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Director of UX Design and User Experience

Job ID: 7364

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Information Technology


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 3,500+ lawyers) operating from 19 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 UX Design & User Experience Director will lead, develop, and define the user experience strategy in accordance with the Firm’s core pillars, policies and procedures. They will build the Firm’s UX Design & User Experience “Center of Excellence” through which to support an internal design system and persona matrix that can scale across all business and practice channels. They will establish the people, processes, and technology necessary to provide optimized, cohesive user experiences that drive digital adoption and end user contentment. This individual will consistently demonstrate the passion and know-how needed to stay connected to the user and up to date on the latest UX trends and related technology. They will ensure decisions are user-centric and data-driven.

Essential Functions:

  • Create, launch, maintain and continuously improve the framework by which to deliver innovative, compelling user experiences that meet business objectives and satisfy, if not exceed, user expectations. 
  • Align processes with the Firm’s PMLC under the IT Portfolio and Business Transformation office.
  • Establish themselves in role with others across the global organization through active listening, expectation setting, and effective delivery.
  • Foster a culture of empathy, with people and processes that center around understanding user needs and pain points and turning them into opportunities for coveted digital experiences.
  • Assess and determine when and where to leverage vendor partners for UX design/user experience-focused engagements.
  • Manage both full time and contractor resources to a set of design principles and systems that ensure consistency and optimized experiences.
  • Apply “fit for purpose” Design Thinking and/or Human-Centric Design based on the complexity of the initiative, instilling a mindset of learning and ideation across the full end-to-end customer journey.
  • Ensure that we delight our users through role-based and individually personalized experiences that resonate with each person.
  • Evangelize UX Design principles, methodologies, and services.
  • Establish key goals and performance indicators to continuously assess and measure success of UX Design & User Experience Center of Excellence
  • Innovate, based on continuous learnings from metrics and interaction with users, as well as staying abreast of current and emerging UX and digital adoption techniques to help users adopt technology with minimal disruption and training.
  • Develop and/or lead change management efforts across all phases of projects and initiatives to drive the Firm’s culture of continuous improvement.
  • Nurture a positive, creative, and inclusive atmosphere that encourages collaboration with constructive and respectful feedback.

Position Specific Skills:

  • Balance strategic and tactical roles, leveraging the Firm’s UX Design lead on high-value efforts, and contractor help accordingly under their direction.
  • Create compelling content and presents effectively to leadership, administrative and practice leads, as well as end users across the business and practice of law, adjusting to the audience as needed.
  • Communicate clearly, effectively, and respectfully, both verbally and through written communications.
  • Set goals and holds team members, including contractors, accountable for delivery.
  • Direct team to understand how lawyers, legal assistants, secretarial and other staff work to provide optimal user experiences by persona where applicable.
  • Provide the ability to ideate and prototype with users via wireframes, avoiding unnecessary technical time and resources on configuring options that may not prove to be desirable.
  • Seek continuous learning to grow skills both at UX/User Experience and management skills, leveraging LinkedIn learning and Firm-established professional and technical development learning opportunities.
  • Operate with fiscal responsibility on vendor engagements and as part of hiring efforts.

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

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills:

  • 10+ years of experience in the design industry in and around various product design fields (user experience/interaction design, visual design, and research)
  • 3+ years of experience managing UX designers.
  • A bachelor’s degree in design, UX/UI design, human-computer interaction, or related field
  • Experience designing with accessibility in mind.
  • Proven change management skills. 
  • Experience designing complex, data-intensive digital experiences.
  • Experience leading and directing cross-functional and multi-geographic teams.

Tools and Equipment:

  • Standard office equipment to be used (phones, PC, laptop).

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 #LI-LC1