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.

Partners and Projects
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The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic provides students with a forum for working closely with legal and business teams at top-tier multinational companies, leading nonprofits, and smaller entrepreneurial startups. The primary goal of the Corporate 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. As a result, this class is likely to involve a significant commitment (with a substantial amount of work to be completed outside of class). Clients will include the following: Amazon, Baxter Healthcare, Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge (Spring Quarter), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, GE Healthcare, Honeywell, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, Northern Trust, Schreiber Foods, and Verizon Communications. Students will be required to sign nondisclosure agreements with participating clients. Corporate Lab students also will have the opportunity to negotiate a simulated transaction across the table from Northwestern Law students as part of the negotiation workshop component of the Corporate Lab (Autumn Quarter). Please note that (i) students are expected to remain in the Corporate Lab for a minimum of two consecutive quarters, (ii) students may not take the Corporate Lab for more than nine credits, (iii) LL.M. students may register by instructor permission only, and (iv) this offering will not count toward seminar restrictions. Student grades will be based upon participation in the classroom, appropriate attention to client services, collaborative efforts within a team environment, and quality of work product. For additional information, see the Corporate Lab website at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/corporatelab. 3 credits (Reduced 2-credit load with instructor permission.)

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