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Associate Director of Firmwide Practice Assistant Development (Any US Office)

Job ID: 6560

Updated: May 9, 2022

Location: Austin, TX, United States

Category: Legal Secretary/Practice Asst


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 FW Practice Assistant Development is responsible for developing, managing and advancing the Firmwide learning objectives of new hires, continuing education and process, knowledge and procedural improvements for the Practice Assistants.  As well as managing Firmwide initiatives to promote consistency, improve efficiencies and quality of the department.

The Associate Director of FW Practice Assistant Development must be able to quickly diagnose, determine appropriate course of action, and provide complete follow through on all incidents to a successful resolution; a reliable self-starter and problem solver who looks for opportunities to proactively educate the teams, and reactively respond competently to provide the highest level of support for issues.

The candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills, show strong interpersonal and customer service skills, and have the ability to be process-oriented yet flexible.  The candidate must be able to interact with individuals from all levels throughout the Firm, demonstrate leadership and management skills.

Essential Functions: 

The Associate Director of FW Practice Assistant Development will assist in the fostering and adapting of a Firmwide team mindset through developing, maintaining and delivering a Firmwide training program, continuous education and identifying the development needs of the Practice Assistants & Document Services department at a Firm level.

This will include but not limited to:

  • Firmwide utilization to support the “follow the sun” model to support the continuing expanding needs of the Attorneys.
  • Collaborate with Leadership and Practice Assistant/Document Services management in the revision of processes and procedures to adapt to a Firmwide mindset.
  • Coordinate training to ensure all members of the Practice Assistant department have the defined skillset needed to support assignments, practice groups and or practice areas within the Firm.
  • Coordinate training to ensure all members of the Document Services department have the defined skillset needed to support all aspects of the Firm.
  • Work with Knowledge Managers to develop, maintain and distribute training based on Practice Areas.
  • Identify and research technical needs of the Practice Assistant and Document Services Departments.
  • Partner with Technical Training, HR, LRD to continue to grow the knowledge and skills of the Practice Assistant/Document Services department.
  • Work as a liaison with Technology to understand enhancements, improvements, and new software along with with processes and procedures required and deployed Firmwide.
  • Work in collaboration with service areas and business units to review the working structure of the department, what better technology can be used and what can be done to streamline and processes, procedures, and workflow.
  • Determine the impact changes have on the Practice Assistant/Document Services departments and work with appropriate services on delivery.
  • Develop re-education, yearly training, cross-training, and development for the Practice Assistant/Document Services Department.
  • Manage training reporting, metrics, and analysis.
  • Manage and maintain learning structure and paths through internal LMS system.
  • Coordinate and facilitate group onboarding training plan through the Global Practice Support (GPS) team. 
  • Collaborate with Legal Recruiting and Development, Technology, and other appropriate services on Summer and incoming Fall Associates initiatives.
  • Work with the Global Support Leads, Senior Directors of Operations, and the Office of Administrative Management that all Firmwide and local needs are in alignment, and any new initiatives, developments and directives are facilitated as the arise.
  • Manage all Firmwide initiatives as directed by leadership.
  • Provide guidance and support to the Practice Assistant/Document Services Management team Firmwide.
  • Monitor ratios and continually assess staffing as the roles continue to evolve. 
  • Organize annual Practice Assistant and Document Services management meeting/retreat.
  • Maintains relationships with staff, management and attorneys across all offices, administrative departments, and practice areas within the Firm.

The position requires travel to any office.

Other Functions: (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary. Delete if not applicable.)

  • Develops, maintains, and reviews all training for the Practice Assistants/Document Services department to ensure consistent and professional delivery of superior quality services and work product, adherence to departmental policies, processes and procedures and efficient departmental administration. 
  • Serves as the first line of departmental management for Firmwide initiatives.
  • Work in conjunction with IT, Technical Design, Technical Training, Legal Recruiting, HR to maintain a cohesive training and development program in all aspects of the department.
  • Compiles, tracks revisions and monthly reports to the Practice Services Global Support Leads and the Office of Administrative Management.
  • Provides status reports detailing activities, ratios, staff development, and critical departmental issues.
  • Maintain staffing forecasting for all departments, report and coordinate between PA Managers/Associate Directors and the Global Support Leads.
  • Conducts individual or group staff meetings with members of the department as a forum for communicating and reviewing departmental initiatives, workload, and policies; discusses current and evolving functionality; solicits input to and concerns about ratios, duties, policies, and initiatives.
  • Liaises with varying departments and project management to discuss operational, technical, and service level issues regarding the functions of and services provided by the department.
  • Defines, documents, and encourages use of departmental recommended procedures based on department and Firm standards.
  • Contributes ideas to and provides technical and operational input for tactical and strategic initiatives to the Global Support Leads and the Office of Administrative Management for inclusion in strategic planning initiatives.
  • Establishes, nurtures and maintain business relationships with IT, KESM Support and related services critical to the efficient operation of areas of the department.
  • Maintains functional proficiency in standard software, hardware and related technologies necessary to provide consistently evolving, white glove support.
  • Monitors technical, procedural, and operational evolutions with the department as well as the Firm to better utilize and streamline work product.
  • Listens attentively to questions asked, input provided, suggestions made and concerns voiced by operators, management, trainers and other business units.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • At least 5 years’ experience in a management role.
  • Excellent understanding of the Firm’s vision for the Practice Assistants/Document Services department.
  • Working knowledge and experience with applications used by Practice Assistants and Document Services.
  • Experience with process development.
  • Experience with training and development programs and initiatives.
  • Proven experience with collaborative initiatives within Practice Assistants and other Business units.
  • High comfort level with stressful job requirements.  Ability to maintain professionalism under pressure.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, and the ability to simultaneously manage multiple highly detailed initiatives and deadlines.
  • Strong team management and leadership skills with a proven ability to develop and lead client service-focused team.
  • Highly effective writing and communication skills, and the ability to communicate credibly and diplomatically with all levels.
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow-through skills.
  • Ability to keep confidential any information, observations or viewpoints regarding Firm personnel or matters
  • Ability to solve problems on an immediate basis.
  • Ability to demonstrate a flexible and hands-on attitude.

Work Environment

  •  “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.