Kirkland & Ellis Reviews | Glassdoor

Kirkland & Ellis Reviews

Updated August 12, 2018
226 reviews

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4.1
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Kirkland & Ellis Chairman Jeffrey C. Hammes
Jeffrey C. Hammes
82 Ratings

226 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
  • "I've never had an issue with work life balance but it's easy to get caught up in putting in a lot of hours because the firm is so performance focused" (in 28 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

    Helpful (7)

    "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. "One of the best law firms in the area"

    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 (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great location, great staff, excellent benefits

    Cons

    None that I can think

    Advice to Management

    None that I can think of

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Working at Kirkland"

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

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

    Pros

    The staff is unbelievably hard working here, I can speak especially to Business Development. There's a team mindset, and everyone is always willing to step up and help out each other, no matter how busy they are.
    The benefits are amazing - as a Non-Exempt employee you get paid for overtime, and that's on top of the 15 vacation days and 10 personal days AND holidays PTO you get every year.
    The pay is great too, and every year I have received a pay raise and bonus. I've been here three years and my salary has increase $10,000.
    There are always efforts for further development that both the HR department and business development department offer. Trainings, ability to take courses online, book club, IT technology trainings, weekly courses to further understand programs like Excel and Adobe Acrobat. I've also been able to attend conferences and talks outside of Kirkland which have been immensely helpful in my professional growth. They really want you to succeed here, and provide you with the support to do so.

    Cons

    The career growth feels a bit stunted. I've been at an assistant level for three years, despite my role changing and growing, and my responsibilities increasing. The promotions are competitive, and only given to a select few. It seems a bit political who does/doesn't get promoted.
    You are expected to put in overtime hours, whether that's checking your phone outside work or staying late to finish big projects. But I think that's to be expected at any hardworking firm. I've never had an issue with work life balance but it's easy to get caught up in putting in a lot of hours because the firm is so performance focused. (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.)

    Advice to Management

    Provide clear outlines for professional growth, and award promotions based on performance and responsibilities, not a competitive measure among coworkers but to those who truly deserve it and work really hard.
    Keep providing opportunities for professional growth - outside of Kirkland as well. If it relates to work, you should be able to take time out of the workday to attend conferences/meetings/classes.
    Allow people to work remotely...I understand the need for privacy, but working internationally is technically remote so I don't see why we have to physically be in the office during particular hours. More flexibility around hours would be great.


  4. "Work hard"

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, opportunity for growth

    Cons

    Can be a high stress work environment.


  5. "Big Law is Big Law"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    High quality work. Meet a lot of good people.

    Cons

    Long and unpredictable working hours.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work!"

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

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    You will work hard. .but everyone does! Kirkland's standards are high and so are the expectations. The firm does recognize this and is very generous with rewards (bonuses, nice perks, etc.). Generous time off policy.

    Cons

    Work/life balance has to be intentionally worked out. Vacation time is earned but my manager acts like he/she really prefers I not take the time (sometimes). I don't mind the constant emails over my weekend when there is an important program happening, but generally speaking, this should not occur for anyone at a non-management level. In addition to perks, swag, etc., everyone deserves an uninterrupted vacation.

    Advice to Management

    Create a clear career path for non-attorneys/staff


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Desktop Operations Engineer II"

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

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

    Pros

    Great compensation including pay and benefits

    Cons

    Heavy work load with no concrete strategic plan. Lots of reactionary behavior.

    Advice to Management

    Work on being less reactionary and step back to look at the possible implications of the decisions being made before making them. Do not "step over a quarter to pick up a penny" when it comes to purchasing decisions.

  8. 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.


  9. 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,


  10. Helpful (4)

    "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.


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