Colleagues for Life
At Kirkland & Ellis, we owe our success to our people — present and past — and are dedicated to remaining colleagues for life. Whether you retire from the Firm or leave as an associate, Kirkland appreciates your contribution and will continue to invest in your career.
A network is your strongest asset. The Kirkland & Ellis Alumni Engagement Program connects our esteemed alumni through the AlumniLink website, engaging networking and pro bono events, and life-long career support.
AlumniLink is a Kirkland exclusive site that provides our attorneys and alumni with resources at your fingertips. Benefits of AlumniLink include:
Alumni Events: Visit our video library
We know that not all attorneys follow the same path. The Kirkland CareerLink (KCL) program has been designed to aid our attorneys and alumni with confidential job search assistance and specific resources to help shape the direction of their careers. Benefits of CareerLink include:
Resume Review & Marketing Material
Exclusive Job Postings
Confidential Career Coaching: Contact a Career Coach
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Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Chief Administrative Officer and Member, Firm Executive Committee
There is modest — and there is truly modest. When you talk to Kirk Wickman, be prepared to hear a lot more about his family than his stellar career in law and business. That career has taken him from Kirkland associate to partner, to a series of general counsel positions at Aetna, Skandia and Morgan Stanley, and ultimately Chief Administrative Officer of employee-owned financial services powerhouse Angelo, Gordon & Co. in New York...Read More ...
When you ask Kirk how he came to be at Kirkland, he first gives you a two-word answer: "Dallin Oaks." "Dallin was first in his class at the University of Chicago Law School, clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren, joined Kirkland for a few years, then Dean of the University of Chicago Law School, President of Brigham Young University, Chairman of PBS, and an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A really impressive guy and a wonderful human being."
Once at Kirkland, Glen Hess and Carter Emerson "were my two go-to guys and great mentors." Glen Hess, Wickman says, "was the perfect example of a commercial lawyer. He wasn't a big fan of doing anything by form — he felt that form documents shut off the brain." From Carter Emerson, Wickman says he learned the ins-and-outs of private equity.
There were also fellow young Kirkland lawyers, who have stayed good friends and who influenced Wickman's career, Lance Balk, today the executive vice president and general counsel of Six Flags, for example, and Dan Yih, today the COO of Starwood Capital.
"I was very unique at Kirkland. I was married with two children when I joined the Firm. A different situation."
He had his priorities, beginning with family and church, where he has long been a bishop (or pastor), "doing weddings, funerals, and even marriage and financial counseling — which was very hard."
He and his wife Sheryle, who met as undergraduates at Dartmouth over 35 years ago, also have a lot to be proud of in their three sons, Tom, Nate and Forrest. Their eldest son, Thomas M. Wickman, is a history professor at Trinity College in Hartford. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard and is currently working on a book entitled Snowshoe Country: Indians, Colonists, and Winter Spaces of Power in the American Northeast. Middle son Nate, a Northwestern University grad, is an options trader on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (the CBOE). Youngest son Forrest, also a Northwestern grad, is a senior editor at Slate, where he both writes and edits the culture blog, "Brow Beat."
Kirk's views on Kirkland — "Kirkland was where I learned the practice of law, and I remain a huge fan of the firm."
The University of Chicago
Vice President and General Counsel
Kim Taylor is not someone who is afraid of change. Indeed, in a career of outstanding breadth and diversity, the one constant has been her willingness to face new challenges head on. From rising to be a top corporate partner at Kirkland's New York office, to a small practice in Cape Cod, and now as the General Counsel for the University of Chicago, Kim's career path may be unique, but her success has not been crafted alone. At each step, her career was also defined by the talented and dedicated colleagues that surrounded her...Read More ...
Starting at Kirkland — A Great Group of People
After nine years on the west coast at The University of California, Kim began her career in Kirkland's New York office. Although in her 18 years at Kirkland she would see the office grow to over 350 attorneys, Kim joined the New York office in 1993 as the lone transactional associate in her review class, in an office of only 40 lawyers. What Kim remembers is that the office was "full of great people — smart, driven, scrappy people — lawyers who worked hard and gave their clients excellent advice, many of whom became my close friends." Early on, she was given significant responsibility and was expected to work hard and perform at a top level. "I loved it," Kim reflects, "Kirkland was an incredible place to start my career."
Kim remembers starting out on Citicorp Venture Capital deals with Steve Zide, Eunu Chun and Kirk Radke. While at Kirkland, Kim had the opportunity to work with many lawyers across several offices: Josh Korff, Kevin Treesh, Steve Fraidin, David Fox, Yosef Riemer, Scott Price, Patrick Gallagher, Linda Myers, David Eaton, Mike Edsall, Adrian van Schie, Walt Lohmann, Jennifer Morgan, Jai Agrawal, Vicki Hood, Markus Bolsinger and Ashley Gregory. "Kirkland attorneys are smart, strategic and commercial. We worked hard and we had fun. There was never a time when I finished a deal and wished that I worked for the firm on the on other side."
Despite consistently adding attorneys, Kim was always impressed with how Kirkland was able to grow the firm without sacrificing the culture that makes it unique. "Kirkland is a place where the attorneys become advisors and partners with their clients. There are no 'backroom' lawyers at Kirkland."
True to a spirit that takes on challenges, in her time at Kirkland, Kim became an influential attorney and leader. Not only did she become an important mentor to tons of junior attorneys, she also served in significant leadership roles, leaving an indelible mark on Kirkland's culture. Kim's legacy as a leader is significant — she served as the hiring partner for the New York office, a member of the Associate Review Committee, a member of the management committee of the New York Office and a co-founder of Kirkland's Women's Leadership Initiative.
A Move to Cape Cod and a New Opportunity
In 2009, after nearly 20 years of a fast-paced practice, two growing children, and a husband with a demanding career of his own as the Publisher for Town & Country Magazine, Kim's family changed directions. After years of traveling to Cape Cod and having family in the area, the family made the jump full time to the small beach community. "It was quite the transition to go from New York to this small vacation community" Kim recalls. "But, it was an important thing for my family."
The move did not mean an end to Kim's career. Instead, she joined a small, but sophisticated, practice at the firm Hilton & Bishop P.C. Kim continued to work with many of her clients, primarily from New York, on smaller matters that didn't warrant New York's billing rates. In several instances, Kim coordinated closely with her colleagues from Kirkland.
A retired deal lawyer from Boston met Kim on the Cape and asked her to represent the world renowned Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole. Because of her deal background at Kirkland, the MBL asked Kim to operate as their in-house counsel as they went through the process of being acquired by the University of Chicago. Little did she know, the other side of the transaction foreshadowed a future opportunity. An opportunity that, once again, would demand Kim change directions and move her talents to a new organization.
The University of Chicago Comes Calling
In 2013, the University of Chicago began a search for a new General Counsel. Several months into the search the University reached out to Kim. The University was looking for someone who was not just an attorney, but could also act as a strategic advisor on a range of issues that spanned the University's international affiliations and government regulation of research, to student and medical privacy issues to environmental remediation and University litigation. Having seen her in action for the Marine Biological Laboratory, the University decided to call Kim.
At the University of Chicago, Kim has found a great fit. Advising on a range of issues, Kim says that she "draws on [her] time at Kirkland every single day." "At Kirkland I learned to parachute in to a particular situation and quickly get up to speed on the legal issues. I learned to collaborate with expert colleagues to assess the risks and put together a recommended plan for the client. I feel privileged to have worked with world class lawyers across broad range of fields."
Chicago is also an ideal home for her family. She and her husband and two children — now 13 and 11 — live in Hyde Park and the kids attend the Lab Schools. They all get to experience life in the University's community surrounded by new opportunities and new adventures.
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