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Our Survey Says


Kirkland & Ellis is seriously big, “bad” in the best possible way—and always ready to blow down the competition. Kirkland represents the most elite clients on some of the biggest deals out there, which means they’re in the market for associates who are ready and able to keep up. The firm wants top talent, but that doesn’t mean they only hire from the T14. Instead, the firm takes a holistic view of candidates; while good grades are important, equally so are drive and entrepreneurial spirit in order to thrive in the firm’s free market assignment system. “Go getters” will do well at Kirkland, where informal training and mentorship, along with prime assignments, are there for those ready to seize them. In spite of the fast-paced, high-intensity environment, associates rave about the firm’s culture, which they describe as energetic and social. Associates admit that the hours can be brutal, but note that hours in BigLaw are long across the board, and there is no billable hour requirement. At Kirkland, long hours are rewarded with early responsibility and interesting work, along with top-of-the-market, lockstep compensation. While some associates feel that bonuses aren’t what they used to be, they are still above market for high billers. Formal training at Kirkland is outstanding, and while formal mentorship does exist, associates will benefit from seeking out their own informal mentoring relationships. Wellness is a challenge when work demands are high, but Kirkland makes an effort to offer a vast array of wellness benefits. Diversity is an area for improvement, but moving in the right direction. When it comes to pro bono, Kirkland excels, with many associates billing hundreds of hours to pro bono clients with full firm support. Career prospects are promising, with income partnership a very realistic prospect and exit opportunities robust.

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.