Real Work, Early On

Katherine’s Career Story

Katherine Canning

Partner Washington, D.C.
Katherine Canning
Kirkland is a teamwork-oriented place where everyone’s ideas are important and valued.


At Kirkland, people are excited about the cases they work on. That’s true for the partners, first-year associates and everyone involved in a case, which leads to a collaborative and fun culture. Kirkland is a teamwork-oriented place where everyone's ideas are important and valued.


I’ve enjoyed participating in Kirkland’s extensive set of training programs. In litigation, the signature program is the Kirkland Institute of Trial Advocacy (KITA), which involves deposition training and participation in a full trial conducted by associates with real witnesses, a real jury and with the partners acting as the judges. It’s a great way to learn the basics of how a trial works.

Kirkland gives us that training because they want associates to have trial experience early on in their career. As a result, the first time that you actually take a deposition or examine a witness, you feel so much more prepared because you’ve done it before in KITA.


I’ve had a lot of great opportunities at Kirkland, including taking depositions and handling hearings. Kirkland also does an excellent job of giving associates interaction with clients early on and I’ve been fortunate to get to work with a lot of great clients.

I’ve always appreciated Kirkland’s open assignment system because it gives you control over your career. It allows you to think about what kind of experiences you’d like to have, or substantively, what kind of cases you’d like to work on. I’ve appreciated having freedom in terms of what I’m working on next.


I’ve had great opportunities as a result of doing pro bono work. Pro bono work opens up a whole world of different cases and issues. I’ve had the chance to work on a Social Security case, an immigration case, and a death penalty habeas hearing. By working on pro bono cases, you can make a difference and do something meaningful, and also get substantive, interesting opportunities early in your career.

I’ve also been involved in the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). Having good mentors is so important to your development as an attorney. When I was new at the Firm, WLI was a great way to meet the other women in the office and learn about the Firm.