Reed Smith Reviews | Glassdoor

Reed Smith Reviews

Updated June 20, 2017
124 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.7
Star Star Star Star Star
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Approve of CEO
Reed Smith Global Managing Partner Alexander Y. Thomas
Alexander Y. Thomas
31 Ratings

124 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people; a bit more work life balance than other firms (in 12 reviews)

  • Great people--the attorneys and the staff are all great folks to work with (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • There is little to no room for advancement (in 7 reviews)

  • Be prepared to work pretty long hours (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good people but typical large firm issues"

    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
    Recommends

    I worked at Reed Smith (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people; a bit more work life balance than other firms.

    Cons

    Huge organization; lots of change including cutting down on administrative staff; doesn't compensate as well as other large firms.


  2. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Associate in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Associate in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Reed Smith (More than a year)

    Pros

    International law firm, international team, good location

    Cons

    Pays less than average market rate.

  3. Helpful (1)

    ""Biglaw" in name only"

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

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

    Pros

    Convenient location. Pretty good benefits. Flexibility with schedule. Just about everyone has a pleasant demeanor.

    Cons

    Reed Smith makes very little use of it's support staff and i don't know why they hire so many people to just sit around. Reed Smith has layoffs that make headlines every 4-5 years. Paralegals are not really given any opportunity to prove themselves valuable to the firm and are thus disposable. Their roles are mostly administrative/secretarial unless there's a last minute crunch and there's not a junior associate available (the firm's rampant abuse of billing clients at associate rates for so many things a paralegal can do is another story). With the lack of any real responsibilities usually comes low pay and the salaries at Reed Smith reflect that as they are below market and not in line with what many of the other big law firms pay. The "raises" are also minuscule. Management's view on the role of legal assistants is stuck in the 20th Century because they are very old. If you want a cushy, stress-free job for a few years until the next round of layoffs hits, this is the place for you. Conversely, if you're interested in furthering your career and doing any sort of substantive legal work as a paralegal RUN from this place and look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Reed Smith should allocate more resources to actually being a top tier firm (it isn't) as opposed to simply giving the appearance that it is; the firm is more comparable to Wilson Elser than to Sullivan & Cromwell.


  4. "Staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    Good people, good vacation time

    Cons

    Less micromanaging and poor employee moral.

    Advice to Management

    Less micromanaging


  5. "Attorney"

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

    I have been working at Reed Smith full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great atmosphere and great coworkers

    Cons

    Ability to move up in organization


  6. "administrator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrator in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Administrator in Bronx, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Reed Smith full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people--the attorneys and the staff are all great folks to work with.

    Cons

    I have nothing negative to say.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "An honest review of being a Paralegal at Reed Smith"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Paralegal in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Paralegal in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Reed Smith full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Considered a "top" firm so the name looks good on your resume. No problem taking time off with short notice. Firm
    Contributes 7% of yearly base salary to 401k. The people are nice.

    Occasions when you get to work on interesting matters and do substantive work are few and far between so take full advantage when they come along. This is a good place to work if you're just getting started in your career. However if you have 5+ years of real experience look elsewhere.

    Cons

    1) As a paralegal at RS, you won't be doing much substantive work on a regular basis. Despite my years of experience and ample skill set, what I mostly did was mail out letters and e-file documents. I had nothing to do for long periods of time the last couple of years I was there. Times are tough now at big law firms and they would rather have a junior associate do something a paralegal can do because the associate can bill at a higher rate. This is starting to change at many firms that have abandoned the archaic practice of billing by the hour.

    2) Like others have said, the pay is way below market. No Christmas bonus. I was there for 4 years and in that time frame my salary increased a whopping 5k. This is the standard here. The same raise is given to all paralegals regardless of performance. To give you an idea of how below market the pay is, I just about doubled my salary in the first year at the company I left RS for.

    3) The paralegal unit is poorly structured. Supervisors have no idea who is working on what cases or anything that's going on for that matter unless It's brought to their attention. Upper management is up there in age and has an out-dated view of the paralegal's role in a law firm. There is zero room for advancement here.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure the group by assigning individual cases to each paralegal instead of just throwing them in "practice groups". This would probably help in distributing the workload.

    Although I enjoyed my time at RS and most of the people there were super friendly and great to work with, I still have to give a 2 star rating for the lack of substantive work made available to paralegals, low pay, and no room for advancement.

  8. "Staff Attorney"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Staff Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, good benefits, and wonderful people to work with. CLE and licensing are paid for by the firm.

    Cons

    No advancement for staff attorneys. Terrible pay that is well below market value for an attorney. Increasing pressure to handle an associate caseload at a third of the salary. Minimal bonuses and raises.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to continue to retain your staff attorneys and keep them motivated, the compensation needs to improve greatly. You cannot ask staff attorneys to take on more work and responsibility while paying wages that are well outside an attorney's average salary.


  9. "Legal secretary"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Reed Smith full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Salary, coworkers, benefits, appreciation and education

    Cons

    Workload, some clients, attorney/secretary ratio, office manager


  10. Helpful (1)

    "E-Discovery Attorney"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends

    Pros

    Friendly environment. Positive. Variety of projects.

    Cons

    You feel as if you are one of many. The "higher ups" do not make an effort to get to know you. No one tells you about any of the perks. You have to get the information from those working around you (for ex., the mail room will mail your letters for you and then take the stamp money out of your paycheck.)


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