Welcome to Schiff Hardin! As the firm’s managing partner, my number one focus is the people who work here. At a firm like ours, everyone -- each of our more than 300 lawyers in six cities around the country -- is important to the firm’s success.

I have spent my entire career at Schiff Hardin because my colleagues are a special group and share several core values:

  • We are committed to professional excellence and to each other as people.
  • We give our colleagues at all levels the freedom to be the lawyers they want to be. New associates have a year to select a practice group. They develop and advance at their own pace. And our partners enjoy the autonomy they need to develop their practices in their own way.
  • We believe in transparency. We share our financial results with all of our lawyers. We involve associates and partners alike in firm leadership and governance. And we tell our associates what skills and experience they need in order to advance.
  • We have a long tradition of diversity and inclusion. We were the first Chicago-based firm to have an African-American partner and practice group leader, and we continue to receive national awards for our diversity record.

We need you. Our summer associates and our newest lawyers are vitally important to our future. If you are interested in practicing at a law firm whose lawyers put clients and each other ahead of themselves, a firm that does excellent work and creates early opportunities for all of its lawyers, and a firm that is committed to serving the community through pro bono work and volunteer activities, please consider joining us.

Marci A. Eisenstein, Managing Partner

  • The Opportunities

    Most firms ask law students to decide what kind of lawyer they would like to be while they are still in law school. That doesn’t make sense to us. Few people can take Property and know for sure that they want to be – or don’t want to be – a real estate lawyer.

    For that reason, we don’t hire new associates into practice groups. Instead, we encourage incoming associates to explore a range of opportunities before selecting a group. New associates seek work from the practice areas they find interesting, do the work, and then choose the right group for them.

    We find that lawyers who choose the direction of their own careers are far more likely to be happy and productive. If you select your practice group the first week you’re here, great. But if you choose after a year of exploration, that’s fine too.

    New associates at Schiff Hardin have early opportunities to learn and contribute. You will not spend your first year sitting in your office reviewing documents. Instead, you’ll be in court. You’ll be negotiating deals. And you’ll be meeting with clients. You’ll learn from hands-on experiences.

  • The People

    Large law firms may look alike online, but they really aren’t. Each has its own flavor. At Schiff Hardin, our lawyers are diverse in many ways: we have different genders, colors, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities. We also have different interests, talents, and skills. But we also have many things in common. And we know that we need the skills and perspectives of everyone here to obtain the best results for our clients.

    Who works here? A former City of Chicago yo-yo champion. A lawyer who rose from mailroom messenger to managing partner. A nationally competitive ballroom dancer (who began dancing just a few years ago). A professional sculptor. A former Navy officer who served on a destroyer in the Persian Gulf. Several former Teach for America and Peace Corps volunteers. And 300 other unique colleagues in six cities around the country.

    Join us and bring your one-of-a-kind qualities to Schiff Hardin!

  • The Experience

    Why should you choose Schiff Hardin over other large law firms? Because we’re big enough to have the most sophisticated work but small enough that everyone here plays a key role. You’ll get high-level experience right away, and we’ll help you learn and develop skills that you will take with you throughout your career.

    Many large law firms focus on mega-cases and mega-deals. New associates work for mid-level associates, who work for senior associates, who work for partners. Not so here. Our teams regularly consist of just one partner and one associate. Associates develop their skills while they work side-by-side with partners on cutting-edge legal matters. Lean staffing means that you will get early, hands-on substantive work and direct contact with Fortune 500, mid-size business, and individual clients.

    Our work ranges from large, complex, bet-the-company cases to smaller matters that junior associates run. With the supervision of senior lawyers, new transactional associates monitor and manage deals, negotiate with opposing counsel, and draft corporate and financing documents. And new litigation associates appear in court, take and defend depositions, and research and write sophisticated trial and appellate briefs.

    We are looking for lawyers who are eager to start practicing law the day they arrive, who seek out new challenges, and who see each matter as an opportunity to contribute and achieve the client’s goal.

  • The Training

    At Schiff Hardin, we do not expect you to develop your skills alone. We’ll help you through our formal and informal professional development programs. We have an in-house legal writing coach who spends most of her time with summer and new associates, and we provide individual business development coaching and mentoring. You’ll learn the skills you need when you need them.

    Our summer program features training in three areas: legal writing for law practice; practical corporate and litigation skills; and client skills/business development.

    The learning process doesn’t end when you graduate from law school. Our writing coach hosts workshops and works with you individually, and our practice groups run more advanced trainings. We also support associates who seek training outside the firm, including intensive trial skills training through the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA).

    In addition, our lawyers have hands-on opportunities to develop their skills through paid and pro bono client work and through bar association and community service.

    At Schiff Hardin, if you want to sharpen your skills, learn how to sell yourself and the firm to a potential new client, or write a first-rate brief, all you have to do is ask. The resources and opportunities are here for you.

  • The Community

    Friends and mentors are plentiful at Schiff Hardin. You do not need to look far to find others who share the firm’s values, including a commitment to pro bono work and the communities where we live and work.

    Your first “community” will be your summer associate class. But that’s just the start. The firm fosters additional connections through formal and informal events and programs. A few examples: groups of associates venture out each month to the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services clinic. New lawyers firm-wide are paired with experienced ones in a formal mentoring program. Practice groups host regular social and professional development events. And lawyers from all six offices come to Chicago for firm meetings. These and other programs sustain and strengthen the Schiff Hardin community.

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IN OUR WORDS

Jessica J. Birnbaum

Associate
Attorneys here are invested in my development. I was asked to draft complex estate planning documents beginning my first week, and the assigning partners have always been happy to sit down with me, explain the provisions of documents, and share their experience and knowledge. They’ve also shown their confidence in me by encouraging me to work with clients on my own.
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IN OUR WORDS

Emily M. Peña

Associate
Schiff Hardin is a very inclusive place. It is dedicated not just to attracting people from different backgrounds to the firm, but to supporting and developing us as we continue to grow as lawyers.
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IN OUR WORDS

Michael K. Molzberger

Associate
Schiff Hardin is the perfect balance between a global mega-firm and a smaller boutique firm. It combines international clients, a national presence, and intellectually stimulating work with strong values and down-to-earth people.
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IN OUR WORDS

Sara Rosenberg

Associate
I have mentors here who advise me both on technical legal issues and my practice development. The sense of accomplishment I get when I try something completely new and succeed is incredible. Schiff Hardin provides its associates with everything they need to be great lawyers.