Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.

5 Star Rating     3 reviews

http://www.agg.com 
Main Office:
171 17th Street NW, Suite 2100 | Atlanta | GA | 30363
Phone: 404-873-8500  | Fax:  

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Year of establishment 1949 Number of partners 86
Number of offices 1 Partner to associate ratio 1.80
Biggest office Atlanta Percentage of women attorneys 19.80
Number of attorneys 148 Percentage of minority attorneys 8.80
Number of associates 47 Percentage of LGBT attorneys 1.40
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.
   3 reviews

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. Reviews

- Reviewed on October 26, 2017

Advice to law firm management: Try and make it where individuals can work hard for you, yet give them a reason to by making more senior positions open and available.

Pros: This is a great business firm that knows exactly how things should get done and works hard to make sure that they do get done. I enjoy working here.

Cons: At some point I feel like I will outgrow this firm and this makes me concerned. I do not feel like there is a lot of upward mobility in this company.

Current or former employee?: Current Employee

- Reviewed on July 01, 2017

Advice to law firm management: The firm should hire some support employees who can help everyone get the help they need as fast as possible, making everything more efficient.

Pros: A variety of employees bring in expertise for every specialized field a business could need help with. With the wealth of knowledge and diversity between the staff, the firm is always able to work together to resolve any issues.

Cons: The only real downside which isn't even that much of a downside to me is that there aren't many official protocols for seeking out help or advancing yourself as a lawyer. The firm has plenty of resources to help all of us, but we have to go seek them out ourselves and it's not always easy with a firm this size.

Current or former employee?: Current Employee

Overview


Ellis Arnall, Sol I. Golden and Cleburne Gregory, Jr. founded the firm in 1949 after receiving significant recognition for their individual achievements in the practice of law and public service. Arnall was a nationally recognized litigator and served as Attorney General of Georgia before becoming Governor of Georgia from 1943 to 1947. Golden developed a reputation as a skillful attorney versed in innovative corporate financing techniques. Gregory worked as Assistant Attorney General and helped Governor Arnall end unequal freight rates that favored northern industrial states, which brought about a post-war economic boom throughout the southern U.S. During the past six decades, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP established a strong record of helping growing enterprises become industry leaders. Today our team of attorneys, who practice in more than 25 areas of law, continues to expand AGG's reputation for helping public and private companies successfully grow their business. AGG is committed to staying on the leading edge of new developments that affect our clients' industries and business strategies. We're ready to help a new generation of emerging companies achieve success.


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Diversity


Prominent women at Arnall, Golden & Gregory include Paula Ball (real estate), who has served on the hiring committee; Karen Bragman (professional liability), who has served on the management committee; Nan King (corporate group), who has been recognized for her leadership as chair of the hiring committee; and Patrea Pabst (patents), who is one of the top billing attorneys at the firm. Female get-togethers occur informally and serendipitously, however, one insider instructed us for more insight that "there is an on-going effort to establish regular monthly get-togethers for the firm's female lawyers." The firm is also currently in the process of revamping a women's marketing initiative for its female attorneys, via a series of quarterly meetings on various marketing and networking topics. Women at Arnall Golden have the same professional opportunities as men do and there are "no gender lines at this firm.'' However, we were told that "there are some minor gender tensions within departments (usually on an associate level, not partners). These tensions are not well-handled, as the firm tends to have an overall hands-off attitude. Yet, while annoying, I do not believe these gender-related tensions in anyway prevent women from succeeding in the firm." Arnall's maternity leave policy of three months paid leave, plus an optional three months unpaid leave, is provided "without any effect on the lawyer's seniority or partnership prospects." There is also an "active" part-time program for both female and male attorneys with family considerations. Both flex-time and part-time programs are available on a case-by-case basis. One part-time attorney noted that "it is working very well for me. I am still on partnership track, although I expect I will be behind my contemporaries who work full-time. I am responsible for 70 to 80 percent of the billable hours of a regular associate and I am paid accordingly. I have retained all my benefits and I feel that I am treated as well by my fellow associates and the partners as a 'full-timer."' The firm currently does not provide organized assistance with daycare. Arnall Golden has five minority attorneys at the firm, and it makes special efforts to recruit minority candidates by, for example, participating in the Southeastern Minority Job Fair. Marva Brooks is a high-profile and influential minority partner who has been consistently recognized for her involvement within the community. According to one insider, "minority attorneys at Arnall interact with other attorneys without any difference because of their race or national origin. A colleague is a colleague, period." There are also openly gay attorneys at the firm who are well received by their colleagues and who "feel free to raise diversity issues in public firm meetings."

Summer associate program


Arnall Golden has a "great" summer program. It has been rated by summer associates as the best summer program in Adanta for the past two years in The American Lawyer survey. The firm promotes a summer program with a good balance of "real" work and social activities designed to provide summer associates the opportunity to meet and become friendly with attorneys in the firm and also to interact as a class of summer associates. On the work side of the summer, Arnall Golden gears the program toward each summer associate's professional interests. Summer interns receive assignments from several departments. Typical assignments include drafting legal memoranda, attending motions hearings and depositions, and working on deals. "In my first summer, I drafted an appeal brief to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which was very enjoyable," one insider remarked Another contact noted that "I was able to attend various real life lawyer activities such as closings, depositions and hearings. I felt that the work that I was given was real work and would end up in court papers or contracts." The social side of the summer program is equally satisfying. Summer associates are invited to the "best of southern barbeque and corn-on-the-cob" at a partner's home; in addition, they attend Braves games, tour Atlanta landmarks and museums, attend concerts at Chastain Park, go golfing and white water rafting, attend paint gun wars, etc. There is never a shortage of events for the summer associates. "My favorite summer associate activities were the dinners at various ethnic restaurants (imagine a crowd of lawyers dancing in a conga line at a Moroccan restaurant!)," one insider recalled with delight. Beginning associates at Arnall Golden are placed in departments according to their stated preferences, as long as the firm can accommodate their requests. There is no rotation system and "there is little lateral movement among departments (hence the importance of using the summer program to decide what practice areas you like)," one insider noted. (A firm spokesperson pointed out that "if an associate is unhappy in a specific area, we try to accommodate a change request.") Within each department, assignments to junior associates are theoretically disseminated by the department chair, who monitors the workloads of the associates in that department. In practice, however, this system frequently breaks down "because partners and/or clients whom an associate has worked with before may circumvent the chair and come directly to the associate with work." Challenging assignments and early responsibility are the norm at Arnall Golden. "I was handed several smaller cases in my first few weeks here; while the partner was available if I had a question or needed guidance, for the most part those cases were mine to handle on my own," one insider noted, adding that "as a second-year associate, most of the work I do is very substantive. I've written very few memos, but instead spend a great deal of time drafting motions and briefs, conferring with clients, etc. Young associates are given a substantial amount of responsibility." A second contact was equally enthusiastic, commenting that "one of the reasons I chose AG&G is because I knew that I would have the opportunity to be a litigator and not a back-room lawyer. Thus far, this has proven true. In my first year of practice, I took and defended numerous depositions and argued three substantive motions in court." Most training at Arnall Golden is "on-the-job." The firm does, however, encourage participation in continuing legal education programs and the firm recently initiated a marketing training program for associates in levels one to four. Further, each practice group is encouraged to hold monthly meetings where a particular subject is evaluated, taught and discussed. Nevertheless, according to our insiders, training is one of the weak points of Arnall Golden. "There is no firm-specific training program. Thus, associates must be somewhat aggressive to seek out training from partners and in other ways,'* one insider declared, while a second person remarked that "there is no organized training program, and associates are left to their own devices to figure out how to do an assignment. I don't see as much pedagogical mentoring as I expected when I got out of law school. Associates take almost complete responsibility for their legal skills development."

Working for the Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.


Arnall, Golden & Gregory is known as the "big small firm" of Atlanta- all the benefits of a large firm with many of the characteristics of a smaller firm. All attorneys and staff are treated as part of a family, and there is a "team spirit and a nurturing atmosphere" at the firm. One insider remarked that the culture at Arnall is "very supportive, family-oriented and non-competitive. Don't get me wrong-- it's not a picnic! Everyone works hard, but I have rarely found it falsely stressful (e.g., stress created by the working environment as opposed to the work)." At Arnall there is little of the "competitive game playing" that you find at other large firms. The lockstep compensation package for associates is geared toward ensuring team spirit, as is the firm's philosophy that "all who do well will be advanced toward partnership." Arnall Golden is a firm with deep egalitarian impulses. "They treat you like a real person," one insider noted "The first day of my first-year summer program, they told us that everyone here is on a first-name basis, from Jon Golden (son of one of the firm's founders) to the most junior associate." This is definitely a firm where you can be yourself and are not expected to fit "a cookie-cutter personality type." A wide variety of personalities is represented at Arnall Golden, from staunch Republicans to openly gay partners and associates, and people are respectful of each other. Tolerance, even to a fault, is a hallmark of social interaction at the firm. According to one insider, "the firm's atmosphere, which allows individuals to be themselves, enables some of my colleagues' annoying habits to surface, but it is well worth the absence of any stifling, big-brother firm culture common in a lot of other firms." Arnall Golden also prides itself on allowing its attorneys to have a "life outside the firm." Family is highly valued " AG&G has relatively few divorces, due, perhaps, to the fact that attorneys can spend time with their families," we were told One insider informed us that Arnall Golden provides the ideal opportunity to "work hard, provide the client with high quality service and excellent work product, but have a life outside of law." There is no "expected" dress style at Arnall Golden. Instead, people attire themselves so as to "feel comfortable." One insider commented that "there are very few pretty boys or glamour girls at the firm, so the pressure to dress sharp is not too strong." Friday is business casual, which means "no blue jeans, no t-shirts, and no sneakers." Men generally wear khakis and a collared shirt and women often wear slacks, low heeled shoes, or fairly casual dresses or skirts. Arnall Golden is not a big party firm, we were told. One insider remarked that "the firm's social life is very, very family oriented which, for those of us with families, is great. If I were a first-year associate looking to hook up with coworkers, this might not be the place." Many of the firm's attorneys are married with families and, while attorneys socialize easily and often during the business day, most typically "head for home" at the end of the day. Firm social activities include a "happy hour" every Friday afternoon which sometimes "leads to spontaneous outings in midtown and the Virginia Highlands" for some of the younger associates, a Thanksgiving luncheon, a Christmas party, and an annual retreat. In addition, the firm enters running teams in several Adanta run/walk events, and there are Softball and basketball teams in various leagues in the city. Many attorneys in the firm have tickets to the Atlanta Braves and other sporting events and it's not uncommon for a partner to "grab a couple of associates and take them to a ball game." The firm, moreover, is a sponsor to various Atlanta area activities, such as lectures and charitable events, and for these events, tickets are made available and attorneys are encouraged to attend. Arnall, Golden & Gregory is doing well financially and over the past three years the associates received "numerous unexpected raises" as a result of market conditions, we were told. Nevertheless, although first-year associate compensation is roughly the same as at other large Atlanta firms, "after that the firm tends to get left behind [the top paying firms in the city], both in terms of flat salary and in terms of bonuses," one insider noted. However, the firm's billable requirements are not as high as at other major Atlanta firms and the firm management emphasizes that associates should have lives outside the firm and should be active in the community. The firm has a goal of 1900 hours and one insider noted that "I have never heard a word in my group about hours, either mine or anyone else's. My department chair believes very strongly in the importance of non-billable activities, i.e., publishing, giving seminars, bar activities." The firm's bonus system received mottled reviews from our contacts. One person informed us that "bonuses are not given as a matter of right; rather they are earned by people who bring in business or work significant hours. They are the exception rather than the rule. It is not entirely clear what warrants a bonus and I cannot say that it is clearly understood by associates," while a second insider remarked that "the bonus system is not great-there is no clear plan. However, the firm is reevaluating it as we speak." Partnership prospects at Arnall, Golden & Gregory are "excellent compared to most other firms," according to our insiders. The firm's philosophy on partnership, we were told, is that it "intends for all associates to make partner. The firm does not hire with an eye toward weeding out associates, but hires intending for the hiree to be a partner someday."

Articles


Atlanta-based Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP, has expanded its corporate practice with the addition of Rich A. Kaye. Kaye's practice focuses extensively on matters ...

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References


http://www.agg.com/ http://www.nalpdirectory.com http://www.lawfirmstats.com