Sidley has long been one of the most prominent and progressive proponents of law firm diversity. Our mission is to attract and retain outstanding lawyers of varied backgrounds who reflect the global marketplace that we serve. Through the leadership of our Diversity Committee and Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women, we are working to become a more diverse and inclusive organization.

To further promote diversity within the legal profession and to support Sidley’s diversity policies, the firm created the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Initiative for second year law students. Sidley will award a limited number of Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships in the amount of $20,000 (less any applicable withholdings and taxes) to selected 2016 Sidley summer associates.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

A Scholarship applicant must:

  • Be a full-time law student in your second year of classes at an accredited law school.
  • Submit the following documents:
    • Current law school transcript with all first year grades;
    • Resume; 
    • Completed application form; and
    • Personal statement (500 words or less) addressing what you believe demonstrates your qualification for the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship, including, potentially, a description of your academic and personal strengths; exceptional contributions, through community service or otherwise, to the cause of diversity; and/or how you have overcome adversity, such as a personal or family history of educational or socioeconomic disadvantage, and have demonstrated the tenacity and talent to excel in the legal profession.

Scholarship recipients will be selected from among the eligible applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership qualities and who also have demonstrated exceptional ability, including through:

  • Demonstrated contributions to diversity initiatives or to diversity and inclusion more generally, such as in the area(s) of racial or ethnic diversity, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, veteran status, and/or other areas underrepresented or otherwise important to diversity in the legal profession; and/or
  • Other extraordinary contributions or accomplishments; and/or 
  • Demonstrated ability to overcome adversity, such as first-in-family college attendance or socioeconomic disadvantage; and/or
  • Past participation in and/or interest in assisting with the diversity and inclusion initiatives of the firm such as the Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative or a Sidley 1L Diversity Summer Mentorship Program.

Expectations of Scholarship Recipients

Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship recipients must join Sidley’s summer associate program after their second year of law school. 

The Sidley Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship is intended to defray the costs of the recipients’ legal education.

How to Apply

Complete the Sidley Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship application and send it, along with a resume, current official law school transcript and personal statement to:


Sidley Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship
c/o Jennifer Connelly
Sidley Austin LLP
One South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Application Timeline

Given the highly selective nature of the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship and the limited number of Scholarships available, students are encouraged to submit applications at their earliest convenience. We strongly prefer to receive the application by the time of the candidate’s call-back interview. 

Please note that the Scholarship application is not an application for employment. You must apply separately for a summer associate position.