Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. Reviews | Glassdoor

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Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. Reviews

Updated February 2, 2018
105 reviews

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3.6
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C. Matthew Keen
26 Ratings

105 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • And my work-life balance needs are taken seriously as well (in 10 reviews)

  • This is a well managed and established law firm (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • No work-life balance, very hands-off upper management (in 6 reviews)

  • Some of the attorneys and staff are impossible to work with, though that's an issue in every workplace (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Ogletree Overview"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ogletree has so far been a fantastic place to work. My interview process was short and management was honest about the expectations of the position. The onboarding process was thorough and I never felt overwhelmed learning the new material. Ogletree has an online training portal to help train on new systems, which helps the learning curve. From the half a year I've been here I've felt welcomed and appreciated and most of all noticed. There is also know room for growth and promotions.
    I have been to multiple Ogletree offices and all are exhibit a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Our offices offer free Keurig coffee and tea, soft drinks, and very often have free food, lunches, snacks, etc. in the kitchens. I have been to multiple office outings (baseball games, bowling, etc.), attended the office holiday parties, and each month the office holds a Thirsty Thursday. Benefits are well balanced and work life balance is important.
    So far my experience has been absolutely wonderful and I truly feel I have found my career home.

    Cons

    For the first 3 years employees get 12 PTO days and 8 days of sick time. Total, I think this is a great amount but wish we could use sick time for PTO. Otherwise I have no complaints!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the encouraging and positive work!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good 'Ol Boy Company"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time

    Pros

    Growing and highly profitable. Expert attorneys. Best in the business.

    Cons

    Global company, small business mentality and business practices. Trip over themselves constantly. Institutional learning is not a priority. Rife with politics.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the dead wood and old school management.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Paralegal turnover"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Immigration Paralegal
    Former Employee - Immigration Paralegal
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time

    Pros

    The money and benefits are good. I had interesting work that I was involved and invested in.

    Cons

    The Raleigh (immigration) office is a hot mess. I heard through others who had visited other Ogletree offices that they were not nearly as bad. The high turnover among paralegals speaks for itself. The workload is very high and, while most attorneys say that they are there to help, they tend to disappear behind closed doors when things catch fire or the workload gets unmanageable. I was embarrassed by the quality of my work, but my caseload and stress level were so high that I was making mistakes everywhere - simply not enough time in the day to do my work carefully, and certainly not enough time to check it over. Overtime has to be pre-approved by a shareholder (and whether or not you get it depends on your supervising attorney). Before my caseload ramped up with time, my work quality was significantly better. The blame game is well-played in the office, and attorneys are not afraid to throw a paralegal under the bus. Out of survival, your energies start to focus more on CYA than on quality work and client service. Training is left to under-prepared paralegals with insufficient time. I was there for less than two years and trained multiple new paralegals, simply because there was no one else. The paralegals with the most experience are either drowning in their caseload or have quit. Clients are upset quite frequently. Some of that is because of the general frustrations related to the immigration process, but a lot of it has to do with paralegals not having time to get around to a basic /quick/easy steps in the immigration process and attorneys not making time to answer the more complex legal questions.

    Advice to Management

    Good management skills in the attorneys are essential. Question the attorneys who can't keep paralegals around to save their lives. 360 performance reviews could help. Client satisfaction is dependent on good, quality work. With high turnover, you won't get that. If high-level attorneys are getting called in frequently because a client is unhappy, that's a huge problem that could be fixed with solid training and a little bit of effort in retaining paralegals. You're going to lose clients and good employees without this. It would be easy to retain paralegals with occasional one-on-one training (most training was done in large groups where everyone had experience in vastly different pieces of immigration, working for different attorneys and clients), more attorney involvement in training their team so that expectations are clear (teams do things differently based on varied client needs), work with paralegals on their needs and caseloads. The occasional meeting and holiday party doesn't address the root cause of the problem.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great College Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Courier
    Former Employee - Courier
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great hourly pay, 401k benefits included, relaxed environment

    Cons

    The workload could vary significantly so some days you might have nothing to do except check the mail while others you have to make 5 deliveries after making thousands of copies


  5. "Associate"

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

    I have been working at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very professional
    Excellent lawyers
    Interesting work
    Lots of resources

    Cons

    long and unpredictable hours can take a toll

    Advice to Management

    Be careful discounting work to get more of it. That might make people at the top more money but working more for less will quickly burn out the people who you need to actually do the work.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Poorly managed with little direction, great peers"

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

    I have been working at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great peers and co-workers that create an environment of responsibility and team atmosphere.

    Cons

    Awful management, with no direction and constantly being setup for failure. Blame game is high between departments. Constant negative reinforcement is the only motivating factor from management that work needs to be done at all costs as fast as possible..

    Advice to Management

    Re-evaluate the company vision and directives and provide a more consistent and fair working environment.

    Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. Response

    Nov 16, 2017 – CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

    I am sorry that your experience is different than the firm's values and culture intends. Please reach out confidentially to our HR department or to me directly.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Overworked to the Point of Quitting"

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

    I worked at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The perks are nice (paid parking, free food of some kind every week or two, $1000 Christmas bonus, annual company party). Some (not all) of the people who work there are very helpful and friendly, and I was glad to get to know them.

    Cons

    Essentially everything not mentioned in the "Pros" section. Regardless of your experience or background, you will be given more work than you can possibly manage. Ogletree is caught in a vicious cycle of overworked employees quitting but not being replaced, which means the people who are left get an even higher and less manageable caseload. Our biggest client was given to a staff member with no paralegal or casework experience, and about 4 hours of training (in contrast, a Paralegal Assistant with no legal background is given a year of training before taking on casework). The attorneys are so overworked that they can barely contribute to cases, leaving 95% of the work and client communication for each case to be managed by Paralegals and Assistants. If you're overworked and ask to move some of your cases so that you are actually able to manage them, you will be ignored. Big surprise then when you can't do the impossible and everything falls behind. Some of the attorneys and staff are impossible to work with, though that's an issue in every workplace. But when your direct manager, and one or more of the attorneys you have to work for and cater to are pawning their work off on paralegals and unwilling to compromise, there's no other way out than to quit. Issues are talked around instead of resolved. You're harassed all day by both clients and attorneys, wondering why you can't get your work done faster (despite having said multiple times before that you're not actually capable of handling the volume). And forget vacations, I was told that my cases would be managed while I was gone, and came back to find that "managing" meant telling everyone that I would do their work/give updates/etc. as soon as I came back. With an already unmanageable workload when I'd been attending to it daily, I came back to a pile of work 3 times the size I'd left (and was then reprimanded for having let my cases fall behind). 0/5 stars, I would not wish Ogletree upon anyone I like or care about. I hope my friends can get out.

    Advice to Management

    Honestly, the only way to fix this is to do a complete 180 degree turnaround. You're constantly bringing in new clients and increasing the workload, while not replacing the people who leave. More work spread out among less people is not a disparity you want, and it will only be compounded as more people reach the tipping point and leave. Hire more attorneys! More paralegals! More assistants! You don't even have enough file clerks!! NO ONE is able to effectively manage their workload. How do you expect the work to get done and to provide the "quality client service" you keep touting with no one to do the work? I know that as management, the staff makes a lower salary than you, but that doesn't mean you're more important and you can ignore them and their concerns and complaints!! They're trying to let you know what's wrong so you can FIX IT not ignore it and expect everyone to be happy.

  8. "Legal Practice Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Impressive leadership, extremely sharp and hard working group. Assignments were positively challenging and appreciated by the team. Top notch technology tools, many training opportunities and great pay.

    Cons

    No cons about the Seattle location. This is a large firm, and I think the main office could improve on clarification of certain protocol to contribute to the efforts of employee success.

    Advice to Management

    I appreciate the opportunity to have worked in the Seattle office. Please consider keeping an OA presence in office for direction and clarification for the benefit of staff.


  9. "Attorney"

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

    I have been working at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time

    Pros

    Great reputation, great clients, great location.

    Cons

    No work-life balance, very hands-off upper management.


  10. "Friendly Staff for a Fantastic Firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. full-time

    Pros

    -Friendly and engaging staff and coworkers
    -Interesting Work
    -Ability to interact and connect with staff in other states
    -Positive and hardworking atmosphere
    -Mutual respect amongst coworkers and between staff and attorneys.
    -It's an employment and labor firm so they ensure proper treatment of and transparency with staff.

    Cons

    -I have no complaints. It's the best work atmosphere I've had in a professional position.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote collaboration and a friendly atmosphere.


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