June 4, 2023


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How to land a summer months associate position at Kirkland & Ellis

7 min read
  • Kirkland & Ellis is 1 of the most prestigious regulation firms globally, nabbing the top location in the Am Regulation rankings three several years in a row.
  • The agency explained that it will be employing about 250 legislation students for its 2021 summer time associate program, which is typically the most important pipeline for talent at law corporations.
  • Although many other firms have rotational summer months applications, summer season associates at Kirkland normally pick a practice region to focus in.
  • Insider spoke with two co-chairs of the firm’s recruiting committee and a prime industry recruiter on what candidates want to know about Kirkland to ace an interview with the agency.
  • Take a look at Enterprise Insider’s homepage for far more stories.

A summer affiliate function at Kirkland & Ellis, greatly considered 1 of the most prestigious law firms in the earth, is remarkably sought following by numerous law college students.

Kirkland has raked in the top place in the Am Law rankings 3 a long time in a row, and is the greatest grossing law firm in the world at more than $4 billion in gross earnings in fiscal calendar year 2019, in accordance to the American Lawyer.

Launched in 1909 in Chicago, Kirkland has founded alone as a authorized powerhouse, with 2,700 lawyers throughout 15 places of work globally. It has four core areas — transactional, litigation, mental home, and restructuring — in which the firm has represented distinguished shoppers such as Toys R Us, Facebook, and Normal Motors.

As element of their endeavours to insert to their pipeline of long term associates, Kirkland generally participates in about 50 legislation schools’ on-campus recruiting events and regional career fairs each and every calendar year, and collects resumes from further educational facilities. The firm explained they will be using the services of close to 250 next-12 months legislation college students for its 2021 summertime affiliate application.

Insider spoke with two of Kirkland’s hiring selection makers and an field recruiter on what you want to know to land a position at the elite law organization.

Consider benefit of this year’s digital structure for recruiting activities

While there are downsides to conference another person by a pc monitor alternatively of in-individual, there are distinctive pros to a digital OCI.

“There is a whole lot of upside when it will come to virtual touchpoints, given that you can hook up with an pro in a practice place you happen to be significantly intrigued in, even if they are not in city,” claimed Lauren Casazza, a recruiting committee co-chair and litigation spouse at Kirkland.

Even though the real format of “on-campus” activities is still evolving, Casazza stated that recruiting is however “extremely much going to be all arms on deck.” The firm has now experienced a couple of digital receptions at law colleges, where by learners were being randomly assigned breakout rooms with many attorneys to check out to mimic the stream of a cocktail reception.

At these functions, it really is vital to fulfill a ton of individuals and decide their brains. “We fully grasp that all the corporations can start off to appear the exact, so meeting the persons who do the job there is vital to noticing the discrepancies,” Casazza explained.

Decide your practice region with intention

In the course of the first screening interview with Kirkland, summer associate candidates commonly choose 1 of its four core observe regions to specialize in that summer season: transactional, litigation, mental home, and restructuring. If they’re provided a complete-time situation at the organization on graduation — which transpires almost 100% of the time, according to Casazza — it will likewise be for a specific practice region.

Whilst this may audio challenging to some students who may possibly not but know what variety of law they want to specialize in, summer time associates will not be “pigeonholed” and will have the opportunity to dabble in distinctive spots.

Davis pointed out that a bigger space like transactional legislation encompasses a array of methods, these kinds of as M&A, cash markets, and credit card debt finance. He additional that in some offices all the summertime associates sit together on a person flooring, and so can not only get to know their fellow summers, but also attain publicity to the various tactics.

Michael Parrillo, founder of the legal recruiting business Parrillo Lookup Group, who’s worked with Kirkland for just about 10 many years, has some useful suggestions for law school students thinking about profession options.

First issues to start with, “for a person coming out of regulation college, go to the greatest law company you can that feels ideal at the time. That is what’s going to give you the greatest amount of marketability in the upcoming,” he claimed.

“Then decide on which observe location: If you have not recognized any distinct areas of desire, decide on the group you truly feel the most at ease with in phrases of the folks, or the team the agency is the most effective known for,” Parrillo advised.

Get to know Kirkland’s emphasis on empowering younger attorneys

A different vital part of Kirkland’s lifestyle that candidates should really know is its emphasis on providing junior associates ownership in excess of their profession. The company has what Parrillo calls a “exclusive” open up assignment method, where companions and associates attain out to just about every other instantly with new matters. The associates can decide on what do the job to acquire on and have the potential to discover the do the job that is most interesting to them. 

“You have a say on what you happen to be doing work on and how you are building your job,” added Casazza.

Each and every office environment at Kirkland also has an associates committee, which discusses challenges and subjects, these types of as the associate evaluate approach, expert advancement and leadership options, and mentorship and social things to do, and arrives up with strategies that are relayed to the firm’s partnership. For occasion, the associates committee in the New York business office implemented associates-only networking occasions with friends and colleagues in corporations that are present or opportunity purchasers — no associates allowed, providing youthful attorneys a likelihood to be a part of organization enhancement.

In addition, Kirkland has established up a sturdy mentoring software for associates, connecting them with mentors both inside the company and externally with shoppers, mentioned Jonathan Davis, an M&A partner who also co-chairs the recruiting committee.

“We’re pretty large into permitting you develop interactions with mentoring, supplying people at an early stage in their occupations the prospect to create client interactions, which is a greatly significant skill to have as a law firm,” Davis mentioned.

Be trustworthy with your interests and values throughout the interview

The job interview is arguably 1 of the most vital — and nerve-wracking — components of the application procedure.

“We’re looking at all distinct varieties of requirements: regardless of whether anyone can talk substantively about lawful problems, shows enthusiasm and excitement for the business, has strong interaction skills, and appears to be like a group player,” spelled out Casazza.

The job interview issues are built to gauge these properties. Some examples, according to Casazza and Davis, involve:

  • Can you title something that was hard about a task you’ve experienced?
  • What was one thing you’ve got learned from a earlier experience?
  • What was the most interesting task you’ve labored on?
  • What are you hunting for in a legislation firm?

It goes devoid of declaring that executing a little little bit of homework on the firm and interviewers will established candidates up for success in an job interview.

“The more details you stroll in with, the greater,” stated Parrillo, who indicates exploring the firm’s customers and modern transactions and matters.

On prime of examining via the specially curated material for legislation faculty students on the firm’s professions website page, Davis suggests that candidates go through up on tendencies in the apply space they’re fascinated in.

Through the real interview, Parrillo reported that prior legal working experience, whether or not it is a stint as a paralegal, volunteer function, or lawful experiments during spare time, are certainly truly worth highlighting. Finally, even though, it’s significant to be open up and genuine with what you’re on the lookout for in your authorized job.

“It really is a actually important time for your career, and the firm you decide on sets you on an crucial path,” reported Parrillo. “It is in your greatest desire to be by yourself: Chat about your values to make certain you are finding a agency that very best aligns with who you are and the style of legal professional you would like to grow to be.”

Excel at Kirkland by partaking in mastering and collaborating with your colleagues

So you’ve got produced it via the doorways of one of the most prestigious legislation companies. Davis cautioned that it will not be effortless, but that summer time associates will come absent with substantive expertise, from getting the potential to handle teams of individuals to interacting with customers.

“It’s very significant to have a authentic fascination in understanding, due to the fact there is certainly a steep mastering curve when anyone 1st comes in,” he stated. “It can be not like you might be taught in law faculty the working day-to-day at a law firm.”

The attorneys at Kirkland are additional than happy to mentor individuals, significantly when a junior lawyer displays an interest in their individual growth, so it is also handy to choose advantage of the local community all over you, Davis extra. “By undertaking that, and coming in with the appropriate frame of mind, you are extremely nicely-positioned,” he mentioned.

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