Kirkland & Ellis Reviews

Updated 8 Jul 2020

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3.9
78%
Recommend to a Friend
76%
Approve of CEO
Kirkland & Ellis Chairman Jon Ballis
Jon Ballis
4 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Can be long hours and constant availability(in 42 reviews)

  • "You are expected to work several hours of OT everyday without a work/life balance(in 33 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "allot of money"

    5.0
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lawyer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    you get minted from working here

    Cons

    you hav to work alot

  2. "Avoid at all costs"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice office building and canteen.

    Cons

    This firm is in the business of burning and using people up and will not think twice to do so. It is not worth joining unless you have no other firm to go to, which is why many people do end up at K&E in the first place. The firm on the inside could not be further away from the vision they are selling to people. All the smiles and warm welcomes are just the cover to a very dark reality as soon as you scratch the surface. Believe it or not, this firm is desperate to portray the image to the outside world that it is doing well but do not think that this is the same on the inside. People are constantly on the way out/leaving in very high numbers and and the level of insecurity is rife and played upon by those more senior to you. It is also extremely political and opaque.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Bad experience"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    None - the cons outweigh any pros.

    Cons

    My personal experience of working at K&E has been that it is very different to the way it was described to me at interviews. I was told by both partners and associates that the firm was nothing like the bad coverage it has received in the press (e.g., it was voted the least liked US law firm by Associates and trainees in London in 2017 in a poll by The Lawyer, etc.) and that is very different on the inside. I may be naive but I chose to ignore the alarm bells I read online and joined the firm as I thought the people I met were genuine and generally people I’d like to work with. However, once I had joined I discovered that the truth was very different. There is an extremely high-turnover rate of people in all departments and there is a general feeling of fear amongst associates and non-share partners about their future at the firm. Yes, you will earn good money but there are other American law firms out there who pay the Cravath scale without the same level of churning and the culture of constantly living in fear. The people I had met that were “so happy” in encouraging me to join the firm left soon after I joined and I also discovered that some of the non-share partners I met are also on their way out. The “lucky-ones” at Kirkland are the share partners who have been hired from other firms and parachuted to top positions; the ones who joined the firm in its early days are also doing well because they benefitted from the first-mover advantage. My experience has been that there is no easy way to “partnership” at Kirkland and those who have made it are trying to hold on to it for as long as they can at the expense of the associates they churn and burn beneath them. My experience has been that there is little honesty and trust amongst colleagues here compared to other US firms. All this is cleverly glossed over through the firm being housed in a very fancy building, the promise to hungry associates of an “easy” route to partnership and high-salaries - the result in my experience has been toxic environment. I would have chosen to join another US firm if I knew what goes on here before joining.

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  4. "Long hours"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay and clear career progression

    Cons

    Long hours are very consistent

  5. Helpful (2)

    "Long hours, aggressive environment"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Money and access to sophisticated clients

    Cons

    Juniors get swamped with work. Most week nights I didn't get more than 4-5 hours of sleep as I would leave the office past midnight and was expected back in the office in the morning. Lots of weekend and holiday work which is soul destroying. My health went downhill quickly. The partners encourage a very competitive environment, very cut throat. Women don't seem to do well here, it's very 1980s, I would not advise a young woman join here, there are better places to work.

  6. "Cash rich time poor"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Best pay in the London market

    Cons

    Need to be switched on all the time

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "It's all a facade"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Support Staff in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Salary above average, although not top of the market. Free breakfasts. Nice building.

    Cons

    Clocking in and clocking out!!! Unbelievable that this goes on in this day and age. The firm prides itself on supporting charities but they won't demonstrate it to their staff when it comes to serious sickness or domestic problems. Everything is a façade.

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  8. "Interesting work, talented and professional co-workers, brutal hours"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate 
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you're in the corporate practice, you get the opportunity to do some of the most interesting work on the market under the supervision of some of the most knowledgeable attorneys around.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, while pay is top of the market, you may be underpaid given the number of hours you work as compared to your friends at other firms.

  9. "Kirkland is great to work for"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Training and Support Analyst III in London, England
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kirkland & Ellis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great company to work for, top pay, bonuses and benefits for the market and has a great culture and atmosphere.

    Cons

    You will work hard and long hours.

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  10. "Associate"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Kirkland & Ellis full-time

    Pros

    Very good pay and very meritocratic

    Cons

    Can be very long hours

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Found 331 reviews