Winston & Strawn LLP Employee Reviews

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P.O.V (see Glassdoor review titled 'P.O.V')
Staff (Former Employee) –  New York, NYSeptember 25, 2016
Although the place is good to harness your skills for future opportunities elsewhere, unless you are 'besties' with upper management, if you are looking into any growth/title promotions - it won't be happening.

As I've stated elsewhere (see title), growth should be provided to those who've dedicated Time in order to provide efficient service/support, as well as provide innovation and ambition. There's obvious favoritism here, and some type of 'down-low' corruption/politics. If, for some reason, you decide to take a stand to how things are going because of it being unfair - you'll then become a target.

Upper Management doesn't listen to their employees' wishes...especially when they bring in the $. And if you're a 'Staff', then you're definitely not listened to...
Pros
Benefits here are good
Cons
Lack of growth, obvious favoritism, target on your head if you aren't liked by management. Politics, lack of listening to their employees (staff, associates, even Partners)
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Excellent Experience
Legal Secretary I (Former Employee) –  Washington, DCAugust 26, 2016
I spent 11 years at this firm. It was a wonderful career experience. I learned so much and was amply paid for my efforts. I was able too finish grad school and work at the same time.
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Not a nice place to work, no one trusted anyone
Legal Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) –  Houston, TXFebruary 22, 2015
Very demanding on perfection. Although benefits and paid time off were great, met ever increasing harassment when trying to take it. Was not worth taking your earned time off…harassment was frightening. Staff supervision was terrible….basically a former paralegal who had been there forever was moved into position. Had no family or children so had a bad attitude to staff that did have family and children. Very gossipy and complainant and untrustworthy for all staff and administrative personnel. Really needed work on that. Not a friendly or positive place to work.
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Winston & Strawn LLP
IT Support Specialist/Desktop Technician (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 15, 2013
Winston and Strawn is an experience that has helped me realize my potential in the technology field. I've learned that a lot of the skills I've learned on my own have been a great help in regards to my experience. And from that I have learned that I have a great love for technology and the office environment. Working in the IT department has confirmed that I have a knowledge of the IT field more than I have realized. I have had the opportunity to speak with users, help troubleshoot issues for configuring machines. As well as learn my way around the front side of Computer configuration. My opportunity and time to work the IT field has been a great eye opener. I now know the direction in which i would like to take for future endeavors.
Pros
i've gained a lot of experience working hands on in the it department
Cons
benefits can a be a bit pricey
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Productive & really nice workplace
Account Payables Clerk (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 6, 2012
• Responsible for processing vendor bills for weekly mailings and following up with vendors, secretaries, attorneys, etc. regarding requests on status of vendor bills or personal reimbursements.
• Consists of heavy data entry and filing of vendor and personal reimbursements for all departments with the Firm.
• Responsible for processing Petty Cash through CMS Accounting software system for the Chicago, Charlotte, New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles Offices.
•Match and Mail Vendor to pouch out checks to various corporate offices
•Knowledge of General Ledger
•Knowledge of Company policy and procedures.
• Special projects as assigned by my manager
Pros
free coffee, tea, soup, etc
Cons
excellent healthcare, dental & eye benefits
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Wonderful co-workers
Accounts Payable Clerk (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 15, 2015
I love my co-workers; however I am a very pro-active person and with that type of mind set, this is not an ideal place to work.
Pros
Employee Appreciation Week
Cons
No room for advancement
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So many good people - gone
Sweathog (Former Employee) –  Los AngelesJanuary 29, 2014
Layoffs layoffs layoffs, whether your work product is good or not, watch out. Doesn't matter. Everyone is looking over their shoulders and wondering who's next. Bureaucracy at its finest, overloaded with mid-management types who enforce processes that are useless, outdated, and mind boggling. This firm needs a serious overhaul if it wants its reputation for excellence back. Inefficiency at its finest. The word seems to be out, even among recruiters, that this firm is not among those on the "recommended" list of places to work any more.
Pros
friendly staff
Cons
where do i start...
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Layoff Capital of Chicago
Legal Secretary (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 5, 2013
This firm has been having "under the radar" layoffs for the past 8 years and their most recent layoff was this past June 2013. One secretarial supervisor and 15 legal secretaries were laid off. They also closed 3 floors of their Chicago office. This firm is not doing well and the word is getting out because I have been hearing things from people I know that work at the other big Chicago firms.

The firm and secretarial management are horrible. It seems as if no one knows what they are doing. I strongly feel that they should replace the entire secretarial management team. We rarely, if ever, see our secretarial supervisor yet come annual review time, she reviews us and her review affects our raises and bonuses. How can someone I barely see nor do I work for accurately evaluate me? I consistently get high marks from the attorneys I work for but my supervisor gives me low marks and when I question her why she gave me low marks, her responses never make sense. There have been some years I have not received a raise or bonus and I'm positive it is due to my secretarial supervisor's review.

They have secretarial teams here that DO NOT WORK! There are feuds going on between the secretaries on every floor of this firm because there are too many lazy people that work here. There are two types of legal secretaries here: the lazies and the doormats. The doormats are doing the lazies work for them. And the lazies are usually very friendly with secretarial management which is why they get away with not working.

I would not recommend anyone work here, attorney or legal secretary, because
  more... the firm has let go a good number of very outstanding and hardworking attorneys and legal secretaries over the years so they cannot recognize or appreciate talent when they have it.  less
Pros
free coffee
Cons
secretarial management, layoffs, favoritism, secretarial teams, secretarial tests
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Glory Days Are Gone!
Legal Secretary (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 14, 2013
I worked at another large Chicago law firm prior to joining Winston and it was a very laidback and friendly environment. Employees at that firm worked very well together so projects ran smoothly. I assumed all large law firms were the same. After I joined Winston, I learned I was very wrong about that assumption.

I went into complete culture shock when I joined Winston because my legal secretary co-workers were very snobby, unfriendly and computer illiterate. I got the message that many of them think they are better than you. It was very difficult asking other legal secretaries for information that you needed from them to complete a task because they were not helpful due to their snobbiness. I was treated like an enemy rather than a co-worker.

I agree with the other review that secretarial management needs to be replaced. There is at least one secretary on each floor that is allowed to be employed here but does not have to work. And whenever they have a support staff layoff, I could never understand why secretarial management would choose to keep incompetent legal secretaries but let go the highly qualified legal secretaries. Same goes for attorneys. I have worked for some extremely intelligent, hardworking attorneys over the years and they were asked to leave. No wonder this firm's glory days are fading fast!

Overall, this firm still believes it is THE top Chicago law firm when in reality it is far from the truth. Wake up and smell the coffee, W&S, your glory days are over.
Pros
35 hour workweek, computer training
Cons
culture, layoffs
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Very good company - productive workplace
Collections Manager (Current Employee) –  New York, NYMarch 25, 2015
I think Winston & Strawn is an excellent company to work for. My typical work day includes constant correspondence with Clients, Attorneys and Firm Management regarding collections.
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I worked for a capital partner in an international lawfirm in NYC for almost 9 years.
Legal Secretary (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJuly 15, 2015
I worked for a capital partner, as well as other attorneys and a paralegal who I was assigned to work for. I worked with my capital partner for almost 9 years until he retired in March 2014.
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Condescending, Dated, Stale & Lifeless Law Firm
Staff (Former Employee) –  ChicagoOctober 12, 2013
The fact there are separate attorney & employee holiday parties. An attorney-only cafeteria, at which the items are discounted. Hard-nosed, opinionated rotund suburban female-driven Business Development department with lack of ideas, nor willingness to accept new thoughts or ways of doing things. Favoritism reigns, ostracism of new employees common, library-like environment, coworkers barely know one another, more boring the subject matter and attorney personalities is impossible anywhere on earth--the oxygen was let of this firm 50-75 years ago. It's lifeless, energy-starved, and technologically-challenged. It's a death knell to anyone that does not fit their ideal mold.
Pros
compesnation, end-of-year bonus
Cons
lack of forward thinking, dated values, stuck in the past, too many women in charge of staff who cannot get along well with one another
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Legal Field
Legal Secretary and Executive Assistant (Former Employee) –  Washington, DCAugust 21, 2012
Team oriented and generous in training. Enjoyed working with co-workers and was generously rewarded for performance and team work
Pros
family friendly and advancement
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Good energy, nice people
Legal Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 7, 2015
I liked this firm a lot. My bosses taught me invaluable skills. They were good mentors. I also made life-long friends here.
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Great place to work
Corporate Associate (Former Employee) –  New York, NYAugust 14, 2013
The skills and values that were fostered at Winston are still with me today: the capability to understand the terms and conditions of finance documents and the structuring of a deal and an unyielding eye towards detail. A typical day featured a mixture of managing various deals that I was working on, responding via phone or at meetings to the requests of clients and supervisors and interacting with the social stream of the firm. The hardest part of the job was the most rewarding, closing a deal that had been weeks in the making.
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The best LawFirm I've ever worked for
Senior Record Center Clerk (Current Employee) –  Chicago, IllinoisFebruary 27, 2013
I think Winston & Strawn is an excellant company to work for. My day included constant correspondence with Attorneys and Paralegals assuring that the correct files were sent and retrieved from Offsite Storage (Iron Mountain). I learned a lot from my co-workers. The hardest part of my job was retrieving very old files, the most enjoyable part was coming to work.
Pros
staying in tune with whats going on in the legal world
Cons
attorney's are a very unique group of people
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Chicago's 1st law firm
Attorney Recruitment Project Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Chicago, IllinoisJune 5, 2012
Worked at W&S for six years and developed great relationships and experienced several facets in recruiting and with the firm.
Pros
hiring from within, wonderful people, great recruiting manager
Cons
very "political"
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Great people
Payroll Department Assistant (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles CAMarch 10, 2014
Friendly staff, very social and work oriented. People always seem to be looking over there shoulder worrying about the next people.
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 19 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.9
Compensation/Benefits
3.8
Job Security/Advancement
2.6
Management
2.6
Culture
2.7