Press Release

Kirkland & Ellis Gives $7 Million Gift to the University of Chicago Law School

Kirkland & Ellis LLP and individual partners of that firm have pledged more than $7 million to fund intellectual programs at The University of Chicago Law School. In recognition of the gift, the top 5 percent of Chicago law students will be honored and known as Kirkland & Ellis Scholars.

The gift is likely  the largest given by any law firm to any law school. It is comprised of equal contributions from the firm and from partners in the firm who are graduates of the Law School. More than 10 percent of Kirkland & Ellis attorneys are Chicago graduates.

"The University of Chicago Law School and Kirkland & Ellis are, in an important sense, partners with values and attributes in common.  Each is known for its excellence and intellectual intensity," said Saul Levmore, Dean of the University of Chicago Law School. "This magnificent gift will enhance  a relationship that is already strong in both financial and intellectual terms. Moreover, I am confident that it will remind other friends and firms of the importance of this Law School and our current Centennial Capital Campaign."

"For many years, the University of Chicago Law School has been an important source of legal talent and leadership for Kirkland," said Emily Nicklin, a 1977 University of Chicago Law graduate and partner at the firm.  "We at Kirkland are pleased to have the opportunity to make this contribution to the Law School and its current campaign."

The $100 million Capital Campaign, currently past its halfway mark in time and gifts, has focused donors' sights on the need for student scholarships, support for public interest work and public policy initiatives, building revitalization, and faculty support. The Law School's campaign is part of the Chicago Initiative, the University of Chicago's $2 billion capital campaign.

The University of Chicago Law School is known for pioneering legal scholarship, with great and historic strengths in law and economics, criminal law, constitutional law, tax law and policy, international law, and administrative law.  It is also known for great teaching and for what has become a warm and collaborative learning environment. The law faculty is, on a per-person basis, easily the most cited law faculty in the world, and it has included Nobel Prize winners and other luminaries.  Its faculty and students have gone on to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Senate, as Attorney General (several times), and in many other important roles around the world. 

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a firm of 1,100 attorneys representing global clients in complex transactional, litigation, intellectual property, and restructuring matters with offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.