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Director of Risk Management (Planning & Special Projects) (All US Offices)

Job ID: 6198

Updated: Dec 13, 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 Director of Risk Management–Planning and Special Projects (“Director”) provides support to leaders within the business units of the Firm’s Risk Management Department. This support consists of guidance regarding both strategic and tactical planning, direct project management, and assisting individual leaders with their professional and skills development. The Director is an internal consultant within the Risk Management Department, and uses developed consulting skills to help Risk Management leaders to become effective planners, implementers, and strategic/tactical thinkers.

The Director reports to the Senior Director–Risk Management (“Senior Director”) and will exhaustively collaborate with the other Risk Management Directors.

Essential Job Functions

  • Oversee all internal and externally-facing Risk Management policy directives, including drafting new policies, updating existing policies, assisting the Senior Director to obtain approval, and maintaining the history of all policies.
  • Assist the Senior Director and other Risk Management leaders to develop strategic and tactical plans in support of Firm goals and Risk Management objectives. Model strategic and deliberative planning to all levels of Risk Management leadership.
  • Maintain awareness of law firm risk management requirements, including the evolution of existing practices and the emergence of new areas of risk for lawyers and law firms. Provide advice to the Senior Director and other Risk Management leaders regarding the impact of new or changing requirements on existing policies, processes, and systems.
  • Evaluate and assess current Risk Management operations, including processes and systems, to identify project gaps, weaknesses, or opportunities to improve Risk Management services. Conceptualize solutions, and define project scope and desired outcome. Prepare all materials needed to obtain project approval. 
  • Act as project leader, assembling project teams, identifying tasks and timelines, and leading project meetings. Drive projects to achieve desired results. Report status to Senior Director and/or other Risk Management leaders. Develop change management plans.
  • Counsel and mentor Risk Management leaders at all levels to support their professional development, including issue spotting, problem solving, planning, implementation, and interpersonal communication and relationship building.
  • Participate in and guide efforts to conduct root cause analyses and remediation of process errors or other mistakes.  
  • Report on operational metrics across Risk Management functions to assist in analysis and monitoring of productivity and staffing.
  • Interface with other administrative leaders (e.g., Finance, IT, Security Governance, HR, Business Development) on change management implications of Risk Management initiatives and on the Risk Management implications of their initiatives.
  • Conduct postmortem review of Risk Management staff attrition to identify root causes of voluntary or involuntary separations.
  • Participate in all Risk Management leadership and management roundtables, providing input and advice that support the continued growth of Risk Management leaders at all levels.
  • Manage other projects or initiatives as assigned by the Senior Director.

Qualifications & Requirements

The Director possesses several years’ experience as a Risk Management leader within the legal industry, and has deep subject matter knowledge regarding the rules of professional conduct for lawyers, conflicts of interest, new business intake, information governance, and other areas of ethics and legal compliance for lawyers. In addition, the Director has a developed consulting skill set, including experience identifying and solving complex problems, strategic and tactical planning, project management, technology implementation, process re-engineering, and change management.

The Director has mature decision-making skills, sound judgment and discernment, exceptional interpersonal capabilities, a collaborative style, composure under pressure, the ability to communicate and persuade effectively at all levels, and a strong customer service orientation. The Director is a strong and competent leader, with the ability to coach and mentor others.  

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.