Sidley Austin Reviews in New York City, NY | Glassdoor

Sidley Austin New York City Reviews

18 reviews

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New York City, NY Area

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Sidley Austin Chair of the Executive Committee Carter Phillips
Carter Phillips
4 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Laid-back atmosphere, good work-life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • The lawfirm provides good benefits (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • crazy work load, very long hours, etc (in 14 reviews)

  • The hours are long but that is pretty much standard for a large law firm (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Corporate Paralegal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant/Paralegal in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant/Paralegal in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good organization, much to learn, good loyal employees.

    Cons

    Lack of communication between the manager and the subordinates

    Advice to Management

    Communicate with employees


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Those fake marketing smiles. Interviewees, listen for "crazy" talk"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Specialist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Company is financially stable and there are some decent benefits esp if you are a lawyer. The firm's legal teams do really good work and they seem to take a lot of pride in their pro bono and diversity initiatives. Some nice people, I suppose. It's a polarizing environment. Marketing groups are expanding but...

    Cons

    I was recruited from another industry to join a small, possibly-growing Marketing group. Management were stress magnets who couldn't make a decision (due to bureaucracy of BigLaw and personal inability) and blameshifted constantly.

    Training involved watching someone talk on speaker phone for an hour. All directors should know how to perform each function of their employees and most do not.

    Behind the fake smiles is an untold amount of cynicism. The idea of earning trust is a joke because there is none to earn. There are major control issues and it lead to lots of attrition.

    Are you a free thinker? Do you have ideas that could save time/money/effort? Are you autonomous? Are you proud of your past accomplishments? Good. This is a very old, well-established firm that doesn't care. If all you hear about during the interview is that things are "crazy," look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    If 3 people have to sit in one office to watch 1 person talk on a conference call for an hour (that can easily be summed up in 10 minutes), that's 3 hours wasted for the other employees. Imagine that happening all day in various subgroups. All that did was reinforce my own notion of how not to lead a conference call. Don't you want to get the work done?


  3. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good, collegial culture, benefits, and support staff

    Cons

    Hours can be long depending on staffing and current matters; career trajectory/longevity issues

    Advice to Management

    Implement more infrastructure/technology in an attempt to make work/life balance somewhat attainable despite hours (i.e. treadmill desks or lounges)


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good Training"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Corporate Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time

    Pros

    Good training for finance backgrounds

    Cons

    The hours are long. No career development for paralegals


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Sidley Austin"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    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.


  7. "New York Office is comprised of insipid Morons"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    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


  8. "A solid internship for those seeking professional experience."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


  9. "Big Law that I Can Live With"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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.


  10. "Hard to Advance as a Woman"

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

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

    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.


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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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



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