As one of the most iconic US cities with a rich history and dazzling architecture, Chicago is also home to some of the most prestigious and influential big law firms in the country. Lawyers drawn to Chicago’s bustling legal scene will find a diverse pool of law firms that provide thriving professional environments and challenging work. In this blog, we will explore some of the top big law firms in Chicago and provide a comprehensive guide for aspiring attorneys.
Kirkland & Ellis
Founded in Chicago in 1909, Kirkland & Ellis is the largest law firm in the city, known for its international presence and high-profile corporate work. The firm has over 2,700 lawyers globally and serves clients from across various industries, including private equity, investment banking, technology, and healthcare. Kirkland & Ellis has been recognized among the top firms for its revenue growth, according to the American Lawyer magazine.
Founded in 1866, Sidley Austin’s Chicago office is the firm’s global headquarters, offering services in litigation, corporate law, and regulatory compliance. This firm has a significant concentration of lawyers in Chicago and has been at the forefront of high-profile litigation cases in the city. Sidley Austin is recognized for its extensive pro bono efforts and has been named as one of the most LGBT-friendly employers by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Mayer Brown has a long history in Chicago, dating back to its founding in 1881. The firm has approximately 200 lawyers in its Chicago office and offers a wide range of legal services, including banking and finance, real estate, and litigation. Mayer Brown is often recognized for its diverse workforce, with significant representation of women, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ+ attorneys.
Winston & Strawn
Winston & Strawn has over 850 attorneys in offices located across the US, Europe, and Asia. In Chicago, the firm has a significant presence with over 400 lawyers providing services in commercial transactions, intellectual property, labor and employment, and white-collar criminal defense. Winston & Strawn is known for its commitment to community service and has been recognized for its active engagement in charitable and pro bono activities.
Jones Day’s Chicago office has been a vital part of the firm’s history since its founding in 1893, offering services in litigation, antitrust, and intellectual property. With over 3,000 lawyers globally, Jones Day is known for having one of the largest legal practices globally. The firm is also recognized for its commitment to pro bono work and is among Law360’s pro-bono firms of 2021.
Chicago’s legal environment offers an abundance of opportunities for ambitious lawyers eager to work in big law firms. The firms mentioned above are just a few of the many prestigious legal options available in the city. These firms offer robust training programs, sophisticated work, and ample opportunities for professional growth. Aspiring legal professionals looking to build their careers in Chicago should conduct further research, network, and explore internship and training opportunities to increase their chances of success. With the right combination of hard work, dedication, and luck, law graduates in Chicago can build exciting careers in the legal world.