Kaitlin McManus

Kaitlin McManus

Kaitlin McManus is Vault’s Associate Law Editor. She received her B.A. in English from Illinois Wesleyan University and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School. She has worked for a literary magazine and a publisher focused on nonfiction music titles. Now she writes career advice content for Vault’s blog (most notably for the undergrad blog) and works on Vault's various law guides. She always told her parents she'd never be an attorney—they think her current position is extremely funny.


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All Posts by Kaitlin McManus

Midterm Checklist: Four Things to Do Around Spring Break

by Kaitlin McManus  |  March 08, 2019

It's SPRING BREAK-or at least it's really, really close. But do you know what comes first? Midterms. And travel planning. And a whole mess of stuff. I know it probably feels like the semester just started (and it kind of did), but there are some things that you should probably get around to now that you've only got a few weeks left in the school year. 1. Focus on midterm exams. Midterms often make up a fairly significant portion of your final grade in a class, so these are tests you're... Read More >

Inclusive Commute: An International Women’s Day Reading List

by Kaitlin McManus  |  March 06, 2019

Last month, I compiled a reading list for Black History Month. This month is Women's History Month-and March 8th is International Women's Day. This month, I urge you to use your commute to take in the perspectives of women from various countries, cultures, and backgrounds, and with a myriad of identities. We're half the population, and yet female authors are continuously underrepresented in the printed word. This month, and every month, it's important to hear women's voices in the wor Read More >

A Handy-Dandy Guide to Email Etiquette

by Kaitlin McManus  |  March 05, 2019

Ever hit "reply all" on an email you shouldn't have? Or vice versa? How do you write a formal email without sounding like you have no personality, or altogether too much personality? And what the heck are you supposed to put in the subject line? Well, I'm not Emily Post-but in this guide to email etiquette, you can call me E-Post. (Get it?) We're going to take a deep dive on the multitudinous aspects of "shooting off a quick email," which is rarely as simple as it sounds. Re: Subject... Read More >

3 Reasons You Should Try Academic Research

by Kaitlin McManus  |  March 01, 2019

I got an email the other day from Academia.edu. Considering I left grad school almost a year ago, my first thought was, "How did they find me?" Turns out, my name had been mentioned in a research paper. It had almost completely slipped my mind that, while a sophomore at Boston University, I was a research assistant at the Harvard Laboratory for Developmental Studies. It wasn't as glamorous as it sounds-mostly I cold-called parents and asked if they wanted to bring their toddler in to... Read More >

That Should Be a Class: Basic Post-College Skills You’ll Probably Need to Teach Yourself

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 27, 2019

High school and college go a long way in preparing us for "real life." But even those who graduate with top grades from star schools can find some pitfalls in the day-to-day. How hard "adulting" is has become such a meme that there's even an Adulting School where they teach you about everything from money to DIY projects. Spoiler alert: the classes aren't cheap, and you can learn about most of their subjects elsewhere for free. Given how expensive college is, you think they'd teach you how... Read More >

Legal Career Spotlight: From Law Clerk to Federal Public Defender to Law Firm Partner

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 24, 2019

Sam Josephs is a partner at Spertus Landes & Umhofer, a full-service litigation boutique based in Los Angeles. After earning his J.D. from Georgetown and clerking for the Southern District of New York and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he became a federal public defender for the Central District of California and served for nearly five years. In private practice, he specializes in white collar criminal matters and general civil litigation and represents students in university-led... Read More >

Is There Such Thing as Too Many Internships?

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 22, 2019

Whether you're coming out of college or just finding your groove, it can be tough to stand out from your peers as you prepare to join the working world. And though colleges offer a smorgasbord of opportunities and extracurriculars, one surefire way to get noticed on the job market is an internship. Be they over the summer or over a semester, an internship demonstrates initiative, work ethic, and maturity in a work environment. So you should try to nab as many as you can,... Read More >

The Best Law Firms for Lateral/Clerk Integration

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 19, 2019

While many firms focus their recruiting efforts on their summer program, incoming laterals and clerks are also crucial parts of building a well-rounded team. They can leverage their unique experiences and perspectives to bolster and grow a firm's practices as they work together with homegrown attorneys. But the key to successful lateral recruiting isn't merely attracting top talent; it's effectively onboarding the lawyers as well. Laterals come in at virtually every level, and making the Read More >

5 Tips for Getting a Stellar Letter of Recommendation

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 19, 2019

I don't know about you, but the idea of asking people for letters of recommendation makes my palms sweat. Asking for favors can already be uncomfortable, and asking someone to write a letter talking about how amazing you are is-in any context besides a letter of recommendation-about as self-absorbed as one can be. But, letters of recommendation are a normal part of applying to schools, jobs, and other organizations-and can be absolutely crucial in a grad school application So if you're not... Read More >

Surviving the GRE Part Three: Test Day

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 12, 2019

Test day is here! Are you excited? Nervous? Sick with dread? It's okay, that's normal. When it comes to GRE test day, I can say with all certainty that the best way to mitigate freaking out is to know what you're in for. I've already covered in this series what the GRE is and some useful study tactics, so now I'm going to talk about how to pre Read More >

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