Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

4 Star Rating     4 reviews 
Main Office:

One South Dearborn | Chicago | IL | 60603

Phone: 312-853-7000 | Fax: 312-853-7036

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Year of establishment 1866 Number of partners 668
Number of offices 22 Partner to associate ratio 0.70
Biggest office Chicago Percentage of women attorneys 37.10
Number of attorneys 1943 Percentage of minority attorneys 16.90
Number of associates 1022 Percentage of LGBT attorneys 3.00
Sidley Austin LLP
   4 reviews

Sidley Austin LLP Reviews

- Reviewed on February 10, 2021

Advice to law firm management: Groom your staff for those who want to move up.

Pros: Sidley treats their people well (family events, newly renovated offices, snacks!).

Cons: No upward mobility

Favorite Things About this Firm: Management, organization.

Career Opportunities:

Compensation & Benefits:

Work/Life Balance:

Senior Management:

Culture & Values:

Current or former employee?: Current Employee

Job type: Full time

Length of Employment: 10+ years

- Reviewed on December 16, 2017

Advice to law firm management: Make sure that people aren't getting overwhelmed with work as that will just lower the quality of their work in the future.

Pros: This firm seems to understand what people's wants and desires and does it's best to fulfill them to the best of their abilities.

Cons: The workload at this firm is much higher than most would expect and you are expected to keep up with it.

Current or former employee?: Current Employee


Sidley is a global law firm committed to providing excellent client service, fostering a culture of cooperation and mutual respect, and creating opportunities for lawyers of all backgrounds. With more than 1,700 lawyers in 18 offices around the world, talent and teamwork are central to Sidley’s successful results for clients in all types of legal matters, from complex transactions to “bet the company” litigation to cutting-edge regulatory issues.

Practice Areas

Sidley Austin LLP practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.

  • Accountants And Professional Liability
  • Antitrust
  • Competition
  • Banking And Financial Services
  • Communications Regulatory
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Consumer Class Actions
  • Corporate Governance And Executive Compensation
  • Corporate Reorganization And Bankruptcy
  • Emerging Companies And Venture Capital
  • Employee Benefits
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Erisa Litigation
  • Food
  • Drug And Medical Device Compliance And Enforcement
  • Drug And Medical Device Regulatory
  • Global Finance
  • Government Strategies
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Disputes
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • International Arbitration
  • International Trade
  • Investment Funds Advisers And Derivatives
  • Laboremployment And Immigration
  • M&A
  • Non Profit Institutions
  • Privacy Data Security And Information Law
  • Private Equity
  • Products Liability
  • Project Finance And Infrastructure
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Securities
  • Securities & Derivatives Enforcement And Regulatory
  • Securities And Shareholder Litigation
  • Supreme Court And Appellate
  • Tax
  • Tax Controversy
  • Technology & Ip Transactions
  • Transportation
  • Trusts And Estates
  • White Collar: Government Litigation & Investigations

Hiring Criteria

Sidley Austin LLP follows the set of hiring criteria outlined below.

Sidley Austin being a top-level Am Law 100 law firm sets a high standard for its associates and most of them are hired from the top 14 law schools (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). The firm is not a regular visitor to career fairs, with only two visits to job fairs made in 2011.

Most of the campus recruiting is done in these schools:

Chicago-Kent College of Law
DePaul University College of Law
Duke University School of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Harvard Law School
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
New York University School of Law
Stanford Law School
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law
University of Chicago Law School
University of Illinois College of Law
University of Iowa College of Law
University of Miami School of Law
University of Michigan Law School
University of Minnesota Law School
University of Notre Dame Law School
University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Virginia School of Law
University of Wisconsin Law School
Vanderbilt University Law School
Washington University School of Law
Yale Law School

Pro bono

Sidley Austin's lawyers have won many awards for their pro bono work as has the firm itself. The firm urges its attorneys to do at least 60 hours of pro bono work and even counts up to 200 pro bono hours towards the attorney's bonus consideration, on the condition that the attorney has done 1,800 hours of billable work. The firm has set a goal for itself to devote three percent of its billing hours every year to pro bono work.

In 2011, attorneys at Sidley Austin, along with other legal staff at the firm, did almost 100,000 hours of pro bono work.

The firm is especially active in the civil rights area in its pro bono work. It has fought several cases before the Supreme Court through its Appellate practice group. One of the more recent cases was the Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action at University of Michigan's law school.

The firm offers its associates a fellowship program through which they can work at nonprofits in the community before they start working for the firm. The firm's NY office even allows its associates to take up this offer while working at the firm. The firm pays the associate a fellowship stipend or pays the salary of the fellows so that they can work at the chosen nonprofit for 10 weeks.

Notable cases

  • Sidley Austin's appellate group has argued many landmark cases before the Supreme Court. Some of these are:
  • U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton
  • Missouri v. Jenkins
  • United States v. Lopez.

Sidley Austin LLP Awards and Recognitions

Sidley Austin has received 56 first-tier national rankings in the U.S. News- Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" survey in the 2011-2012 survey, more than any other law firm.

The law firm has been awarded the "Best International Firm for Talent Management" by Euromoney Legal Media Group in its inaugural Americas Women in Business Law Awards.

Sidley Austin will be receiving the 2012 Access to Justice Award at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California' 18th Annual Law Luncheon on June 8.

Sidley Austin has been named the "Best Onshore Law Firm - Client Service" at the HFM Week European Hedge Fund Services Awards 2012.


One-fifth of the firm's partners are women and almost half the associates are women. The firm has a very active approach towards promoting diversity in its ranks and has been recognized for its efforts by the legal community repeatedly over the years. The firm has a Diversity Committee which works to address a wide variety of inclusion and diversity issues.

Summer associate program

Sidley Austin runs a 10-week summer program in its U.S. offices. Students are expected to complete on an average 11 to 15 assignments and are expected to do six hours of billable activity every day. Even though the legal sector was hit by the general recession, Sidley Austin managed to offer its entire summer class of 2010 fulltime job offers. In 2011, the firm also doubled its intake of its summer class bringing it closer to its pre-recession number.

In 2012, the firm was paying its summer associates $3,100 per week in compensation.

Working for the Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin has always carefully nurtured a collegiate environment where firm lawyers feel


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