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Director of Applied AI and Data Science COE+RD

Job ID: 7800

Updated: Apr 30, 2024

Location: Houston, TX, 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

As the Director of Applied AI and Data Science, you will orchestrate a new era of innovation and impact at the crossroads of technology and law. Your leadership will not only drive advancements in AI but also help shape the future of legal services to maximize impact for our clients. This position offers the rare opportunity to blend technical prowess with strategic foresight, making a tangible difference in our firm and the industry at large.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead and expand the strategic vision for deploying AI and advanced analytics within our firm, translating cutting-edge technology into practical, impactful legal solutions.
  • Champion the identification, assessment, and prioritization of AI/advanced analytics use cases to revolutionize both our legal practices and business operations.
  • Cultivate a high-caliber, cross-functional team of data scientists and responsible AI specialists, fostering a culture of excellence, innovation, and ethical AI.
  • Drive collaboration across a diverse set of stakeholders through a unique hub and spoke model, ensuring the alignment of technology initiatives with business objectives.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of proof-of-concepts and AI model deployment, ensuring seamless integration and value creation within our legal framework.
  • Be the vanguard for a culture of continuous learning and knowledge exchange within the AI and Data Science Center of Excellence (COE), promoting cross-team collaboration and innovation.
  • Offer strategic insights and leadership on the long-term implications, risks, and ethical considerations of AI and advanced analytics in the legal sector.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required, and an advanced degree or relevant certifications are highly preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in AI, data science, or related fields, with a proven track record in professional services industries.
  • Exceptional leadership skills, with experience in building, mentoring, and guiding high-performing, diverse teams of data scientists and AI professionals.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and deploying AI-driven solutions and models, particularly within the legal or professional services sectors.
  • Profound understanding of AI and advanced analytics technologies, coupled with the ability to discern their feasibility and long-term impact within the legal context.
  • Exemplary communication and stakeholder management skills, adept at engaging with leadership and key stakeholders to drive consensus and action.
  • A pioneering spirit, driven by a passion to enact change and deliver results in the legal field, balanced with a deep understanding of the associated long-term risks and ethical considerations.

The Director of Applied AI and Data Science will be expected not only to possess a deep understanding of these technologies but also to apply them innovatively to address complex challenges in the legal sector. An ongoing commitment to learning and staying updated with the latest advancements in AI and data science is essential.

Technologies/Software – while there are many combinations of tech experience and expertise that may be the right fit for this role, representative experience across the below is preferred:

  • AI/ML Frameworks and Tools:
    • Expertise in popular machine learning libraries such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Keras.
    • Proficient in using AI/ML platforms like Google AI Platform, AWS SageMaker, or Azure Machine Learning for model development and deployment.
  • Data Analytics and Big Data Technologies:
    • Proficient in big data technologies such as Hadoop, Spark, and Kafka for handling large datasets.
    • Experience with data visualization tools like Tableau, Power BI, or Qlik for deriving actionable insights from data.
  • Programming Languages:
    • Strong proficiency in programming languages such as Python, R, and SQL, crucial for data manipulation and algorithm development.
    • Familiarity with Java or Scala can be advantageous for integration with enterprise systems.
  • Cloud Computing Platforms:
    • In-depth knowledge of cloud computing environments such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, particularly their AI and data analytics services.
  • Database Management:
    • Experience with database management and querying tools, including traditional SQL databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL) and NoSQL databases (e.g., MongoDB, Cassandra).
  • DevOps and MLOps:
    • Familiarity with DevOps practices and tools (e.g., Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes) for efficient deployment of AI solutions.
    • Understanding of MLOps principles to streamline the machine learning lifecycle from experimentation to production.
  • Legal-Tech Software:
    • Exposure to legal-tech software and platforms is beneficial, as it provides contextual understanding crucial for application in the legal domain.
  • Security and Compliance Tools:
    • Knowledge of security protocols and compliance standards relevant to data privacy and AI ethics, especially in the legal sector.
  • Collaboration and Project Management Tools:
    • Proficiency in using project management and collaboration tools (e.g., JIRA, Asana, Trello) to manage AI/ML projects efficiently.
  • Emerging Technologies:
    • Keen interest and understanding of emerging technologies in AI, such as natural language processing, computer vision, and predictive analytics, to stay ahead in the field.

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How to Apply

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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