Kirkland & Ellis announced today its participation with Lean In, an organization started by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, in conjunction with the publication of her book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.” Lean In is dedicated to fostering dialogue about the challenges women face at work and encouraging women to pursue their ambitions.
“Lean In is highlighting an important conversation about what we want our workplaces to look like and how they should function,” said Kirkland partner Linda K. Myers, a member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee and one of the founders of Kirkland’s global Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), a mentoring and professional development program for women attorneys. “We look forward to including the social networking, online learning and small peer group mentoring of Lean In with the Firm’s existing initiatives to connect with our male and female colleagues across the legal and business communities.”
Women attorneys at Kirkland have expressed interest in forming Lean In Circles, small groups of women peers that meet regularly to learn together and share experiences. The attorneys will run the Circles independently and may include colleagues from other law firms or professional contacts. Women attorneys throughout the Firm will also host a series of Lean In book club events.
Kirkland’s involvement with Lean In is an extension of the Women’s Leadership Initiative programming, as well as the Firm’s ongoing commitment to support its talented female professionals throughout their careers. The purpose of Kirkland’s WLI is to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of women attorneys at the Firm and the development of the Firm’s women attorneys into leaders in their practice groups, the Firm, the legal profession at large and the community. WLI sponsored approximately 80 local office programs in 2012, including monthly networking events, discussions, informational lunches and training sessions.
As part of WLI, Kirkland has instituted a formal mentoring program called “Mentoring Circles,” which are small groups of female senior partners, midlevel associates and junior associates that span practice groups. The Mentoring Circles allow women at various stages in their careers to mentor each other and form relationships.
Through Kirkland’s “ALLSA” initiative (outreach to “all” racial, ethnic, women’s and LGBT “student associations”), female attorneys in all of the Firm’s U.S. offices also partner with female and diverse law student associations at more than 15 law school campuses around the country. Kirkland attorneys serve as mentors as well as participate in a range of receptions, substantive events, informational sessions and career panels.
In 2012, Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers honored Kirkland on their 2012 list of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women. For six years in a row, Kirkland has earned a designation as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” by receiving a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index survey.
About Lean In
Sparked by Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” LeanIn.Org consists of three integrated programs: 1) Lean In Community brings women and men together to share stories and have daily conversations around topics that will help them achieve their goals; 2) Lean In Education offers access to free online lectures, produced in collaboration with the Clayman Institute for Gender Studies at Stanford University, on topics including creating successful teams, combating gender bias, negotiating and advocating for your ideas; and 3) Lean In Circles are small groups that meet monthly to learn together and share experiences in an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust. For more information, visit www.LeanIn.Org.
About Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kirkland & Ellis is a 1,600-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, corporate and tax, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.