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What was your route to the top? I joined Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago in 1994 as the second debt finance lawyer at the Firm, and built a practice focused on complex debt financing transactions for private equity groups, commercial lending institutions and major private and public companies. I was fortunate to work on interesting, challenging matters alongside partners including Jeff Hammes and Jamie Sprayregen, who were important sponsors throughout my career. I am proud of my contributions to the Debt Finance Practice Group, which now includes more than 200 incredibly talented lawyers across 13 of Kirkland’s offices around the world. I was elected partner in 1996 and joined the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee in 2010. In that role, I have contributed to the Firm’s strategic and business initiatives as a leader or a member on a number of committees of our firm. I am passionate about diversity and inclusion and have championed those causes within and outside of Kirkland for my entire career. I was a founding member of the Firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2003 and have been an active member of The Chicago Network, the Advisory Board of Kinzie Capital Partners and several philanthropic boards outside of Kirkland. I hope my efforts on initiatives such as WLI, our Diversity Integration Task Force, parental leave and re-entry policies, management and business development training for young lawyers, upward performance reviews, wellness and other programs will have a long-term, positive impact on lawyers at my Firm and throughout the profession.

James Schroeder

 

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