Real Work, Early On

Annie's Career Story

Annie Dreisbach

Associate Chicago
Annie Dreisbach
Kirkland takes as much pride in its attorneys’ wellbeing, positive attitudes and general kindness as it does in closing deals and winning trials.

Culture

Kirkland rewards people who work hard. But more than that, Kirkland rewards people who approach this job with humility and treat other people with respect. I'm proud to say I work at Kirkland because it carries a mark of excellence. People know we do important and innovative work. However, they often assume that means you have very little work-life balance, a lot of internal competition and an unhealthy work environment. But that’s not the case. Kirkland takes as much pride in its attorneys’ wellbeing, positive attitudes and general kindness as it does in closing deals or winning trials.

I love working at a place that recognizes the importance of both excellence and integrity. I think that's really important.

Training

Kirkland’s training prepares you for what you'll actually face in your career. For example, the restructuring group holds training where we split into teams and work with investment bankers to pitch a mock restructuring transaction to a group of people representing a company’s board of directors. It's a great opportunity to gain practical experience working with other attorneys and advisers to find solutions to complex legal issues in a “classroom” setting.

Involvement

I'm part of the Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI). WLI provides opportunities to connect with other attorneys throughout the Firm in a more social environment. It has been a great way to build relationships and develop a network with women whom otherwise I may not have met.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work pro bono at the Center for Disability and Elder Law. We address the needs of low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, often drafting powers of attorney and living wills. Right off the bat, you see the concrete impact legal work can have a client, which is really rewarding.

Opportunities

I was amazed at the opportunities I was given early in my career at Kirkland. On day one, I was challenged with finding solutions to complex and important legal issues. Associates are trusted with those types of responsibilities very early on.

A few months in, I was staffed on a deal with a small team: a share partner, a senior associate and me. I was able to work directly with the client, which surprised me because I was so new. Every step of the way, I was given a seat at the table. I never felt excluded.

Growth

During my time at Kirkland, I've become more confident and vocal in my opinions, because I feel that what I have to say is valued. This has not only helped me in my career but also in other aspects of my life.

The work is incredibly rewarding. I'm so happy to work at a place like Kirkland. The Firm also recognizes that we have a life outside of this job and gives us the opportunity to nurture that side of our lives.