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Firmwide Associate Director of Lateral Legal Recruiting

Job ID: 6071

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Legal Recruiting & Development


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


As a member of the Firmwide (FW) Legal Recruiting & Development Department (“LRD”), the FW Associate Director of Lateral Legal Recruiting provides strategic direction for all lateral attorney recruiting including, but not limited to: lateral hiring; strategic sourcing; direction and planning; working closely with senior partners across all practice areas regarding lateral needs; day to day management and professional development of lateral recruiting team; relationship building with recruits, search firms, and vendors; budget planning; industry research.

This highly visible position will serve as a trusted advisor to the Firm Committee and Local Recruiting Chairs pertaining to the lateral recruiting efforts of the Firm.


  • Drive the Firmwide lateral recruiting strategy to attract, hire and retain top judicial clerks and lateral candidates in relation to the hiring directives set by Firm leadership.
  • Partner with Local Recruiting Leads, LRD functions and other Firm Administrative departments to develop and implement relationships with headhunters and other lateral sources.   Utilize data and analytics to tell a story around hiring strategy and trends.  
  • Manage the lateral recruiting focused resources on the larger legal recruiting team.
  • Drive our diversity goals for recruiting by partnering with the Co-Chairs of the Diversity Committee to develop and maintain working relationships with diverse sources of talent.  
  • Operate and strategize understanding the unique hiring nuances, competitive landscape and marketplace climate of each of the cities where we have offices. 
  • Oversee the lateral hiring process, including preparing, updating, and managing the correspondence of offer letters, reviewing offers for consistency and uniformity, and conducting due diligence.
  • Build and execute a compelling and consistent Firmwide employment brand across social media, video channels and industry organizations in order to improve candidate experience and build awareness for employment opportunities.
  • Own the creation and implementation of lateral recruiting campaigns by region and function consistent with the Kirkland & Ellis values of excellence, entrepreneurship, empowerment and collaboration
  • Maintain a pulse on recruiting trends in the legal profession and beyond. 
  • Exercise strategic and creative thinking in uncovering new lateral hiring sources outside of traditional search firms and referrals.
  • Formulate, administer and maintain recruiting policies, operational procedures and practices consistent with the goals and objectives of the Firm.
  • Develop and manage annual recruiting and attorney employment functions and hiring budgets; investigate, analyze and budget for new recruiting initiatives; and develop and analyze recruiting related expense reports.
  • Oversee  the lateral hiring projections/forecasts/targets for annual budgeting process and monitor against targets throughout yearEnsure the regular maintenance of, and contribution to, attorney applicant databases for purposes of applicant tracking, NALP reporting, and reference checking.
  • Serve on appropriate LRD special projects and maintain a strong working relationship across LRD channels and offices
  • Coach, mentor and develop a professional recruiting staff while fostering a diverse, inclusive environment

Qualifications & Requirements


Education, Work Experience, Skills

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree and 10+ yrs. management experience in a law firm or professional service industry, preferably with strategic recruitment and professional development experience. Candidates must have strong interpersonal skills, supervisory, and communication skills, project management and change management experience, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.  The ability to work effectively with all levels of management, and across all Kirkland departments and offices, is required.   



Computer proficient with knowledge and understanding of various database systems including, viRecruit, Tableau (a plus but not required)), Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. 


  • As a key member of the local office staff, flexibility with work hours and location is necessary.  Nights and weekends, on-site and off-site, are required on many occasions.  Ability to attend internal and external events outside of typical work hours is a must.
  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.

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.