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Sidley SF/SV Insights

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:50 am

Any insights on Sidley's SF/SV offices? Transactional; interested in culture, reputation & exit opportunities.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Sidley SF/SV Insights

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:09 pm

I worked in Sidley’s Palo Alto office for the past couple of years until fairly recently. The office is heavily transactional so even though it’s small overall there is a lot of deal work. Historically M&A has been their bread and butter but Capital Markets and EC/VC work have been growing over the past couple of years, including via some bigger lateral partner hires.

It’s a relatively small office so there’s not a lot of office-specific name recognition and if you’re talking to your tech friends they’re not going to have heard of your firm, but the firm is obviously well-known and well-regarded nationally. Exit options, including in the Bay Area, generally seem good. Transactional associates (both tech transactions and general corporate) who have left in recent years have gone to big tech companies like Facebook and Google, as well as other solid roles with more seniority at smaller companies. Junior and mid-level associates have not had issues lateraling to other desirable firms both West Coast (Cooley, WSGR, Gunderson, etc.) and national.

The culture is pretty laid back. Folks are friendly but not in your business. There generally wasn’t much out of office socialization if that’s your thing, but it was a collegial environment. None of the partners are assholes in my opinion. One or two of the M&A partners were a little intense but not bad people. Facetime (before COVID) was not a big issue. People generally didn’t care where you were as long as the work got done. As a very junior associate there was more of an expectation that you be in the office, but by the time you’re a mid-level there is more flexibility. Some people also lived in SF and worked in PA, or vice versa, and it wouldn’t be unusual for a PA associate in that situation to work out of the SF office a day or two a week, for example. I hope that’s helpful. If you have any specific questions let me know.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Sidley SF/SV Insights

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:36 pm

Just curious, why did you leave Sidley? And how was WLB relative to biglaw? I noticed a number of SV corp associates lateralled out in the past year.

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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Sidley SF/SV Insights

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:39 am

Given office size I can’t tell you where I left for without identifying myself, but I can say that I left due to an opportunity that I was excited about including a change of geography rather than because I was dissatisfied in any way. WLB was about what you would expect from west coast biglaw. I came in over 2000 billable hours each year but never over 2200. Last year was on the busier end of that and I think a lot of people got crushed and still are getting crushed but I think that’s industry wide right now.

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