Sidley Austin LLP at a Glance


  • “Our well-known collegial culture”
  • “18 week paid maternity leave”
  • “World-class legal work”


  • “The Chicago-centric bureaucracy”
  • “Unpredictability of hours”
  • “IT and other ancillary services”

The Buzz

  • “Solid appellate practice”
  • “Family-friendly”
  • “Cutthroat”
  • “Cost-cutting mentality”

About Sidley Austin LLP

The firm's roots trace back to its formation in Chicago in 1866 and the firm is celebrating its 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 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 74 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 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: 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 Obama met then-junior associate Michelle Robinson, who served as his mentor, and who is now 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 FCC 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 DOJ. Additional returns included Peter Keisler, former Acting U.S. Attorney General 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 EPA.

Sidley continues to be a destination firm for lawyers coming out of government positions. In recent years 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 FDA; David Hoffman, the former Inspector General for the City of Chicago; Timothy Treanor, former Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the S.D.N.Y.; 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 SEC; David Rody, a former Unit Chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the S.D.N.Y; 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 FTC, Kenneth L. Glazer, a former Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition at the FTC and Susan L. Merrill, former head of enforcement at FINRA.


May 2016
How Educational!

Sidley Austin LLP was recognized by Chief Learning Officer magazine as a 2016 LearningElite organization and also received the Editor's Choice award for leadership commitment. Award judges commented that the firm has created a gold standard of professional development. Sidley has received this prestigious honor every year since its inception in 2011 and remains the only law firm to have earned this recognition.

April 2016
One Person, One Vote

Sidley Austin LLP submitted an amicus brief that helped persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to unanimously uphold the "one person, one-vote" principle that allows states to draw their legislative districts using total population rather than limiting apportionment to eligible voters. The Court ruled 8-0 in Evenwel v. Abbott that a state or locality can use total population counts for redistricting purposes. Sidley represented the Children's Defense Fund and its affiliates, and other children's advocacy groups, as amici curiae in support of the appellees in the pro bono case.

March 2016
One of the Elite

Sidley Austin LLP was ranked as a top firm in the BTI Brand Elite 2016: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms report. Firms included in this report are a result of unbiased, direct feedback from more than 600 in-depth interviews with corporate counsel at the world's largest organizations. Sidley ranked fifth out of 28 elite law firms who were recognized for their success as brand leaders.

Big gets Bigger

Sidley Austin LLP has made a strong play to expand its private equity and broader corporate capabilities across multiple markets including New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Singapore, and London. Sidley has brought in heavy hitters like Dan Clivner in Los Angeles amid a steady succession of other notable additions. In March 2016 the firm welcomed the latest wave of new arrivals, a group of six accomplished PE partners in London led by Erik Dahl and Christian Iwasko.

February 2016
Cycling for Survival

Teams from six Sidley Austin LLP 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 the organization in 2016, ranking among the top national teams and the highest among participating law firms.

November 2015
First-Tier Firm

Sidley Austin LLP has, for the sixth 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 2016 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 Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) and Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law 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.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

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 2016: 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
- Show Less + Show More