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Kirkland & Ellis Reviews

Updated February 20, 2018
204 reviews

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3.7
StarStarStarStarStar
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Kirkland & Ellis Chairman Jeffrey C. Hammes
Jeffrey C. Hammes
67 Ratings

204 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work-life balance" is not a phrase known to many attorneys at KE (in 26 reviews)

  • Not very clear system of making TC offers, long hours even during the vac scheme (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Technology Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work is fast-paced and challenging. I am exposed to new things and learning new skills all the time. My co-workers are supportive, hard-working and intelligent. I am allowed creative freedoms to do my job well and awarded the autonomy to execute my plans.

    Cons

    We plan to over-achieve and often miss the mark when reality sets in.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating-- we need to know.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Competitive wolves environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    High salaries and good bonuses.

    Cons

    Sweat shop 10-12 hours/day. Time off including vacation looked down on. Lack of training and support for staff. Share Partners boldly promotes and displays elitism and will not mingle with "help".

    Advice to Management

    Treat support staff with respect instead of just a domestic, they are valuable part of firm. SP are not approachable.

    Secretaries needs better technical training and proactive demeanor.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Associate in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The compensation is top of the market. The work is complex and challenging and the attorneys are all very bright and generally easy to get along with.

    Cons

    The hours can be very long.


  4. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility and exposure to high profile cases and clients

    Cons

    Cut-throat attitude by some mid levels, constant fire drills


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Legal Writer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work for

    Cons

    There aren't many downsides to this company.

    Advice to Management

    No advice.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "High Standards, Long Hours"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    The firm expects excellence and generally provides good perks, great training and good feedback to junior associates.

    Cons

    Very long hours and culture can vary from practice group to group.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Litigation Junior Paralegal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits as well as good insight into Big Law work culture.

    Cons

    Some of the supervising paralegals are difficult to work with, which heavily influences your experience at the firm.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Legal Word Processor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, free "breakfast" and coffee (Starbuck's machines)

    Cons

    Support groups not taken seriously

    Advice to Management

    As your attorney base grows, support groups should grow at a similar ratio. Common sense.....


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    Sophisticated cases, young associates get lots of experience

    Cons

    Inconsistent culture. Some partners are great and others are horrible.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "They treat the staff like dogs, serfs and paid slaves"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Legal Secretary in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent salary. I can't think of any other reason why staff would stay here!

    Cons

    The firm went to a "teaming" model in 2009 when they moved into a new building. Before the move, efficiency experts were brought in to roam the hallways looking for ways to cut costs. In the new building, the secretaries sit together in pods built for four people, but most contain just two or three. The firm has gradually decreased the number of secretaries in each pod to two or three while increasing the number of attorneys each secretary must support up to seven on average while backing up another 14 or so. We are treated like dogs, serfs and paid slaves while the firm has been reported in the trade papers and magazines to make between $1 to $2 Billion per year. This is the kind of secretarial job one takes when one is desperate and starving.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to get every last drop of blood out of the staff. We are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect -- not like serfs, paid slaves and dogs!!


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