Being the cultural and economic capital of the Midwest, Chicago boasts a vibrant and diversified economy that makes it the third-largest legal market in the United States. To be precise, Chicago is home to several Fortune 1000 companies across a broad spectrum of industries such as food, transportation, insurance, and manufacturing, among others. Moreover, there is a sizeable financial market plus a growing tech sector. All of this economic vibrancy is the key driver that makes Chicago such a large legal market.
How much does an Attorney make in Chicago, IL?
As of 26th February 2020, the average salary for an attorney in Chicago was $101,518. However, this rate fluctuates between $88,176 and $116,606 depending on several factors such as experience, level of education, certifications, and special skills.
Top law firms in Chicago, IL
With its booming and diverse economy, Chicago is one of the most lucrative legal markets in the US. As a result, many local and international firms call it home. If you are looking for a firm to move to, here is a list of the top law firms in Chicago, IL. If none of these resonate with you, you can always check out our complete catalog of the best firms in Chicago, IL
Besides being a top law firm in Chicago and the entire United States, Baker McKenzie boasts dozens of offices in virtually every continent on earth. While the firm wears many hats, it is most reputed for tax law and international litigation. However, this firm specializes in a wide range of legal practices including but not limited to employment, capital markets, M&A, intellectual property, private equity, real estate, restructuring, antitrust, international trade, and commerce.
Sidley Austin is a global powerhouse with over 2000 attorneys stationed in 20 offices across the globe. Being one of the best law firms in Chicago and perhaps the whole United States, it boasts a long list of high-end clients. From its 20 offices across the globe, they serve clients from a wide range of industries and specializing in energy, life sciences, health care, banking, insurance, and technology.
Jones Day is a heavy hitter in the realm of litigation with a hand in virtually all legal practice areas. In its 43 offices on five continents, the firm boasts over 2000 lawyers who specialize in a wide array of legal practice areas. The firm's most notable practices include employment, M&A, private equity, international law, securities, IP, securities litigation, appellate litigation, and labor-just to mention but a few.
With over 90 offices across the world and 4200 lawyers, DLA Piper is arguably one of the largest law firms in Chicago and perhaps the world both in terms of revenue and headcount. The firm provides legal services in several practice areas such as real estate litigation, financing, development, construction, REITs, and asset management. But that's not all. With newly emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning, DLA Piper has expanded its areas of practice to include data protection, security, and privacy, among others.
Latham & Watkins LLP is a bona fide member of elite US heritage and magic circle law firms, which makes it one of the best law firms in Chicago. With over 2500 lawyers in 29 offices located in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US, the firm provides legal services in virtually all practice areas. Mainly, Latham & Watkins LLP is an international leader in environmental law, corporate transactions, litigation, finance matters, and tax services.
Mayer Brown is an international firm with offices not only in the US, but also Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In these offices, it employs over 1500 attorneys who provide legal services in several practice areas. The firm is primarily known for its top-notch finance, appellate, and corporate practices. Even so, it also serves other areas such as life sciences, chemicals, hospitality, private equity, health care, infrastructure, oil and gas, transportation, and many others.
From its Chicago roots, Jenner and Block LLP has grown into a nationwide law firm with offices in other notable US cities such as Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles. Its client list is a perfect blend of fortune 500 companies such as General Motors, General Electric, and General Dynamics plus other notable players in the technology, arts, and entertainment industries. While it is famous for its litigation prowess, the firm is no slouch in other practice areas such as M&A, complex transactions, startups, real estate, and private equity, among others.
Foley & Lardner LLP is arguably one of the best firms in Chicago, ILL, with a notable hand in health care practice. However, the firm serves a wide range of industries, with the majority coming from the energy, automotive, technology, and life sciences sectors. Owing to its litigation prowess, it has had the rare opportunity to work with industry trendsetters such as Hewlett-Packard and Harley-Davidson.
What's the Bottom Line?
With Chicago being the third-largest legal market in the United States, there is no doubt that there are opportunities for all legal practitioners regardless of experience and level of education. The robust and booming economy is ever driving the demand, and you will not be mistaken to test how deep the waters are. In other words, it is one of the most lucrative cities in the US, where you can kick start or advance your legal career.