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Sidley Austin LLP is a premier law firm with a practice highly attuned to the ever changing international landscape. The firm has built a reputation for being an adviser for global business, with more than 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices worldwide.
Sidley maintains a commitment to providing quality legal services spanning virtually every area of law. The firm’s lawyers have wide-reaching legal backgrounds and are dedicated to teamwork, collaboration and superior client service. Sidley’s London office offers the best of both worlds – the experience of working in one of the largest international law firms along with the relaxed, down-to-earth friendliness of a smaller office.

During your time as a Sidley bursary recipient there will be a world of opportunities for you to get involved, from connecting with your trainee solicitor mentor to attending one of our vacation schemes, you will see that the work we do is innovative and challenging.

The Bursary

As part of our ongoing commitment to increasing diversity at Sidley and in the wider legal profession, our bursary programme will provide financial support to talented law undergraduates from less advantaged backgrounds. We hope that our financial support will minimise financial concerns and enable recipients to focus more on their studies and making the most of opportunities available to them during their time at university.
Successful students will receive a bursary of £3,500 upon commencement of their law degree in 2024. This will be paid in three equal instalments of £1,166.66 in September 2024, January and April 2025.
Assuming that you achieve a 2.1 or above in your first year of study and engage successfully in the additional elements of the bursary programme, Sidley will consider providing the same level of financial sponsorship for your second year at university. The same will apply to your third and where applicable, fourth year at university.

Additional Elements of the Programme

We recognise the importance of non-financial support in ensuring your time at university is as successful as possible.
Whilst you are in receipt of the bursary you will also participate in the following initiatives:

Trainee Solicitor Mentor
Whilst in receipt of the bursary you will be paired with a current trainee solicitor who will act as an invaluable buddy. The trainee will be available to assist you with questions related to your university course and your potential legal career.

Work Experience Placement
You will be invited to undertake a week of work experience with the firm during your first year at university at a time convenient for both you and the firm. Not only will the placement give you an insight into the work of a lawyer at Sidley, it will also provide you with useful information about the firm and skills based sessions to help you pursue a legal career.
Should it be required, the firm will provide you with, and meet the cost of, suitable accommodation in London during the placement.


In order to apply for our bursary programme, the following criteria should be met:

  • You attend a UK state school (i.e. non-fee paying school) or sixth form college; and
  • Your family has an annual aggregate family/household annual income of no more than £30,000; and
  • You will be the first generation of your immediate family to attend university and
  • You are predicted to achieve AAA at A-level (or equivalent) and
  • You have an offer to read law at a UK university to commence in 2024.

Additionally, you must be able to provide evidence that you are:

  • A full time carer; and/or
  • Eligible for free school meals or attend a school where 20% of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

How to apply

Please follow this link to access our online application form. The form requires you to provide some personal and academic data and answer some short answer questions explaining your interest in a legal career.
You are also required to upload an academic reference. This should be written by one of your teachers who can comment upon your academic achievement to date, your predicted grades and your personal attributes.

The Selection Process

Applicants will be shortlisted based on their written application, academic records and reference. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview with Sidley personnel, likely to include partners from our London Recruiting and Diversity Committees. The firm will meet the cost of reasonable travel expenses to enable you to attend our office in London for the interview. We may be able to accommodate a virtual interview.

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