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Winston & Strawn Reviews

Updated December 20, 2017
126 reviews

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3.5
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Winston & Strawn Managing Partner Tom Fitzgerald
Tom Fitzgerald
42 Ratings

126 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Winston & Strawn is a global law firm that values its attorneys and staff (in 11 reviews)

  • Great company with good people who work really hard at their jobs (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Most days I ask myself if I work in a major law firm or a grade school (in 9 reviews)

  • There is a huge division between attorneys and staff (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Gerat place to work"

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

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time

    Pros

    Great opportunity for professional growth.

    Cons

    There are no cons I can think of.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  2. "Big Law w/ Midwest Vibe..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Law Clerk in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Law Clerk in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Winston & Strawn (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people, good mentoring, excellent HR, summer associate program is fantastic

    Cons

    Lifestyle isn't great (long hours, weekends, all-nighters)...same as any big law firm

  3. Helpful (2)

    "The *Honest* Truth"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time

    Pros

    If you need law firm experience for your career goals, a benefits package, or a salary.

    Cons

    Don't let Winston's official responses about employee engagement fool you. There are some key points they're leaving out when they promote these "high marks" they say they received. The most glaring and disheartening one being that while employees were specifically told that surveys were anonymous, they weren't. I completed my survey and the report that was sent back to them included a URL that included my initials. I confirmed with a handful of close friends that theirs did as well. Word spread quickly (as word tends to do in an office) and, coupled with the already existing impression that firmwide leadership retaliates against anyone who criticizes or questions, people were afraid to leave honest feedback and simply return surveys that are minimally completed with generic responses.

    Winston has made no secret within the office about its desire to improve it's Glassdoor rating (as opposed to actually improving substantive morale, and engaging and retaining talented employees). They solicit positive reviews by contacting employees directly after providing bonuses, gifts, or social functions and individually asking them to complete Glassdoor reviews. This puts a lot of pressure on people to both submit a review and say positive things to avoid retribution from firmwide leadership.

    There is no enthusiasm or engagement left at Winston. Within the past year or two, almost the entirety of local management has left, with the firm not replacing the roles, but rather putting the responsibility on other firmwide management who don't work in the same city. Firmwide management wants "yes men" below them who follow blindly and do not question anything, because their top priority seems to be their own job security and they appear to be very strategic in maintaining that, even if it is at the expense of the firm and its employees. Hiring any new/competent people for local leadership positions who would have the local office's employees' interests at heart would threaten their job security. On top of that, the newer "leadership" isn't located in the same city, or even virtually responsive. It takes weeks to get a response from them on basic questions. Many employees have complained about this, but as with most everything at Winston, nothing changes.

    If you want to work at a firm without a unique/positive culture, where yes men and blind following is expected and anything else results in retribution, and where they are stuck in the 90's and constantly chasing industry norms years after peer firms, Winston is a good fit- look no further!

    Advice to Management

    Whoever is above firm leadership (the board of directors? CEO?) would need to enact change, because current management is corrupted and serving their own interests at the expense of the firm and its employees.

    Winston & Strawn Response

    Dec 21, 2017 – Sr. Recruitment Specialist

    Thank you for your review of Winston & Strawn. We take employee feedback seriously and want to be responsive when we hear from someone who does not feel the firm is providing a positive staff... More


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good, but far from great"

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

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time

    Pros

    This is for the SF office only:
    - Easy commute since the building is close to a BART station
    - Attorneys and staff are usually very nice, even the difficult ones
    - Plenty of work to do and the office is nicely furnished
    - Not a lot of nonsense in terms of office operations
    - More holidays and the caps for sick/vacation time are huge so you can rack up some serious days.

    Cons

    - Unless you're in Chicago (HQ) or Houston (CIO's home office), you're stuck in your position, period. No moving up regardless of how many years you've racked up or your work quality or how many partners speak up about it.
    - Poor-performing individuals still working only because they're chummy with a higher-up, despite complaints from other higher-ups.
    - Stealth layoffs
    - Empty promises of better things to come
    - Too many projects that are driven to "completion", which means they're only half-done and require a whole bunch of running around putting out fires

    Advice to Management

    Plenty to give, but since they're not geared towards squeezing more dollars per hour, they'll be ignored so what's the point.

    Winston & Strawn Response

    Sep 22, 2017 – Sr. Recruitment Specialist

    Thank you for your review of Winston & Strawn. We often receive positive feedback from our employees about the firm’s collegial culture, attractive office space, and generous benefits. Winston makes... More


  5. "Not a great company"

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

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits and amenities, small amounts of growth.

    Cons

    Poor work/life balance, Bad company culture, company has a lot of work to do, so think twice before working here.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the structure and atmosphere.

    Winston & Strawn Response

    Oct 13, 2017 – Sr. Recruitment Specialist

    Thank you for your review of Winston & Strawn. Employee feedback through a variety of outlets helps us continue to deliver a positive staff experience. The firm receives robust responses to our... More


  6. "Blessed to Work with Winston & Strawn LLP staff and management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Persnal Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Executive Persnal Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Professionalism and respect. Work/Life truly exists here.

    Cons

    Medical - high deductible. Please lower.

    Advice to Management

    Keep It Up! Tenure is rampant because of you. Thank you for believing in me.


  7. "Quality and service oriented"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Communications in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Consistent level of high quality service, positive attitude, and responsiveness from all levels -- staff, associates, and partners. Senior management and partners are much more accessible than you may be led to believe.

    Cons

    Lingering separation between lawyers and non-lawyers.

  8. "Most People Are Nice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Project Assistant
    Former Employee - Project Assistant

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time

    Pros

    Most Attorneys were nice. I got stuck with some crazies who made our lives miserable. I imagine it was like working in a big law firm anywhere. Either feast or famine. Could be super stressful at times over silly thing like printing labels.

    Cons

    Super quiet generally. Not much comradery in the halls etc. People are nice but not very friendly atmosphere

    Advice to Management

    Give paralegals more substantive work


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Associate"

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

    I worked at Winston & Strawn full-time

    Pros

    Smart, driven attorneys with interesting clients (and legal work)

    Cons

    Management was disorganized and did not know how to effectively manage associate work load


  10. Helpful (5)

    "There are better"

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

    I have been working at Winston & Strawn full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    It's just okay. There are better firms.

    Cons

    There is a huge division between attorneys and staff. The attorneys treat staff like second class citizens. The management and the human resources department are still out of touch with staff. They recruit employees to post positive reviews. Really. And, get ready everyone on staff, the next round of layoffs is right around the corner.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the fake reviews. Be honest.


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