Sidley Austin Reviews | Glassdoor

Sidley Austin Reviews

Updated August 8, 2018
187 reviews

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3.9
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Michael Schmidtberger
2 Ratings

187 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is surprisingly good" (in 15 reviews)

  • "Great benefits for employees ok" (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • "Long Hours / No Work/Life Balance" (in 17 reviews)

  • "Like any large law firm, very high hours requirements, not sustainable for most people in the long run" (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Associate (Palo Alto)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, small team, close-knit community, excellent growth opportunities, interesting deals, good client exposure and mentoring. I highly recommend it.

    Cons

    I can’t think of any! This office is growing rapidly. I really do not have anything else to add. I just hope that they will keep up the good work.


  2. "Business Support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Opportunities for professional development, the department is well staffed so there are always good resources. Promotions happen if you are working hard and deserve it. People who say otherwise likely aren't performing well.

    There is generous vacation time and standard benefits. The lawyers I support are nicer and more respectful than I would have guessed. As a woman I've never felt intimidated or undervalued for being so. Definitely a safe a respectful work environment.

    Work life balance is surprisingly good. In at 920am and I'm the first one here. Only have to stay late on occasion.

    Cons

    The firm boasts collegiality - it is like a buzz word and I heard it 3+ times during my interview, yet it couldn't be further from the truth. The department likes to send you in circles when you need something, no one wants to do their own job, and there are zero staff appreciation parties, events or anything. As mentioned in other posts, lawyer benefits are great but staff are lacking - maternity leave is minimal for such a prestigious firm that can certainly afford it. Would also be excellent to have work from home opportunities. The culture is very against that.

    Advice to Management

    Grow with the times but overall I am pretty happy.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Hidden Toxicity Abounds"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Legal Secretary in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Nice offices, good benefit packages, nice walkabout around pond behind office, and cafeteria nearby for reduced-cost breakfast and lunch. Lots of training when needed and as requested.

    Cons

    Politics and cliques throughout the office and peer-to-peer discussions are not encouraged even though so many issues could be handled without further management involvement. Not all support staff are treated equally and with the same level of respect and autonomy. There are “favorites” and that makes it difficult to feel like you’re being treated fairly - even if your work speaks for itself.

    Advice to Management

    Review process is antiquated, and having to click in and out for work and lunches makes you feel like you’re a kindergartener that isn’t trusted.


  4. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time

    Pros

    The best part are the people .

    Cons

    Not available to comment. I like everything here.


  5. "Great Place to Get Exposure to Law"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time

    Pros

    A good amount of mentoring and attorneys are wonderful to work with. They give you lots of good work and are happy to explain things.

    Cons

    A lot of hours; Not the best work/life balance


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Management needs to improve dramatically"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    New coffee machines are ok I suppose.

    Cons

    Currently working here so not a disgruntled employee, the management is horrendous. Job roles are not clear, 100% silos between departments, and the office politics is unbearable. Everyone feels entitled and no one is capable of assuming responsibility. You will get thrown under the bus at the first opportunity.

    Culture is non existent. There are no team building events, no sense of collegiality, and if you’re not a lawyer, you’re quickly disregarded.

    Advice to Management

    Conduct management training. Engage your employees so that we actually want to be at work. Job functions are not clear whatsoever and there is no sense of direction.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Marketing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Sidley Austin full-time

    Pros

    Plush office space and view. Opportunity to make some collegial connections with fantastic paralegals and attorneys.

    Cons

    Live/work balance was off compared to the experience with PA office. Politics were sketchy and manager was extremely difficult to work under. Cutthroat environment from Partner belittling colleagues- setting poor precedent.

    Advice to Management

    Team building. Face to face interactions for ten minutes a day would be of help.

  8. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with

    Cons

    Bonuses require 2000 hour minimum billable hours


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Sidley Professional Staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sidley Austin full-time

    Pros

    Good health insurance, generous vacation days, generous commuter benefit, Chicago office is modern, great location, beautiful fitness center on site, strong IT team

    Cons

    Firm needs to have formal remote work/work from home options for lawyers and professional staff. Currently, the culture is pretty antiquated, face time environment despite having all the technology needed to allow lawyers/staff to work remote successfully.

    Staff maternity leave is the federal minimum of 12 weeks, firm should consider 16 weeks. Male staff have no parental leave at all, zero - they have to use vacation if they have a child. The lawyers at the firm have very different generous parental leaves, the hug disparity is demotivating for professional staff.

    Advice to Management

    While staff don’t expect to match the lawyers leave benefits, the current parental leave offerings to staff need to be reexamined to remain competitive.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great Benefits Deadly politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Systems Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Applications Systems Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Great benefits even a pension if you can hang on three years. Work with some great people.

    Cons

    Office politics are the murkiest I have ever seen. Inconsistent and outdated procedures.


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