Southern Poverty Law Center Reviews

Updated Jun 25, 2020

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2.9
48%
Recommend to a Friend
41%
Approve of CEO
Southern Poverty Law Center President and CEO J. Richard Cohen (no image)
J. Richard Cohen
28 Ratings
  1. "Great organization"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montgomery, AL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great organization, the work is more relevant than ever. Attracts great talent and offers room to grow in career.

    Cons

    Montgomery is not a great place to live, but it's changing for the better.

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "Struggling, once prestigious organization"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Manager 

    I worked at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time

    Pros

    Its original mission was clear and worthwhile and the work was fulfilling and had a wide ranging impact. Good benefits.

    Cons

    A change in top leadership unfortunately did not help this company. Current leadership failures, no sense of direction or purpose, have led this once admired and respected organization to the brink of destruction. It has lost respect in the civil rights community and in many other arenas.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "The worst, don't work there"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Attorney in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, better than average

    Cons

    So badly run it is hard to overstate

  4. Helpful (1)

    "They have work to do -- hope the union helps"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Digital Campaigns Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Legitimately good work done by the legal and policy departments. They help a lot of people who need it. -There are lots of people there, especially lower-level people in legal, comms, and operations, who want the org to be better -The just unionized!

    Cons

    -You've read the news, presumably -- long history of extremely bad culture -Beyond racism/sexism (which I believe they're making a good-faith effort at fighting) there's a lot of poor management and a lack of good structure to keep the day-to-day functioning

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  5. "Great Benefits, Company in Transition"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Associate in Montgomery, AL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Improving work culture, motivated team, gratifying work

    Cons

    politics at the top, overcoming years of toxic culture

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Different culture"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    I think that the benefits provided to employees are some of the best for any organization.

    Cons

    The Center is going through some seismic changes that have not brought out the best in leadership or line staff.

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "Don't do it"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Benefits are pretty good - Pay is improving, although still not good for many line staff, and very inequitable and varies among staff with the same job for no discernible explanation - Much of the work is pretty cool, if you can focus on the work

    Cons

    - The upper management is so catastrophically bad that you could not possibly summarize all of the reasons in a single review. Every single time they are given the opportunity to do right by the staff they manage to turn around and backhand us in the face. It is actually unbelievable. At this point I do not believe they are capable of making a single good decision. - Management protected and colluded with sexual harassers for many years, never fired many of them or allowed them to quietly "resign," and now refuses to tell the staff the truth about what happened, while hiring a bunch of consultants and PR firms to spread propaganda that all is well. - There is a very wide gulf between what the org says it stands for and what it is actually doing. - Because of nationally-reported scandals about the sexual harassment this year, the staff has had to do the difficult labor of forcing management to be accountable to itself. The toxicity stemming from all of this is absolutely out of control. - I used to tell people that it was worth it to work here for a year or two as long as you knew how to use it as a stepping stone for the rest of your career. Now I tell people to never do it no matter what.

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  8. Helpful (2)

    "evil hypocrites!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you wanna be a rich white lady who does ZERO work and gets a freaking paycheck each week...this is the place for you. So much dead weight - idiot senior attorneys who don’t do anything but sit on their lazy butts writing “legal memos” that don’t even do anything for anyone

    Cons

    Truly the worst place ever to work. They don’t care anything about anything except white supremacy and money. They take poor people of colors story and profit off them. They don’t care about anyone. Literally it should be removed as a nonprofit - it’s for profit oppression. I had managers who chose to protect sexual abusers, then retaliated against them, and then pretended to advance social justice. May those evil hypocrites rot in hell!

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "Salary could be better"

    3.0
    Current Employee - Litigation Paralegal 
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The work the organization does for the community is wonderful.

    Cons

    Salary and pay is low and could be better

  10. Helpful (2)

    "Depends what state you are in"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant 

    I have been working at Southern Poverty Law Center full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Certain managers are helpful and want you to succeed.

    Cons

    Management are stuck in their ways and they do not want to change with what is going on in the US.

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