The Culture At Sidley Austin

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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 maintain a culture of collegiality in which we help each other to best serve our clients, our profession and our communities and.

    Sidley Austin Reviews

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    Zippia UserOctober 2020


    Zippia Official LogoZippia UserOctober 2020

    What Do You Like About Working There?

    Pay is competitive with other big firms

    What DON'T You Like About Working There?

    Management doesn't care about attorney well-being. It's a big firm, so work environment is highly dependent on office and practice area (some fine, some terrible)

    What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

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    The Team At Sidley Austin

    Key People

    Alan Raul

    John Thompson

    Norman Williams

    Sidley Austin Company Rankings

    Sidley Austin is ranked #43 on the Best Professional Companies to Work For in Illinois 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.

    Read more about how we rank companies.

    Sidley Austin Salaries

    Salary Score
    The national average salary for a Sidley Austin employee in the United States is $62,348 per year. Employees in the top 10 percent can make over $142,000 per year, while employees at the bottom 10 percent earn less than $27,000 per year.
    Average Sidley Austin Salary
    $29.98 hourly
    Updated November 18, 2022
    Average Employee Earnings

    Highest Paying Jobs At Sidley Austin

    RankJob TitleAvg. SalaryHourly Rate
    3Senior Manager$158,594$76
    4Senior Advisory$131,126$63
    6Application Engineer$105,812$51
    7Project Manager$105,440$51
    8Software Engineer$104,828$50
    9Finance Analyst$100,732$48
    10Computer Systems Analyst$99,988$48
    11Administrative Staff$96,189$46
    12Software Developer$95,453$46
    13Systems Support Administrator$88,404$43
    15Computer Specialist$75,161$36
    16Technical Support Specialist$71,428$34
    17Project Coordinator$69,970$34
    18Electronics Technician$59,491$29
    19Maintenance Technician$58,094$28
    20Legal Secretary$50,655$24

    Sidley Austin Demographics Summary

    Diversity Score
    We calculated the diversity score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including the ethnic background, gender identity, and language skills of their workforce.

    Sidley Austin Gender Distribution


    Research Summary. Using a database of 30 million profiles, Zippia estimates demographics and statistics for Sidley Austin. Our estimates are verified against BLS, Census, and current job openings data for accuracy. After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

    • Sidley Austin has 50 employees.

    • 54% of Sidley Austin employees are women, while 46% are men.

    • The most common ethnicity at Sidley Austin is White (57%).

    • 15% of Sidley Austin employees are Hispanic or Latino.

    • 14% of Sidley Austin employees are Black or African American.

    • The average employee at Sidley Austin makes $62,348 per year.

    • Sidley Austin employees are most likely to be members of the democratic party.

    • On average, employees at Sidley Austin stay with the company for 4.4 years.

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    Sidley Austin Employee Political Affiliation

    Sidley Austin employees are most likely to be members of the Democratic Party. The largest donation made to a political party by a Sidley Austin employee was by Alfred Pietrzak. Alfred Pietrzak donated $322,900 to the Democratic Party.

    Sidley Austin


    Democratic Party

    80.7 %

    Republican Party

    18.7 %


    0.2 %

    Libertarian Party

    0.2 %
    Employee Political Donations
    NameJob TitlePartyDonation
    Alfred PietrzakPartnerDemocratic Party$322,900
    Howard TrienensAttorneyDemocratic Party$261,900
    Joseph McLaughlinLawyerRepublican Party$212,850
    Robert PietrzakAttorneyDemocratic Party$102,301
    Cameron KerryAttorneyDemocratic Party$75,600
    Samir GandhiAttorneyDemocratic Party$69,200
    Myles PollinLawyerRepublican Party$63,600
    Patrick CrokeAttorneyDemocratic Party$61,999
    Scott HeymanAttorneyRepublican Party$45,900
    John LeviAttorneyDemocratic Party$41,709
    Show More

    Sidley Austin Financial Performance

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

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    Highest Paying Sidley Austin Competitors

    Some of the competitors of Sidley Austin are Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Kirkland & Ellis, and Shearman & Sterling. The wages at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett average higher than the other similar companies, where the median salary is $144,498 per year. Employees at Kirkland & Ellis earn an average of $141,997 per year, and the employees at Shearman & Sterling earn an average salary of $141,422 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 50 employees.

    How much money does Sidley Austin make?

    Sidley Austin generates $2.5B in revenue.

    What industry is Sidley Austin in?

    Sidley Austin is in the law practice industry.

    What is Sidley Austin's mission?

    Sidley Austin's mission statement is "To maintain a culture of collegiality in which we help each other to best serve our clients, our profession and our communities and."

    What type of company is Sidley Austin?

    Sidley Austin is a private company.

    Who are Sidley Austin's competitors?

    Sidley Austin competitors include Kirkland & Ellis, Shearman & Sterling, Jones Day, Winston & Strawn, K&L Gates, Gibson Dunn, White & Case, Weil, Cravath, DLA Piper, Fried Frank, Baker McKenzie, Morgan Lewis, O'Melveny, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Mayer Brown, Norton Rose Fulbright, Paul Hastings, Skadden, Covington & Burling.

    Who works at Sidley Austin?

    Alan Raul (Founder)

    John Thompson (Founder)

    Norman Williams (Founder)

    Are You An Executive, HR Leader, Or Brand Manager At Sidley Austin?

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    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. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. 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. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by Sidley Austin. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Sidley Austin and its employees or that of Zippia.

    Sidley Austin may also be known as or be related to Sidley Austin, Sidley Austin LLP and Sidley Austin Llp.