Sidley Austin LLP Graduate Careers
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The AllAboutLaw perspective on Sidley Austin
Trainees at Sidley Austin get to experience the best of both worlds, the experience of working in a large, international law firm, with the down-to-earth friendliness of a smaller office. Recruiting only 12-14 trainees a year, this means that everyone gets involved in real-life, high quality work. This allows you to gain a greater understanding of the legal world as a whole, and become more confident in your skills as a lawyer.
Lawyers at Sidley Austin can get involved in a variety of different practice areas: ranging from capital markets to litigation. Whatever the seat, you’ll be working in small teams on complex matters, and will receive plenty of feedback and support from senior lawyers. There is even the option to go on secondment to the firm’s offices in Hong Kong and Brussels.
There’s no denying that trainees work hard at the firm, but they also receive plenty of support. The firm holds a number of wellbeing days each year, as well as in-house counselling sessions and a free subscription to Headspace meditation. Trainees are also compensated incredibly well financially, earning an immense £55,000 starting salary rising to £166,500 on qualification.
Sidley Austin are also committed to giving back to their community, with the firm completing over 100,000 pro bono hours each year. Each trainee receives two volunteering days a year, which they can spend with any registered charity of their choosing. The firm also provides pro-bono advice to a number of charities, including Not Beyond Redemption who support imprisoned mothers and KIND who provide advice to undocumented families.
What the firm says
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, Miami 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 21 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.
- First year trainee£55,000
- Second year trainee£60,000
- GDL course fees paidYes
- GDL living costs grant£13,000
- LPC course fees paidYes
- Offices in UK1 - London
- NQ Salary£166,500
- LPC grant£17,000
- A Levels Three AAA
- Degree 2:1 in any subject
15 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.