Kirkland & Ellis is a global law firm specialising in advising on private equity M&A and financing transactions, fund formation, litigation and restructuring.
Kirkland & Ellis is a global law firm specialising in advising on private equity M&A and financing transactions, fund formation, litigation and restructuring. The firm is pre-eminent in those areas globally across its 19 offices in US, Europe and Asia. The firm has developed its leading position by focusing on, empowering its lawyers with accelerated career paths to partnership, rewarding dedication, focus and teamwork and allowing its lawyers to be entrepreneurial and client facing at all stages in their careers.
Over 500 lawyers work in our London office, on some of the most complex, high value and high-profile international matters. You’ll be heavily involved in real deals and cases with them, not just listening and learning but relied upon to make a valuable contribution. When you join Kirkland & Ellis as a trainee, you’ll quickly be part of the team providing solutions to high-profile brands as well as major private equity firms behind some of the biggest corporate transactions.
Training Contract Programme
Thanks to the relatively small intakes, trainees are given early responsibility to work on complex multi-jurisdictional matters.
The principal focus of the training is on transactional law with a specialism in private equity. Trainees complete four, six-month seats. Three of our main practice areas are corporate, finance and investment funds and so it is likely trainees will spend a seat in each of these. The other seats will be allocated from one of our other complementary practice areas. On the job training is actively supported by a carefully tailored education program.
Successful candidates will have a strong academic record and be motivated to work hard in a professional, friendly and entrepreneurial team.
The first stage of the application process involves an online application as well as uploading a CV and cover letter. Each year Kirkland receives around 1,000 applications for up to 20 training contract places. Following a video interview stage, the firm runs assessment days in late January and early February. The final stage of the recruitment process is an interview with at least two partners.
Apply online by 31 December 2023 for a training contract beginning in August 2026.
Getting first-hand insights into what it is like to be a trainee at Kirkland is one of the best things you can do. That's why we've got a number of our current and former trainees lined up to answer your questions. You can meet that at our open days which will take place in November 2023 and March 2024 (the March open day is specifically targeted at First-Year Law students).
Kirkland’s commitment to diversity has made the firm more vital, more competitive, and better able to serve a broad and varied client base in complex matters. Diversity at Kirkland transcends race, gender identity, gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Our lawyers boast rich and varied backgrounds, knowledge and skills, and we value and encourage diversity with respect to each individual’s work style, career path and experiences.
We work closely with diversity organisations such as Aspiring Solicitors and SEO and many of our current trainees and associates came through this route.
Rewards and Sponsorship
First year trainees receive a starting salary of £60,000, and this rises to £65,000 in the second year. We partner with The University of Law for the PGDL and SQE. Full sponsorship is provided for these courses plus a maintenance grant.