Real Work, Early On

Jose’s Career Story

Jose Barragan-Monge

Associate Los Angeles – Century City
Jose Barragan-Monge
I’ve been able to support clients in applying for asylum and immigration relief, which is particularly significant to me as a child of immigrants.


The culture at Kirkland is very collaborative, yet allows associates complete autonomy to chart their own paths. You can choose whom you work for and how you do that work. The culture at Kirkland encourages you to challenge yourself from the first day you walk through the door and allows you to take on new responsibilities each day. At Kirkland, we’re all working toward the common goal of providing the absolute best legal services and producing unparalleled work product.

I’m proud to be a Kirkland attorney because of the reputation Kirkland has in the legal and business worlds. The Kirkland name signals that you’ve been trained by the best legal practitioners in the industry and that you’re capable of navigating even the most complex of transactions and legal issues.


The training you receive at Kirkland as a first-year associate helps create a strong foundation that you’re able to build on. The formal program is individually tailored to our specific areas of practice and the work style at Kirkland.

Beyond the formal training, some of the most valuable training comes from daily collaboration with other attorneys on your deal team. The informal training that happens as you’re moving through deals, asking questions and thinking critically about how to approach different legal issues is where the bulk of your learning happens.


Toward the end of my first year at Kirkland, I led a full deal from start to finish on my own. I was responsible for staffing the deal, leading the calls with the clients and opposing counsel, and thinking through the legal challenges and issues. It was a great opportunity and I was grateful to be able to do that so early on.

The open assignment system is one of the best things about Kirkland. It gives you a sense of ownership over your day-to-day work and allows you to collaborate with colleagues who have similar work styles. You can seek out clients that are working in fields of interest to you or working on the type of transactions in which you’d like to gain experience. The open assignment system helps foster long-lasting relationships with partners, other colleagues and clients.


One of Kirkland’s most significant initiatives is the pro bono program. It’s important to me because I’m able to use my training as an attorney to provide access to legal services for community members who, historically, face barriers to obtaining legal support. I’ve been able to support clients in applying for asylum and immigration relief, which is particularly significant to me as a child of immigrants. I’ve also had the ability to support transgender youth in obtaining formal changes to their legal names and their gender markers. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, that makes it even more meaningful. Kirkland encourages our participation in pro bono work and the Firm values that as much as they value our direct work with other clients.


What keeps me at Kirkland comes down to three things: the people, the training and the type of deals I’m able to work on. The attorneys at Kirkland are the best of the best, and I want to continue to learn from them. The clients we work with and the legal issues we advise them on are very stimulating and provide an exciting new challenge every day.