Former Employee Attorney
in Tampa, FL City, - Reviewed on Dec 26, 2019
Advice to law firm management: Choose a health insurance plan which is a PPO plan with a low deductible and low copays. The associates and staff are worth the investment. Ensure that all associates get at least one-two depositions or appearances at trial appearances each year and track the same. Change pay periods to twice a month instead of once a month.
Pros: The firm has a very collegial environment where the attorneys on various teams work closely together. The partners are generally very respectful and value the associates and their work product. There are opportunities to practice in several areas to grow your skill set and for large and mid-sized clients who have a national footprint, which is impressive for a small to mid-sized law firm. The firm also has strong policies and procedures which standardize the process of bringing in clients and handling typical HR matters. They are also very supportive as people, even during challenging personal circumstances that may affect your work. The managing partner is also very kind, genuinely affable person who is great to be around.
Cons: The health insurance plan, which was a high-deductible HMO and used only by the staff and associates, is terrible. It's equivalent to having no insurance at all. All of the costs up to $7,000 were out of pocket, and there was only $175 for monthly contributions to an HSA account provided. It's very jarring if you're used to a plan with copays - paying $240/month for a single medication as opposed to $15, for example. Financially, it can eat you alive. It may, however, have changed recently/going forward. It is also yet another law firm where the partners get most of the courtroom, deposition and client interaction experience, so a lot of reading and writing for junior and mid-level associates.
Partners to Avoid and Why: Ron Denman can sometimes be disorganized as a manager (although he is a great and very experienced lawyer that even the toughest of clients love), and sometimes blames others for things he let fall through the cracks. Chuck Bavol is a perfectionist and sometimes very critical/intimidating to the partners who work for him. However, he is semi-retired and not in the office very often; generally fairly lenient with associates; and has had a great career with some very large clients, so one learns a lot from the good points of his very structured work style.
Favorite Things About this Firm: The managing partner who is a great person to work for; the chance to practice in areas that may be new to you, like trusts and estates litigation; the new building which everyone was excited about as part of the firm's evolution; and the staff, who are really capable and kind people.
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