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Kirkland Extends Offers to Summer Associates, Shortens Program

May 6, 2020, 4:00 PM

Kirkland & Ellis will provide job offers to summer associates graduating law school in 2021 while also taking its summer program “virtual” and cutting it down to two weeks due to coronavirus.

A Kirkland spokesperson confirmed the changes on Wednesday to the summer recruiting program at the firm, which will begin June 15. Kirkland, which brought in more than $4.1 billion in gross revenue in 2019 and ranked No. 1 on the latest AmLaw revenue rankings, follows other firms that have similarly revamped their summer programs and in some cases extended job offers.

The spokesperson said Kirkland will compensate its summer associates fully for the length of time they were originally scheduled to be at the firm over the summer. Kirkland has extended offers for rising 3Ls to join the firm following their graduation in the fall of 2021 and students graduating in 2022 have been invited to participate in the firm’s summer program next year.

Kirkland is also encouraging its summer associates to consider how they can give back to the community over the summer while prioritizing their health and safety, the spokesperson said.

Health and safety concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus have forced law firms to retool their summer associate programs, which serve as law students’ first introduction to life in Big Law.

Latham & Watkins confirmed on Monday that it would shift to an eight-week virtual program beginning June 1. The firm, which saw its revenue climb to over $3.7 billion in 2019, said that it would also guarantee full pay for its summer associates and will evaluate offers at the end of the summer.

Other law firms have chosen to go virtual as well like Baker Botts, Baker McKenzie, Davis Wright Tremaine, Fenwick & West, Goodwin Procter, and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Other firms have opted to scrap their summer programs entirely. Squire Patton Boggs announced last week that it would cancel its summer program, but would extend job offers to would-be summer associates.

Kirkland’s summer changes follow a major hiring announcement at the firm. On Tuesday, Kirkland said it had recruited Wachtell partner Edward Lee to its M&A practice in New York, a coup for Kirkland due to rarity of lateral partner exits from Wachtell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com

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