What makes Schiff Hardin different? And how do you know that Schiff Hardin is the right fit for you? You know you belong here if you have these qualities:

  • You are eager to hit the ground running and start practicing law on day one of your career.
  • You learn quickly, are open to new ideas, seek out new challenges, and relish the opportunity for greater responsibility.
  • You enjoy working collaboratively on leanly staffed teams, and you like learning from your colleagues.
  • You are intellectually curious, enthusiastic about taking on high-level legal problems, and have the passion and the patience to solve a client’s problems.
  • You share our commitment to improving society through pro bono legal and community work and through our celebration of diversity.
  • You want a firm that allows you to set the course of your own career — to explore different practice areas for your first year, and then choose your practice area and the kind of lawyer you want to be.

We do not expect you to grow and develop into a great lawyer on your own. We seek lawyers who have these core qualities, and then we provide the support and mentoring that every new lawyer needs to build a long and successful career. These are the things that make Schiff Hardin different.

  • Diversity and Inclusion

    We work hard to promote diversity and inclusion at Schiff Hardin, in the legal profession, and in our communities. Several national and local organizations have recently recognized our efforts:

    • Vault’s 2016 Best Law Firms survey ranked us #2 in the nation for diversity for women, #7 in the nation for diversity for minorities, and #9 in the nation for overall diversity.
    • Vault’s 2016 Best Law Firms survey ranked us #4 in the nation for associate/partner relations, #7 in the nation for firm culture, and #8 in the nation for transparency.
    • Minority Corporate Counsel Association awarded us its prestigious Thomas L. Sager award for the Midwest Region in 2012, in honor of our diversity achievements, and we were a finalist for the award from 2013 to 2015.
    • The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) awarded us its Gold Standard Firm certification recognizing women in the highest leadership positions in 2015 for the third year in a row. Schiff Hardin was one of only eight firms in the nation to earn a perfect score.
    • The Human Rights Campaign awarded Schiff Hardin a 100% score for the sixth straight year on its 2016 Corporate Equality Index, based on our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace policies and benefits.
    • Working Mother Magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers has named us one of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women nationwide each year since 2012.
    • Equality Illinois has ranked us a leading law firm for LGBT workplace inclusion and equality every year since 2011.

    Read more about the firm's diversity initiatives.  

  • Pro Bono

    Our only pro bono “agenda” is to serve the public interest. We do not restrict the kinds of pro bono work our lawyers handle or ask what is in it for us. We instead ask only whether the engagement addresses the legal needs of the poor, promotes civil rights, helps those who are without representation, or enables a public interest organization to pursue its mission. If the answer is yes and a Schiff Hardin lawyer wants to handle the matter, we take on the client – no questions asked – and devote the full resources of the firm to the engagement. We encourage and support our lawyers in following their own pro bono passions.

    For this reason, most of our pro bono programs have been initiated by our lawyers, not by firm leadership. The result is an astonishing diversity of pro bono work. Our lawyers worked on more than 300 different pro bono matters for 175 clients in 2016. A few examples include the following:

    • Operating a storefront legal clinic to address the legal problems of people of limited means – including landlord/tenant disputes, government benefits, and family law;
    • Vindicating civil rights – including the rights of prisoners to basic medical care, the due process rights of Guantanamo detainees, the rights of Death Row inmates, and the rights of mentally ill people;
    • Helping immigrants – protecting the rights of immigrant children to remain in the country and obtaining political asylum for those who face death or persecution in their home countries; and
    • Assisting many public interest organizations in fulfilling their missions – including those that represent juveniles in criminal proceedings, those that provide services to homeless people, and those that represent victims of torture.

    ​Earlier this spring the firm awarded its first Community Service Award to an associate whose team helped free a man after two decades in prison on the grounds that he was wrongfully convicted. We believe that pro bono work should always be voluntary, but a commitment to serving the public interest has been knit into the fabric of the firm for decades.  

    Read more about the firm's pro bono initiatives. 

  • Firm Culture and Benefits

    What is it like to work here? Our work is demanding, certainly. But we also want it to be a means for our attorneys and staff to attain their personal and professional goals. We put that objective into practice with benefits and policies including the following:

    Generous benefits

    Including medical, dental, retirement plans, 401(k), short- and long-term disability, paid parental leave (18 weeks of maternity and adoption leave and 4 weeks of paternity leave), adoption and surrogacy stipends, and vacation/sick time. We also offer health care benefits and gross-ups to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners.

    Flexible hours

    Including reduced-hour, flex-time, and telecommuting arrangements for attorneys. Both women and men and associates and partners take advantage of this benefit.

    Women’s Networking Group

    Established in 1998, women attorneys plan and host mentoring and networking events that support and encourage women’s personal and professional growth throughout their careers.

    Parenting Group

    Includes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and prospective parents.  We discuss parenting-related topics and provide each other with support. The Group invites parenting experts, doctors, financial planners, social workers, and others to speak on parenting topics and hosts forums for members to share resources, such as babysitter and day care referrals. The Group also sponsors family social events for Schiff Hardin lawyers and clients.

    New Moms Group

    Discussion and support group for our newest parents.  

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IN OUR WORDS

Victoria Pool

Associate
Schiff Hardin allowed me to try multiple practice groups during my first year with the firm. When I chose my group, I did so confidently, knowing that I was choosing the right practice area for me.
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IN OUR WORDS

Adam Diederich

Associate
Schiff Hardin has a national animal law practice. I have worked on behalf of our pro bono and paying clients, in state and federal regulatory and judicial forums, to advance the welfare of animals. I feel fortunate to gain substantive experience while doing good.
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IN OUR WORDS

Cindy Yang

Partner
I am particularly proud of Schiff Hardin’s commitment to organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. There’s no doubt that our country still has a long way to go in fully accepting the beautiful diversity of its citizens. But instead of waiting for change, our firm continues to take the lead on these issues, inspiring others to embrace this just, noble, and necessary cause.
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IN OUR WORDS

Ashley L. Thompson

Associate
A few years ago I nominated my mentor, Jane Montgomery, for the firm’s Catalyst Award. She won! Over breakfast, Jane and I brainstorm business development and speaking opportunities for me, and we discuss balancing our outside lives with work. Jane’s perspective is truly valuable to me and others at the firm.