Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Ata Ur Rehman: I would count both as of same weight. But it`s always better to get a contextual link, rather than a link from footer or sidebar, unless you`re a developer of the website.
Michael Martinez: On a responsive site, the sidebar may be pushed down to just above the footer anyway. It probably doesn`t matter to the search engine but consider what your mobile visitors will see as the top priority.