ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

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MVPson
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ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby MVPson » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:59 pm

tyty

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby 270910 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:01 pm

Market shattering bonuses (in the past). The freest market. Litigation. BP.

MVPson
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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby MVPson » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:09 pm

disco_barred wrote:Market shattering bonuses (in the past). The freest market. Litigation. BP.


Right, they pay well and have a very free market. Anyone know anything about what it's like to work there, though? I mean, what people are like, in a general sense?

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:14 pm

My impression from interviewing there:

1) BEAUTIFUL building.
2) Very professional, but a bit aloof and somewhat sterile.
3) Strongly committed to their KITA program.
4) Absolutely slammed with work (according to peeps who summered there).

And the office is in a great location!

MVPson
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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby MVPson » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:36 pm

Anyone have anything else?

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:25 am

MVPson wrote:Anyone have anything else?


You get REALLY good experience from an early stage. And everything you read above. I took their offer and I am super excited.

The summers I spoke with said the summer program was not that crazy---people leave by 6pm, etc.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
MVPson wrote:Anyone have anything else?


You get REALLY good experience from an early stage. And everything you read above. I took their offer and I am super excited.

The summers I spoke with said the summer program was not that crazy---people leave by 6pm, etc.


Also, with 600+ people it is hard to generalize. But everyone I met was very friendly. I hear they don't care what you look like or what your beliefs are, as long as you can do good work. Can bring in your own pro Bono matters and they fully support pro Bono cases. Great way to get experience. Heard a lot about informal training as well--partners spending a lot of time going over your work with you.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:58 am

This would scare me. ATL estimates 20 layoffs but I know there were more. A lot more if you count the stealth layoffs of midlevel and senior associates.

It's not so much that they laid first and second years off. It's the "business-as-usual" attitude that bothers me. Essentially the management threw a bunch of junior associates---almost entirely from their unprofitable departments---under the bus and didn't even have the decency to vouch for them. Performance reasons? Please.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:This would scare me. ATL estimates 20 layoffs but I know there were more. A lot more if you count the stealth layoffs of midlevel and senior associates.

It's not so much that they laid first and second years off. It's the "business-as-usual" attitude that bothers me. Essentially the management threw a bunch of junior associates---almost entirely from their unprofitable departments---under the bus and didn't even have the decency to vouch for them. Performance reasons? Please.


I'm not going to get into details, but K&E treated the stealths better than any other firm in the way it handled them. It was actually one of the things that drew me to them. K&E's performance/layoff #s were better than all but a handful of firms. ATL also reported a lot of false rumors during that time (check how everything is unsubstantiated, and how many K&E layoff scare threads they had where absolutely NOTHING happened---OMG, someone booked a non-billed conference room!). I kept a close eye on these things at all the firms I was considering and performance during the economy was a definite plus for K&E.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This would scare me. ATL estimates 20 layoffs but I know there were more. A lot more if you count the stealth layoffs of midlevel and senior associates.

It's not so much that they laid first and second years off. It's the "business-as-usual" attitude that bothers me. Essentially the management threw a bunch of junior associates---almost entirely from their unprofitable departments---under the bus and didn't even have the decency to vouch for them. Performance reasons? Please.


I'm not going to get into details, but K&E treated the stealths better than any other firm in the way it handled them. It was actually one of the things that drew me to them. K&E's performance/layoff #s were better than all but a handful of firms. ATL also reported a lot of false rumors during that time (check how everything is unsubstantiated, and how many K&E layoff scare threads they had where absolutely NOTHING happened---OMG, someone booked a non-billed conference room!). I kept a close eye on these things at all the firms I was considering and performance during the economy was a definite plus for K&E.


It sounds like you know an insider or two? So do I and they tell a very different story (and fully vouch for the ATL post). Don't get me wrong - Kirkland is still one of the safest firms ITE. Just don't expect any humanity in case they decide that you don't make the cut, often for reasons that are beyond your control.

Edit: I thought about this a little more, and honestly, I can't think of more than a handful of firms that "behaved" any better than K&E... FITE.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:14 am

Interesting. Yes, I have inside sources who wouldn't have lied to me. Of course, law firms are businesses at the end of the day. And I wouldn't have chosen K&E if I wanted a touchy-feely lifestyle firm (those firms will still drop you if they need to.) The people I met were nice, however, and I'm pretty happy about it. I feel pretty secure, for what that's worth.


Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This would scare me. ATL estimates 20 layoffs but I know there were more. A lot more if you count the stealth layoffs of midlevel and senior associates.

It's not so much that they laid first and second years off. It's the "business-as-usual" attitude that bothers me. Essentially the management threw a bunch of junior associates---almost entirely from their unprofitable departments---under the bus and didn't even have the decency to vouch for them. Performance reasons? Please.


I'm not going to get into details, but K&E treated the stealths better than any other firm in the way it handled them. It was actually one of the things that drew me to them. K&E's performance/layoff #s were better than all but a handful of firms. ATL also reported a lot of false rumors during that time (check how everything is unsubstantiated, and how many K&E layoff scare threads they had where absolutely NOTHING happened---OMG, someone booked a non-billed conference room!). I kept a close eye on these things at all the firms I was considering and performance during the economy was a definite plus for K&E.


It sounds like you know an insider or two? So do I and they tell a very different story (and fully vouch for the ATL post). Don't get me wrong - Kirkland is still one of the safest firms ITE. Just don't expect any humanity in case they decide that you don't make the cut, often for reasons that are beyond your control.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Interesting. Yes, I have inside sources who wouldn't have lied to me. Of course, law firms are businesses at the end of the day. And I wouldn't have chosen K&E if I wanted a touchy-feely lifestyle firm (those firms will still drop you if they need to.) The people I met were nice, however, and I'm pretty happy about it. I feel pretty secure, for what that's worth.


Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This would scare me. ATL estimates 20 layoffs but I know there were more. A lot more if you count the stealth layoffs of midlevel and senior associates.

It's not so much that they laid first and second years off. It's the "business-as-usual" attitude that bothers me. Essentially the management threw a bunch of junior associates---almost entirely from their unprofitable departments---under the bus and didn't even have the decency to vouch for them. Performance reasons? Please.


I'm not going to get into details, but K&E treated the stealths better than any other firm in the way it handled them. It was actually one of the things that drew me to them. K&E's performance/layoff #s were better than all but a handful of firms. ATL also reported a lot of false rumors during that time (check how everything is unsubstantiated, and how many K&E layoff scare threads they had where absolutely NOTHING happened---OMG, someone booked a non-billed conference room!). I kept a close eye on these things at all the firms I was considering and performance during the economy was a definite plus for K&E.


It sounds like you know an insider or two? So do I and they tell a very different story (and fully vouch for the ATL post). Don't get me wrong - Kirkland is still one of the safest firms ITE. Just don't expect any humanity in case they decide that you don't make the cut, often for reasons that are beyond your control.


Congratulations! Did we recently PM each other about this very issue? If so, FWIW, I think I'll be making a differenct choice.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:20 am

Fit is definitely important. You would be doing yourself a favor by going elsewhere unless you really think you can wholly buy in to the free-market system. It permetes the culture. Wonderful for people who thrive in that type of environment---they were my #1 choice for this reason. But it is different. So if you think for a moment you would be happier at a place with a work assignment system, if you are not an outgoing, opportunity-grabbing type, if you prefer lockstep to merit, or hand-holding of any type, you probably don't want to be at K&E. If the above gets you excited, then you are home.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:22 am

No, I haven't PM'd anyone on here. But thanks!
Good luck in whatever you decide.

[/quote]

Congratulations! Did we recently PM each other about this very issue? If so, FWIW, I think I'll be making a differenct choice.[/quote]

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:00 pm

Cuts were nbd. K&E does them every year, regardless of ITE (hence the biz as usual feeling). The people who were cut knew it was coming: they basically checked out and didn't bill more than 1500. K&E is a meritocracy. If you work hard, you are awarded. You go to a place like skadden if you want to coast by w/o people noticing/caring.

If you make it to year 7, you become non-equity. Base is same as market, but the bonuses are huge. You also get "partner" on all your stationary, which is advantageous for the job hunt when you face the reality that you're not making equity.

For the future, I don't see why people should be concerned. BP is here, and it'll occupy the lit group for a while (exxon lasted 20 years and it wasn't nearly as large). Restructuring is booming. IP is booming. And K&E will always dominate middle market PE.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cuts were nbd. K&E does them every year, regardless of ITE (hence the biz as usual feeling). The people who were cut knew it was coming: they basically checked out and didn't bill more than 1500. K&E is a meritocracy. If you work hard, you are awarded. You go to a place like skadden if you want to coast by w/o people noticing/caring.

If you make it to year 7, you become non-equity. Base is same as market, but the bonuses are huge. You also get "partner" on all your stationary, which is advantageous for the job hunt when you face the reality that you're not making equity.

For the future, I don't see why people should be concerned. BP is here, and it'll occupy the lit group for a while (exxon lasted 20 years and it wasn't nearly as large). Restructuring is booming. IP is booming. And K&E will always dominate middle market PE.


Really? You think 1/2 of 1st year associates in corporate "basically checked out?" These people represent the best and the brightest in the Chicago market. Do you think they just got lazy all of the sudden?

Meritocracy assumes there's plenty of work to go around. When deals dry up, hours go down drastically, no matter how hard one is willing to work.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:25 pm

If work dries up in your department, you are expected to seek work in other departments (like restructuring, hence why they call it that and not "bankruptcy").

And at least you can do that at K&E because of the free market system. Not possible at places like cravath or dpw, and they've laid off just as many people (though no one here seems to give them shot for it too, probably a) because they're v5, and b) they were a lot more secretive about them and the reasons for cutting the people they cut).

In other words, since you obviously aren't looking at wlrk or munger or whatever, your deciding between firms that have laid people off, no matter how prestigious the firm is. Just shut up and deal with it. Law firms are businesses; theyre not there to hold your hand. At least at K&E, you can take solace in knowing that you're safe when you bill enough. The associates at CSM and dpw didn't know they had it coming, and they billed well too.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:28 pm

And yes, associates check out all the time. It's surprising, but not when you know traditional attrition rates in biglaw. It's not a question of brightness and intelligence.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If work dries up in your department, you are expected to seek work in other departments (like restructuring, hence why they call it that and not "bankruptcy").

And at least you can do that at K&E because of the free market system. Not possible at places like cravath or dpw, and they've laid off just as many people (though no one here seems to give them shot for it too, probably a) because they're v5, and b) they were a lot more secretive about them and the reasons for cutting the people they cut).

In other words, since you obviously aren't looking at wlrk or munger or whatever, your deciding between firms that have laid people off, no matter how prestigious the firm is. Just shut up and deal with it. Law firms are businesses; theyre not there to hold your hand. At least at K&E, you can take solace in knowing that you're safe when you bill enough. The associates at CSM and dpw didn't know they had it coming, and they billed well too.


Many firms laid off 1st years, but K&E is one of the few that vehemently rejects the notion that the firm's (in)ability to attract work had anything to do with it.

Right. Since it's a pure meritocracy, those people totally deserved it. After 11 months, it was clear to everyone that half of the corporate 1st years were not partner material. :roll:

And yes, associates check out all the time. It's surprising, but not when you know traditional attrition rates in biglaw. It's not a question of brightness and intelligence.


This is pretty spurious. Do you think 1st years with huge loan balances who worked so hard to get to a firm like K&E would check out immediately after they get there? In one of the worst lateral markets ever?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:37 pm

Wow, so now the firm can't attract work? Well, since we're just making shit up, I better start thinking of things to post!

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wow, so now the firm can't attract work? Well, since we're just making shit up, I better start thinking of things to post!


Deals drying up = the firm couldn't attract more work. It's pretty classless to blame the associates for low hours when, in fact, there wasn't enough work to go around.

What are you anyway? A Kirkland first year who survived the cut?

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wow, so now the firm can't attract work? Well, since we're just making shit up, I better start thinking of things to post!


Deals drying up = the firm couldn't attract more work. It's pretty classless to blame the associates for low hours when, in fact, there wasn't enough work to go around.

What are you anyway? A Kirkland first year who survived the cut?


Corporate work dried up everywhere. Again, plenty of work in restructuring to fill the hours. If you were within screaming distance of 1800,afaik,you were safe. If you billed 500-600 for the year (and some did), I have no sympathy.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wow, so now the firm can't attract work? Well, since we're just making shit up, I better start thinking of things to post!


Deals drying up = the firm couldn't attract more work. It's pretty classless to blame the associates for low hours when, in fact, there wasn't enough work to go around.

What are you anyway? A Kirkland first year who survived the cut?


It's true that the system does allow you to control your own destiny in some respects. Some people are better at working their contacts, seeking out opportunities, hustling up hours, than others. First years let go were given a lot of notice and support as far as what I know. It is sad, but it happened everywhere, so you need to compare rather than target firms individually. Plus there are a lot of false rumors going around. It sounds like maybe your friend was one of those laid off, and is probably a little biased in their account. People at the firm seem to think everyone was treated fairly, at least those that I know and the people they know.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:55 pm

Certainly right now, they are one of the safest places to be. But if safety is really so important to you, you may want to question whether or not you'd thrive at a place like Kirkland. I'm not worried about having enough work, or a job, because I know if there are hours/jobs out there, I will find them. My focus is on which firm will give me the opportunity to show myself, not which firm will give me the most security. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, and there are good reasons to look at firm behavior during the downturn. I'm just saying, Kirkland isn't for those who are especially risk-averse.

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Re: ITT: You tell me about working at Kirkland & Ellis Chicago

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wow, so now the firm can't attract work? Well, since we're just making shit up, I better start thinking of things to post!


Deals drying up = the firm couldn't attract more work. It's pretty classless to blame the associates for low hours when, in fact, there wasn't enough work to go around.

What are you anyway? A Kirkland first year who survived the cut?


Corporate work dried up everywhere. Again, plenty of work in restructuring to fill the hours. If you were within screaming distance of 1800,afaik,you were safe. If you billed 500-600 for the year (and some did), I have no sympathy.


So you are actually a Kirkland attorney... I suppose you have access to more accurate information than any of us, unless it is your job to monitor student forums and discredit unfavorable information about the firm (which would be extremely pathetic :| )

I just find it hard to believe that a majority of the newly initiated bright young eagles at K&E slacked off by choice. If that's true, what the hell were they thinking and why did Kirkland hire them in the first place?




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