Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab

Corporate Lab logo

Founded in 2009, the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab aims to provide students with “real-world” experience and context, to prepare them to become well-rounded legal practitioners with sound legal and business judgment, and to afford them with opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects with multinational companies. By working on actual projects and through classroom instruction, students in the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab learn practical legal and business skills and knowledge.

Outside of the classroom, the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab hosts an ongoing speaker series throughout the academic year, bringing to campus experienced practitioners, business leaders, and other esteemed guests to discuss topical business-and-law issues, the practical aspects of particular substantive areas of law, and other topics of interest to the speakers and students.  

Following the completion of the academic year, the Lab hosts its Transactional Challenge for rising second-year law students to provide exposure to transactional practice. The Challenge allows students to compete against each other in a series of “real world” transactional corporate exercises. The top participants are recognized for their accomplishments, and have an opportunity to network with senior in-house counsel and law firm partners, during a post-competition reception in the fall.

The Lab also convenes periodic conferences and symposia, joining outside experts from Corporate America, the Bar, the federal government, the judiciary, and the academy to address in true multidisciplinary manner numerous business and legal issues of the day—e.g., FCPA compliance, and corporate social responsibility.

The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab has attracted the participation of some of the Law School’s finest talent—those students at the top of their class soon to become associates at top law firms, clerks for judges at the federal appellate level, and future leaders of major corporations—and the legal departments at some of the world’s premier companies.

Corporate Lab meeting

Download biographies (PDF) of the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab faculty, students, and administrators.

David Zarfes

Clinical Professor of Law, Director of Lecturer Recruitment, Director of Corporate Lab Programs

Josh Avratin

Associate Clinical Professor of Law

Sean Z. Kramer

Lecturer in Law; corporate partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Jason Sussman

Special Advisor; Principal at The Pritzker Organization, L.L.C.

Following the completion of the academic year, the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab hosts its annual Transactional Challenge for rising second-year law students to provide exposure to transactional practice. The Challenge allows students to compete against each other in a series of “real world” transactional corporate exercises. The top participants are recognized for their accomplishments and have an opportunity to network with senior in-house counsel and law firm partners during a post-competition reception.

Working in the Law School’s Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab as a second-year student, Lauren Fladger, ’13, began to realize how her varied interests in intellectual property, business, and collaboration could be combined into a career that would fit her perfectly.

Partners and Projects
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The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab provides students with a forum for working closely with legal and business teams across a range of top-tier multinational companies, leading nonprofits, private equity sponsors, venture capital funds, and entrepreneurial startups.

The primary goal of the Lab is for students to learn practical legal skills, both substantively, in terms of the corporate "building blocks" necessary to understand complex transactions and agreements, and professionally, in terms of implementing such knowledge efficiently and meaningfully within the context of a wide array of careers as lawyers and business leaders.

This class mirrors the real world work experience of both litigators and corporate lawyers: students will receive hands-on substantive and client-development experience and will be expected to manage and meet expectations and deadlines while exercising a high level of professionalism.

Clients will include, among others, Accenture, Allstate, A.T. Kearney, Barilla, Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge startups (Spring Quarter), Grubhub, Honeywell, IBM, John Deere, Koch Industries, Microsoft, Nike, Owens Corning, 3M, Verizon Communications, and Victoria’s Secret.

Corporate Lab students will have the option to negotiate a simulated cross-border transaction opposite students of a leading foreign law school as part of the negotiation workshop component of the Corporate Lab (Autumn Quarter). Additionally, students will have the option (Winter Quarter) to work closely with small teams of Kirkland & Ellis attorneys on assignments (including for live clients), across practice groups, designed to teach strategic planning, drafting, negotiation, and business counseling skills.

Please note: (i) students are expected to remain in the Corporate Lab for a minimum of two consecutive quarters. (Reduced 2-credit option available with instructor permission.)

Alex Meade

Managing Student Director

Amanda Van Auken

Student Director

Bailey Swainston

Student Director

Carol Kim

Student Director

Ed Matin

Student Director

Hallie Saunders

Student Director

Josh Sullivan

Student Director

Sean Beecroft

Student Director

Matthew Reade

Managing Student Director

Jessica Lee

Managing Student Director

Rebecca Roman

Student Director

Tyler Lindley

Student Director

Ethan Ames

Student Director

Jake McGee

Student Director

Sean Kemp

Student Director

Seth Cohen

Managing Student Director

Alexander Keane

Managing Student Director

Conor Harvey

Student Director

Savannah West

Student Director

Eden Bernstein

Student Director