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

From Law to Layer Cakes: Q&A With Helene Godin of By the Way Bakery

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 11, 2019

In her 22-year legal career-including stints at Moses & Singer, Reader's Digest, Audible, Bloomberg, and her own law firm-Helene Godin saw it all. Except, that is, the inside of a kitchen. But that didn't stop her from leaving the law and founding By the Way Bakery: a gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher bakery with footprints in New York and Connecticut. We sat down with her at a diner on the Upper West Side to talk about her journey, her passions, and how she "bakes the world a better... Read More >

Surviving the GRE Part Two: Study Tactics

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 05, 2019

Sun Tzu wrote, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." While quoting The Art of War in a discussion of the GRE may seem dramatic, let me be the first to assure you that the GRE is a battle. The advice applies; essentially, Sun Tzu is saying if you want to succeed at something, you best come prepared. You can't just go wading into battle and hope for the best-and the same goes for the GRE. So here I'm discussing some... Read More >

Inclusive Commute: A Black History Month Reading List

by Kaitlin McManus  |  February 04, 2019

A friend of mine was telling me not long ago that, for a culture to persist and thrive, it needs media representation. I agree with him completely. In fact, he reaffirmed my belief that one of the best ways to engage with a culture that is not yours is to engage with its media. This Black History Month (and throughout the year), it's so important that we stop to acknowledge the Black American experience. We as a culture must evaluate our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the... Read More >

4 Reasons to Work from Home This Winter

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 30, 2019

Did you know that, in Dante's Inferno, the ninth and final circle of hell isn't, as one might expect, an inferno? Nope-actually, the further that Dante and Virgil get to the bottom, the colder it gets. The ninth circle is, essentially, an ice cave with Satan trapped inside. You know what that sounds like? Chicago, today. The high today is -12⁰, though the wind chill is bringing it down to about -50⁰-one of the coldest days on record Read More >

Surviving the GRE Part One: The Basics

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 28, 2019

Back in 2014, HBO's Last Week Tonight claimed that kids can take up to 113 standardized tests before graduating high school. I'm not here to debate the efficacy or usefulness of standardized tests, but I can tell you one thing for sure: they stop pretty much the second you get to college. And thank God, because college is hard enough. But somewhere down the line, a lot of people make the choice to go to grad school. And guess what-standardized tests come back with a vengeance. Be it the... Read More >

Job Hunting Strategies—For Opposite Day Only

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 24, 2019

According to the calendar of the weird, January 25th is Opposite Day. And don't even try the, "Actually, it's NOT Opposite Day" nonsense, I'm not having it. Opposite Day has never quite risen above an obnoxious children's game for me, but I always liked the idea of Topsy-Turvy Day, like in the Hunchback of Notre Dame movie. It's when people go crazy-when we do all the stuff we're not supposed to do-just for a day. So, in the spirit of that, I thought I'd go over some things that you should... Read More >

Are Post-Interview Thank-You Notes Still a Thing?

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 24, 2019

I've never once enjoyed writing a thank-you letter. I'll admit it-I find them awkward and tedious. Growing up, after every Christmas and birthday my dad sat me down with a list of the gifts I received from relatives and stack of cards. It was tortuous. I never had any idea what to say, I was used to just saying "thank you" in person. Sue me-I was eleven and not Emily Post. Writing the letters took all day, and I still carry the resentment over lost time. So trust me, I'll be the first to... Read More >

Should I Transfer Schools?: An Insider's Perspective

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 14, 2019

As we enter into the new year, it's only natural that we start taking stock of where we find ourselves. We ask ourselves if the past year was a good one for us, if this coming one will be better, and if we're happy with where we are in life-deep questions in the deep winter. It was around this time in 2013 that I looked at myself and realized that I wasn't happy. At all, hardly ever. I was a sophomore in college, studying what I loved in a great city, and I went home to Illinois in... Read More >

Take a Look: The Best Law Firms for Transparency

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 08, 2019

A law firm's level of transparency can have a tremendous impact on its associates' job satisfaction. Be it concerning the firm's financials, the path to promotion and partnership, or bonus and pay structure-when leadership is up front about the state of the firm, it can make associates feel more invested in their workplace. Transparency can boost firm morale and encourage an open, honest firm culture. In Vault's recent Associate Survey, insiders shared their thoughts on their firms'... Read More >

How to Network in Close-Knit Industries

by Kaitlin McManus  |  January 07, 2019

Let me tell you a little story about small working communities: Two summers ago, I went to a panel where an editor named Katie was speaking. She brought some books that she'd worked on to hand out and I snagged a book that had been on my list for a few months, then read it a few weeks later. Come fall, I was in a class with a different editor named John who asked us to find authors who fit a specific theme for an upcoming project. I suggested the author of the book I'd gotten from Katie.... Read More >

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