Real Work, Early On

Kari’s Career Story

Kari Noborikawa

Associate Washington, D.C.
Kari Noborikawa
I was able to go to trial within my first year, and it was the best experience I could have asked for.


Kirkland invests substantial resources in its training programs. There’s a cultural understanding of the importance of learning here. The Firm’s commitment to continually evolving and improving its training programs is impressive.


Right out of the gate, Kirkland gives you all the opportunities in the world to pursue the career you want. That appealed to me when I was going through the recruiting process. Coming out of law school, I knew I wanted to go into litigation. Kirkland was the perfect fit because it has a true general litigation practice where you can work on contract cases, securities cases, product liability cases and an incredible range of pro bono cases.

You have the freedom and the opportunities to find the type of work that you’re interested in pursuing. I was able to go to trial within my first year, and it was the best experience I could have asked for.


The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) has been important to me. From day one, I’ve had an amazing network of female attorneys who are more than willing to meet me for coffee, talk about what I’m interested in and get to know me personally. It’s provided a sense of community.

In law school, as a 1L Diversity Scholar for Kirkland, I went to New York for a conference focused on diversity in the legal profession, which gave me opportunities to speak to diverse individuals who have navigated that path. That was a significant factor in my decision to come to Kirkland. I’m passionate about the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and its work on recruiting.


I’m proud of our commitment to pro bono. There are so many interesting, intellectually stimulating pro bono opportunities. I was a member of a team that represented a Texas death row inmate in his state habeas evidentiary hearing. I was able to meet with our client in person when he was in prison in Texas.

I did not expect to do that type of work in my first year at Kirkland. It was not only a great learning opportunity to work with a great team of seasoned lawyers — it was also the most rewarding thing I’ve done at the Firm.


As I’ve taken on certain roles and done the work, I’ve been given even better and more substantive opportunities. It comes down to being vocal about your interests. The Firm will help you find those opportunities.

I wanted to get more substantive writing experience and mentioned this to a partner, who then referred me to another partner for a pro bono matter involving an appellate brief. There’s much to be said for taking initiative. If you do good work for people, they will look out for you and make sure you get the opportunities you’re looking for.