Special Counsel Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
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Management
Job Culture
Exceptional Experience
Paralegal / Legal Assistant (Former Employee), Pittsburgh, PAApril 21, 2015
Pros: great staff; no cost on you; best way to get your foot into legal
Cons: nothing
I was a newbie paralegal, yet Special Counsel still decided to work with me. Not only that, they were able to get me positions at both mid-tier and top lawfirms, as well as fortune 500 companies! Initially, I had sent them my resume and then followed up with a call. I spoke with one of their recruiters who worked with me to find a time to meet and told me about Special Counsel and their process; they do require testing (a problem solving quiz and typing test) which they told me was to check my skills, strengths/weaknesses. During my interview they listened to my needs, told me what to expect with my legal experience, and were very friendly and honest. Afterwards they checked my references and never submitted my resume to one of their clients without my approval first– this was refreshing because I felt like they had my best interest at heart. They were able to place me in temporary positions as well as temp positions where their clients hired me directly. I only have positive things to say about the Special Counsel team; I feel like if you are a hard worker, do well on your testing, and really want to work, they will be able to find you a job. They will save you time instead of job hunting on your own and I highly recommend them!
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Special Counsel - Raleigh, NC
Corporate Paralegal (Former Employee), Raleigh, NCJune 22, 2013
Pros: jobs listing
Cons: incompetent management
I have been black-balled by Special Counsel's new management in Raleigh, NC. I was unhappy with the assignment, but determined to complete it so as to uphold the commitment and reputation of Special Counsel. I inquired as to the time remaining on the assignment which was not well received by the then recruiter. The recruiter left Special Counsel the same week, and I was instructed to direct any questions to the new director. I informed the old recruiter and new director of my intent NOT to extend the assignment past the 3-year commitment. The employer terminated the assignment one-week early. I was ecstatic because it was the assignment from hell. The attorney I worked for had gone through so many paralegals prior to my joining, it was pathetic. Truth is, I should have left that position two months earlier. There had been conversations between Special Counsel and a new firm which was my referral -- not Special Counsel. I worked that position 3 months and the position ended. I contacted Special Counsel to inquire about work and was informed that I left two positions unfavorably and thus was not a good fit for Special Counsel. The truth of the matter is that Special Counsel did not protect my best interest as a client, and had the audacity to pass judgment without facts. I'm elated that today I have the opportunity to work without giving Special Counsel a lion's share of the profits!
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A Uniquely Unprofessional Agency
Document Reviewer (Former Employee), Pittsburgh, PAMarch 13, 2013
Pros: attractive work environment
Cons: fails to adequately supervise workers
If you want to work as a document reviewer, you may want to stay away from Special Counsel's Pittsburgh office. First, the agency advertises for nonexistent positions. Second, when Special Counsel finally does land a project, their scatterbrained placement personnel change the start date at least 3 times. Third, they play favorites particularly with young male attorneys who provide them with a better chance of a temp-to-perm placement. Unlike other agencies, you seldom see practitioners over 40 in their work group. Special Counsel has lost many projects in the past and has definitely not upheld the professionalism of their predecessor in interest, Legal Network. No one likes deceptive advertising in this job market and Special Counsel ought to be severely reprimanded for playing "fast-and-loose" with licensed professionals.

July 13, 2013

They are also short-sighted. I did a two projects for them in Texas during some downtime and was horrified at the lack of professionalism. As General Counsel for a corporation, they are not on my list of providers. And that info is shared with other GC's.

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Known for posting non-existent jobs
Paralegal (Former Employee), Pittsburgh, PAJanuary 16, 2015
Cons: many
Special Counsel is known for resume gathering by posting non-existent jobs. They also do not review your background and experience thoroughly, consequently they place candidates in jobs they are not qualified for just in order to make their fee. They are nothing more than flesh peddlers. Most of their client's are bottom-tier firms who advertise for the same position every 2 or 3 months on their own, because they cannot keep paralegals/attorneys for any considerable length of time so then they end up farming out the job to SC. If you turn down a position, or if a position is not a fit for you and SC loses the fee, they then want nothing to do with you! SC staff is somewhat unprofessional and incompetent. I could go on and on. I am amazed this firm is still in business!
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Legal recruiting firm that services large firm clients.
Contract Attorney (Former Employee), Chicago, ILMarch 27, 2014
Pros: free lunches and dinner
Cons: short breaks, lots of dust from old files and having a dust allergy, short term assignment.
Typical day of work will revolve around a project based assignment. Projects can vary tremendously in length and scope. On a typical day with this particular project we were tasked with sorting through hundreds of physical files a day from boxes that hadn't been opened since the 40s, 50s, 60s and up to the 90s.

Hardest part of the job was making sense of handwriting from so long ago and finding the relevant key words to make a document responsive to our search. Most enjoyable part of the job was working with documents that had so much style. The type fonts, the stationary, the letterhead what a fantastic opportunity.
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A temporary employment agency where the checks cleared
Contract Attorney (Former Employee), Austin, TXAugust 20, 2013
Pros: not much. get paid on time
Cons: no security, no healthcare, client constantly changing rules, metrics
Special Counsel is a temporary employment agency that sends lawyers on assignment to firms that need to complete document review for discovery. This company paid on time and was attentive to people's needs, if they would arise.

The hardest part of the job was that you were nothing more than a temporary employee that could be released on a moment's notice. This is not the fault of Special Counsel, it's just part of the "temp life". Oddly enough, the best part of a temp job is usually the co-workers. There's a weird sort of gallows humor bonding that goes on between the varied gaggle of lawyers that get scooped by these assignments. The "temp life" is a strange place. I wouldn't say "fun" but strange.
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Helpful; gave me an opportunity for work.
Licensed Attorney Document Reviewer (Current Employee), Richmond, VAMarch 6, 2012
The placement director who hired me was very kind and helpful with my initial placement but did not seem to know how to place me again or secure additional work for me after the new client law firm cut short the work assignment for a number of Special Counsel's temporaries such as myself. Although I was new to document review work and led to believe by the law firm that I was doing excellent work, I was let go. The placement director did encourage me by stating that the firm had let go of several seasoned Special Counsel workers as well. Unfortunately, nothing has been done on my behalf since and the placement director in fact left which I did not know until after several persistent calls before speaking with his assistant who said I should have received an email which I did not.
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Forget about being called if you are over 50
Legal Assistant/Paralegal (Former Employee), Miami, FloridaJanuary 26, 2014
I have 20 plus years of legal experience. Interviewed at their Miami office. As usual, I sent an email to the interviewer thanking her for her time... I did not even receive a courteous response or call. Yet, I've seen many posts for so-called available positions that I would be more than qualified for. I dealt with Special Counsel many years ago, when they were new in the market and this was not the case. Of course, I dealt with someone my age at the time and I was younger.
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unresponsive company-
Legal Assistant (Former Employee), Troy MIMarch 21, 2014
Pros: the company where i was placed was professional and friendly and the pay was adequate.
Cons: the temp agency is unproductive and unresponsive
This company contacted me for a position. The placement was short term of course but I did not receive any feedback from them. They would not return phone calls or emails. They make promises but fail to attempt to live up to them. They gave me incorrect information regarding the pay system.

I am now starting to believe they get paid for bringing in candidates and not necessarily placing them.

I would advise to utilize a different agency especially if you have limited experience.
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Contract Placement on multiple projects
Document Reviewer (Current Employee), Dallas, TXJuly 30, 2012
Pros: free lunches some days (every couple of weeks), free parking (if offsite, generally)
Cons: no overtime, rate varies by project, unpredictable project length
Depending on the client, they have a review center in their office, or I have been placed at the client site directly. Projects range anywhere from 40-80 hours per week, and anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months. Some clients are more cost and review speed conscious than others. Generally very good about returning communications, but uncertainty of project length comes with the territory.
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Executive Never Aware of Office Concerns
Contractor (Former Employee), Miami, FLJuly 28, 2015
Pros: None
Cons: Workload unbalanced, Many Distractions, No Structure
Horrible communication up the ladder. Disrespect and lack of consideration for individual who work 9+ hours. No supervision till things go wrong and real problems overcome the office culture. Uneven balance of staff productivity, some work really hard (sad) and other are lazy consuming the $$ of the office. Sales executives have personal problems or are too dumb to retrieve business and deliver on it. Business reputation has diminished over time and competitors have gained the upper hand of the market.
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No So Special - Unethical practices
Paralegal (Former Employee), San Antonio, TexasApril 18, 2013
Pros: i had very good experience up until this incident.
Cons: blacklisted for reporting unethical behavior.
I had heard about questionable business practices from other professionals placed by this former Ajilon firm. Surprised when the Director called me to relay that my colleague was very dissatisfied and asking Ajilon for help with placement elsewhere. I was asked to give the inside scoop which I found inappropriate and reported to my manager. When confronted the director denied it and has since tried to damage my reputation. Beware of the San Antonio office.
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Bias, favoritism, and underqaulifying assignments
Legal Secretary (Former Employee), Pittsburgh, PAJanuary 13, 2016
This company plays games with its applicants. Either they do not call you at all, or they call you to fill an assignment that is way under your qualifying level. The company does not concern itself with your desires and what you desire to fulfill. If you advise them that an assignment is not what you want, they will pull you from "active" to "inactive." This office (Pittsburgh) should realize that word of mouth is very strong, and I will not be referring anyone to this office.
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A great place to start as an entry level legal professional
Temp (Current Employee), Minneapolis, MNOctober 14, 2013
It takes time to find entry level employment. Special Counsel placed me with a great company and in between assignments they let me know that they are always keeping me in mind for new opportunities. They ask for reviews from the employers. The feed back gives me confidence in my work and lets me know if there is some thing I can improve on.
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Job didn't exist.
File Clerk (Former Employee), Fort Smith, ARSeptember 29, 2015
Cons: ALL
The contract job was supposed to start tomorrow. After spending a day filling out paperwork, multiple phone calls and emails - the job disappeared.

I was told that the attorney decided to send their own paralegals to do the work and that the job was now gone.

I was told this AFTER I submitted all the sensitive information that goes along with starting a new job.

The person I spoke to in Atlanta was nice. That is the only good thing.
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Great environment
Contract Attorney (Current Employee), Pittsburgh, PAApril 22, 2015
Pros: The office is in a beautiful hotel
If you're going to be staring at documents all day, this is the place to do it. The atmosphere is laid back and schedules are flexible. The attorneys get along well and work together nicely. Management is friendly and works hard to get good projects to keep us busy. Last but not least, they offer a 401K!
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Exciting work place
Attorney Document Review (Former Employee), Baltimore, MDJuly 6, 2015
Pros: Good work environmet
Cons: small pay rate
A typical work day starts at 8:00am. The company has excellent supervision policy as well as superb interaction with Attorneys. There is a good dinning room and technical staff are highly functional.
Job wok/ Life balance is satisfactory
Compensation/ Benefit is low
Job security/advancement is not certain
The company has good management and work culture
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What's In It For me
Legal (Former Employee), VirginiaJanuary 31, 2014
Cons: quanity over quality; no loyalty and only care about what is best for them
They are more interested in getting their commission from placing a canidate than finding appropriate positions for their canidates and they lack the interest and commitment to getting to know you and marketing your skill sets appropriately. They treat you like cattle... herd em and milk em
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Special Counsel? Or Not So Special?
Unemployed and Ticking (Former Employee), Unemployed and TickingMay 29, 2012
Cons: never got placed on a single assignment
This "headhunter" has never placed me on a single assignment after having dealt with them on and off for about 5 + years and two recruiters later. As of late, the recruiter I am "supposed" to be dealing with (over a year now) won't even return my calls. Waste of time!

July 14, 2012

They are being paid to not only PLACE secretaries. They now are being paid to bring in candidates, therefore, they run ads all the time and NEVER PLACE any one nor get them a job, because they run bogus ads. When you respond, they get PAID.

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Good environment for doc review
Contract Attorney (Former Employee), Washington, DCJanuary 7, 2015
Look, if you've done doc review, you know that it's all about the same. This place is as good as any. I'm not a fan of the restroom facilities and the project manager wanders around whistling and singing. Nothing deal breaking here and it pays the bills.
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