On Glassdoor, Ogletree Deakens receives a relatively high rating for a prominent law firm: 3.8.
For Dentons, for example, it is 3.
For Boies Schiller Flexner it is 2.9.
After all, employees at many brandname law firms resent the extreme long hours and the difficulty advancing.
But that's not the only reason the bullish endorsement by employees at Ogletree has become interesting.
Another factor is that recently nonequity shareholder - Dawn Knepper - filed a gender discrimination lawsuit. It is seeking class certification.
So, how do Ogletree employees view their employer when they have an opportunity to post an anonymous review? So far, there have been 104 reviews.
There are the usual positive comments about the many smart lawyers, the stimulating work, and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with working at a brandname law firm. One shareholder salutes the openness at the firm.
There are also the usual negative comments about the lack of work/life balance. Also, as at many other prominent law firms, members of the staff perceive themselves as unappreciated, underpaid, and overworked.
No surprise, associates assess it is as increasingly difficult to become a shareholder. That seems universal in an industry in which demand remains flat and growth is stagnant. Here is lawyer-journalist Joe Patrice's analysis for the outlook for 2018 on the influential Abovethelaw.com.
For two negative posts, which were Ogletree-specific, a representative of management responded. One response started out:
"I am sorry your experience is different than the firm's values and culture intends [sic]."
It then goes on to direct the employee to share the concern with Human Resources.
Management at Dechert also left comments on Glassdoor for the employees to bring the complaints to higher-ups. Here is my most recent commentary on Dechert, through the Glassdoor.
Employees at Ogletree also observe the "blame game" going on among departments. Associates perceive that the practice of discounting in order to land more business can burn people out. There is a wish that non-shareholders will get the opportunity to review shareholders.
How will the gender lawsuit impact the internal and the external perceptions of Ogletree?
Only time will tell.
Much will depend how the members of the media position and package Ogletree's responses to the litigation. What goes down in the court of public opinion can significantly influence what legal decisions both sides might make.
One wonders if Aaron Charney would have made out so well when he sued employer Sullivan & Cromwell in 2007 if the story hadn't caught fire in the media? Here is how New York Magazine covered the saga.
Here is how lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino covered Knepper's litigation for Abovethelaw.com.
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