For small and midsized law firms, there is risk - a lot of it.
That's why there usually aren't many reviews by employees not working in BigLaw. They understand how easy it would be for management to connect the dots on who made the negative posting.
Take, for example, Sanford Heisler Sharp (SHS), a midsized firm specializing in discrimination cases. Many know of it through the employment cases superlawyer David Sanford had won or settled.
On Glassdoor for SHS, there are only 3 reviews. Here you can read them - and I bet that management has done that.
Two contained negatives.
One was that the firm chases high-dollar clients.
The other stated: "No one seems happy."
My hunch is that those two had outed themselves as malcontents prior to posting on Glassdoor. The reality that they did it on a public forum and if management was aware of that they might have hurt their careers at that particular firm. Maybe not, though.
Here's what I know. Before Glassdoor, there were the paper anonymous feedback forms the boss had to submit to subordinates. In my office in a medical insurance company there were five of us.
No fool, I provided all positive replies. Another team member was more candid. Of course, we all give off "tells." The boss made it her business to connect the dots. I was told that through the company grapevine. Later, that boss made the naive employee's work life so difficult that he quit.
When I was employed at an auto company in Detroit there were two vocal critics of management in public affairs. They were almost cartoonish in their obsession with pointing out supposed problems.
One was demoted in status (not money).
The other quit. Then he got sandbagged with a lackluster recommendation when he applied for other jobs. He wound up eliminating that auto job from his resume. Only then could he get himself hired.
Obviously, those not in BigLaw should assess carefully the risk they might take posting negatives on Glassdoor.
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