Sidley Austin LLP at a Glance


  • “Collegial environment”
  • “Good work-life balance”
  • “Approachable partners”


  • “Disappointing bonuses this year”
  • “Opaque decision-making”
  • “Little workflow management”

The Buzz

  • “Obama”
  • “Excellent EU/trade practice”
  • “Big in Chicago”
  • “Serious”

About Sidley Austin LLP

The firm's roots trace back to its formation in Chicago in 1866 and the firm is preparing for 150th anniversary. Historical clients included former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, then the widow of President Abraham Lincoln, and the Western Union Telegraph Company (which developed into AT&T), Sidley Austin LLP now has offices in key commercial, financial and regulatory centers of the world and experience representing a wide scale of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to startups, in myriad industries. The firm is known for its experience in life sciences, international capital markets and investment funds, as well as its litigation, regulatory and M&A prowess. While many firms boast the oft-touted buzzword of "global," Sidley prides itself on having "seamlessly connected" lawyers on four continents. Sidley is also one of the few U.S. law firms to have maintained a continuous presence in Asia for three decades. Beyond its reserve of in-house talent and its legal coups, the firm is committed to maintaining a culture of collaboration and teamwork.

Prized Partner

There must be some kind of rule that any discussion of Sidley's Executive Committee Chair Carter Phillips must lead with his impressive number of Supreme Court appearances-he has had 71 since joining Sidley and another 9 from his previous gig as assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General (for a total of 80). Carter also has argued more than 100 cases in United States courts of appeals, including at least one in every Circuit in the country, and more than 25 in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Regularly recognized-seven years running-by Chambers USA with for its highest level of rankings in Appellate Law (Nationwide), in 2013. The National Law Journal named him one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," and the National Chamber Litigation Center gave him its first Lewis F. Powell Award for Business Advocacy.

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: President Barack Obama worked at the firm as a summer associate while in law school. Make that two unique feathers-while at Sidley, President Obama met then-junior associate Michelle Robinson, who served as his mentor, and who is better known now as First Lady Michelle Obama.

Other exports to Washington include Solicitor General Rex Lee; his son Senator Mike Lee (Utah); and David Tatel, a judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. But Sidley's relationship with the federal government hasn't been a one-way street. Newton Minow returned after serving as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President Kennedy. In recent years, Gary Cohen returned to the firm after a year working with the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, as did Joseph Guerra after a two-year position with the Department of Justice. Additional returns included Peter Keisler, former Acting Attorney General of the United States and nominee to the DC Circuit; Richard Klingler, former Counsel to the National Security Council; James Stansel, former General Counsel to the Department of Health and Human Services; and Roger Martella, former General Counsel to the Environmental Protection Agency .

Sidley continues to be a destination firm for lawyers coming out of government positions. In the past year the firm's Washington, DC office has welcomed: James Cole directly from the U.S. Department of Justice where he served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States; Geoffrey Aronow directly from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission where he served as general counsel and International Affairs chief counsel (he also previously served as director of the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission); Cameron Kerry directly from the U.S. Department of Commerce where he served as the General Counsel and Acting Secretary; and Maria Early directly from the Office of Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she served as enforcement counsel. The DC office also welcomed back Virginia Seitz from the U.S. Department of Justice where she served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. The New York office welcomed George Madison directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he served as the General Counsel, and welcomed back Former Delaware Supreme Court Justice Jack Jacobs. Additionally, the firm welcomed back Peter Huston to the San Francisco office directly from the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, where he served as assistant chief in the San Francisco office; and Jacques Bourgeois to the Brussels office directly from the European Commission, where he served as Chairman of the Competition Commission.

They join the ranks of former government officials from the recent past, including: Jeffrey Senger, former Deputy Chief Counsel to the Food and Drug Administration; David Hoffman, the former Inspector General for the City of Chicago; Timothy Treanor, former Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Unit in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York; Congressman Rick Boucher, who joined Sidley's Washington, DC office to lead its Government Strategies practice; James Brigagliano, former Deputy Director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the Securities and Exchange Commission; David Rody, a former Unit Chief of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York; William McConagha, who spent more than 17 years in high-level positions with the FDA; and, most recently, William Blumenthal, a former General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission, Kenneth L. Glazer, a former Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission and Susan L. Merrill, former head of enforcement at FINRA.


April 2015

Moving Forward
Sidley Austin LLP was named a LearningElite organization by Chief Learning Officer magazine for the fifth consecutive year. Sidley remains the only law firm to have earned the LearningElite recognition since the inception of the program. Organizations chosen for this honor employ exemplary workforce development strategies that positively impact the organization's business results.

December 2014

An Equality Employer
Sidley Austin LLP received a "perfect" 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign's 2015 Corporate Equality Index report. The CEI evaluates companies based on policies and programs that provide parity and support for their LGBT employees. Sidley was also named to the Human Rights Campaign's annual list of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality," a distinction awarded to businesses that score 100 percent on the CEI report. Sidley has received "perfect" 100 scores on each report since 2008.

November 2014

A First-Tier Firm
Sidley Austin LLP has, for the fifth year in a row and each year since the survey's inception, received more first-tier national rankings than any other U.S. law firm in the 2015 U.S. News-Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" survey. Sidley also received the U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year" recognition in the International Trade and Finance Law and Litigation-Securities categories. "Law Firm of the Year" designations are based on law firms' overall performance in a given practice area and represent a significant showing in the 2014 U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" survey research.

August 2014

What Glass Ceiling? 
Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC once again have named Sidley Austin LLP 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 policies; flexibility, leadership and advancement of women; and the development and retention of women lawyers. Sidley continues to offer programs and opportunities for the advancement of its talented women lawyers.

June 2014

Deep New York Roots
Sidley Austin LLP commemorated 100 years in New York by giving back to the community with a $1 million donation to benefit New York Cares and United Way of New York City. The firm has long provided leadership on the boards of both New York Cares and United Way of New York City, two of New York City's most important not-for-profit organizations. Each organization received $500,000.

May 2014

Don't Touch That Dial!
A team of Sidley Austin LLP lawyers secured an important victory for Universal Remote Control, Inc. in a patent infringement action started by Universal Electronics. Following a two-week trial in Santa Ana, California, the jury found in URC's favor on all claims and affirmative defenses, resulting in a decision of noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability. The court also granted Sidley a post-trial award of attorneys' fees for client URC.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Sidley Austin LLP

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Committe Chair: Carter G. Phillips
  • Management Committee Chair: Larry A. Barden
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 1,820

  • Employment Contact
    Jenny Connelly National Legal Recruiting Director Phone: (312) 853-7495   Chicago Kelly Morgan Legal Recruiting Manager Phone: (312) 853-7305   New York and Boston Lindsay Rosen, Legal Recruiting Manager Phone: (212) 839-5349   Washington, DC Sarah Bergen, Legal Recruiting Manager Phone: (202) 736-8903 Los Angeles, Century City, San Francisco and Palo Alto Susan McGrady West Coast Legal Recruiting Director Phone: (213) 896-6855   Dallas Robin Look Legal Recruiting Manager Phone: (214) 969-3591   Houston Amy Monroe Legal Recruiting Coordinator Phone: (713) 495-7621

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    8th year: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    104 out of 104 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Accountants and Professional Liability
    Supreme Court and Appellate
    Capital Markets
    Consumer Class Actions
    Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation
    Corporate & Securities
    Emerging Companies and Venture Capital
    Employee Benefits
    Employment & Labor
    ERISA Ligation
    Food, Drug and Medical Device Enforcement and Regulatory
    Banking and Financial Services
    Global Finance
    Government Strategies
    Insurance (including Insurance/Reinsurance Disputes)
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration (Commercial and Treaty)
    International Trade
    Investment Funds & Products
    M & A
    Pharma/Life Sciences
    Privacy, Data Security and Information Law
    Private Equity
    Products Liability
    Project Finance and Infrastructure
    Public Finance
    Real Estate
    Securities and Shareholder Litigation
    Securities & Derivatives Enforcement and Regulatory
    Tax (including Tax Controversy)
    Technology & IP Transactions
    White Collar
    Latin America
    Media and Entertainment

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL
  • Boston, MA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Century City, Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Geneva
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
- Show Less + Show More

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers