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Contract Specialist

Job ID: 6970

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Finance/Accounting


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, service, inclusion, respect and gratitude. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in the brightest talent and encourage a diversity of perspectives and strengths to create dynamic teams that operate at the pinnacle of their field. Our talented professionals 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; investment fund formation and management; restructurings; high-stakes litigation and trials; and government, regulatory and internal investigations. We handle the most complicated 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, have long-standing client relationships with leading global corporations and financial sponsors. With 6,500 employees (including 3,000+ lawyers) operating from 18 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions

The Contract Specialist will be responsible for advisory and transactional matters with an emphasis on technology agreements. This person will support the contract management life cycle of the Firm’s vendor agreements by providing consistent management of the Firm’s proposals and contracts. This includes assisting the Firm’s business teams with contract intake, reviewing and negotiating vendor agreements, including software licensing agreements, SaaS “cloud” agreements, technology service contracts and other complex contract instruments, and completing the contract execution and closing process. This role requires close collaboration and communication with Firm subject matter experts, Procurement Counsel, General Counsel, business owners and Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing professionals to support the Firm’s procurement activities in accordance with the Firm’s policies and risk management objectives.

Essential Functions: (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

  • Draft, review and negotiate contracts with the Firm’s vendors, ensuring that all documentation is complete and processed appropriately.
  • Engage and coordinate internal resources (e.g. Procurement Counsel, Office of General Counsel, stakeholders, subject matter experts) as needed.
  • Support the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing organization in reviewing Software License Agreements, SaaS “cloud” agreements, technology service contracts, license and maintenance renewals, and other contractual documents.
  • Advise business teams and Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing team members regarding key commercial and legal considerations.  Assist with interpretation of existing contract language and contract strategy, as necessary.
  • Identify and implement improvements to the contract lifecycle management process.
  • Provide guidance, and escalate where appropriate, when business or legal issues occur during the course of existing contract relationships.
  • Keep current on best practices as it relates to contract structure, legal terms, and/or laws which may affect the Firm’s relationship with its vendors.

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills

  • A juris doctor degree is required.
  • Four or more years of comparable contract review experience within a corporate legal or finance department is required.
  • Previous experience with review of contracts related to technology acquisition and services,  professional services, consulting services, or software as a service is desired.  
  • The ability to systematically analyze complex problems, draw relevant conclusions, and implement appropriate solutions is critical.
  • Strong interpersonal, project management, and organizational skills are required.
  • Individuals in this role are expected to exhibit strong customer service and good judgment in communications with attorneys, staff, and vendors of the Firm, including safeguarding the confidentiality of client and Firm information.
  • Attention to detail, the capacity to learn, and implementing feedback in a consistent manner within a dynamic and growing environment are imperative.


  • A working knowledge of MS Office suite with advanced Word editing skills are required.
  • A working knowledge of Adobe Acrobat Pro is preferred.
  • Experience with a contract management platform is preferred.

 Work Environment: 

  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.

This job is a hybrid position with a mix of remote and in-office presence.

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. #LI-Hybrid