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Sidley Austin LLP

Our Survey Says

Vault Verdict 

With an extensive and impressive history, Sidley Austin is a desirable landing spot for associates. The firm considers applicants with top grades from top law schools, and also looks at candidates from strong regional schools. Cultural fit is important as well, as people care for each other and enjoy working together. The work environment is positive, especially as more people return to the office. Partners are kind and respectful toward associates and support their development through training and mentoring. Formal training is also emphasized through ongoing Zoom sessions and the firm’s Built to LeadSM program. Integration efforts make lateral hires feel like valued members of the team early on. All associates get to work on interesting and challenging projects, with work assigned based on abilities rather than class year. This merit-based assignment system means that proven associates who show enthusiasm perhaps get the better assignments. The firm generally requires associates to reach 2,000 hours; after 1,800 client-chargeable hours, the remaining hours can be made up of approved activities, including pro bono work, knowledge management activities, and observational trainings. Sidley Austin pays the market rate for salaries, and bonuses can be above average for high billers and high performers. Firm technology is functional, while the tech staff is very good and responsive. Work demands make it difficult for associates to take advantage of efforts aimed at improving physical and mental well-being. The pro bono team emphasizes and encourages pro bono work, and 200 hours a year can be credited toward bonus eligibility once associates reach the firm’s 1,800-hour chargeable requirement. The firm does well with diversity initiatives, including hiring, retention, and allowing up to 50 hours to be billed for related work. There are mixed feelings on the ability to make partner at Sidley Austin, but good prospects exist for internal promotion to counsel and external movement to in-house, government, or lateral positions.

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.