Kirkland & Ellis Reviews | Glassdoor

Kirkland & Ellis Reviews

Updated June 13, 2018
220 reviews

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4.1
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Approve of CEO
Kirkland & Ellis Chairman Jeffrey C. Hammes
Jeffrey C. Hammes
78 Ratings

220 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great benefits, nice office, relatively new technology" (in 18 reviews)

  • "Work life balance is in line in with similar size Firms" (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work-life balance" is not a phrase known to many attorneys at KE" (in 27 reviews)

  • "Long hours are the norm, depending on what deals you are staffed on at a given time" (in 29 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Love it - 10 Years and counting"

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

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

    Pros

    There is a lot of room for growth in this company. Great coworkers who have turned into family and management is flexible. Salary and bonuses are great. Free breakfast in the morning and also receive dinner allowance plus free cabs when we work late. Also a free gym in the building. New Perk: the building now has manicures/massages in the building for a small fee.

    Cons

    More consistent policies across all offices/departments such as casual Fridays and working from home a day or two out of the week.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Partner"

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

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

    Pros

    Great training and high compensation.

    Cons

    Like many BigLaw firms, it has an up or out mentality.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Executive Assistant"

    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 a year)

    Pros

    Transparency, Communication, Perks, Atmosphere, Morale

    Cons

    There are not many, but more constructive criticism would be helpful.

    Advice to Management

    Keep better connected with support staff,


  4. "Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Specialist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexibility to work from office or home

    Cons

    Not a clear path to career advancement


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Corporate Paralegal"

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

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

    Pros

    I work in the private equity capital group which offers challenging, high level work with a great amount of responsibilty. Ability to work independently.

    Cons

    Long hours are the norm, depending on what deals you are staffed on at a given time. Paralegals are expected to bill a minimum of 1750 hours per year. If you do the math, this amounts to billing 7 hours a day every weekday of the year, including your vacation time, personal time and all firm holidays. That is hard to achieve unless you have worked a fair amount of overtime.

    Advice to Management

    Treat the non-attorney legal staff more professionally.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Associate ATtorney"

    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

    Lots of responsibility starting a very junior level. Immediately impactful work assignments and excellent collegiality.

    Cons

    Hours can be a bit brutal and you are essentially a doctor on call 24/7 365. The deal flow at K&E is unrivaled in the marketplace and you will never have a period of respite or slowness.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on culture more on the front end when making hiring decisions. Have a more tempered approach to growth and increased profitability.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work."

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

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

    Pros

    I like the support that most people at the firm have for the work that I do. I feel valued, and like the work I do is important to the firm as a whole. I think that overall, business staff are treated well, and that if you can articulate ways in which the firm can make things better for people, effort will be made to accomplish them. I have worked at several firms, and it is great to work at place that is (a) a market leader, (b) treats its employees well, and (c) always tries to improve.

    Cons

    Based on a market comparison of my peers, my benefits are the same, but my comp is lower than it should be. It is my understanding from talking to others that K&E can be like that for everyone other than attorneys. Attorneys make market comp for biglaw.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Litigation Paralegal."

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, plenty of training at the start of employment as well as on-going, high profile cases, working with the best legal minds in the field, many departments using the most innovative and current technologies.

    Cons

    Hyper political, cut throat environment. Not for the faint of heart. A good number of longer term employees not up to date on technologies with poor supervisory skills. Can be difficult to work with colleagues with such vastly different skill sets and talents with the same titles. Extremely long and unpredictable hours. Expected to miss plans, vacations, events at the whims of the attorneys. Truly expected to be at their disposal 24/7.

    Advice to Management

    While it is good to promote and invest in long term employees, it doesn’t make sense to promote or retain long term people who do not have the skills for the position.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Associate Director"

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

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits, and opportunities to grow with the Firm. Work life balance is in line in with similar size Firms.

    Cons

    As the company is going through a rapid growth phase for the last few years,
    running into some issues with manual processes. That also means Great opportunity to automate

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing the great work


  10. "HR Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends

    Pros

    -Great Training
    -Staff members are kind and always willing to help
    - Lunch is mostly provided by the company throughout your time there

    Cons

    - There should be more career opportunities for interns interested in working full time at Kirkland for admin roles ( HR, Tech, Finance).

    Advice to Management

    - Keep doing a great job!


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