Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic—Significant Achievements for 2021-22

The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab successfully completed in excess of one hundred projects during the 2021–2022 academic year in collaboration with a wide range of companies. These included A.T. Kearney, Accenture, Allstate, Barilla, GrubHub, IBM, Koch Industries, Kraft Heinz, Meijer, Nike, Sony Electronics, The 3M Company, Verizon, Victoria’s Secret, among many others. The lab also worked with various start-up companies both on an individual basis, and in connection with the Booth School of Business (through both the New Venture Challenge and the Social New Venture Challenge).

Additionally, the Lab engaged several new clients, including exciting early-stage ventures.

The Lab continued to enjoy great success due to our ambitious students collaborating with organizations to solve cutting-edge legal and business problems. During the past academic year, the Lab worked on many contract drafting projects, including the creation of several master service, employment, terms of use, and joint venture agreements. However, the topics of this year’s projects ranged as widely as advising clients on proper bathroom signage to the regulation of laser-communications satellites.

The Lab’s clients continued to face new challenges. Some of these were related to the continued ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, including emerging privacy regulations and flexible work arrangements, while other projects tackled newly emerging legal issues, such as the sale of alternative protein sources, regulation of cryptocurrency, and the usage of biometric data. All these projects show not just the flexibility of students in the face of novel legal questions, but also their ability to respond to new business opportunities.

In addition to the foregoing, the following is a representative sampling of the many projects undertaken by the Lab over the past academic year:

Policy Research

  • Drafted a memorandum advising a delivery service on cannabis and tobacco laws in different jurisdictions, and their relevance to their business
  • Drafted a memorandum for a materials company on complying with laws relating supply chain due diligence
  • Drafted a memorandum advising an electronics company on using AI responsibly and in a non-discriminatory fashion for decision making across several use cases

Contract Drafting

  • Drafted an authorization release for an injury compensation firm
  • Drafted a whistleblower policy for a publicly-traded multinational retailer
  • Drafted licensing, consulting, master service, and settlement agreements for various large corporations
  • Assisted numerous startup clients with drafting corporate bylaws, employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and other documents relating to launching a startup business

Beyond its substantive projects, the Lab continued to host its acclaimed Speaker Series program. The Speaker Series provides Lab students with an opportunity to hear from leading practitioners (at both law firms and corporations) on core areas of law (e.g., the fundamentals of a specific type of transaction), topical business-and-law issues, and the real-world concerns critical to young attorneys’ success (e.g., client relations and professional best practices). In addition to many other esteemed practitioners, the following industry leaders participated in the Speaker Series over this past academic year:

  • Sean Kramer, Dan Lewis, Jaime Madell, (Kirkland);
  • Brendan Heneghan (Kyndryl);
  • Eileen Kamerick (Board member of several NYSE listed companies);
  • Andrew Boutros (Dechert);
  • Forrest Deegan (Victoria’s Secret);
  • Jaime Ramirez (Milbank);
  • Paul Marchegiani (Warner Bros.)

The Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab continues to work with dozens of students each quarter. A brief accounting of former Corporate Lab student directors (available on the Corporate Lab’s website) shows graduates to be well represented among the world’s top law firms and companies. The Lab looks forward to continued success next year, and many more to come.