Founded in 2009, the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab (the “Lab”) provides students with “real-world” experience and context to prepare them to become well-rounded attorneys with sound knowledge and judgment.
Lab students undertake a wide variety of assignments from the legal and business teams of significant public corporations, many of which are household names. Through this work and through classroom instruction, students in the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab acquire the necessary legal and interpersonal skills and knowledge to excel in their future legal practice.
During the 2022-2023 academic year, Lab students successfully completed in excess of 130 projects for some 25 largely publicly traded companies across a wide range of legal disciplines, e.g., contract drafting and commercial transactions, labor and employment, intellectual property and copyright, artificial intelligence, and litigation risk assessment. Specific examples include the following:
- Memorandum for a global healthcare company addressing privacy concerns in connection with operation of a marketing sweepstakes;
- Guidance for a sports agency addressing an NFL player’s rights to his image and likeness under the NFLPA group licensing program;
- Detailed report to a national supermarket chain on the current regulatory landscape surrounding pharmacy benefits managers and the most significant pending litigation;
- Presentation to the board of directors of a Fortune 100 corporation on best practices to meet public disclosure requirements;
- Preparation of master service agreements, privacy policies, consulting agreements, and SaaS agreements;
- Drafting of a privacy statement consistent with California law for a leading consulting firm;
- Development of NDA agreements, referral agreements, and other transactional documents for a leading insurance company; and
- Presentation to the full Compliance team of a national retailer on lessons learned from three corporate scandals (Wells Fargo, US Soccer Federation, and General Motors), and prescriptive policy guidance resulting therefrom.
Included in the Lab’s client roster are the following:
- A.T. Kearney
- Koch Industries
- Kraft Heinz
- Meijer Groceries
- Owens Corning
- Ulta Beauty
- Victoria’s Secret
Joining the roster this past academic year were Jones Lang LaSalle (“JLL”) and The Motley Fool (“TMF”).
- JLL, a leader in global commercial real estate services, was founded in the United Kingdom, and maintains offices in 80 countries, thereby providing our students with exposure to legal transactions in the commercial real estate sector.
- TMF, a private financial and investing advice company, was founded in Alexandria, Virginia, and employs over 300 people worldwide. TMF provided students with exposure to complex financial and securities law assignments.
The Lab also worked with more than 25 entrepreneurs on an individual basis and through an ongoing collaboration with the Booth School’s New Venture Challenge and Social New Venture Challenge. Specific assignments included the following:
- Instruction to Booth students on options for entity formation, stock grants and options, and required organizational documents; and
- Preparation of employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, founders’ agreements, and other documents for launching a startup business.
Beyond the essential clinical training, the Lab hosts an ongoing speaker series throughout the academic year that brings to campus experienced practitioners, business leaders, and other esteemed guests to discuss topical business and legal issues, substantive areas of law, and other topics of interest to the speakers and students. Recent speakers have included senior executives from Amazon, Coinbase, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, and partners from Kirkland & Ellis, Cleary Gottlieb, Dechert, Morgan Lewis, and Sidley.
Other enrichment activities include twice-yearly cross-border negotiation training exercises with the law schools of Tel Aviv University and Reichman University.
The Lab is hoping to host a conference in the next academic year that will bring together Law faculty and industry leaders to discuss the intersection of artificial intelligence and law. This follows prior Lab conferences, viz.:
- Have US Laws and Regulations Kept Up with Market Forces? The New World of Securities, Financial Markets, and Regulation
- Are Markets Efficient? Legal Implications of Economic Theories of Market Behavior
- Competing Globally in the New Dodd-Frank Era: How Will U.S. Markets and Institutions Reinvent Themselves?
- FCPA Corporate Compliance Programs and Third-Party Vetting: Toward a Determination of Compliant Practices
- Supply Chain Integrity and Corporate Social Responsibility: A New Legal and Enforcement Landscape
- Data Privacy and Cybersecurity: A New Legal and Enforcement Landscape