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Associate Director UX Design User Experience

Job ID: 7579

Updated: Feb 7, 2024

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 alternative asset management; restructurings; high-stakes commercial and intellectual property litigation; 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 20 offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions

The Associate Director of UX Design & User Experience helps develop and execute the UX & Design strategy in line with the firm’s core pillars, policies and procedures.

This person will partner closely together with the Director of User Experience & Design to establish the firm’s first User Experience & Design Center of Excellence (CoE) and its vision. They will act as the Director’s right hand to ensure its success. The base-line goal is offering services and value that scales across the Firm’s business and practice of law channels that delight our users with compelling, streamlined experiences that meet them where they work.
The AD will partner with the Director to establish processes and artifacts, working in conjunction with the Firm’s IT Portfolio & Business Transformation Office to apply the UX CoE strategy.

This individual will consistently demonstrate the passion and know-how needed to stay connected to the user and remain up-to-date on the latest UX trends and related technology. They will ensure decisions are user-centric and data-driven. This person must show leadership qualities, to include independence, confidence, responsibility to the larger purpose and be able to lead, present, actively listen and evangelize UX and drive alignment with stakeholders. As the right hand to the director, you are encouraged to advise, counsel and challenge to make the vision succeed.


  • Align with Director-set UX strategy to build, launch and continuously improve the framework (“Center of Excellence” or “CoE”) 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 Project Management Life Cycle 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, meeting key goals and deadlines.
  • Collaborate closely with the Firm’s Business Development group around branding and internal design system principles and assets.
  • 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.
  • Partner with the Director on vendor partner resources for UX design/user experience-focused services on project and operational work.
  • Provide both full time and contractor resources with internal design system and other UX CoE standards and procedures to ensure optimized and consistent experiences.
  • Apply “fit for purpose” Human-Centered 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.
  • Demonstrate and share UX Design principles, methodologies, and services with IT and business peers.
  • Partner with the Director to establish key performance indicators to continuously assess and measure success of UX Design & User Experience Center of Excellence goals.
  • Leverage findings to improve upon services and provide progress reports to management and Sr. Leadership to showcase impact of UX Design & User Experience services.
  • Partner with the director to begin using UX industry standards and tools that bring evidence-based measurements, statistics to support and make a compelling case to support UX decisions.  
  • 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.
  • Nurture a positive, creative, and inclusive atmosphere that encourages collaboration with constructive and respectful feedback.


  • 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 other team members, including contractors, accountable for delivery.
  • Learn 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.
  • Applicants must provide a design portfolio demonstrating their skills in and achievement of the above qualifications. Please include a link to your portfolio in your resume.
  • 2+ 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.
  • 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."

Please ensure that the resume you submit includes a link to your design portfolio (see Qualifications).

For applicants who are based in New York, visit the following link for pay range information:

For applicants who are based in Los Angeles, visit the following link for pay range information:


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