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Senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager

Job ID: 6744

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Administrative Management


About Kirkland & Ellis

At Kirkland & Ellis, we are united in our ambition and drive to move forward. We share core values that help us achieve excellence: collaboration, talent empowerment, dedication to improving our communities, inclusion, respect and gratitude. We believe our people are our greatest asset. By investing in the brightest talent and encouraging each individual’s distinct strengths, we create dynamic teams that operate at the pinnacle of their field. We value unique perspectives, and we want our talented professionals to show up every day knowing they will engage in meaningful work, continuous learning and professional development.

As one of the world’s leading law firms, we serve a broad range of clients with market-leading practices in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions and restructurings; investment fund formation and management; high-stakes litigation and trials; and government, regulatory and internal investigations. We handle the most complex and sophisticated legal matters because we don’t just meet industry standards, we create them. We bring innovation and entrepreneurialism to every engagement and, as a result, we have long-standing client relationships with leading global corporations and financial sponsors. With 6,500 employees (including 3,000+ lawyers) operating from 19 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia, we are both one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions


Kirkland & Ellis LLP is seeking a full-time Firmwide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Senior Manager to advance Kirkland’s strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives while collaborating with various attorneys and functional teams at the Firm. 

In partnership with key stakeholders, the Senior Manager will provide leadership in the DEI arena; this includes driving client-facing efforts and partnerships, community-building initiatives, affinity/professional network programming, Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) activities, law school/student groups relationships and other external partnerships and sponsorships.

Primary responsibilities include spearheading strategic planning, internal and external DEI programming, mentorship and sponsorship initiatives, events, budgets, sponsorships, awards, communications and analyzing industry trends and peer firm initiatives.  The Senior Manager will also play a collaborative role in advancing our legal recruiting, retention and promotion efforts.

The position requires ten years of experience, five in a related business, preferably in a law school, law firm, corporation or other professional services firm.  We seek a driven, hands-on leader who has the ability to influence and collaborate across functional areas, levels of seniority and offices. The ideal candidate must have strong leadership and management skills and excellent judgment, problem-solving, oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.  The individual also must have the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment while building positive working relationships.  In addition, candidates must be self-motivated, organized and able to multitask and prioritize competing demands. 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

  • Firmwide DEI Committee, WLI Committee and Affinity/Professional Networks: Provide leadership and support in establishing a set meeting schedule for the DEI Task Force, DEI Committee, FW WLI and Affinity/Professional Networks; establish agendas, help with materials and slide preparation and distribute meeting minutes.
  • Diversity Recruiting and Pipeline Initiatives:  In partnership with the Firmwide hiring partners and the Firmwide Legal Recruiting team, advance diversity recruiting initiatives including Kirkland’s 1L Diversity Scholars and 2L Diversity Fellowship programs alongside various pipeline programs; develop new ideas to enhance long-term relationships with target law schools and student groups.
  • DEI Programming:  Establish a cadenced structure to annual Firmwide DEI programming and networking events in collaboration with the DEI Committee Chairs and Affinity/Professional Network Leads.
  • Budget:  Maintain a balanced budget in line with approved strategic initiatives.
  • Sponsorships and Foundation Requests:  Provide strategic direction for sponsorship spending and allocations; provide oversight for sponsorship requests.
  • Team Management: Lead DEI team meetings; organize weekly DEI updates and orchestrate team building activities.
  • Research, Benchmarking & Industry Events: Stay current on industry best practices and synthesize areas of opportunity; distribute relevant information to DEI leaders and senior partners, as necessary; and represent Kirkland at key DEI conferences.
  • Communications: Own Firmwide DEI communications strategy (DEI marketing materials, talking points/heritage month communications/Committee Chair’s speeches/social media, etc.); collaborate with various teams to market and promote initiatives, awards and achievements.
  • Mentoring:  Champion, develop and advocate for diverse attorneys and recruits.
  • Networking:  Build strategic external relationships with clients, alumni and law schools in support of our DEI strategy.  Develop partnerships with clients who share the Firm’s commitment to DEI and develop programming/materials accordingly. 
  • Collaboration:  Work seamlessly with the Firmwide DEI team to share best practices and resources, identify new areas of opportunity, and contribute to key DEI initiatives.  Work hand in hand with the Legal Recruiting & Development (LRD) team (who drives attorney recruiting, integration, development and engagement), Business Development and Pro-Bono.
  • Other:  Facilitate special projects and other duties as assigned.

Qualifications & Requirements


Education, Work Experience, Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree is required, Master’s degree or JD is preferred.
  • Seeking candidates with 10-12 years of experience, including five years of related experience in a law firm, corporation, professional services or law school environment.
  • Ability to motivate and reinvigorate committees and individuals and achieve consensus. 
  • The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, confident and organized project manager and proven team leader with excellent oral and written communication skills and will have the ability to multitask and meet concrete deadlines in a fast-paced environment; the candidate must have a positive/can-do attitude and be an excellent team player. 
  • Ability to problem solve, develop creative solutions and make decisions with a high standard for accuracy and attention to detail are required. 
  • Competence in building and maintaining productive relationships, both internally and externally, while maintaining a client service orientation and using sound independent judgment and discretion in dealing with highly confidential information are also required.


  • Strong familiarity with standard office technology applications such as Microsoft Office Suite, with particular emphasis on PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel is required; familiarity with Tableau a plus.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  To complete an application and submit your resume, please click "Apply Now."

Equal Employment Opportunity

All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Closing Statement

The job postings and recruiting mailbox are for candidates only. If you are a recruiter, search firm or employment agency, and do not have a signed contract with Kirkland & Ellis LLP ("K&E") and have not been asked specifically to submit candidates, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if K&E hires the candidate. Direct contact with K&E employees in an attempt to present candidates is inappropriate and will be a factor in determining any future professional relationship with the Firm.