Lateral Look: K&L Gates

K&L opens the gates to “high-level work on an international scale” for those in legal markets across the US.

K&L Gates Lateral Profile 2023

Among K&L’s sector priorities are healthcare, energy, manufacturing, life sciences, consumer products, financial services, technology and transportation and logistics. Have a look at the Chambers USA rankings to see where the firm truly excels.

K&L’s legacy of mergers has given it strongholds in Pittsburgh and Seattle, but associates can be found dotted around the firm’s 25 domestic offices, which span markets across the country.

View the firm’s Chambers USA rankings

Read the firm’s Inside View feature on junior associate life

Associates say…

“The firm seemed to have a much more balanced lifestyle, well as much as you can get at a firm. I also liked the pace of the training here. The mentorship is great too.”

“Ability to work across global offices; resources of big law firm with office size of small firm in New York, which provides many opportunities for hands-on experience early in career.”


Strategic Recruitment Focuses 2023

Asset management and investment funds careers

The view from the firm: Areas of focus include Broker-Dealer; Derivatives; Emerging Managers, Seed Investors, and GP Stakes; ERISA; ESG - Sustainable Investing; Exchange-Traded Products; Global Distribution; Global Financial Services Regulation; Hedge Funds; Institutional Investors; Investment Advisers; Investment Funds; Portfolio Management, Trading, and Compliance; Private Equity Funds; Real Estate Funds; US Registered Investment Companies; and UCITS.

Asset management and investment funds clients: Blackrock; BNY Mellon Investment Management; CVC Credit Partners

Recent highlight: Advises Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. on various US and global derivatives regulations and compliance with SEC regulations.

Global finance careers

The view from the firm: Areas of focus include Aviation Finance; Corporate and Acquisition Finance; Debt Capital Markets; Energy Finance; Fintech Lending; Islamic Finance; Public Finance; Rail Finance; Real Estate Finance; Restructuring & Insolvency; and Securitization and Structured Finance.

Global finance clients: FB Financial Corporation; Piper Sandler & Co.; Citizens Bancorp Investment

Recent highlight: Represented Reliant Bancorp in its merger with United Community Banks.

Corporate careers

The view from the firm: Areas of focus include Benefits and ESOPs; Data Protection, Privacy, and Security; Emerging Growth and Venture Capital; Estate Planning and Trusts & Estates; Executive Compensation; Mergers and Acquisitions; Private Equity Transactions; Public Companies; Tax; and Technology Transactions and Sourcing.

Corporate clients: Securitas AB; Hexagon; Beyond Yoga

Recent highlight: Represented Securitas AB in relation to its acquisition of Stanley Black & Decker's electronic security business, Stanley Security.

Intellectual property careers

The view from the firm: Areas of focus include Data Protection, Privacy, and Security; IP Litigation; IP Procurement and Portfolio Management; Pharma and BioPharma Litigation; Post-Grant Patents; and Technology Transactions and Sourcing.

IP clients: Realtek Semiconductor Corporation; Regents of the University of Minnesota; Revcontent

Recent highlight: Defending Luxshare, a manufacturer of technical products, in an International Trade Commission investigation regarding alleged patent infringements.


Career Development & the Path to Partnership



0.8 : 1


partners made in 2022

associate : partner gearing

of associates intend to make partner




felt partnership was achievable for attorneys with children felt partnership was achievable at the firm agreed partners
are nurturing
future leaders


The view from the firm: K&L Gates focuses on professional development globally and supports training in many ways including practice-specific substantive training and CLE, associate leadership development training, well-being and personal health, individual coaching, and more. Programming is developed through the lens of whole person development for lawyers and allied professionals.

Highlights include:

  •        Thrive First-Year Associate Curriculum: first-year associates participate in practice-specific programs in addition to session that expand their knowledge of the firm, its resources, and how a new associate can integrate into the firm and begin their professional journey as a lawyer.
  •        Practice Area programming: substantive sessions in practice areas allow trainings for lawyers, by lawyers - with the ability to ask questions, engage with the speakers, and follow-up for additional learning and mentorship.
  •        CLE - live and on-demand through our Global Online Learning Center
  •        Associate Leadership Development
  •        Splash Programming including high-impact experiential learning programs including the mini-MBA, business development and communication/executive presence skills
  •        New Partner Learning Series designed to provide all new partners with a year-long training series designed to expand their knowledge and skills including on topics like business development, D&I, leadership, communication, management, and continued professional growth at the firm.
  •        Health Matters - an initiative focused on the mental health and well-being of all K&L Gates personnel


Hours & Compensation





billable hours

average number of vacation days associates took in one year

average number of hours associates worked in one week




agreed they had a good work-life balance

said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile

found the bonus allocation fair and transparent


First year salaries

Charleston; Harrisburg; Nashville; Portland: $180,000

Wilmington: $185,000

Fort Worth; Kansas City; Newark; Raleigh; Research Triangle Park: $190,000

Austin; Charlotte; Pittsburgh; Seattle: $200,000

Miami: $205,000

Dallas; Houston: $210,000

Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; New York; Orange County; Palo Alto; San Francisco; Washington DC: $215,000


The view from the firm: 

Compensation: Within the boundaries of financial feasibility, associate compensation will be externally competitive, internally equitable, and based upon a comprehensive review of individual performance. The Firm’s salary program is designed to compensate associates fairly in each of our markets. In this merit-based system, a variety of factors determine an associate’s contribution.  Such factors considered are the quality and effort of an associate’s work, billable hours, pro bono, and diversity and inclusion among others.

Flexible Policy: K&L Gates supports all lawyers who seek flexibility with regard to the location from which they work; from occasional remote work to full-time remote work. K&L Gates expects that our lawyers demonstrate a commitment to our vibrant community, collaborative culture and exemplary client service. While flexibility concerning work location remains critical to our success, this flexibility must be balanced by our obligation to clients and to our Firm community and culture.

Balanced Hours: K&L Gates recognizes that many lawyers have personal needs and responsibilities outside the Firm that can materially affect their personal and professional energy and schedules. We strive to provide flexibility to support our lawyers, it is within this spirit that the Firm is reaffirming its commitment to the K&L Gates Balanced Hours (“BH”) program.


Is K&L Gates the right firm for you?




were happy in their current role

     agreed the work is interesting

The view from the firm: K&L Gates has built a workplace that is intrinsically diverse in experiences, perspectives, and ideas. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is the force that propels and supports our dedication to our people and our culture.  At K&L Gates, one of our core values is to create and sustain a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages satisfaction and productivity for all of our lawyers and professional staff.  It is our strategic priority to maintain an inclusive culture that enriches the experience of our lawyers, enabling them to better serve our clients.  

We asked survey respondents what stands out about the firm’s culture?

“Partners had families and lives outside of work, associates had good work life balance, partners trusted associates with interesting work.”

“Reasonable work/life balance, kind people, did not feel like I had to compete with others.”

“There are a large number of female partners, everyone at the firm seems to want decent work-life balance. Compensation is (barely) below market but I believe better balance more than makes up for this.”

“The firm's attorneys (both partners and associates) treat professional staff very well.  I also noticed that many partners are family-oriented people.”


Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

identify as ethnically diverse

Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration & Employment of the Government of The Gambia; Family of Glen Doherty, one of the former Navy SEALS killed in the 2012 attack in Benghazi; Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI); K&L Gates for Equal Justice; K&L Gates Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contact: Catherine Clement, director – legal recruiting,