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External Career Opportunities Manager

Sidley Austin LLP
Chicago, IL
United States


The External Career Opportunities Manager supports key elements of the firm’s external career opportunities strategy, focusing on assisting firm lawyers, alumni, and clients in identifying, securing, and succeeding in desirable in-house positions. In this role, the Manager provides expert guidance on in-house legal careers and career-development strategies, including advising individual lawyers, practice leaders, and relevant Sidley colleagues. The Manager manages the firm’s external career opportunities platform for lawyers, including overseeing relevant processes, procedures, and workflows to ensure that the platform remains a valuable firm resource. Along with the rest of the Learning & Development team, the Manager serves as an ambassador for the external career opportunities strategy and platform, including related technology, people, processes, and best practices. The Manager reports to the Director of External Career Opportunities and supervises one direct report.

Duties and Responsibilities

Identify and develop key internal and external relationships to support the external career opportunities platform and identify new career opportunities.
Build relationships with key recruiters, firm lawyers, alumni, and clients to collect additional opportunities via referrals. Conduct additional career opportunities research, as necessary, through outreach to firm lawyers, clients and other resources.
Establish and cultivate relationships with practice leaders and liaisons to identify appropriate candidates for client-based and other strategic in-house opportunities, and otherwise build and strengthen the value and visibility of the external career opportunities platform and strategy.
Promote the external career opportunities platform as a valuable resource for partners to offer to clients seeking exceptionally qualified candidates.
Work with partners to help identify strategic, client-based opportunities.
Communicate regularly with key partners on identified opportunities and interested candidates.
Support firm lawyers, alumni, and clients seeking in-house opportunities.
Assist firm lawyers, alumni, and clients in identifying and pursuing in-house positions. Maintain and actively manage a portfolio of candidates and open positions.
Consult and collaborate with colleagues on the Learning & Development team to provide seamless career development advice and consultation to lawyers.
Assist lawyers with the development of self-marketing materials such as resumes, CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, facilitate introductions, and assist lawyers preparing for interviews.
Collaborate with the Learning & Development team and other departments to support local and firmwide career-development activities.
Operate as a “center of excellence” around career-development strategies and subsequent activities.
Maintain oversight of career-development resources library.
Collaborate with Alumni professionals and other members of the Marketing team.
Maintain oversight of the career opportunities platform, including data accuracy and associated processes and procedures.
Train individuals responsible for data entry. Delegate and supervise daily data-entry assignments.
Oversee processes, procedures, and workflows that ensure consistent and accurate daily data collection, entry, and processing.
Execute and supervise data imports and exports. Identify trends, define relevant metrics, and produce analytical reports to support career-development initiatives.
Develop instructions and related communications to maximize use of the platform. Provide day‑to‑day user support and trouble‑shooting assistance.
Ensure the integrity of the data within the platform and compliance with all applicable data privacy regulations and policies.
Act as project manager for platform upgrades and enhancements, including tracking and reporting progress and assessing and delivering results.
Continue to develop the external career opportunities platform and strategy.
Collaborate with other firm administrative teams, including Human Resources, Information Technology, and Marketing, to integrate the platform with other firm systems, maximize its effectiveness, and ensure a consistent, high level of service and performance.
Collect feedback on the external career opportunities platform and strategy, recommend enhancements, and implement improvements.
Assist with additional projects associated with the firm’s external career opportunities platform and related career-development initiatives.
Develop subject-matter expertise on the scope and nature of internal and external data that could be leveraged to enhance the platform and related firm initiatives.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform the Duties and Responsibilities (Duties) above satisfactorily and meet the requirements below. The requirements listed below are representative of the minimum knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. If you need such an accommodation, please email (current employees should contact Human Resources).

Education and/or Experience:


Bachelor’s degree
Minimum of five years of experience in a law firm, professional services firm, or similar environment, with a history of increasing responsibility
Minimum of two years of experience working with databases
Minimum of two years of supervisory experience
Sound project management skills
Demonstrated ability to define and implement processes related to collecting and managing data
Strong research skills, with a focus on internet search
Demonstrated ability to execute tasks and processes efficiently and effectively with minimal direct supervision
Demonstrated knowledge of MS Office, especially using Excel for reporting and analysis
Effective written and oral communication skills
Ability to work effectively across offices and time zones
Ability to format graphs, charts, and other visual methods of presenting information


Juris Doctor degree
Data entry and quality control experience
Career-development experience

Other Skills and Abilities:

The following will also be required of the successful candidate:

Strong organizational skills
Strong attention to detail
Good judgment
Strong interpersonal communication skills
Strong analytical and problem solving skills
Able to work harmoniously and effectively with others
Able to preserve confidentiality and exercise discretion
Demonstrated ownership, commitment to the job, and initiative
Able to work under pressure
Able to manage multiple projects with competing deadlines and priorities
Business acumen

Sidley Austin LLP is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.