Kirkland Tilts ‘Balance’ Video Off Site

It’s not exactly selling ice to eskimos. But marketing Am Law 100 firms to law students is a tricky proposition: You want to persuade top students that your firm is less of a slave ship than all the others, but no so much less that you end up with a class full of slackers who quit within the year.

We’ll call it the work/life balance beam. Because it’s pretty easy to fall off.

Take Kirkland & Ellis. When The American Lawyer put out the results of its annual associate survey this month, Kirkland & Ellis was on the mat (ranked 158th out of 175 firms in overall associate satisfaction).

One anonymous Kirkland associate, quoted high in the overview story, all but sobbed: “You are asking too much of too few. No one should make the money you make on the backs of people working around the clock. Take fewer cases, hire more people.”

OK, so Kirkland’s a slave ship. But it’s not like it didn’t try to warn you. Earlier this year, the firm posted a testimonial called “On the Work/Life Balance,” in which three lawyers talk about a life sentence — er, life — at Kirkland.

The video made the rounds earlier this year, and the firm removed it from its site — but Google cache is your friend. You can find the video at this link (click on “work-life balance”) at least until Kirkland’s webfolk remove the whole thing from their servers, any minute now. (If we find out some enterprising soul has YouTubed it, we’ll let you know.)

First we hear from Aaron Charfoos, a fourth-year associate in the Chicago office, who says remote access helps him lead a balanced life:

Kirkland still -- Charfoos

“It’s really nice. I have sort of a natural lull at the end of the day. So I fill my day as much as possible, I go home, I have dinner with my family, and I start working again in the evenings as necessary.”

Another affiant, Robert Davis III, says, haltingly, “If you make the extra effort to try and balance, you can, on balance, do so.”

Kirkland still -- Davis3

The last, Anita Schick, says, “I’m doing great work, and so when I’m away from my husband and I’m away from my children, the work is fulfilling. Conversely, when things slow down at work, I’m home, I’m not at the office. And so on balance, I think my life remains in balance.”

Kirkland still -- Schiff

Or maybe not. Sometime in the last month, the firm took down the page linking to the “Balance” testimonial, though it left the other four testimonials (which aren’t nearly as entertaining).

Maybe that’s because Davis, a seventh-year whose Martindale listing says he made partner at Kirkland, is no longer listed on the firm’s Web site. And Schick, also a seventh-year, now works at Holland & Knight.

Or maybe the “testimonial” was just attracting too many 60-hours-a-week slackers.

Greg Mitchell


One Response to “Kirkland Tilts ‘Balance’ Video Off Site”

  1. LOSer Says:

    I You-tubed it, just in case:

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