Wilson Elser Attorney Reviews

Updated 9 Jul 2020

To filter reviews, or .
4.3
95%
Recommend to a Friend
99%
Approve of CEO
Wilson Elser Chairman Dan McMahon
Dan McMahon
12 Ratings
  1. "Great Law Firm"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Attorney in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wilson Elser full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great work environment with great people.

    Cons

    Billable hours, but this comes with any litigation law firm

  2. Helpful (3)

    "Long hours, little pay"

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

    I have been working at Wilson Elser full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Opportunity to gain experience in large law firm environment Obtain immediate courtroom and client-relations experience Will be given cases to handle with minimal supervision quickly Collegial atmosphere, with relatively friendly and helpful coworkers

    Cons

    Firm puts billing ahead of quality of work (which they must because clients push back on expenses as a matter of course) Must bill at least 2000 hours per year Low pay when considering amount of hours worked Extra work is expected, but bonuses for extra work are minimal Far too many cases are given to one attorney to handle

    Continue reading

  3. "Decent place to start your career"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wilson Elser full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I made a lot of great connections with the attorneys there.

    Cons

    Pay was somewhat low.

  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good place to work"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Senior Associate Attorney in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wilson Elser full-time

    Pros

    Lots of exposure to litigation - ability to set my own schedule and flexible as to where my work gets done. Associate monthly bonus program is VERY UNDERRATED.

    Cons

    Pay could he higher based on amount that I know they are making off of me.

  5. Helpful (2)

    "Very nice place to work - excellent office environment and capable attorneys"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wilson Elser full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    All of the attorneys are genuinely nice people. They really do care about their fellows/personnel, and management is available to listen and be flexible when needed. Lots of cooperation between the attorneys, and they really stress on being professional and ethical (very rare nowadays!). As an Associate, as long as you are billing your hours you will not get problems in taking some days off for a vacation or other activities. Because of the flexibility, great place to be an Associate if you have a family or you want one. If you show your value, they really are flexible and give you lots of autonomy. I think the firm is definitely going in the right direction even in terms of technology and remote-work. I am curious to know how this gets implemented.

    Cons

    No 401k contribution; high billable requirement (2000 - 2100 to be bonus eligible); type of work in the Las Vegas office is pretty much only personal injury; lower pay compared to other firms that are the same size, especially when counting the high billables. Of Counsel/Partnership track is not really clear. I wish there a discussion with each Associates as how to get there from the very beginning, maybe creating a step-by-step list of accomplishments. Administrative staff sometimes is difficult to deal with as they do not listen/care and sometimes even get upset when you assign them a task.

    Continue reading
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Excellent Company Great Place to Learn"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Attorney in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wilson Elser full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I really enjoy working for Wilson Elser.

    Cons

    There is an expectation of billing 2100 hrs.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "Professionals with a work/life balance"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Attorney in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wilson Elser full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Very diverse practice areas. Deep litigation experience. International reach. Family-first work environment, including part-time arrangements. I've grown more as an attorney at Wilson Elser and been with the firm longer than any other office, and look forward to many more years to come.

    Cons

    Complex work from day one

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great learning experience."

    4.0
    Attorney in White Plains, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wilson Elser

    Pros

    Great learning experience. Ability to handle cases from inception to close.

    Cons

    Billing requirements and low morale.

    Continue reading
  9. Helpful (7)

    "Great place to gain experience"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wilson Elser full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of associates and partners to gain insight and legal advice. Free CLEs and free pizza (sometimes). My supervision partner is usually helpful and I gained a lot of litigation experience. Firm name recognition for lateral purposes.

    Cons

    2100 hours, which is impossible unless you pad your hours or work on the weekends. I found 2100 hours to be extremely difficult in light of the low salary. Also, they have been cutting down their support staff, so now associates also have to be "secretaries" as well.

    Continue reading
  10. Helpful (24)

    "Big Firm Hours and Expectations with Small Firm Pay"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Attorney in White Plains, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Wilson Elser full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    1. Great experience (except for the no trial part, see below) working in a variety of case types, handling everything from the answer up until trial. But experience is what you get when you don't get what you want, right? Which is a real salary commensurate with the job. 2. Pretty good training and education. Decent guidance on how to become a real lawyer and do what you don't learn in law school. 3. The respect and prestige of working at a big firm goes far in building your resume and looking for your next job. 4. Good job security. They really do not fire attorneys. I heard if they don't want to keep you, they'll encourage you to leave, allowing you to transition. 5. Good benefits -- health, dental, life, 401k (no match), FSA, CBA, corporate discounts. Fake PTO, though (see below). 6. Excellent support staff for attorneys. Many Secretaries are smart and know all procedures. File clerks handle files for you and do it very well. Brilliant IT people. Remote dictation and word processing service make life easy.

    Cons

    1. Baited and switched from before I even accepted the offer. After I got the offer, I asked about the work hours for attorneys and was told it varies, some attorneys work 9-6, some work more. I was not told about the insane 2100 billable hour requirement until after I started. Some nights, I worked past midnight. 2. Raises are so minimal. If you have not been there for a full year, expect around 1.5%. The maximum annual raise is 8%, and if you reach your hours, then bonuses, if they are given at all, are still only 4-figures. They are completely discretionary. 3. Constant hypocrisy in billing. All they want you to do is bill bill bill, but when you do, it's: a) you can't bill for this! b) why are you billing for this? c) how did you bill so much for this? Not to mention the tons of unbillable work you have to do that does not count towards your 2100. 4. The vacation time they give you is a mirage. You get 22 PTO days in your first year, then 27 each year thereafter, but you could never possibly take all of it and still meet your hours requirement. Every day you take is just hours you have to make up, and expect to be asked to work while sick or on vacation. Fakation. 5. They are a big law firm with 800 attorneys, and they pretend to be big law, but the salaries don't justify it. Don't expect to make 6 figures until at least your 6th year -- if you're lucky. Some junior partners don't even make the $160K that a first year associate makes at the real Big Law firms. 6. If you do happen to bring in business as an associate, don't expect it to mean much. I brought in a case from a big insurance company and it was barely recognized. They don't give commissions. 7. Don't expect to try a case as an associate. They only let partners do it. 8. Minimal work-life balance. Expect to be on call 24/7 and to cancel weekend plans on no notice.

    Continue reading
Found 42 reviews