Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. Reviews | Glassdoor

Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. Reviews

Updated July 7, 2017
15 reviews

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2.6
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John L. DuPré
4 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Good opportunities to grow."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to work on various types of projects. Very few micromanagers. Associates are usually treated well. Most principals are great to work for. I've seen a great willingness to be flexible for those associates needing a work life balance.

    Cons

    I get the impression after being out of the firm for a while that other practitioners in the region do not view it as being among the most prestigious IP practice in Boston.
    The firm skimps on secretarial/paralegal staff. Pity the associate who has to share a secretary with a principal. Secretaries are expected to do the kind of work that paralegals typically do at other firms.

    Advice to Management

    Strengthen the litigation practice. Stay away from used car salesman types.
    A certain principal on the letterhead occasionally has massive temper tantrums and can be unpredictable and difficult to work with. Sometimes downright insulting and disrespectful. A certain principal on the letterhead occasionally has massive temper tantrums and can be unpredictable and difficult to work with. Sometimes downright insulting and disrespectful. This should be taken seriously. Do not turn off your soon to be former associates/potential corporate in-house source for work.


  2. "Overworked, undervalued and underpaid"

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

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    location
    peers willing to help one another

    Cons

    -Constantly dumped on with more work and expected to take on more responsibility with no additional pay, benefits, bonuses or consideration as to how the additional work will be accomplished.
    -Several of the Principals are abusive bullies, condescending, make ridiculous demands and not respectful of you as a human or as a contributor regardless of how far above and beyond you go.

    Advice to Management

    - Start paying for what you expect instead of trying to guilt the staff and squeeze more out of them for free.
    - Hold Principals accountable for abusive behavior.
    - Stop taking away benefits especially when you don't give worth while raises.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "The cons are beginning to outweigh the pros"

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

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time

    Pros

    +Commute to Concord is great
    +Peers are competent and helpful
    +The team approach is effective
    +Lots of training provided
    +Support departments are available and helpful
    +Understanding of personal/family commitments

    Cons

    -Too many of the Principals are disrespectful and abusive of the staff, this is a known and acceptable behavior.
    -Those that work for key Principals are given privileges and leniencies while others are forced to take on additional work and hours.
    -Raises are pitiful.
    -Employee health insurance costs were significantly increased without warning of upcoming changes after multiple years of little to no raises.
    -Any money they can take from the staff and put in the Principals pockets they do without hesitation.

    Advice to Management

    Quality people need respect and compensation to stay.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Pay-cuts and put-downs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time

    Pros

    Great suburban location. If you'd rather not work in Boston, it's a decent alternative. Although the other side of the base would be closer to civilization.

    Cons

    The principals are fleeing and the firm is tightening their belt. In the past 2 years, 6 partners have left and they all took their clients with them. Now the firm is in trouble and they’re freezing raises and taking away benefits. The only benefit left that gave them an advantage over other firms (100% paid medical for individuals) has now been taken away!

    Advice to Management

    What would attract good help to such a small firm if all of the benefits are the same or worse than those of bigger firms? The benefits used to be the only reason to stay here. And stop degrading people in front of their peers. I'm tired of watching talented people leave just because management is cheap and belittling.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "A Very Mixed Bag"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    For the most part, a wonderful group of loyal and hardworking attorneys and support staff. If you enjoy a more rural work environment, the Concord office is well situated.

    Cons

    "A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected." This is a concept that is completely lost on HBSR management.

    Advice to Management

    Management should be more transparent with the staff as to why the firm chooses to make certain decisions.


  6. "Loved working here!"

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

    Pros

    Excellent training - give you everything you need to succeed
    Beautiful location

    Cons

    Some last minute OT due to filings


  7. "Good work/life balance. Good benefits/great people."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great teamwork among legal assistants. Day and night support make it easy to maintain home and family life balance. HR and management are accessible and supportive. Long time emoyees are very supportive to newcomers. Great training resources by the firm and shared information among the legal assistants.

    Cons

    A few negative employees who aren't happy and want others to join them. It's tough to stay positive in a small office when someone is complaining every minute of the day.

    Advice to Management

    It takes a long time to weed out the bad apples. By the time they leave, they have brought morale down and left a mess in their wake.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "If you're green, you may give it a go. If you have experience, you may want to reconsider."

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

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time

    Pros

    For those who have no experience and want to learn patent prosecution, the firm's initial training program focuses on how to get up to speed on the required documents. The firm has fairly good benefits. If you get the right people on your side, you are sure to be happy.

    Cons

    For those who have extensive experience with prosecution, the training program was frustrating at best. The firm trains solely based on paper filings (nearly extinct in the field now) and puts a heavy burden on the tech-savvy admins to help those in the Quality Review department who aren't as tech-savvy themselves. Training focused very little on the actual functionality of the office, and once it was over, it was extremely difficult to find the "correct way" to do things based on the firm's preferences. The firm memos, emails and procedures trumped all discussion of the rules for support staff, which made it complicated for those who have not been part of the firm throughout the rule changes and subsequent office procedure changes. The procedure book that is referred to constantly in training as a reference has not been updated in years, frustrating attorneys when it is used as a guide, and leaving staff without much guidance, unless those "in the know" are willing to assist.

    The partnership does not appear to get along, and the conflicts at the top of the firm are evident in the way the firm is managed. Support staff focuses on making attorneys happy, not ensuring a quality product, or becoming proficient themselves in their field of expertise. Very little value is placed on the support staff and their contributions to the value of the firm. If you do not have a J.D., anticipate being treated as though you are just at a job, not a career. There is a distinct lack of respect for the administrative role in the prosecution practice, and unless you are an attorney, the word "professional" is not even used to address you (see the website). The majority of the feedback received is about attendance, tardiness, attorney preferences and typographical errors.

    The only additional training or education was to ensure the staff understands new forms; education about the legal aspects or implications of rules changes are not evaluated from a support staff perspective.

    Advice to Management

    The administrative management of the firm needs to be addressed with regard to professionalism and favoritism. It would be additionally helpful to have supervisors who are experienced with Intellectual Property, not just those who have experience managing staff, so the hurdles that are faced are better understood by those who are supposed to remedy them. Those who are in management roles need to attend some updated seminars on management; both their ideas and focus are antiquated.

    The Partnership needs to determine what matters to them, and get on the same team with their goals. The disagreements about how to proceed with the new office is clear to those who are subjected to the decisions made by a disgruntled partnership. The lack of support for the new Boston office, the lack of attentive management given until chaos ensued, and the lack of useful procedures to accomodate the new office are indicative of these issues.

    Listen more to Human Resources, and the ideas that come from those who are optimistic in the firm. The constant negative feedback from the administrative management is disheartening. Support staff is more than just a warm body to sit at a desk awaiting an attorney's instructions or babysitting the front door. Should the value of each team member be acknowledged, the firm may find the bottom line increases once the staff are recognized as a valuable asset.

    (I do not anticipate any such changes to occur any time in the near future, despite the increased turnover at the firm with both the legal and administrative staff).


  9. "Outstanding training process, quality review department and support services."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant/Paralegal in Concord, MA
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant/Paralegal in Concord, MA
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Not much room for advancement but excellent work-life balance and benefits.

    Cons

    Support services management is inappropriate with regards to behavioral management of paralegals/legal assistants, managing with coercive dialogue and negative criticism.

    Advice to Management

    Eliminate favoritism of support staff.


  10. "Unpleasant Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds, P.C. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you want exposure to patent prosecution, this firm has a relatively extensive and thorough training program.

    Cons

    The firm's culture is not geared towards making staff feel valued or an integral part of the team. Many partners feel that when one staff person leaves, another one is waiting at the door to be hired. This philosophy does not encourage any loyalty on the part of the staff. The work environment often times feels like that of a factory and partners do not show much appreciation to staff members.

    Advice to Management

    Until management (partners) realize that staff members need to be shown appreciation for their expertise and the high quality of work that they provide to the firm's clients, the firm will continue to loose members of its staff.


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