Sidley Austin LLP at a Glance


  • “Culture, culture, culture”
  • “Opportunities to engage in meaningful work”
  • “We are committed to training and development”


  • “Red tape to get certain things approved can be a real hassle”
  • “The distribution of work could be improved”
  • “Hours can be tough”

About Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley is one of the largest U.S. law firms and traces its roots back to the 1866 founding of predecessor firm Williams & Thompson in Chicago. Historical clients of the firm that later became known as Sidley & Austin include former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and the Western Union Telegraph Company, which developed into AT&T. 1914 marked the beginning of Brown & Wood, which would grow into a Wall Street institution. The modern firm was formed in 2001 when Sidley & Austin merged with Brown & Wood to become Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, later shortened to just Sidley Austin LLP. The firm has grown to more than 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices around the world and has experience representing a wide range of clients-from Fortune 500 companies to startups-in myriad industries on transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters spanning a range of legal areas. The firm is known for its experience in international capital markets, investment funds, and life sciences, as well as its litigation, regulatory, and M&A prowess.

Private Equity Prowess

In recent years, Sidley has made a strong play to expand its private equity and broader corporate capabilities across multiple markets, including New York, London, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Munich, and Singapore. Since early 2016, the firm has added more than 20 lateral partners and nearly 40 non-partners to its existing European private equity practice in London and Munich. Last year, the firm's global private equity practice advised clients on more than 100 private equity transactions, representing over $32 billion in disclosed deal value. The group's leadership on behalf of clients hasn't gone unnoticed, as its lawyers have been consistently recognized by Chambers USA, Law360, and Best Lawyers.

First-Rate Alumni

Sidley's alumni comprise a prestigious group of professionals who work for a wide array of prominent corporations, nonprofits and trade associations, as well as in the public sector, including: Kate Adams, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal and Global Security of Apple Inc.; Brad Berenson, General Counsel of TPG Holdings; Nicole Lazarre, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Urban League; Heidi Padawer Garfield, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Shutterstock, Inc.; Mike Lee, U.S. Senator for Utah; Claudia Teran, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Fox Sports Media Group; and Victor Marrero, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Summer Associate in Chief

While most firms pride themselves on having alumni move on to prestigious government posts, Sidley has a unique feather in its cap: former President Barack Obama worked at the firm as a summer associate while in law school. Make that two unique feathers-while at Sidley, the future president met then-junior associate Michelle Robinson, who served as his mentor, and who is now better known now as Michelle Obama.



March 2018

Sidley once again was named a 2018 LearningElite organization by Chief Learning Officer magazine. Sidley has received this prestigious honor every year since the award's inception in 2011 and remains the only law firm to have earned the LearningElite recognition. Earning this recognition demonstrates the firm's unwavering dedication to career-long learning and to enhancing the career satisfaction and ongoing development of its lawyers, including summer associates and associates.

March 2018

Teams from eight Sidley offices "joined the battle" to raise money for Cycle for Survival, an organization dedicated to funding research into treatment and cures for rare cancers. More than 100 Sidley lawyers, staff, firm clients and family members participated, riding stationary bikes to support those who have been affected by cancer. Together, Sidley's national team raised more than $100,000 for rare cancer research, benefitting Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

November 2017

Sidley received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the eleventh straight year and was designated as a 2018 "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality." The CEI is a national benchmarking survey and report that evaluates corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, internal education and public engagement with the LGBT community. Sidley has scored a perfect 100 percent on the CEI every year since 2008.

November 2017

Sidley received 48 first-tier national rankings, the most of any U.S. law firm, in the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" survey. Such recognition is a result of the firm's unwavering commitment to successfully representing clients on complex matters spanning a range of legal areas. The firm also earned the U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year" designation in the Litigation - Securities and Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law categories.

August 2017

Pro bono work has been deeply ingrained in Sidley's culture for 150 years. Across the firm's offices, lawyers and staff devoted more than 105,000 hours to pro bono projects in 2017. The firm considers every one of its pro bono matters important, whether they are of individual, local, national or global significance. In August, Sidley and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund successfully obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of the City of San Antonio to challenge Texas's legislation depriving local jurisdictions of their ability to adopt and implement policies that Texas deems to be sanctuary city policies.

August 2017

The BTI Law Firms with the Best Associates report named Sidley to its "Best Associates 2017" list of eight law firms whose associates demonstrated to clients the best practices regarding "client service and client-facing behavior." The report, from BTI Consulting Group, garnered objective feedback from clients on 300 law firms, out of which only eight were selected to be named to the Best Associates 2017 list.

July 2017

Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC once again named Sidley to their annual list of the "50 Best Law Firms for Women." Firms on this prestigious list are selected based on several factors, including family-friendly benefits and flexibility policies; a track record of leadership and advancement of women; and the retention of women lawyers. Sidley is pleased to have received this recognition for the ninth time in honor of the firm's ongoing commitment to retain and advance women lawyers through innovative career development and work-life flexibility initiatives.

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Sidley Austin LLP

One South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 853-7000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Management Committee Chair: Larry A. Barden
  • Firm Hiring Partners: Anthony J. Aiello (Chicago), Kelly L.C. Kriebs (LA), John J. Kuster (NY), Gordon D. Todd (Washington, DC)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2018: 2,008

  • Base Salary

    All Offices
    1st year: $190,000
    2nd year: $200,000
    3rd year: $220,000
    4th year: $255,000
    5th year: $280,000
    6th year: $305,000
    7th year: $325,000
    8th year: $340,000
    Summer associate: $3,700/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    136 out of 136 (2Ls) (2018)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Banking and Financial Services • Capital Markets • China Corporate & Finance • Corporate Reorganization • Energy & Infrastructure • Global Finance • Healthcare & FDA • Insurance • Investment Funds • IP Litigation • Litigation • M&A and Private Equity • Real Estate • Regulatory & Enforcement • Tax, Employee Benefits, & Executive Compensation

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL (HQ) • Boston, MA • Century City, CA • Dallas, TX • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Palo Alto, CA • San Francisco, CA • Washington, DC I Beijing • Brussels • Geneva • Hong Kong • London • Munich • Shanghai • Singapore • Sydney • Tokyo