Sidley Austin LLP at a Glance


  • “People here are generally down-to-earth and respectful of others”
  • “No face time requirement”
  • “Family-friendly atmosphere”


  • “Billable hours requirement”
  • “Lack of early litigation experiences”
  • “Expectation of being available at all times”

About Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin 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 former Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, later shortened to just Sidley Austin. The firm has grown to nearly 2,000 attorneys in twenty offices around the world and has experience representing a wide scale 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 life sciences, international capital markets, and investment funds, as well as its litigation, regulatory, and M&A prowess.

Private 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, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Singapore. Since early 2016, the firm has added more than 20 lateral partners and 30 associates 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 $37 billion in disclosed deal value. The group's leadership on behalf of clients hasn't gone unnoticed, as its lawyers have been consistently ranked by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, Law360, Best Lawyers, and IFLR1000. Dan Clivner, co-leader of the firm's private equity practice, was also named to Law360's 2016 list of private equity MVPs.

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 75 since joining Sidley and another 9 from his previous gig as assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General (for a total of 84). Carter also has argued 125 cases in United States courts of appeals, including at least one in every Circuit in the country, and more than 30 in the Federal Circuit. 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: 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.


May 2017
Getting High Marks

Sidley once again was named a 2017 LearningElite organization by Chief Learning Officer magazine. This award recognizes organizations that employ exemplary workforce development strategies that deliver significant business results. 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. The firm ranked No. 22 out of 64 organizations on the 2017 list, placing it in the top-level Gold band.

February 2017
Cycle for Survival

Teams from six 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 funds for the organization in 2017, ranking the firm's team among the top national teams and the highest among teams of participating law firms.

December 2016
Equality Employer

Sidley received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the tenth straight year and was designated as a 2017 "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.

A Pro Bono Victory

A team of lawyers in Sidley's Los Angeles office secured a high-profile pro bono victory on behalf of seven death row prisoners in Arizona over the use of the controversial sedative midazolam in executions. After more than two years of litigation, the firm reached a settlement with the defendants guaranteeing that the Arizona Department of Corrections will never again carry out an execution using midazolam or any other drug in its class. This makes Arizona the first state in the nation to abandon the sedative in lethal injection executions.

November 2016
The Highest Honor

President Barack Obama awarded Newt Minow, a senior counsel in Sidley's Chicago office and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. The award is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Mr. Minow is the second lawyer from Sidley to receive this honor.

July 2016
A Great Place for Women

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 eighth time in honor of the firm's ongoing commitment to fostering the career development of women lawyers.

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Sidley Austin LLP

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Committe Chair: Carter G. Phillips
  • Management Committee Chair: Larry A. Barden
  • Firm Hiring Partners: Anthony J. Aiello (Chicago), Rebecca K. Wood (Washington, DC), Kelly L.C. Kriebs (Los Angeles), John J. Kuster (New York)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 1,905

  • Base Salary

    All Offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    98 out of 98 (2Ls) (2015)

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

Major Office Locations

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