Working At Sidley Austin

With nearly 2,000 lawyers working on diverse topics for clients ranging from days-old

startups to household-name multinationals, Sidley is a global powerhouse.Headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, London, Munich, Beijing, Houston, Palo Alto, Tokyo, and other major global business centers, the firm literally never closes.

Although it's a huge firm, Sidley's culture is less anonymous and markedly more collaborative -- even personal -- than you might expect from a big law firm (or a Big Law law firm). Sidley's in-house tagline is "talent, teamwork, results," and that's not just a neat phrase for a motivational poster. It actually distills the way the firm selects new hires and structures work. The core concept: find people with exceptional skills and knowledge and create ways for them to interlink -- not just in small groups but across offices.

All Over the Map

Sidley is a full-service law firm, meaning it covers any type of legal matter that a company would typically encounter. While the firm takes a "no boundaries" approach to knowledge sharing (see above), it does have 15 distinct groups, or global practice areas, that its lawyers work under, including: Banking and Financial Services, Capital Markets, Litigation, Energy and Infrastructure, M&A; and Private Equity, Intellectual Property Litigation, Real Estate, and Healthcare.

Of course, many matters require lawyers from several practice areas and those with regional experience to work together. Take, for example, a matter involving a Swiss pharmaceutical company, which alleges that an American company infringed on its intellectual property during an M&A; due diligence exercise. Because of Sidley's depth of talent and just sheer size, the firm prides itself on being able to seamlessly pull together a team of people with the right backgrounds for every facet of a matter -- in this case, a cross-border dispute involving M&A;, life sciences, and intellectual property rights -- while presenting a single "face" to the client.

An Advocate for Diversity

Diversity and inclusion are hallmarks of Sidley's company culture, and they're also key

parts of the global firm's hiring and retention practices.

Sidley's Diversity and Inclusion Committee is dedicated to increasing opportunities in the legal profession in general -- not just at Sidley -- for lawyers of all backgrounds, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identities, and expression or beliefs. Internally, the committee oversees mentorship and scholarship programs for current law students (part of the Pipeline Program), a mentorship program for new Sidley associates, and other initiatives intended to help lawyers from diverse backgrounds gain leadership roles.

Similarly, Sidley's Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women finds and implements strategies for retaining women lawyers and promoting them to positions of leadership within the firm, including as partners.

In a field that loves awards and rankings, it's no surprise that Sidley's diversity efforts have been recognized, too. In recent years, the firm has been named the "Most Inclusive Firm for Minority Women Lawyers" (from Chambers Women in Law Awards: USA) and listed among the "Best Law Firms for Diversity" (Vault) and as "A Top Law Firm for LGBTQ Equality" (Equality Illinois), among other accolades.

Sidley's Best Benefits

As you might expect from a top-tier law firm, Sidley's salaries and benefits packages are competitive with peers'. The firm offers high-quality, comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance policies, as well as generous life insurance, 401K, and paid parental leave options. Other benefits and perks, such as backup childcare, commuter-savings programs, gym reimbursements, and health and wellness programs, are intended to ease work-life balance.

Some Sidley employees may find that the biggest "life benefits" come from the firm's strong Alumni Network and Corporate Responsibility programs, however. Both offer long-lasting opportunities to make connections in the legal profession and take on meaningful roles that extend past your job title, such as taking a leadership role in a cause or community that's important to you by serving on the board of a nonprofit.

If you work at Sidley, there's a good chance you'll become involved in some way with pro bono work; it's fully integrated into the life of the firm. In 2019 alone, Sidley lawyers and staff dedicated more than 145,000 hours to pro bono projects in such areas as civil liberties, constitutional rights, and human rights.

Sidley lawyers advocated in court for asylum seekers, veterans denied benefits, and people who were wrongly incarcerated, while also performing nuts-and-bolts legal work for businesses that contribute to the greater good, such as a startup in Africa that uses tech to more efficiently distribute medicine and a company in Nicaragua that connects small family farmers with the global supply chain.

Attracting Talent and Cultivating From Within

According to Sidley, the firm hires most of its entry-level associates through its summer associate program, but third-year law students and recent law school graduates are also welcome to apply.

The firm is also open to reviewing applications from exceptional candidates even if no active searches are posted, and it makes "lateral hires"--meaning, it brings in senior lawyers from other firms.

Like any law firm, Sidley also has a diverse staff with varied skill sets, including professionals who work in operations, marketing, HR, or IT, among other areas, with roles that include business analyst, legal secretary, librarian, graphic designer, and billing specialist.

Once you're at Sidley, the expectation is that you'll stay and grow. Understandable for a firm with a more-than-150-year history, Sidley has a strong culture of training and professional development--in stark contrast to the "revolving door" atmosphere that's become increasingly common in the workforce and even at some law firms.

Sidley lawyers and staff are supported through one-on-one mentoring, proactive diversity and inclusion programs, and other efforts intended to remove barriers (such as OnRamp, a program for people who have gaps in their resumes after taking off time to raise a family or pursue other responsibilities).

The firm's professional-development curriculum for young lawyers is especially strong. Sidley associates are encouraged (and in some cases required) to build on their law degree by taking advantage of the firm's continuing education and career-development resources. Frequently recognized as a LearningElite company, Sidley offers:

  • Structured learning-by-observation opportunities;
  • Legal training by practice area;
  • Workshops and one-on-one coaching on critical skills (such as writing, professional presence and presentation, and business development);
  • Finance and accounting training;
  • Management and leadership workshops
  • Many other resources
  • If you think that Sidley's culture is a good fit for you, explore the opportunities waiting for

    you at this global firm.

    The Organization’s Mission

    To provide the highest quality of professional service to our clients; to adhere to the highest ethical standards; to offer our skills and talents for the betterment of the legal profession and the diverse communities in which we practice; to maintain a culture of collegiality in which we help each other to best serve our clients, our profession and our communities; and to develop, support and encourage new generations of lawyers to carry on our commitment to excellence, integrity, diversity and collegiality.

    Perks of Working at Sidley Austin

    Making good money is a perk of working at Sidley. This law firm also gives employees excellent learning opportunities.







    Founded in



    Chicago, IL


    Organization Type


    Is This Your Company?

    The Team At Sidley Austin

    Key People
    • Scott Kilburg (Chief Marketing Officer)
    • Kyle Heath (Director, Marketing Communications)
    • Kayla Sierra (Marketing Coordinator)
    • James Bradley (Partner)
    • Michael Prapuolenis (Chief Human Resources Officer)
    • Emily Bottkol (Marketing Communications Manager)
    The Inside Scoop
    Sidley is a diverse group of legal professionals who are committed to providing clients with exceptional services. This reliable firm has been offering quality legal solutions for more than 150 years now.

    The Culture At Sidley Austin

    Information provided by the company
    A self-starter who desires to show ownership and commitment to the job.

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    What do you like about working for Sidley Austin?

    Sidley Austin Rankings

    Sidley Austin is ranked #11 on the Best Companies to Work For in America list. Zippia's Best Places to Work lists provide unbiased, data-based evaluations of companies. Rankings are based on government and proprietary data on salaries, company financial health, and employee diversity.

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    Sidley Austin Salaries

    How much does Sidley Austin pay?
    The national average salary for a Sidley Austin employee in the United States is $131,316 per year. Employees in the top 10 percent can make over $223,000 per year, while employees at the bottom 10 percent earn less than $77,000 per year.
    Salary Score

    Sidley Austin Salaries By Job Title

    While Sidley Austin employees earn an average yearly salary of $131,316, different roles can command different wages. Some of the job titles with high salaries at Sidley Austin are Partner, Associate Attorney, Manager, Project Management Office, and Lawyer. A worker with the title Partner salary at Sidley Austin can earn an average yearly salary of $210,423. Other roles at Sidley Austin include Records Clerk and Billing Specialist. A Records Clerk at Sidley Austin earns an average yearly salary of $43,535.

    Sidley Austin Careers

    On average, employees at Sidley Austin stay with the company for 3.3 years. Employees most commonly join Sidley Austin after leaving Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. When they leave Sidley Austin, they most frequently get their next job at Robert Half International.

    Average Length of Employment

    Sidley Austin

    3.3 years
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    IBM7.9 %
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    Sidley Austin Financial Performance

    Performance Score
    We calculated the performance score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including revenue, longevity, and stock market performance.


    > $1B

    Founded in


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    Sidley Austin Competitors

    Some of the competitors of Sidley Austin are Shearman & Sterling, White & Case, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates. The average salaries at Shearman & Sterling rank the highest, with their employees earning an average salary of $148,102 per year. The salaries at White & Case average $147,029 per year, and the salaries at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates come in at $145,600 per year.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Sidley Austin

    When was Sidley Austin founded?

    Sidley Austin was founded in 1866.

    How many Employees does Sidley Austin have?

    Sidley Austin has 3,280 employees.

    How much money does Sidley Austin make?

    Sidley Austin generates $2.0B in revenue.

    What industry is Sidley Austin in?

    Sidley Austin is in the professional industry.

    What is Sidley Austin's mission?

    Sidley Austin's mission statement is "To provide the highest quality of professional service to our clients; to adhere to the highest ethical standards; to offer our skills and talents for the betterment of the legal profession and the diverse communities in which we practice; to maintain a culture of collegiality in which we help each other to best serve our clients, our profession and our communities; and to develop, support and encourage new generations of lawyers to carry on our commitment to excellence, integrity, diversity and collegiality."

    What type of company is Sidley Austin?

    Sidley Austin is a private company.

    Who are Sidley Austin's competitors?

    Sidley Austin competitors include Latham & Watkins, Winston & Strawn, Kirkland & Ellis, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Shearman & Sterling, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, Baker McKenzie, White & Case, K&L Gates, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Dechert, McDermott Will & Emery, Morrison & Foerster, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Paul Hastings, Proskauer Rose, Reed Smith, Greenberg Traurig, Jones Day Limited Partnership, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

    Who works at Sidley Austin?

    Scott Kilburg (Chief Marketing Officer)

    Kyle Heath (Director, Marketing Communications)

    Kayla Sierra (Marketing Coordinator)

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    You can find out what it is like to work at Sidley Austin, also known as SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Sidley & Austin, Sidley Austin and Sidley Austin LLP.

    Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Sidley Austin, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Sidley Austin. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Sidley Austin. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Sidley Austin and its employees or that of Zippia.