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Director of Operations

Job ID: 7590

Updated: Feb 14, 2024

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Facilities/Office Services


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

In partnership with the Senior Director of Administration (SDoA), the Director of Operations will manage and oversee the physical operations of the Chicago office including vendor management, budgeting, space planning and construction. The Director of Operations develops plans for the immediate and long-term operational needs of the office and anticipates and provides support systems to meet time-sensitive goals. This position effectively manages projects, leading and delegating assignments as needed. The Director of Operations is in a critical leadership role and will act as a responsible advocate for building/office concerns and needs.

The Director of Operations leads by example, is oftentimes first and/or last point of contact for follow up, follow through and closing of the communication loop with building management, vendors and internal stakeholders.

The Director of Operations will report directly to the SDoA and will manage a team of local functional leads that will collaborate with the Firmwide functional support teams across all departments. This individual is expected to be a highly organized relationship builder with excellent communication and negotiation skills.

Strategic Leadership

In collaboration with the SDoA, provides overall strategic and tactical leadership to ensure all office functions and staff are aligned in providing seamless client service to all local personnel, and serve to implement both local and Firmwide initiatives and objectives; hires, coaches and leads a competent team of operations and facilities staff.

Operational Leadership

Responsible for managing business processes and activities associated with all matters of the office; develops and/or leads all phases of projects and initiatives to drive the Firm’s culture of continuous improvement. Is the point of contact for all matters related to vendor operations (HVAC, Housekeeping, movers, furniture dealer and other union trades), construction operations, set up/tear down and other physical office operations. Responsible for equipment maintenance, repairs and liaison with office of the building.

Space Planning

Provides recommendations for space, facilities, and equipment needs; provides leadership and expertise in all space planning and construction projects in collaboration with the Firm’s real estate department and functional leads; coordinates with stakeholders to promote client service objectives and ensures minimal disruption to client service operations.

Financial Accountability

Develops, monitors, and maintains control of the general budgets and staffing plans for the support services departments within the Chicago office consistent with the SDoA initiatives, Firm objectives, and operational requirements; contributes to cost-effective management of the office; maintains and applies working knowledge of accounting procedures including analysis, negotiation, and payment of all vendor invoices.

Communication Leadership

Ensures all staff is kept informed of significant office and Firmwide information and conducts meetings with various Committees, as well as Partners and Associates as appropriate; will meet regularly with key staff to communicate business goals and objectives and translates the vision and directive of the Firm into actionable goals.

Performance Management

Manages the functional leads for the Facilities department; collaborates with Firmwide functional leaders to provide direction to the Management team through effective goal setting, coaching, reviews, and development planning; manages conflicts and resolves disagreements constructively, performs and properly documents counseling sessions; determines and recommends salary adjustments; and oversees the hiring and termination process.

Business Continuity/Crisis Management

Provides proactive leadership in the event of a crisis, whether in the form of a natural disaster, or any other situation that potentially endangers the health, safety, and well-being of local personnel and/or the integrity of the local operation; works closely with the Firm’s leadership, local Operations Committee, building management, Firmwide security and/or any other key department as necessary to assess the situation, establish goals, gather resources and define action plans; responsible for coordinating open and transparent communication with the different audiences to ensure overall safety and the office’s operation remains intact and runs as smoothly as possible.


Performs any other tasks assigned by management.

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills

  • 10+ years of project and people management experience in a professional services organization is preferred.
  • Bachelor’s Degree is preferred.
  • Competence in time, project, building, operations, and vendor management.
  • Superior client service and leadership abilities as well as a high degree of independent judgment and discretion.
  • Adept at managing change to support process improvement and industry best practices
  • Experience working in a global setting and in cross-functional teams
  • Experience in achieving efficient space utilization and working knowledge of directing internal construction projects.
  • Excellent and professional presentation, written, and oral communication skills..


  • Proficiency in the use of software, including, but not limited to, Microsoft Office: Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel

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.