Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Sidley Austin LLP

The Lex 100 verdict on Sidley Austin LLP

Known for its finance prowess and high-profile transactional work, Sidley Austen has ‘friendly, down-to-earth people’ and a ‘wide range of practice areas and quality work’. Trainees applaud the firm’s ‘office culture’ and ‘international reputation’ as well as appreciating the ‘growth in London, culture and quality of work’. Again a Lex 100 Winner for remuneration, Sidley Austin consistently is at the upper end of the pay scale among City firms. The small intake receives ‘less structured training’ but ‘more responsibility early on, learning as you go’. Smaller teams ensures that trainees get ‘more heavily involved in transactions’ and prove to be a real selling point for the firm. Trainees complained of ‘tough hours’, particularly with the added strain of working those hours from home during the pandemic. Also some complaints concerned perceived ‘overreliance on recruitment from Oxbridge’ and ‘fewer international and client secondment options’. Highlights of training include ‘working on a high-profile UKSC hearing and winning the firm’s annual pro bono prize’ and ‘the firm’s ‘European Lawyers Conference’ which offered a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone else at the firm in different teams’. Trainees also highly praised the firm’s pro-bono opportunities resulting in a ‘really broad range of work available, and everyone is very encouraging to get involved’; ‘it allows you to be more in touch with your soft skills’. If a US firm with a small intake and a strong profile in finance is appealing, then Sidley Austen is worth a second look.