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About Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis, one of the world’s most elite law firms, is known for its corporate, intellectual property, litigation, M&A, private equity, and restructuring work. With more than 3,500 lawyers, the firm is regularly recognized as one of the most successful in the world.

Extra, Extra!

In 1909, fresh-faced attorneys Stuart Shepard and Robert McCormick struck up a partnership in Chicago. McCormick’s grandfather founded the Chicago Tribune, and McCormick left the firm in 1920 to become the paper’s publisher—a move that he used to send more business the firm’s way, tapping Kirkland trial lawyer Weymouth Kirkland to defend the Trib in defamation suits. Kirkland soon eclipsed the firm founders as the face of the outfit, carving a legacy defined by his defense of newspapers in significant free speech and libel cases. As for the other half of the current firm’s nameplate, Howard Ellis came on board in 1915. Ellis was a champion of the “fair comment” defense, a privilege that protects published or spoken opinions directed at public officials and figures.

Megafirm, Mega Practices

Counseling in four main areas—IP, litigation, restructuring, and transactional—Kirkland lawyers work across more than 60 practice areas. Some of the biggest names around call on the firm for their most complex issues, including Abbott Laboratories, Ares Management, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, Meta (formerly Facebook), General Motors, IBM, Intel, KKR, Oaktree Capital, Samsung, Vista Equity Partners—and the list goes on.

Kirkland has a booming transactional practice. The firm is a private equity powerhouse—with more than 500 private equity firms among its client list—and is the No. 1 firm in Vault’s Private Equity ranking. The firm handles all aspects of deals, from fundraising through exits. And its M&A lawyers are among the best in the industry. Nestled within the top five firms of Vault’s M&A ranking, Kirkland advises on some of the biggest deals around. The practice brings interdisciplinary experience, with lawyers from antitrust, executive compensation, finance, IP, regulatory, and tax collaborating with the M&A team.

The firm is also home to an all-star restructuring team that works in such wide-ranging industries as automotive, energy, entertainment, health care, manufacturing, media, real estate, retail, telecommunications, and transportation. The firm’s litigation department is a force as well—and we mean force. The firm has more than 700 litigators around the globe, handling everything from consumer fraud to ERISA to product liability to securities litigation and so much more.

Colleagues for Life

There’s no such thing as burning bridges at Kirkland—lawyers who retire or who pursue outside opportunities are considered “colleagues for life.” The firm’s career support program CareerLink—which was recognized by Financial Times’ North America Innovative Lawyers Awards in 2016—provides the firm’s lawyers and alumni access to one-on-one, confidential career coaching, as well as job searching tools for those looking to exit, including a “playbook,” a job board, and tips on everything from resumes to interviews to networking. Alumni also have access to a comprehensive directory, networking events, concierge services, and free CLEs.

News & Awards

  • A Kirkland team helped the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) complete its investigation into the death of George Floyd. Kirkland lawyers spent more than 4,572 hours conducting interviews; reviewing and synthesizing documents and tapes; and writing memos and presenting on alternative models of policing, body camera policies, and training programs.
  • In 2022, Kirkland dedicated pro bono services to helping Afghan refugees and Ukrainians in the U.S. find new beginnings, including holding an asylum clinic that helped Afghan refugees, women college students, and former employees of The New York Times with applications for asylum and adjustment of status, and launching a multi-firm project to assist Ukrainians in the U.S. with applications for Temporary Protected Status.
  • Kirkland devoted over 1,500 pro bono hours to representing Lucrecious Towers in his federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus for a first-degree murder conviction. In 2020, Kirkland put on an evidentiary hearing including testimony by three new key witnesses, and wrote a post-hearing briefing. In 2022 the judge granted the habeas petition and ordered Mr. Towers to be released from prison.
  • Kirkland partnered with Public Counsel to represent heirs of Willa and Charles Bruce, a Black couple whose beachfront resort was illegally taken from them nearly a century ago as part of a widespread effort to remove the local Black population in Manhattan Beach, California. Kirkland attorneys assisted with the investigation of and factual foundation for the case, including tracing the property title history, conducting historical research regarding how the property was taken, and locating the 100-year-old case file in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s archives, resulting in the 2022 return of the property to Charles and Willa’s descendants.
  • Top 10 Most Prestigious Firms, 2023—Vault
  • A-List, 2012-2023—The American Lawyer
  • Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality, 2008-2022—Human Rights Campaign
  • Best Law Firms for Women, 2012-2023—Seramount
  • Most Desirable Law Firm, 2023—Law360 Pulse Summer Associates Survey
Kirkland & Ellis

300 North LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 862-2000

Firm Stats

Management Committee Chair: Jon A. Ballis
Firmwide Chairs: Lauren Casazza, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Greco, Julian Seiguer
Local Chairs: Stephanie Berdik, Amanda Border (Boston); Ryan Bennett, Nader Boulos, Shelly Hirschtritt, (Chicago); Anthony Speier (Texas); Sierra Elizabeth, Nisha Kanchanapoomi, Christopher Lawless (LA); Christopher Greco, Stefan Atkinson, Laura Sullivan, Nicole Washington (NY); Travis Nelson, Brigham Cannon (SLC); Vlad Kroll, Brandon Brown (Palo Alto/San Francisco); Ragan Naresh (DC);
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
3.5K - 4K
No. of Partners Named 2022:

Base Salary

Base Salary (2023)
1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
Summer Associate: $215,000 or $8,958.34 semi-monthly

Employment Contact

Please visit for office-specific email addresses.

No. of U.S. Offices: 11

No. of International Offices: 7

Major Office Locations

Austin, TX - Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA (DTLA and Century City)
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC |
Hong Kong

Major Departments

Intellectual Property
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.