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A Mess of an Organization
I have struggled with the words to write this review for some time, as I am passionate about non-profit work and do not want to discourage employees from going into this field of practice, but this particular organization has MAJOR problems that need to be addressed before CFR can develop any sort of positive reputation for itself. Workload - As stated above, case loads are high, which can be a positive if you're looking to dive right in to family defense practice, but this can also be a negative when the training you've received is largely abstract and the supervision you are receiving is very, very poor. Supervision - Supervisors at CFR are not what I would call particularly good attorneys or social workers, they have just stayed at the organization long enough (either due to a bad reputation in another workplace or lack of opportunities/skills elsewhere) and have been promoted due to seniority. Most supervisors are white women, and the white savior complex runs rampant within them, despite the cringey disconnect that comes when they try and counsel clients of color. The majority also do minimal supervision, and act as warm bodies for new law grads/new attorneys on the record just so that they can get the pay bump. Culture - CFR stands behind a team model, which endorses attorneys and social workers working collaboratively to fight for clients. However, there is a clear disconnect that CFR turns a blind eye to, which is that attorneys shoulder 95% of he burden when it comes to responsibilities and consequences. Staff attorneys are incredibly busy and usually either in court or in the courthouse office. Conversely, social workers and unlicensed social workers/family advocates are less in court, and contribute little to the "team model" apart from "trying" to get letters from service providers and attending family team conferences. This imbalance in work load results in a culture of social workers gossiping in one anothers' offices all day, and instigating drama while eating their vegan salads and twiddling their nose rings. Although there are obvious exceptions to this stereotype, especially with the older social workers who are more mature and have more work experience, this description is sadly very accurate for the majority of the social work staff and is a large part of the reason that the culture at CFR is so nasty and immature. Management - the Queens co-directors are the laughing stock of the office. Their inability to problem solve difficult decisions amongst staff and play favoritism with certain employees make their reputation very poor in the legal industry, which is why both of them had no choice but to stay at CFR.
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