Real Work, Early On

Erika's Career Story

Erika López

Partner Chicago
Erika López
You feel that you’re in the middle of something that is booming and that you’re part of a community.

Culture

I first learned about Kirkland in undergrad when I was a research fellow for the American Bar Foundation in Chicago. Through Kirkland’s sponsorship of the program, I met a Kirkland transactional partner during a networking reception. I was immediately impressed by her. I thought, “This is an amazing woman working in corporate law,” and was inspired by her. The partner gave me her card, took me out to lunch, and we kept in touch.

During my law school years, the people at Kirkland continued to impress me. That feeling describes the culture here — Kirkland is just an impressive firm. The attorneys are sophisticated — from the junior associates to the most senior partners. You have something to learn from every single person here.

You feel that you’re in the middle of something that is booming and that you’re part of a community. That excitement motivates me, drives me forward.

Opportunities

If you want early client interaction, Kirkland is the place for that. There’s no rule that if you’re a first-year or second-year you can’t talk to the client yet. I started leading client calls my first year here. If you’re doing solid work and you’re eager, partners are happy to put you on the front lines.

Experience

Kirkland offers countless opportunities for substantive work. For example, when we represented the special committee of the board of directors of a global consumer products company, I was involved in the transaction from the initial pitch to the closing 18 months later. The $10 billion public merger was significant because everything we did for the deal was novel. I was able to observe, learn from, and assist senior partners analyzing issues to determine the best solution for situations where there was not already precedent. The clients were extremely pleased with our role in the outcome.

There is so much to be excited about here at Kirkland. Not only do we get the best deals, but we also get to play a significant role in every deal.

Involvement

The Firm invests a significant amount of resources in various initiatives that seek to empower associates and diverse attorneys. I love this about Kirkland.

I’m a coordinator for the Firm’s Latino(a) Affinity Group, a coordinator for our Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), and a member of the New York Associates’ Committee. Through the existence of these initiatives, I know the Firm is committed to the development and success of its associates as well as receptive to our feedback. I am also very passionate about and involved in the Firm’s diversity initiatives. During my time at Kirkland, I’ve made it a priority to help foster a community for our diverse attorneys. It is important for me to provide support to other diverse attorneys as they come up the ranks, just as others have done for me. It makes my work easier knowing that Kirkland is truly committed to these types of initiatives.

Growth

You grow so quickly professionally here. Recently, a private equity client asked me some complex questions regarding the sale of a public company to a private company. I have done so many public and private deals that I was able to answer all of the client’s questions on the spot. I didn’t have to research anything because I’ve built up this toolbox of experience over the years. It felt amazing. That type of growth is only possible at a place that gives you the right opportunities and exposure early on in your career.

I’ve been at Kirkland four years now and summered here as well. Someone recently asked me why I’ve stayed here so long, and the answer is simple: it is because I am proud to be at Kirkland. It is such a prestigious firm and a name that carries such weight in the legal world. I am proud to represent the Firm everywhere I go. My number one priority is growing and cultivating my skills, and I truly have that opportunity here.