2022 Vault Rankings
- Real Estate#15
- New York#17
At a Glance
“Relationships with partners.”
“Sidley is a powerhouse. The lawyers and the work are all of the highest quality.”
“Extremely inclusive culture.”
“This job can be inherently stressful at times.”
“Could offer more perks.”
About Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley is a global powerhouse, with approximately 2,000 lawyers across 20 offices. The firm boasts a long list of marquee clients in a range of industries, including banking, energy, health care, insurance, life sciences, and technology. The firm’s work in complex transactional and litigation matters is bolstered by exceptional regulatory experience, and the firm features many former officials from governmental agencies in Europe, the U.S., and China. It is also where Barack and Michelle Obama met—a little glimpse into the caliber of lawyer the firm attracts.
Chicago & New York Powers Unite
Sidley 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. Brown & Wood launched in 1914 and grew 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.
An Elite Platform
Sidley has experience representing diverse clients—from Fortune 500 companies to startups. Among the firm’s top practices are banking and financial services, energy, environmental law, IP, restructuring, Supreme Court and appellate, and white collar defense.
Sidley continues to expand its private equity, M&A, and broader corporate capabilities across a variety of markets. Clients include public and private companies, as well as private equity funds and other financial sponsors, boards of directors, special committees, financial advisors, and other participants in corporate transactions. Sidley has also been focused on the SPAC market, using a multi-disciplinary approach to tackle multi-billion-dollar transactions. The firm partnered with Mergermarket in 2021 to present the market-leading study, Creative Deal Structures: Energizing the M&A Market Post-Crisis.
The firm is well known for its Supreme Court and Appellate practice, which is ranked among the top 20 in Vault’s Appellate Practice Area Ranking. Sidley lawyers have briefed more than 225 Supreme Court cases on the merits and argued more than 124 cases before SCOTUS. They have also had a hand in more than 400 cases in federal appellate courts since 2010. The firm needs three hands to count how many times it has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List.”
Impacting the World
Lawyers at Sidley take a break from billables to make a positive impact on the world. Through its robust pro bono program, the firm provides services to those who are unable to afford legal representation, working on impact immigration litigation, political asylum matters, and cases involving political unrest and racial injustice issues. The firm has also tackled matters relating to COVID-19, such as handling compassionate release cases, advising small businesses, and helping clients manufacture and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE). As part of its Social Responsibility program, the firm provides charitable donations to various organizations. In addition, lawyers and staff at the firm log hours volunteering. And the firm keeps an eye on growth, expanding its efforts each year. From mentoring students to supporting food pantries and shelters, the firm works to contribute to its local communities.
Sidley is committed to protecting the health and safety of our global workforce and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. We moved quickly to a remote work environment early on while continuing to meet the shifting needs of our clients. Despite our limitations, we offered a virtual 10-week virtual summer program in 2021 that balanced local office programming with national firm events and opportunities. From professional development seminars to weekly diversity and wellness sessions, our program was an enriching and rewarding experience for our 179 summer associates, who are returning for their final year of law school before joining us next year in a full-time capacity. Going forward, we will work with law school programming to interview accomplished students for our 2022 summer associate program.
News & Awards
- Sidley is representing Athene Holding in connection with its proposed merger with Apollo Global Management in an all-stock transaction creating a pro forma $29 billion market cap company, with Athene valued at approximately $11 billion.
- Sidley secured an important U.S. Supreme Court victory on behalf of Minerva Surgical, Inc. when the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the validity of the doctrine of assignor estoppel and clarified its proper limits. Under the Court’s new test, innovators will be free to challenge overbroad assertions of the scope of their assigned patents as they continue to bring improvements to the marketplace.
- A Sidley team is representing United Airlines in its agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic to purchase supersonic aircraft and work together on a sustainability initiative. The transaction received significant media interest, including as the lead story on a TODAY show broadcast on NBC.
- Sidley achieved a complete victory on behalf of Forterra in a multimillion dollar earnout arbitration arising from a $1.3 billion acquisition. The arbitration hearing was conducted entirely remotely and established important precedent regarding the role of an arbitrator in commercial disputes.
- Ranked in 106 practice areas, including 19 “Band 1” rankings; 216 Sidley lawyers across 90 practice areas garnered 269 rankings, including 39 “Band 1” rankings, 2021—Chambers USA
- 44 first-tier national rankings and “Law Firm of the Year” in Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) and Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law—2021 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Survey
- Among top 5 firms in 2021 edition of “BTI Client Service 30” list—BTI Consulting
- Perfect score on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (14th straight year) and designated a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” 2021—Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- 2020 Pro Bono Hot List—The National Law Journal
One South Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 853-7000
Management Committee Chair: Larry A. Barden
Firm Hiring Partners: Jack Yeh (Century City), Anthony J. Aiello (Chicago), John J. Kuster (NY), Colleen Lauerman (Washington, DC)
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
1.5K - 2K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
Summer Associate: $4,000/week
National Legal Recruiting Director
Recruiting contacts for specific offices can be found on the firm's website.
No. of U.S. Offices: 10
No. of International Offices: 10
Century City, CA
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC I Beijing
Banking and Financial Services
Energy & Infrastructure
Health Care & FDA
M&A and Private Equity
Regulatory & Enforcement
Tax, Employee Benefits, & Executive Compensation
*See firm website for a complete list of practice areas and industries.