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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
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.