Summer associates may perform pro bono work through organizations like the Cabrini Green Legal Aid clinic, the Human Rights Initiative, Texas C-Bar, Her Justice and the Anti-Defamation League, and assist Sidley lawyers with ongoing pro bono projects.

Summer associates may also participate in community service projects and other volunteer events. Past projects have included revitalizing local school grounds and classrooms, clothing drives, making lunches for the Salvation Army, stuffing backpacks for disadvantaged children, and assembling care kits for U.S. service members stationed overseas.

Pro Bono Fellowships and Partnerships 

An important component of Sidley’s pro bono work is its fellowship program for associates. The firm provides a fellowship stipend or pays the salary of its fellows to allow them to work for a nonprofit organization for approximately 10 weeks, either before they begin working at the firm or after they join. In Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago, fellows can choose from a variety of nonprofit organizations. In New York, fellows are detailed to Her Justice, an organization that provides legal services to low-income women.

The fellowships allow associates to become familiar with the organizations, their staff and their work, and to develop relationships that they can continue and expand when they come or return to the firm. These relationships often are an important source of pro bono matters for the firm and the fellows throughout their careers. The firm benefits because the fellows acquire experience in a short period of time as they are exposed to the often intense pace of life in a nonprofit organization. Fellows develop skills dealing with clients, negotiating with other lawyers, and advocating in court or in other settings in which they need to persuade a decision-maker.

Learn more about Sidley’s commitment to pro bono and community service.