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Human Resources Specialist

Job ID: 7714

Updated: Mar 29, 2024

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Category: Human Resources


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 Human Resources Specialist, under the leadership of the Associate Director of Human Resources, will work with HR department team members and other groups throughout the Firm to coordinate general human resources activities in the Houston office.  Primary duties include assisting in handling sensitive employee relations matters, conducting benefits orientation, answering payroll and benefits-related questions, on-boarding/off-boarding of employees and partners, and assisting employees with leave of absence.  Additionally, the HR Specialist will support staff recruiting activities, conduct benefit orientation, and perform other activities related to the general administration of the HR department.  The HR Specialist works with the Associate Director of Human Resources to further the Houston office firmwide initiatives and improve employee morale and engagement. This position requires solid human resources experience, specifically with employee relations, moderate benefits expertise, technical proficiency in various human resources applications, and absolute commitment to client service.

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

  • Provide customer support to partners, associates and employees on general human resources, benefit and payroll questions and issues. Track open issues through to satisfactory resolution, keeping the Associate Director of HR informed of issues and progress
  • Respond to questions from employees and supervisors regarding HR policies and procedures
  • Preparing for new hires by preparing and distribution of first day information communication and new hire information
  • Conduct I9 Verifications and conduct new employee benefits orientation to further a positive onboarding experience
  • Updates position information descriptions in conjunction with feedback from ADHR and the Departmental manager
  • In conjunction with the ADHR and LRD, perform exit interviews check-outs with departing attorneys and staff
  • Complete payroll orders
  • Manage local leave of absence requests and questions
  • Assist ADHR with planning and coordination of staff and well-being events
  • Other duties and special projects, as assigned

OTHER FUNCTIONS (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary. Delete if not applicable.)

  • Serves as local department contact in absence of ADHR
  • Assist ADHR with confidential employee relations matters
  • Processing sensitive terminations and handling confidential documents
  • Maintaining and tracking performance evaluations for exempt and non-exempt staff
  • Responding to unemployment claims and subpoenas
  • Assist in fostering a great environment and offering creative solutions in how to improve and streamline HR business process
  • Handle day-to-day department administrative tasks. Complete additional assignments as back up when other staff members are away.
  • Coordinating Benefits information, data entry, and responding to benefits inquiries 

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, certification of SHRM or PHR, a plus
  • 5+ years of HR experience in a law firm or professional services industry
  • Customer-service focus, with strong interpersonal skills, excellent proofreading skills, organizational skills, acute attention to detail and keen judgment and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to communicate with people at all levels
  • Considerable initiative, ability to prioritize and effectively adapt to changing needs
  • Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality at all times
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to multi-task, meet concrete deadlines, and solid team player 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and PeopleSoft experience is preferred


This job operates in a professional office environment.

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-NM1