Sidley Austin Reviews

Updated June 22, 2015
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3.8
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Approve of CEO
Sidley Austin Chair of the Executive Committee Carter Phillips
Carter Phillips
1 Rating

Pros
  • Work life balance is generally better than what I have heard from other firms (in 6 reviews)

  • I find it more relaxed than some other large law firms (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • I can't think of a single con of working for this law firm -- it's a pleasure to work here and I'm very fortunate to have landed here (in 7 reviews)

  • Long hours during certain periods which could be mitigated with improved communication (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

15 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (1)

    Sidley Austin

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Sidley Austin

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Initiative is rewarded. Attorneys are respectful and treat you like a member of the team, if not always friendly. Hourly pay with overtime makes it easier to justify long hours. Nice physical offices. Friendly and helpful professional staff. Decent benefits. Depending on your group, can be involved in very interesting cases.

    Cons

    Management of paralegals is decentralized, meaning you are not always guaranteed work. Very little collaborative work. Some work is fairly mind-numbing.

    Advice to Management

    Need to emphasize the importance of improving technology, especially regarding document management and collaborative editing of files.


  2. New York Office is comprised of insipid Morons

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at Sidley Austin full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Senior level assignments
    Interesting legal work
    Great perks
    Intelligent, skilled partners
    Courteous culture

    Cons

    Grueling, long work hours without repreive, Partners see associates as bottom liners and not much more than the support staff, Management will deceive you into thinking you are on the partner track and then give you the boot with little to no transitioning.

    Advice to Management

    None


  3. A solid internship for those seeking professional experience.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Marketing Intern in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Marketing Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Sidley Austin as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    As a college sophomore I worked here as an intern and was generally pleased with my experience. My coworkers were always friendly and helpful, and it was generally a very pleasant (yet professional) environment to work in. The pay was great and I learned a lot of valuable skills which would prove beneficial in later positions. As an intern, I was given ample guidance when necessary, but also a degree of independence which I very much appreciated. Additionally, there were great perks such as opportunities to attend swanky events and network with important people.

    Cons

    Hours could be long, depending on project deadlines and such. Luckily, I was paid overtime when I had to stay longer than expected. Additionally, as with just about any office internship, there was occasional mundane busywork such as data entry and faxing/copying documents.


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  5. Big Law that I Can Live With

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    People here are really smart and dedicated. It is one of the most welcoming environments I have ever been in. It is still big law, and long hours, but I wouldn't want to practice any other place.

    Cons

    It is what it is. It is a big firm, with big clients, high billing and incredible hours. It could be worse of course, but I don't think anyone wants their life's mantra to be it could be worse. You have to decide if firm life and culture is for you. That said, if you want to be a New York lawyer, I can't imagine a more supportive place to practice.


  6. Hard to Advance as a Woman

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at Sidley Austin full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very good pay, teamwork environment, good to work as a 1st and 2nd year associate, but not beyond that

    Cons

    Sidley offers most work to its male Associates and females are often scavengering around for work in order to obtain billable hours. During the summer, at the end of an associate's 2nd year, the firm routinely does a massive layoff over the course of the entire summer, of about 5 associates a month, in order to make room to give work to the new first year class coming in. At that time, they keep only very few 3rd year associates. At this time, all associates are closely watched and judgment is tested. There are very few female partners, and it is a very white shoe environment. Training as a first year associate is not very good.


  7. My overall experience at Sidley has been a positive one. My coworkers are extremely supportive.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Marketing Coordinator in New York, NY

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Working with a talented team of people that truly feels like a team in the New York office. Great opportunities for carrer growth on the Business Development side.

    Cons

    Difficult personalities; my department is quite fractured by office


  8. It was a great learning experience that allowed me to move on to my next job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I worked at Sidley Austin full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people are friendly, the offices are nice and the cafeteria is great.

    Cons

    Work long hours, administrative and not too many employee perks or social events unless for the summer associates.


  9. Work as a Legal Assistant has been challenging and somewhat exciting.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance is generally better than what I have heard from other firms.

    Cons

    Very long hours at times and a lack of feeling like you are making any difference in the direction of a transaction.


  10. Meh

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Professional Staff in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Professional Staff in New York, NY

    I worked at Sidley Austin full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - the people I worked with were caring and loyal

    Cons

    - there is a huge differentiation between staff and attorneys. Not a pleasant environment


  11. Supportive

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Attorney in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Staff Attorney in New York, NY

    I worked at Sidley Austin full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Supportive, nurturing and friendly environment

    Cons

    NA, it was a good place to work

    Advice to Management

    NA, I felt it was doing excellent job



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