Kirkland and Ellis NYC

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buckilaw
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Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Wed May 16, 2012 4:23 am

Anyone able to talk about Kirkland's NYC office? It's on my short list for OCI bids and I'd appreciate learning a bit more about it.

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buckilaw
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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Wed May 16, 2012 12:37 pm

Any info at all, about anything, with any level of generality or particularity.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 12:49 pm

Very BK/PE oriented. Big egos

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Wed May 16, 2012 12:54 pm

Thanks. Care to elaborate?

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:21 pm

When I had my callback there, an associate responded to "Do you guys keep your doors open, is it collegial here?" with "No, my door is usually closed."
I went elsewhere.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:47 pm

buckilaw wrote:Any info at all, about anything, with any level of generality or particularity.

Try again in a few weeks, after our SAs have started.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu May 17, 2012 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:54 pm

I did a callback with K&E but I am not an SA there. All of the below info is what I learned from the callback/weighing whether to accept the offer.

K&E has a free market system, so it seems like it can be a little competitive. I do think the people there tend towards the alpha male type, so maybe working with them long-term would've gotten annoying, but in the short time I was there they were very outgoing and friendly. K&E is known for above market bonuses (based on a combination of hours and quality of work IIRC). It is actually amazing that this tread has survived the whole day without anyone dropping the MARKET SHATTERING BONUSES meme. They also pay a 10k bar stipend rather than a salary advance like a lot of other NYC firms. This is offset somewhat by the fact that they don't pay bonuses to first years (though unless things magically turn around you're going to be much better with the 10k advance than you would with a bonus and no advance at other firms). I've been told by associates that face time is not particularly important. You can do a lot of work from home as long as you are billing hours and respond promptly to phone calls and emails.

One thing to keep in mind is that although K&E is a V10, it is really the Chicago office that earns it the V10 status. Compared to other NYC-based firms that are rated highly on Vault, the quality of the corporate work at K&E NY is lacking. Its not bad or anything, just not what you'd see at other V10s. Above poster is correct that the focus is on private equity and bankruptcy.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Thu May 17, 2012 12:18 am

Thank you for all the responses. I'll definitely bump this thread periodically to solicit feedback from current SAs.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Thu May 17, 2012 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:I did a callback with K&E but I am not an SA there. All of the below info is what I learned from the callback/weighing whether to accept the offer.

K&E has a free market system, so it seems like it can be a little competitive. I do think the people there tend towards the alpha male type, so maybe working with them long-term would've gotten annoying, but in the short time I was there they were very outgoing and friendly. K&E is known for above market bonuses (based on a combination of hours and quality of work IIRC). It is actually amazing that this tread has survived the whole day without anyone dropping the MARKET SHATTERING BONUSES meme. They also pay a 10k bar stipend rather than a salary advance like a lot of other NYC firms. This is offset somewhat by the fact that they don't pay bonuses to first years (though unless things magically turn around you're going to be much better with the 10k advance than you would with a bonus and no advance at other firms). I've been told by associates that face time is not particularly important. You can do a lot of work from home as long as you are billing hours and respond promptly to phone calls and emails.

One thing to keep in mind is that although K&E is a V10, it is really the Chicago office that earns it the V10 status. Compared to other NYC-based firms that are rated highly on Vault, the quality of the corporate work at K&E NY is lacking. Its not bad or anything, just not what you'd see at other V10s. Above poster is correct that the focus is on private equity and bankruptcy.


What exactly do you mean by alpha male type? Bros, type-A personalities, gunnerish? What exactly are you getting at? Sorry if this is a stupid question, alot of things come to mind and I want to make sure I understand what you mean by alpha-male.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 12:40 am

buckilaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I did a callback with K&E but I am not an SA there. All of the below info is what I learned from the callback/weighing whether to accept the offer.

K&E has a free market system, so it seems like it can be a little competitive. I do think the people there tend towards the alpha male type, so maybe working with them long-term would've gotten annoying, but in the short time I was there they were very outgoing and friendly. K&E is known for above market bonuses (based on a combination of hours and quality of work IIRC). It is actually amazing that this tread has survived the whole day without anyone dropping the MARKET SHATTERING BONUSES meme. They also pay a 10k bar stipend rather than a salary advance like a lot of other NYC firms. This is offset somewhat by the fact that they don't pay bonuses to first years (though unless things magically turn around you're going to be much better with the 10k advance than you would with a bonus and no advance at other firms). I've been told by associates that face time is not particularly important. You can do a lot of work from home as long as you are billing hours and respond promptly to phone calls and emails.

One thing to keep in mind is that although K&E is a V10, it is really the Chicago office that earns it the V10 status. Compared to other NYC-based firms that are rated highly on Vault, the quality of the corporate work at K&E NY is lacking. Its not bad or anything, just not what you'd see at other V10s. Above poster is correct that the focus is on private equity and bankruptcy.


What exactly do you mean by alpha male type? Bros, type-A personalities, gunnerish? What exactly are you getting at? Sorry if this is a stupid question, alot of things come to mind and I want to make sure I understand what you mean by alpha-male.

I guess I mean something along the lines of type-A bros. Ambitious and competitive, form cliques with people like themselves who they see as being able to help them succeed while at the same time always looking for a way to use these people to their advantage and rise above the pack.

This characterization is based only on my interactions with the 4 associates/partners I interviewed with during the CB, so it could be completely off the mark. It was just the impression I got.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 12:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:When I had my callback there, an associate responded to "Do you guys keep your doors open, is it collegial here?" with "No, my door is usually closed."
I went elsewhere.


I hope you had better reasons than that.


K&E is only lacking in NYC with respect to its public M&A group, understandable. Otherwise, it's litigation, private equity, bankruptcy, and IP groups are just as good as their counterparts at NYC. But no, they won't be doing a merger like T-Mobile/AT&T. If thats what you're looking for, look elsewhere.

I'm not really sure what else to say. I'm not going to debate whether it's an NYC V10. That's just stupid and really splitting hairs. The work is great and your experience won't really differ substantially because it wasn't founded in NYC.

Personality wise, it's a young office with relatively young partners. It tends to be a little more buttons down than say Davis Polk. The free market really isn't competitive. The firm is so busy that you're not competing for hours. If you're not getting work, it's because your reputation sucks, not because you didn't compete hard enough.

Bonuses are great. I could understand why you'd want to work at place like S&C or whatever. But if your whole thing is prestige, it isn't worth it. And people who say that the whole V10 thing comes from Chicago know zero about the firm. If anything, it comes from its Chicago and DC offices. But I really dont think there's a question as to it's prestige in NYC. If you absolutely must place it in a hierarchy, I'd place it a smidgen below the V5 and around on par with Paul Weiss, Debevoise, and possibly Cleary. It's just splitting hairs, though. Really, theyre all interchangeable unless you're looking to do something super specific like FIG at DPW or white collar crime at Debevoise,

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 12:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
buckilaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I did a callback with K&E but I am not an SA there. All of the below info is what I learned from the callback/weighing whether to accept the offer.

K&E has a free market system, so it seems like it can be a little competitive. I do think the people there tend towards the alpha male type, so maybe working with them long-term would've gotten annoying, but in the short time I was there they were very outgoing and friendly. K&E is known for above market bonuses (based on a combination of hours and quality of work IIRC). It is actually amazing that this tread has survived the whole day without anyone dropping the MARKET SHATTERING BONUSES meme. They also pay a 10k bar stipend rather than a salary advance like a lot of other NYC firms. This is offset somewhat by the fact that they don't pay bonuses to first years (though unless things magically turn around you're going to be much better with the 10k advance than you would with a bonus and no advance at other firms). I've been told by associates that face time is not particularly important. You can do a lot of work from home as long as you are billing hours and respond promptly to phone calls and emails.

One thing to keep in mind is that although K&E is a V10, it is really the Chicago office that earns it the V10 status. Compared to other NYC-based firms that are rated highly on Vault, the quality of the corporate work at K&E NY is lacking. Its not bad or anything, just not what you'd see at other V10s. Above poster is correct that the focus is on private equity and bankruptcy.


What exactly do you mean by alpha male type? Bros, type-A personalities, gunnerish? What exactly are you getting at? Sorry if this is a stupid question, alot of things come to mind and I want to make sure I understand what you mean by alpha-male.

I guess I mean something along the lines of type-A bros. Ambitious and competitive, form cliques with people like themselves who they see as being able to help them succeed while at the same time always looking for a way to use these people to their advantage and rise above the pack.

This characterization is based only on my interactions with the 4 associates/partners I interviewed with during the CB, so it could be completely off the mark. It was just the impression I got.


You're really just describing any big firm lawyer in NYC. And if you think otherwise, you're delusional.

That said, I think there's a palpable personality difference between K&E and other firms. It rubs some people the wrong way and sounds good to others. These are incredibly personal decisions and you really are the best judge of what works for you.

With that in mind, I'd say that if you're the kind of person attracted to Davis Polk or Debevoise, K&E is probably not the right place for you. Personalities tend to be more similar to Skadden.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Reprisal » Thu May 17, 2012 12:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:When I had my callback there, an associate responded to "Do you guys keep your doors open, is it collegial here?" with "No, my door is usually closed."
I went elsewhere.


You should have accepted and made him your mentor 'cause he sounds like the only V10 youngin' who's honest enough to admit it's better to be alone than dive headfirst into a sharkpool filled with the gore of prior gullibles.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 1:03 am

Within the V10, K&E NY is at least as good as Weil, and I'd argue better. It's PE is ranked band #1, tied with STB, and for BK it's band #1, tied with Weil, DPW, etc. It's IP lit practice is top-notch, and it's public M&A isn't top-ranked, but it's only one notch below Cleary and tied with Debevoise.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 1:49 am

I'm the anon who brought up the whole V10 thing. I should've mentioned that it really only matters for public M&A, and perhaps you guys are right that even without that it still deserves V10 status. It was a bad way of just trying to point out that there is a difference between K&E Chicago, where it dominates the market, and K&E NY, where it stands out less. I personally think that without Chicago the K&E brand would not be as valuable, but clearly opinions differ.

I stand by my alpha male comment. While this is true to an extent in all big law firms, I found it noticeably more pronounced at Kirkland. I did end up at a Davis Polk/Debevoise-type firm, though, in case that discounts my perspective. And again, this was my personal opinion, and others obviously disagree.

OP, as I'm sure you can tell by the responses, K&E tends to invoke strong reactions from both its haters and its proponents. I'm stuck in the middle and find myself attacked by both sides often. Sometimes I don't know what to believe, as each side is so confident in their position and both have their biases. Despite the negative things I said about it, I was incredibly close to accepting the offer, and some days I regret not accepting it.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Thu May 17, 2012 1:54 am

Lots of good discussion in this thread, thanks.

Building of the whole V10 argument would you say Kirkland's exit options are as strong as other V10s, weaker, or strong in only P/E and B/K?

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 2:54 am

buckilaw wrote:Lots of good discussion in this thread, thanks.

Building of the whole V10 argument would you say Kirkland's exit options are as strong as other V10s, weaker, or strong in only P/E and B/K?


It's not "stronger" or "better." the exit options are different because the clients are different.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am

Anonymous User wrote: I personally think that without Chicago the K&E brand would not be as valuable, but clearly opinions differ.


No they don't. I never said that. I agree. But that doesn't mean that all of the firm's V10 status comes from Chicago. Without the NY office or the DC office or the Bay Area offices or the London office, the brand wouldn't be as valuable. But that's partly because of the way the firm structures it's offices. It tries to run them as independent offices that command premium rates in their markets, not satellite offices. That's why the firm is in the top 10 for revenue and PPP. The overhead of those offices is clearly exceeded by the profits they produce (contrast with Skadden, which has dozens of offices and is in the top 5 for revenue, but whose profits from those offices don't sufficiently offset their overhead, pushing them out of the top 10 for PPP).

Now just because K&E strives to offer premium services in its markets, that doesn't mean that it succeeds. But I can tell you right now the NYC office is not sagging the firm. The public M&A/corporate department is clearly on the rise, the bankruptcy practice is second only to Weil, the litigation practice is in the same tier as many of the litigation departments of other NYC V10s, the soft IP practice is probably best in the nation, and hard IP will easily return to tier 1 in NYC after bringing in the Kaye Scholer team. Those are the four core groups the firm cares about, and nothing else

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 9:52 am

Other than K&E and Skadden, do any other V20 NYC firms have more bro/alpha personalities- if that's what you're looking for? Or are these cultural/personalitiy issues more driven by practice area than firm?

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby keg411 » Thu May 17, 2012 11:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:Other than K&E and Skadden, do any other V20 NYC firms have more bro/alpha personalities- if that's what you're looking for? Or are these cultural/personalitiy issues more driven by practice area than firm?


Latham.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 11:33 pm

I did a callback at kirkland. the partner who interviewed me first had a HUGE, super flashy gold watch on, and, I kid you not, a sheet of $100 bills framed on his wall. like a sheet of the bills you get from the mint. not sure of the total but it must have been thousands of crisp, uncut $100s just framed on the wall. thats the kirkland mentality.

also, if you have read any columns or the book by steven harper, about how cut throat and inhuman biglaw has become, how its all about eating what you kill, etc, remember that harper is a former kirkland alum, of 30 years.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 18, 2012 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I did a callback at kirkland. the partner who interviewed me first had a HUGE, super flashy gold watch on, and, I kid you not, a sheet of $100 bills framed on his wall. like a sheet of the bills you get from the mint. not sure of the total but it must have been thousands of crisp, uncut $100s just framed on the wall. thats the kirkland mentality.

also, if you have read any columns or the book by steven harper, about how cut throat and inhuman biglaw has become, how its all about eating what you kill, etc, remember that harper is a former kirkland alum, of 30 years.


So... Big law partners like money? Fuck man, you better report this to the BBC.

Re: Cutthroat and competitive: I can't speak for all offices, but I can count the number of times another associate has screwed me out of work or my work has been judged poor because of the actions of another associate: zero. K&E is crazy busy, and associates find themselves turning down work way more often than competing for it. I've never had to compete for my matters. It's more the case that a partner has heard great things about you and asks you to be on the matter, or that a senior associate has worked with you and asks you to be on it, than lowballing someone else to get work at the expense of that person.

I get what Harper writes, but it's foolish to think that's a description of K&E. And to the extent it is, it's pretty universal to Biglaw. Really, it's the same shit but with different paint on the walls (and usually lower pay :lol: ).

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby buckilaw » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:25 pm

bumping this thread to see if any TLS posters currently summering at K&E NYC, or really any K&E office, are willing to share any info/experiences.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:30 pm

buckilaw wrote:bumping this thread to see if any TLS posters currently summering at K&E NYC, or really any K&E office, are willing to share any info/experiences.


Incoming K&E associate here. I summered at one of the three largest offices (Chicago/NY/DC) last year. Some general thoughts:

1) as the anon above said, K&E's business model is based on excellence at a few high-margin practice areas in each market. You won't get to choose from 20 different departments, but the work (and the attorneys) in the practice areas you can choose from will be fantastic.

2) During the recruiting process some 2Ls seem to freak out about the free-market system, but it's really not that big a deal. There's tons of work to go around, so if anything the issue is having to turn it down rather than compete for it (and people seem to be understanding if they know you're swamped on another matter). Plus the system gives you a lot of control over who you work with, which is great.

3) If you've read Chambers/Vault I'm sure you're aware of this, but the training programs are incredible. That's especially true for litigators, because of KITA.

4) Personalities vary by practice area, so BK/corporate will be a bit more bro-ish and litigators tend to be on the nerdier side. I think that's true at any firm though. FWIW, I didn't notice a very high bro-density at K&E but it's not something I paid very much attention to.

5) The pay is really nice. And yeah, as someone else mentioned, incoming associates get a bar stipend rather than a salary advance.

If you have any more specific questions I'll try to remember to swing by later.

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Re: Kirkland and Ellis NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:I did a callback at kirkland. the partner who interviewed me first had a HUGE, super flashy gold watch on, and, I kid you not, a sheet of $100 bills framed on his wall. like a sheet of the bills you get from the mint. not sure of the total but it must have been thousands of crisp, uncut $100s just framed on the wall. thats the kirkland mentality.

also, if you have read any columns or the book by steven harper, about how cut throat and inhuman biglaw has become, how its all about eating what you kill, etc, remember that harper is a former kirkland alum, of 30 years.


Which office? Saw this too.




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