Sidley Austin LLP Sidley Austin LLP

  • US Law Firms
  • London

Training Contract

  • Places: 14

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: 45

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 289




Sidley Austin LLP or Sidley as it is usually referred to, is a US law firm with an international presence through offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, New York, Palo Alto, Boston, Houston, Century City and Washington D.C. in the US; Brussels, London, Munich and Geneva in Europe; and Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney in the Asia-Pacific region.

The firm employs approximately 2,000 fee earners in the 20 offices listed above and has a global reputation for its litigation, regulatory and transactional expertise.

The firm’s history stretches as far back as 1866, where one legacy firm—Sidley & Austin—was opened in Chicago; and the second legacy firm, Brown & Wood was established in 1914 in New York. The two firms merged in 2001 to create Sidley Austin Brown & Wood and in 2006, the name was changed to Sidley Austin LLP.

Sidley’s London office offers students the best of both worlds—the experience of working in one of the largest international law firms along with the relaxed, down-to-earth friendliness of a smaller office. Here you will find high-quality work on par with Magic Circle firms and an energetic, meritocratic and supportive environment.

Training Contract

Trainee solicitors undertake four seats, each for a period of six months, during which they sit with a partner or a senior lawyer. The seat supervisor is responsible for allocating work, providing guidance and reviewing performance at the mid-point and end of the seat.

The three month review is also a time for the trainee to meet with HR to discuss training requirements and accomplishments to date. All trainees are mentored by the Training Principal.

Formal training includes the PSC, which is completed in advance of the trainees commencing their first seat. Other training is provided in different practice areas and current legal updates of importance, scheduled in advance for the year and conducted in-house. Trainees also have access to the Library and Information team (one of the best in London), for day-to-day research, looking up precedents and technical knowledge.

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Vacation Scheme

Students will spend time in at least two different departments and will share an office with a qualified lawyer. You will experience the day-to-day life of a lawyer at the firm and will have the opportunity to undertake real work rather than just observing or shadowing. This practical experience will be supplemented by a programme of presentations and workshops that will ensure you get to know as much about the firm as you possibly can during the placement. There will also be some organised social events to help you get to know our current trainees.

Students will receive £500 per week.

The applications for our winter 2021 and spring/summer 2022 vacation schemes open on 1 October 2021, the closing date for our winter scheme is 29 October 2021 and 28 January 2022 for our spring/summer application.

Salary & Benefits

Our trainee solicitors currently receive an annual salary of £50,000 in their first year and £55,000 in their second. Our newly qualified associate salary is £135,500.

As a trainee, you will also enjoy an exceptional range of benefits, including:

• 25 days holiday per year

• Non-contribution pension scheme

• Private medical insurance

• Life assurance

• Income protection insurance

• Free membership to in-house gym

• Season ticket loan

• Subsidised restaurant

• Free use of private clinics for GP appointments

• Employee assistance programme


14 training contracts are offered each year to candidates who have earned or been predicted a 2:1 degree in any subject and a minimum of three A-levels with AAA grades (or equivalent); consistently high levels of academic performance; and demonstrate a keen interest in law, commercial enterprise and the financial industry.

Desirable qualities include self-motivation; discipline and hard work; the ability to interact and work well with others; strong communication, analytical and management skills; a practical approach; patience; and a show of independent initiative.

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The online application form is accessible here. The applications for our winter 2021 and spring/summer 2022 vacation schemes open on 1 October 2021, the closing date for our winter scheme is 29 October 2021 and 28 January 2022 for our spring/summer application. We recruit for our training contracts through the vacation schemes so we encourage all students to apply and get to know the firm!

Queries should be directed to Nicole Katz, Graduate Recruitment Manager or Katy Webb, HR Coordinator via email to or by telephone on 0207 360 2052.

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