Real Work, Early On

Kyle's Career Story

Kyle Elder

Partner Chicago
Kyle Elder Profile
Early in my career, I’ve led transactions valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. I thought it would be 10 to 15 years before I’d have the opportunity to do that. If you show you can handle it, the Firm lets you run with it.

Training

Kirkland University provided a solid base for me when I started out at the Firm, and even as you get more senior, the Firm holds regular training lunches on different topics that will help advance your knowledge of subjects that are useful for your career. But the most beneficial training at Kirkland comes from the attorneys who are always there to help you connect the dots between what you learn in training and what you learn informally on the job. When you’re on deals, even if it’s looking back after the dust has settled, it’s great to have other attorneys who are willing to take their time to reflect on the work and help you improve.

Opportunities

There’s a lot of prestige with the Kirkland reputation. You get so much responsibility early on. Very frequently, when I am on deals, I am negotiating with someone more senior on the other side. I have traveled with partners to pitch clients and to lead negotiation sessions on multiple transactions. It is exciting to have the opportunity to be in the room for those client interactions. I take pride in the responsibility I have been given at a more junior level at Kirkland — to have this experience so early is unique.

Experience

Early in my career, I’ve led transactions valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. I thought it would be 10 to 15 years before I’d have the opportunity to do that. If you show you can handle it, the Firm lets you run with it. That said, the more senior attorneys are always available to answer questions you might have or to simply provide support or a sounding board if you ever need it.

Involvement

Kirkland, in partnership with a private equity client located nearby, has set up a mentorship program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago. The program pairs high school students from a local charter school with Kirkland professionals for one-on-one mentoring at the Kirkland offices every other week during the school year. It is a rewarding experience and it is great that the Firm is willing to use its resources to make the program convenient and accessible to the associates.

Growth

I’ve spent my first five years since law school here. Kirkland has shaped who I am as a professional. I have grown through the oversight of the great partners at the Firm and the ability to gain early responsibility. I have never been tied down to just doing junior associate tasks. It is very much a place where whatever you can handle, they’ll let you handle. I have grown quickly here because of that.