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Associate Director, Product Management

Job ID: 5447

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Information Technology


About Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a preeminent, full-service law firm with offices around the world and a staff as diverse as the practice areas we support. Our clients range from Fortune 100 companies to medium and small corporations, financial institutions, and private equity firms.  Known for our commitment to excellence, Kirkland strives to provide superior service to our clients as well as our fellow employees. From Information Technology to Human Resources, Paralegal Services to Business Development, Kirkland offers non-attorney professionals challenging careers in a variety of functional areas. Whether starting or growing your career, Kirkland can offer a performance-driven culture filled with bright and innovative teams of co-workers.

Essential Job Functions


The Associate Director of IT Product Management is responsible for managing the Firm’s custom-developed product/process automation portfolio in a fast-paced, fluid environment. The individual in this role leads a team of Product Managers who own and drive all facets of the product lifecycle from initiation, requirements gathering and prioritization to deployment, product backlog, release management and quality control. He/She/They work closely with the Associate Director of Application Development and other teams to consistently deliver high value, high quality solutions, on time as the business dictates, which satisfy documented requirements from sponsors and stakeholders.

Key product lines range from Risk Management to Knowledge Management, HR/Administration and Finance and leverage varying platforms from custom .net, to SharePoint and other rapid development tools, to hybrid platforms geared to legal or administrative use cases but requiring ample customization.

The individual in this role must be highly organized, be an expert active listener and communicator, with demonstrated leadership experience in product management following SDLC processes, partnering with Application Development and other IT teams to deliver solutions in an iterative/agile manner for sponsors and stakeholders. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Mentors, manages, recruits and retains top IT Product Management talent who continuously deliver high quality results for product sponsors and stakeholders in accordance with Firm strategy and policies.
  • Works with Director of CR/ITPS and CIO to continuously improve upon and provide 'best of breed' Product Management lifecycle processes that are appropriate to Firm size and needs.
  • Documents, maintains and instills best practices for Product Managers including, but not limited to, user stories, business and technical requirements tracking, product backlogs, and release management.
  • Ensures team members adherence to policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines for all product releases, including proper testing, sponsor sign-off and overall quality assurance.
  • Plans product portfolio at macro and micro levels in accordance with Firm IT Strategy (Weekly / Monthly / Annually / 3 year outlook, budgeting, and forecasting).
  • Aligns Product Managers to product lines, ensuring quality applications are deployed to production following the SDLC methodology, including Change Management.
  • Works hand in hand with the Associate Director of Development to prioritize work, manage resources and remove roadblocks to ensure timelines are met.
  • Leads by example in conducting and driving communication through daily stand-ups that get all Product Managers and Developers talking and listening to understand current priorities and addressing any obstacles.
  • Maintains team flexibility, responds quickly and adeptly to changing priorities from partnership and Sr. Staff to deliver desired results.
  • Presents to and works with Sr. Staff, Partners and others across Firm practice and business units on high profile initiatives.
  • Works with the business to understand where automation can replace manual work and provide value to the firm.
  • Seeks to understand and clarify priorities; sets expectations on product delivery timing with sponsors based on priorities and available resources.
  • Serves as trusted ‘change agent’ to drive product and process improvements directly and through Product Management team based on Firm needs and priorities.
  • Establishes trust and builds relationships within IT and across business teams within the Firm through active listening, responsiveness and effective delivery.
  • Steps in to lead teams ‘to the finish line’ on particularly time-sensitive initiatives that may require additional process review and validation before go-live.
  • Exercises keen judgment on when to escalate issues to senior management, based on risk and impact.
  • Listens to proposed new work/changes and knows what applications or areas may be impacted, and pulls others in accordingly.
  • Acts as leader who serves by testing and validating to ensure expected results on high profile, high impact efforts.
  • Teams with the Firm’s Project Management Office Associate Director to follow the Firm’s IT Strategy and project management lifecycle for the creation of new product lines.


  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, mobile devices and multifunction printers.

Qualifications & Requirements

Education, Work Experience, Skills

  • Bachelors or Master’s degree in a business or information management field such as Information Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Organizational Development, Library Science, Records Management, or Business Administration.
  • Minimum of 10 years blended experience in business analysis, product and/or project management and delivery adhering to SDLC, and leading a high performing team.
  • Experience with agile development methodologies and use of Microsoft VSTS, Azure DevOps.
  • Solid knowledge of practice, financial, marketing, recruiting, risk and security processes preferably within the legal industry.
  • High-level analytical and organizational skills, and the ability to analyze complex information structures involving multiple layers of data and workflows.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; proficiency in adapting communication language and style to varied audiences.


Core Technologies

  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Excel and other MS Office Suite products.
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft VSTS, Azure DevOps.
  • Proficiency in JIRA.
  • Experience with SharePoint and/or K2 a plus.
  • Experience with applications across finance, risk, HR in law firm or professional services a plus.

Current K&E Technologies

  • Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office Suite
  • iManage Work 10, DeskSite
  • Citrix /VPN
  • PeopleSoft
  • IntApp Open and WallBuilder
  • 3E Finance system
  • Avaya
  • ITSM Ticket Management System

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.