Sidley Austin LLP at a Glance


  • “Solid compensation”
  • “Great colleagues who truly watch your back”
  • “Family-friendly partners”


  • “Hours are really crazy”
  • “Big firm bureaucracy”
  • “Slow to innovate”

The Buzz

  • “Best in Chicago”
  • “Friendly”
  • “Nerdy”
  • “Stuffy”

About Sidley Austin LLP

Tracing its roots back to its formation in Chicago in 1866, with such historical clients as former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, then the widow of President Abraham Lincoln, and the Western Union Telegraph Company, 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 69 since joining Sidley and another 9 from his previous gig as assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General (for a total of 78). In April 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 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. 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 include 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 also has added to its ranks 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; Lisa Jones, who joined the firm from the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was an Assistant Section Chief to the Appellate Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division; 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.


March 2014

Going Global with Pro Bono
Sidley Austin LLP has been honored by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association as a recipient of its 2014 National Public Service Award. In selecting Sidley, Pro Bono Committee Chair William Woodward said that the firm stood out for its "innovative and timely" Africa-Asia Agricultural Enterprise Pro Bono Program. "The unique structure and the international scope of this project, in addition to the variety of other pro bono projects in which the firm participates, are an outstanding model that the Section is excited to recognize."

February 2014

Never Stop Improving
Sidley Austin LLP was named a LearningElite organization by Chief Learning Officer magazine for the fourth 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 2013

An Equality Employer
Sidley Austin LLP received a "perfect" 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign's 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) 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 2013

A First-Tier Firm 
Sidley Austin LLP has, for the fourth 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 2014 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 Corporate Law 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.

September 2013

Mission Accomplished for Microsoft
A team of Sidley Austin LLP lawyers, in partnership with Calfo Harrigan Leyh & Eakes LLP, represented Microsoft in a successful patent trial, Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola Inc., No. 2:10-cv-01823 (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington). A jury agreed with Microsoft's allegation that Motorola breached its commitments to standard setting organizations to license its standard essential patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

August 2013

A Great Place for Women
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.

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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 2014: 1,820

  • Employment Contact
    Kelly Morgan, Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (312) 853-7305
    E-mail: New York
    Lindsay Rosen, Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (212) 839-5349
    E-mail: Washington, DC
    Sarah Bergen, Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (202) 736-8903
    E-mail: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Palo Alto
    Susan McGrady, West Coast Legal Recruiting Director
    Phone: (213) 896-6855
    E-mail: Dallas
    Robin Look, Legal Recruiting Manager
    Phone: (214) 969-3591
    E-mail: Houston
    Lauren Millman, 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
    101 out of 105 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Accountants Liability
    Capital Markets
    Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation
    Corporate & Securities
    Emerging Companies and Venture Capital
    Employee Benefits
    Employment & Labor
    ERISA Ligation
    Financial Institutions
    Global Finance
    Government Strategies
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    International Trade
    Investment Funds & Products
    M & A
    Pharma/Life Sciences
    Privacy, Data Security and Information Law
    Private Equity
    Product Liability
    Project Finance and Infrastructure
    Real Estate
    Securities Litigation
    Securities Regulatory
    Technology & IP Transactions
    White Collar

Major Office Locations

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