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Overview

Introduction

 

Known best for its deep experience in Labor & Employment, Seyfarth Shaw is a big firm that offers its lawyers tremendous opportunity to take the reins. Those seeking a firm that offers a unique combination of autonomy and collaboration will fit well here. Seyfarth Shaw is home to more than 900 lawyers across 17 offices in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and China. While it is highly regarded for its labor and employment practice, the full-service firm advises on a broad range of legal areas, including l...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

Boston; Century City; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Seattle;......


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No. of U.S. Offices

Vault Verdict

Associates at Seyfarth Shaw are trusted with sophisticated work early in their careers, so it is no surprise that the firm is seeking candidates with drive and relevant experience. Candidates should be ready to explain why they are interested in Seyfarth’s specific practices and to discuss their prior work experiences. Seyfarth Shaw is not a hierarchical place—doors are open (including virtual ones), and lawyers at the firm are a friendly group. Training is robust, with regular programming that includes long-term development, such as the Associate Business Development Program. Associates feel there could be more transparency into firm decision-making, especially as to bonuses. They also gripe that compensation is below market—though some feel the trade-off for better work-life bal...

About the Firm

 

Seyfarth Shaw is home to more than 900 lawyers across 17 offices in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and China. While it is highly regarded for its labor and employment practice, the full-service firm advises on a broad range of legal areas, including litigation, tax, immigration, corporate, real estate, and employee benefits. The firm operates through a distinctive client service model called SeyfarthLean, incorporating the Lean Six Sigma method into its practice. 

Chi-town Trio

Seyfarth Shaw’s labor and employment roots run deep. The firm was founded in Chicago in 1945 by Henry E. Seyfarth, Lee C. Shaw, and Owen Fairweather as a labor and employment firm. Its early days saw its attorneys helping draft the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and building a strong practice...

Associate Reviews


  • Very collaborative, supportive. Open doors and no hierarchy between staff and attorneys—everyone works together as a team.”
  • Despite working from home during the past year, the partners have done a fantastic job at staying in touch and making things feel as ‘normal’ as possible.”
  • The people are what make Seyfarth great. Seyfarth is a collaborative environment where attorneys truly work together to achieve client satisfaction.”
  • Very friendly atmosphere. We have lots of happy hours and other kinds of social gatherings.”
  • Partners are generally very appreciative of associates who work hard and give nice reviews. Reviews are annual (associates complete self-evaluations and requests for evaluations). I think the transparency with salary raises and bonuses could be improved.”
  • The partners here value my input and treat me with respect. I actually hope to become a partner here because I respect the people I work for.”
  • Most partners get along very well with their associates; true mentor and personal relationships are formed.”
  • The pandemic has kept everyone incredibly busy. All the associates I know are slammed. In general, I work on a wide array of interesting matters and have no issues hitting my billable hour requirement. I generally do not get pushback when turning down work.”
  • I think the hours requirement is comparable to other firms. There is plenty of work within my group and meeting goals is not a problem. There is definitely a ‘free-market’ expectation where you should be asking for and seeking out the type of work you would like.”
  • Work is not evenly distributed. The non-billable hour requirement (300 hours) is far too high.”
  • The hour requirement is generally fine, but perhaps a little high for senior associates based on the push to do more business development. Could be better distributed between client billable hours and business development/contribution hours for very senior associates.”
  • We are below market salary considering we are a big law firm but I do think we have stronger work-life balance.”
  • Compensation is good compared to most other labor and employment firms, but substantially below market. Bonuses are poor.”
  • While the culture at the firm is fantastic, the salary scale is compressed, and the firm does not dole out market bonuses.”
  • I am challenged by my work assignments but know that I will always have the resources to rise to the task.”
  • Seyfarth gets the best Labor and Employment work, hands down. And the work goes to the associates. We can run big class actions if we want and set strategies and negotiate settlements. Excellent opportunities and one of the great strengths of this firm.”
  • My assignments are very substantive: drafting briefs, taking and defending depositions, etc.”
  • Seyfarth is a forward-looking firm and is always (and I do not mean that lightly) looking for ways to adopt new technology to create more efficiency and better client service. It was not difficult to transition to a remote setting because of the technology the firm had already employed.”
  • Technology at the firm has been fantastic. The firms IT staff are super responsive. The firm has every program you could ever want or need.”
  • Seyfarth has done a great job with the remote work environment and has made the transition of work from home pretty seamlessly. We now have access to Zoom, Teams, and Webex, and we have always used Jabber.”
  • SeyfarthLife is a wellness initiative that they've put a lot of emphasis on.”
  • The firm has informal exercise groups and occasionally sends emails with wellness tips, but the only thing that will contribute to attorney well-being is a reduction in the billable hour requirement. …”
  • “[The] firm has implemented resources to deal with mental health and inclusion which is appreciated.”
  • Specific PTO is available for COVID-19 related activities, whether they be vaccines or caring for oneself of someone else who is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or vaccine-related symptoms.”
  • Seyfarth offers amazing training opportunities for new attorneys as well as mid-career attorneys. Seyfarth currently has the Associate Business Development Program, which trains us on ways to originate and proliferate accounts. It really is fantastic. we also have LDC advisors, who are partners in another legal group, who provide mentorship for associates. Overall, training and mentorship are fantastic.”
  • The firm structures as much training, mentoring, and sponsoring as it can. Individual attorneys are encouraged to seek such opportunities on their own.”
  • There are many training opportunities available to attorneys.”
  • The path to partnership is very manageable, if not a little long, for any associate at Seyfarth. There are also lots of alternative paths and a very, very strong pipeline to in-house work that is encouraged and supported by the partnership. …”
  • Yes I think promotion to partnership is realistic, and I will be attempting to make that jump in the upcoming one to two years. The firm also offers non-partnership tracks, such as of counsel.”
  • Promotion to income partner is realistic. Equity partner is much more difficult. There are non-partner roles to which senior associates can transition. Seems like the in-house opportunities, especially for L&E attorneys to exit are wide-ranging.”
  • Pro bono hours count towards billable hours (up to 60). Associates and partners are encouraged to contribute each year.”
  • Pro bono hours count as billable. I have worked on local pro bono projects, such as wills clinics held by pro bono organizations.”
  • All pro bono hours count towards billable goals and the first 60 hours towards a guaranteed bonus. All pro bono counts towards discretionary bonuses and that is frequently a factor in getting bonuses to associates. The work runs the gamut, and the firm has many initiatives both local, office-driven programming and firmwide programming. It is easy to get involved and encouraged and rewarded. Our pro bono leadership team is fabulous and always willing to go the extra mile to help support any attorney's interests in pro bono.”
  • As a firm with a large L&E group, Seyfarth is very receptive to DEI considerations. I can't speak to how effective those methods have been, but I can say that we actively solicit applications from DEI groups and that we try to build a pipeline of diverse partner candidates.”
  • There is a lot of focus in this area in terms of hiring and retention as well as internal promotion. I have seen it on all fronts and it is much more comprehensive and more sincere than most other firms I know. There is always more to do, but the firm is open to ideas and is continuously implementing new programs to attract and retain diverse talent.”
  • Our diversity team is amazing. Seyfarth developed The Belonging Project, which aims to provide training and mentorship inside and outside the firm, especially those who have been impacted by COVID. …”

Why Work Here


Diversity at Seyfarth

"At Seyfarth, "inclusion and diversity" are more than aspirational words. They are at the forefront of our firm's client- and talent-centered culture. We drive our efforts through tangible action, continuous improvement, and constant learning. We focus on creating a culture in which people can bring their authentic selves and unique experiences to the work we do every day. We do so for two simple yet powerful reasons: people matter, and we excel when we cultivate belonging, inclusion, and diversity. Seyfarth's I&D work is..."

Getting Hired Here


  • I think the firm is looking for well-rounded candidates. Law School attended and grades seem to be less of an emphasis lately. Prior work experience in L&E is a big plus.  Loyola is a big feeder school.”
  • The firm looks for (1) fit, (2) individual drive to make an impact, and (3) interest in the practice group (since summers and hires are hired by specific departments).”
  • Seyfarth doesn't have a very big summer program, so hiring is focused on laterals. Practice experience seems to trump academic credentials, although quite a few attorneys in my group clerked for federal district court judges.”
  • Why are you interested in Seyfarth? What is your L&E experience? Why are you interested in L&E? What kind of substantive motions have you drafted?”
  • Why do you want to do this type of work? Why are you interested in the firm?”
  • The firm gave me plenty of ramp up time to get acclimated.”
  • Most folks are laterals, and it is an easy and supported transition.”

Perks & Benefits