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Sidley Austin LLP

At a Glance


“The Built to Lead program, which offers training experiences at all levels (including career coaches and classes at Northwestern).”

“Generally, a very respectful partnership that flows downhill with senior and mid-level associates.”

“Culture of working hard but keeping work in perspective.”


“As with all BigLaw firms, the work ebbs and flows and, at times, can be overwhelming.”

“The hybrid model of three days in the office and two days remote is fine … But I would prefer to work from home more often.”

“Sidley is more financially conservative, so we do not get as many perks.”

About Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley is a global powerhouse, with over 2,300 lawyers across 21 offices. The firm boasts a long list of marquee clients in a range of industries, including energy, financial services, health care, insurance, life sciences, sports and media, 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 M&A and private equity, litigation, restructuring, life sciences, energy, environmental law, capital markets, Supreme Court and appellate, securities enforcement and regulatory, and white collar and government investigations.

Sidley continues to expand its private equity, M&A, and broader corporate capabilities across a variety of markets, recently opening an office in Miami and developing a strong practice in the Middle East. Clients include public and private companies, as well as private equity funds and other financial sponsors, boards of directors, special committees, financial advisers, and other participants in corporate transactions. In 2022, Sidley’s private equity team handled more than 340 private equity transactions worth $150 billion in deal value and was named by Law360 as the 2022 Private Equity Group of the Year.

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 240 Supreme Court cases on the merits and argued more than 129 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 inequality issues. The firm has also tackled pressing matters relating to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, restorative justice and reparations, sustainable development, veterans’ benefits, and compassionate release projects. As part of its Social Responsibility program, the firm provides charitable donations to various organizations. In addition, lawyers and staff at the firm log many 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.

News & Awards

  • Sidley represented Clearlake Capital in its $3.1 billion acquisition of Chelsea Football Club — regarded as one of the most significant sports deals in history.
  • Sidley prevailed in the District of New Mexico on behalf of Chevron Mining in a bench decision allocating at least $300 million of cleanup costs from a superfund site to the U.S. government.
  • Sidley secured three appellate victories on behalf of Auris Health against Intuitive Surgical relating to surgical robotics technology (Patent Impact Case of the Year — LMG Life Sciences Americas Awards 2022).
  • Sidley secured the return of Bruce’s Beach to a Black family nearly a century after it had been taken by the City of Manhattan Beach as a result of racial animus.
  • Received 113 practice rankings and 285 lawyer rankings, of which 20 practice rankings and 42 lawyer rankings were in “Band 1” (most Chambers rankings in Sidley’s history), 2022—Chambers USA
  • “Practice Group of the Year” in Private Equity and International Arbitration, 2022—Law360
  • Ranked in the Elite Category (Top 10 Firm) for Associate Satisfaction, Career Development, and Associate Retention in annual "Associate Satisfaction Survey," 2022—Chambers
  • “Innovation in Equity and Racial Justice” award, 2022—Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards
  • One of only three law firms to be named to “BTI Client Service 30” list for 22 consecutive years—BTI Consulting
Sidley Austin LLP

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

Firm Stats

Management Committee Chair: Yvette Ostolaza
Firm Hiring Partners: Kwaku Akowuah (Washington, DC), Sean Carney (Chicago), Kelly Dybala (Dallas), John Kuster (NY), and Jack Yeh (Century City)
Executive Committee Chair: Michael Schmidtberger
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
2K - 2.5K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
9th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,200/week

Employment Contact

Jenny Connelly
National Legal Recruiting Director
(312) 853-7495
Recruiting contacts for specific offices can be found at

No. of U.S. Offices: 11

No. of International Offices: 10

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA
Century City, CA
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Washington, D.C. |
Hong Kong

Major Departments

Capital Markets
Energy, Transportation and Infrastructure
Entertainment, Sports and Media
Financial Institutions
Global Finance
Health Care and FDA
Investment Funds
Life Sciences
M&A and Private Equity
Real Estate
Regulatory and Enforcement
White Collar and Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.