Kirkland & Ellis Reviews | Glassdoor

Kirkland & Ellis Reviews

Updated July 26, 2017
184 reviews

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3.9
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Kirkland & Ellis Chairman Jeffrey C. Hammes
Jeffrey C. Hammes
58 Ratings

184 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits - breakfast everyday, overtime meals, overtime transportation home, 401(k) plan easy to get on board with (in 15 reviews)

  • Good benefits and good salaries (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Absolutely no work-life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • Long-hours; no work camaraderie (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Former employee - Tax Accountant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    It was a privilege to work for this Firm!
    Amazing place in every way possible. Amazing!
    Talented and very helpful people.

    Cons

    Cons? There are no cons. Free breakfast, great pay, great benefits...difficult to find any cons when you get all of this and more.


  2. "Amazing!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Accountant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Tax Accountant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It was a privilege to work for this Firm.
    Amazing employer in every way possible. Amazing!
    Great and hard working people.

    Cons

    Cons?! Free breakfast, great pay, great benefits...difficult to think of any cons when you get all of this and more. Much more.

  3. "Little Opportunity for Advancement"

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

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The pay is in line with other BigLaw firms. In most offices there is little to no facetime requirement.

    Cons

    It's a sweatshop, and there are the usual cast of egomaniacal share partners who believe they've gotten to where they are on merit, rather than timing and the good fortune to hitch their wagon to the right partner or client.

    Advice to Management

    You can only spend so much money. Sharing the wealth and making talented, hardworking attorneys equity partners after 8-10 years of servitude shouldn't be too much to ask.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Junior paralegal - Great entry level job for someone wanting to be in the legal field"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Paralegal in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Junior Paralegal in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits - breakfast everyday, overtime meals, overtime transportation home, 401(k) plan easy to get on board with. Great amount of holiday time off considering it's such a large firm - they let you off 2 hours early the Friday before a long weekend which is fantastic, but you can't always capitalize on it because the attorneys will need things last minute since they know you won't be there Monday. However, you get double time if you work during those two hours till 5, so really it's not a terrible deal! Double time pay for weekends and vacations, 1.5 time for every hour you work over 40 hours during a week. So great compensation if you're working tons of overtime.

    I love my senior paralegal but it's somewhat luck of the draw. Most are great, but there are one or two nightmares around. Luckily I haven't had to work with them much. You mostly stay within your normal team.

    Cons

    Sometimes difficult to make billable hour minimums depending on your team and how cases are moving. Work flow isn't always consistent, as sometimes all your cases are crazy busy and you have overtime/full day of billable hours, and sometimes everything is dead and there is nothing to do. Can be nice in some aspects to get breaks, but also nerve-wracking since you're not meeting billable hours. Having to constantly search for more billable work in these periods. However, some teams never get breaks and have constant overtime, so it really just depends on your team.

    Also, it's difficult to figure out when to take time off since sometimes they'll need you to be working last minute, even if you already have plans. I had to miss a planned vacation because of this once (though I was temporarily working for another team). My team is usually pretty flexible with that, but it's still difficult to make any set in stone vacation plans since you don't always know when attorneys will need you. Also, sometimes you feel bad taking any time off since you're at the bottom of the totem pole, but obviously in some situations it's unavoidable.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure senior people aren't being terrible to the juniors, because some of them are but juniors are too scared to say anything to management because we're at the bottom of the totem pole.


  5. "Payroll coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    35 hour work week which give you good work/life balance

    Cons

    There are no cons here


  6. "Long hours, good compensation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Mostly competent and friendly coworkers; free market system.

    Cons

    Very hierarchical structure; often long hours; poor management


  7. "Fantastic Firm!!"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent opportunities; hard work is rewarded. Small firm feel with big firm perks. Proud to say I work with the best of the best.

    Cons

    There really are none. Some people may see the "work hard, rewarded hard" culture as a turn-off, but for those who want to move mountains, this is where you go!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the hard work, stay humble, and remember that every piece of the puzzle contributes to the bottom line.

  8. "Typical Associate"

    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 resources, smart people, ability to move between groups, good training, good bonuses.

    Cons

    Internal politics play a large role in what type of work you get, long hours, big deals don't necessarily create the most interesting work for lower level associates, people think they are overly important.


  9. "Project Assistant - Corporate"

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

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    Top-tier law firm, with top-tier talent; you really get to learn from the best and huge potential after you work here

    Cons

    long hours, stressful, career-progression can be slow and based on production (billing/hours)

    Advice to Management

    Allow for more career growth options, invest more in support staff


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Please get rid of the dead-weight secretaries!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Administrative Staff
    Current Employee - Administrative Staff

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

    Pros

    Great place to learn, attorneys are nice, great perks, pay and opportunities to learn about different practice areas. Nice Office location, free breakfast and a well stocked community fridge on every floor. 401k and good pay.

    Cons

    Old timer secretaries who have been here forever while coasting through their jobs. They are an outdated, slow, and unwelcoming group of people. It seems like the longer they have been here, the more they think they can get away with.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to refresh the legal secretary and PSA pool. The ones who have been here forever seem to think they can get away with coming in late, taking long lunches, and are interruptive to the office set - up. They encourage a clique-like environment, disrespect privacy, and are loud during their person phone calls on office phone lines.


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