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Pro Bono Counsel

Job ID: 6169

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Location: New York, NY, United States

Category: Administrative 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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is seeking experienced pro bono counsel for its nationally recognized pro bono program, resident in the firm’s New York office.  This role will focus on advancing the goals of the Firmwide pro bono program as crafted by the Firmwide Pro Bono Management Committee, with specific responsibility for working with the lawyers in the New York office, as well as helping out firm-wide, as needed. This is an exempt position reporting to the global director of pro bono.

Basic responsibilities will include identifying and developing pro bono opportunities, appropriately staffing matters, maintaining a robust network of internal and external relationships, mastery of pro bono policy and protocols, and helping to perform essential risk management functions. This pro bono counsel will engage regularly with the rest of the creative and dynamic pro bono team to coordinate Firmwide projects, and will help maintain consistency of policies and practices across all the firm’s offices.


Pro Bono Duties:

  • Develop and design pro bono projects consistent with the firm’s goals, based on attorneys’ areas of interest and community needs
  • Develop and support corporate and transactional pro bono initiatives
  • Develop and maintain relationships with legal aid providers
  • Build and maintain relationships and projects with Firm paying clients interested in partnering on pro bono projects
  • Provide orientation and guidance to new associates and incoming laterals
  • Promote and distribute pro bono opportunities to attorneys seeking pro bono work
  • Ensure appropriate staffing of matters at all times, including to meet subject matter needs
  • High level oversight of pro bono matters and broad supervision of case trajectory
  • Understand and ensure compliance with internal and external pro bono policies and practices
  • Conduct intake and approval of new pro bono matters, including navigation of conflicts process
  • Organize clinic participation opportunities and manage large research projects
  • Connect attorneys with resources for pro bono matters as appropriate, including training and precedential materials, experts, vendors, and translators
  • Meaningfully contribute to program strategy and planning
  • Assist attorneys with navigating and solving conflicts, ethics, and professionalism questions, including communicating with Firm general counsel as appropriate
  • Maintain strict attention to and control of numerous essential areas of risk management
  • Collaborate on internal and external communications and presentations  
  • Coordinate recognition events  
  • Provide reports on pro bono metrics to practice group and office leadership and various departments  
  • Analyze pro bono data to help develop and maintain program and spot important trends
  • Manage charitable giving and administrative budget. Oversee sponsorship of and attendance at events held by our pro bono partner organizations.
  • Attend legal aid provider, bar association, and other meetings and conferences within the pro bono and legal services community
  • Research external pro bono awards K&E attorneys may be eligible for and coordinate nominations of qualified candidates as appropriate
  • Coordinate response to legal service organizations status requests and audit inquiries
  • Additional responsibilities as necessary

Qualifications & Requirements

  • We are particularly interested in candidates with significant substantive corporate, transactional and nonprofit formation and governance experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm for the delivery of pro bono legal services
  • Commitment to client service
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to collaborate with others to achieve common goals
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to prioritize, delegate, and multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong critical thinking skills, creativity, and problem-solving ability
  • Reliably sound judgment
  • Immaculate written and oral communication skills
  • Flexibility as our program evolves
  • Spanish fluency would be helpful, but is not required


  • Law degree
  • Minimum of five years law firm or legal service organization experience involving pro bono program management
  • Mastery of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Willingness and ability to learn additional software programs.
  • Amenable to occasional travel for conferences and office visits

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.