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Associate Director, Information Governance (Data Protection)

Job ID: 5920

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Risk Management


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 (AD), Information Governance (Data Protection) develops plans, sets goals, provides direction, and leads Risk Management projects and teams that 1) monitor and protect Kirkland proprietary and client confidential data (data protection), and 2) perform searches of multiple data repositories, e.g., email, document management system (DMS), SharePoint, in response to subpoenas, compliance reviews, and/or case team research). Initiatives led by the AD, Data Protection result in the measurable reduction of risks and costs relating to data protection and internal collections.


  • Leads the creation and maintenance of policies, standards, processes guidelines, and support documentation relating to data protection and internal collections.
  • Develops and implements plans, strategies, and policies that support, align with, and improve Kirkland’s posture as it relates to data protection, internal collections, and other risk-related functions and services.
  • Ensures appropriate treatment of risks, and compliance and quality assurance of work product and services.
  • Communicates directly with the Office of the General Counsel and other partners; states areas of concern, addresses questions, and/or resolves outstanding issues with internal and external parties.
  • Serves as an IG subject matter expert and advisor to Kirkland’s document management system (DMS) team (IT), litigation support team (IT), email management team (IT), and security governance team.
  • Evaluates, implements, and monitors data protection controls.
  • Represents Kirkland to clients and vendors on an as-needed basis.
  • Manages exception request processes related to data protections and manages records including but not limited to user and management requests and approvals, and business justifications for approved exceptions.
  • Designs, produces, and delivers training material to educate attorneys and other Kirkland personnel on their risk management responsibilities, particularly as they relate to data protection and internal collections.
  • Provides leadership and direction on the use of DMS monitoring and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technologies, and e-discovery technologies for internal collections.
  • Review data protection escalations through various channels to assess policy violations.
  • Advises project teams and proposes solutions for complex and/or technical information governance and/or information technology issues.
  • Works with administrative staff and legal practitioners to document business requirements, and automate data protection and internal collections processes.
  • Communicates the IG vision and IG guiding principles in a variety of forums (1:1, administrative meetings, practice group meetings, partner meetings, etc.).
  • Drafts, reviews and/or presents proposals, project plans, status reports, metrics, and other information in a format and style appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Advises attorneys and staff on operational and compliance responsibilities relating to data protection and internal collections.
  • Coaches and mentors IG and other Kirkland personnel on the improvement of their knowledge and skills related to data protection and internal collections.
  • Serves as primary lead on Risk Management policies and procedures relating to data protection and internal collections.
  • Creates and maintains written documentation of all processes associated with data protection and internal collections.

Qualifications & Requirements


  • Candidates with an educational background from a wide variety of disciplines including information technology, legal, compliance, information management, and/or records management will be considered. An advanced degree in information management, computer science or law is desired; an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution is required.
  • 5-7 years experience in a subject matter expert role relating to Data Protection, DLP/Insider Threat Information Security, and/or e-Discovery, preferably in a law firm or corporate legal setting.
  • 5-7 years successful experience in leading and facilitating and project teams, preferably in a risk management, information security, or e-discovery work environment.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with law firm or corporate experience.
  • Executive presence required for productive partner and client collaboration.
  • Proven track record in leading high visibility, high impact change management initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver clear, concise, and factually accurate written and oral communications appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of data loss analysis, especially identification of threat events and anomaly detection.
  • In-depth understanding of methods used to gather information from users, including attorneys and senior management, analyze large volumes of unstructured data, establish metrics and report results to management reporting, and work collaboratively with internal and external subject-matter experts, clients, and vendors.
  • Prior Document Management System (DMS) experience in the legal industry, with an emphasis on DMS matter workspace and document security preferred.
  • Working knowledge of iManage ThreatManager, Relativity, Brainspace, and/or Capax Archive Solution (CAS) experience preferred.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft applications, (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Visio).
  • Advanced knowledge of risk management principles, practices, and technologies.


The individual in this role operates in a professional office environment and a remote office environment. The individual routinely uses of standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Must be available to work outside of standard work hours, as needed to meet business demands.

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.