Mary Kate Sheridan

Mary Kate Sheridan

Mary Kate is Vault's Senior Law Editor. She holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and a BA in English from Mary Washington College. Mary Kate covers legal careers, the legal industry, and general career advice. Previously, Mary Kate worked as a litigator at a Vault 100 law firm.

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All Posts by Mary Kate Sheridan

Big Changes in Legal Recruiting & What They Mean for You

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  December 19, 2018

Legal recruiting has gotten a surprise makeover. And it's a big one.Last week, the National Association for Legal Placement (NALP) revealed its new Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process. These principles replaced the organization's prior guidance on legal recruiting-guidance that has governed (voluntarily) for years. According to NALP's memo on the topic, "the 28-day period Read More >

Q&A with Stephen McArthur, “The Video Game Lawyer”

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  December 03, 2018

Stephen McArthur is the Founding Attorney of The McArthur Law Firm. He counsels clients on trademark and copyright issues in the video game industry and helps them protect their valuable brands through IP registration, enforcement, and litigation. His clients' video games have billions of downloads worldwide and have ranked as the #1 gaming mobile apps in over 50 countries. Stephen was named a 2016, 2017, and 2018 "Super Lawyers" Rising Star, and Martindale Hubbell recently awarded him a... Read More >

Why You Should Be Thinking of Transferring Law Schools Now

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  November 26, 2018

It's not them; it's you. Your priorities have changed. Or perhaps it is them. The classes haven't challenged you enough, or career prospects are underwhelming. Maybe it was never meant to be, and your heart has always been set on another school that was out of reach. Whatever the reasoning, many law students consider jumping ship from their current law school for a better fit. And if you're one of them, you should be thinking about your next move now. I know what you're thinking-you... Read More >

5 Tips for Jump-starting Your Job Search Over the Holidays

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  November 20, 2018

There's nothing like the holidays for some time off to relax. It's a great time to forget about work and enjoy your friends and family. And holiday social events are always a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the work day. Having a few days off is also a great time to pounce on your job search. I know, I know-you just want to eat some turkey and doze on the couch to the sweet sound of r Read More >

Holiday Billable Blues

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  November 19, 2018

The clock is ticking down to sweet holiday freedom. You can practically smell your family's home-cooked feast from your office, and the thought of abandoning billable hours for a day is making you giddy. And then it happens-the most dreaded pre-holiday sound. Your office phone rings. You've been assigned to an emergency matter and must drop everything to help, including your holiday plans.As many lawyers know, holiday work isn't just a plot line to escalate the drama in movies. When a... Read More >

The One Mistake to Avoid When Studying for Law School Finals

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  November 14, 2018

When I was in law school, I had a final exam routine-from the types of study materials I made and my process for studying them, all the way down to the type of drink I'd bring into the test room and the music I'd listen to right before the test. Some called it crazy; I called it self preservation. Whatever you call it, it worked for me, and the familiarity helped me curb my stress. I learned early on in law school-during midterms-just how hysterical law students can get during exams. Rather... Read More >

Dealing with a Difficult Law Firm Partner

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  November 12, 2018

We've all heard the stories of partners from hell-nightmarish tales of screaming; belittling; and throwing staplers, files, or whatever else is handy. If you're a law firm associate, you may understand the plight of working with a difficult partner all too well. Shouting and other inappropriate behavior may not even be involved; rather, a partner's relentless demand for your time, general lack of respect, and dissatisfaction with anything but utter perfection can turn an associate's life... Read More >

Misconceptions About Being a Litigator

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  November 07, 2018

When people think of lawyers-especially litigators-they often envision romanticized versions from the media: dramatic closings before a jury, discovery of a loophole with minutes to spare, or heated battles with adversaries. They don't tend to think of the day-to-day work of a litigator, which requires a range of skills and planning to provide the best advocacy for clients. On the flipside, law students frequently believe they'll be locked away clicking on documents all day and never see... Read More >

Four Steps to Take Before Quitting the Legal Profession

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  October 29, 2018

You slogged through three years of law school, went through bar-exam hell, and have logged more hours at your firm than you knew existed in a day. And now you've realized you don't want to be a lawyer. I know what you're thinking-and what everyone who has an opinion is telling you: All of that time, money, and effort for nothing.But it isn't for nothing. Take it from a former practicing attorney who went down an alternative path. Legal skills are highly transferrable to a number of other... Read More >

National Pro Bono Week: A Glimpse At the Top 5 Law Firms for Pro Bono

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  October 24, 2018

It’s National Pro Bono Week! Legal organizations, law schools, and bar associations around the country are celebrating the enormous contributions that lawyers make to pro bono daily. This year is particularly special because it marks the 10th year of ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service's (The Committee) National Celebration of Pro Bono. According to Read More >

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