Real Work, Early On

Kristen’s Career Story

Kristen E. Molloy

Partner Chicago
Kristen Molloy
I’ve worked on deals as small as $2 million and as big as $10 billion. I appreciate that variety.


The open assignment system is a big part of Kirkland’s culture. Being able to say “yes” or “no” to deals and to proactively seek out opportunities you're interested in gives you autonomy over your career.


I've been involved in the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) since I started at the Firm and, within a month of joining, I was designated a co-chair of the WLI’s networking subcommittee and was in that role for five years. Part of the WLI’s mission involves mentoring. My role as co-chair of the networking subcommittee involved fostering connections generally, not just among women but among everybody at the Firm.

Beyond the WLI, I enjoy mentoring junior associates, both informally and formally — I currently have three first-year associate mentees through the formal mentorship program and the last few summers I served as a mentor to summer associates as well.


Kirkland provides leadership opportunities early on. By the end of my first year, I was able to manage the process for smaller deals and I was the point person for all of the emergence deliverables for a $4.5 billion bankruptcy financing.


I've worked on deals as small as $2 million and as big as $10 billion. I appreciate that variety. You get different experiences out of different types of deals. Kirkland’s commitment to giving early experience means that I had the opportunity as a junior associate to interact regularly with senior attorneys and earn responsibility.


It’s important to me that I learn, improve, gain new experiences and take on new roles. I have continued to do that every year I've been at Kirkland.

The best training I've had has been on the job, and working with senior attorneys who are open to teaching and answering questions has helped me improve. I've aimed to extend that approach to junior associates.