's relatively intuitive to learn even if you don't have a wealth of training here. I've really enjoyed learning from my peers in this respect.
    - Getting to do legal strategy directly with attorneys, and having a great deal of responsibility/ownership over your own cases
    - Very understanding management/HR when it comes to taking time off, adjusting work logistics, etc. There is quite a lot of PTO (22 days a year) and the HR manager is very kind and understanding. Thanks to the hardworking Facilities team, there are a number of nice firmwide events for bonding and camaraderie, including a soft serve truck to celebrate the end of CAP season!
    - They hire fresh college grads with little to no immigration/legal experience, which makes for a solid "stepping-stone" if you just want to gain some legal experience but can't bring "2-3 years of experience" to the table for even an entry-level legal assistant job at a big company/BigLaw!

    Cons

    - Training is sort of "all over the place," but they have so many paralegals coming through all the time that there is sort of a framework to make sure everyone is covered as they're learning the ropes
    - Revolving door -- people don't stay long!
    - Most attorneys are very nice, engaged, and thoughtful, but a few are unapproachable, inattentive, slow to review important documents, and patronizing
    - This has not personally been my experience, but someone on my team (not a paralegal) was fired out of the blue for reasons that could've been brought up to him with better warning/training ahead of time, so I think the management structure can be quite flawed here if you are underperforming but don't know it.
    - This is more of a neutral note, but the pay is hourly so you have to clock in and out, including for lunch. The pay is not amazing, especially if you are trying to be financially independent in the Bay Area.


  9. "Overworked, Disorganized, and Unwilling to Change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Paralegal in Matawan, NJ
    Current Employee - Assistant Paralegal in Matawan, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fragomen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people are pleasant and generally easy to work with.

    Incoming salaries and benefits.

    Cons

    I came into the role very aware of the less than positive reputation Fragomen has within immigration. I wanted to give the firm a chance, and I specifically asked about pain points during my interview and the answers were either a) a gloss over or b) a side step. Regardless, working here has been a nightmare, and here are some of the reasons:

    -No work life balance
    -Weekly tech problems are normal
    -Uncapped overtime (this is definitely a con)
    -I can’t even tell you what version of Windows the firm runs because it’s so old; other applications are similarly old or function slowly
    -Overworked is the normal
    -Lack of communication from management
    -Trainings are mostly video-based, and there are occasional phone trainings, but most of the tools and knowledge you need will be learned hodge-podge (or not at all)
    -Lack of workflow structure (cases can and will be assigned randomly with competing deadines from three to four different people)
    -While I didn’t go through a formal review, I was told that bonuses were few and far between and pay raises year to year were minimal
    -High turnover among paras
    -Incoming opportunities are build as “growth” but are really backlogs
    -Management ideal is “everyone should be able to do everything” which amounts to low efficiency and a nightmare structure
    -Mid level management doesn’t take ownership of anything, passess it off as firm-wide issues, and push back (and/or site limitations) when alternatives are proposed

    Advice to Management

    -Hire more caseworkers
    -Recognize that caseworkers actually draft hundreds of cases, and being constantly overworked and exhausted is the cause of high turnover
    -Don’t push a 2 year commitment during the interview stage knowing that high turnover is due to internal instability


  10. "Job Out of College"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great people and camaraderie. You will make a lot of friends through coworkers.

    Cons

    Overworked, underpaid, underappreciated by supervisors. So I quit.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your staff more. Don't let great workers go and promote slackers.


Showing 462 of 494 reviews
Reset Filters