Real Work, Early On

T.J.'s Career Story

T.J. McCarrick

Partner Washington, D.C.
T.J. McCarrick
Because of KITA… you will have had the chance to stand up, try some things, do some things well, fail at some things and learn from them before you're thrown into the arena.

Culture

What's always impressed me about Kirkland attorneys is their dedication to their craft and genuine passion for their work. It's easy to feed off that energy. At Kirkland, you're surrounded by incredibly talented, generous people who are interested in mentoring junior lawyers, getting them on their feet and getting them experience.

I love the people here. Some of my best friends are people I've met at Kirkland, including people who have been mentors for a very long time. I think it speaks to the place that Kirkland is. It's not hard or a conscious choice for me to be here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Training

Everyone knows and loves the Kirkland Institute of Trial Advocacy (KITA). It is a good way to teach associates the science of trial lawyering, to let them explore some of the more fun parts, which are finding your voice and figuring out the art.

Focusing on the motions, practice and discovery, and depositions is invaluable. Because of KITA, the first time you deliver an argument or conduct an examination won't be in the moment. It will be in a real sense, but you will have had the chance to stand up, try some things, do some things well, fail at some things, and learn from them before you're thrown into the arena.

Opportunities

If you work hard, you're going to get opportunities at Kirkland. We just finished a billion-dollar fraud arbitration, and three other associates and I had our first stand-up opportunities in that case. That’s a huge credit to the partnership, one, for focusing on developing the skills of junior attorneys but two, also having confidence in them.

Having my first stand-up opportunity as a cross examination of an expert in a billion-dollar case was an incredible opportunity and a memory I’ll treasure for the rest of my professional career.

Involvement

I love the LGBTQ+ initiatives. I also enjoy the summer program every year and not just because it's a great opportunity to attend fun social events — it's always interesting to meet and support a new group of incoming attorneys.

Experience

I distinctly remember in the summer of my first year, I got a call on a Monday night asking if I could fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico by that Wednesday. The government was bankrupt, and they were trying to figure out where to allocate funds. I never expected to be helping on that policy level. It was an incredible and unique opportunity.