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

Five Tips for Crafting a Compelling Legal Cover Letter

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  October 22, 2018

You've found your dream law firm, and now you need to figure out how to get in the door. One major road block is in your way: the dreaded cover letter. The last thing you want to do is write generic, canned drivel and sound like every other applicant. But this is a law firm-you don't want to stray so far outside the box that you appear unprofessional. What should you do? Four words: think like a lawyer. Use the same skills you would use to win a moot court competition, draft a compelling... Read More >

Best Law Firms by Region

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  October 08, 2018

Sometimes, choosing a law firm hinges on its location-whether for industry focus, particular career goals, family, or other personal reasons, you may be committed to a specific location. When searching for a law firm, it is important to understand the leaders in your market as at least one factor in your decision-making process. Last week, we shared Vault's 2019 Best Law Firms in New York City. In addition to the Big Apple, Vault's Annual Assoc Read More >

Targeted Questions to Ask During Your Law Firm Job Interview

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  October 03, 2018

There is one question you can expect during every law firm job interview: Do you have any questions for me? Your answer should always be "yes." Coming prepared with questions demonstrates your interest in the firm and commitment to your career. Plus, this part of the interview is a valuable opportunity for you to learn more about the firm and assess whether it's the best fit for your long-term goals and personality.Brainstorm questions that touch upon your career priorities, biggest... Read More >

The Best Law Firms in New York

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 28, 2018

Vault's regional rankings are based on ratings from associates who work in each specific region. Associates rate the reputatons of peer firms in their own region only. This year's regional rankings include the following locations: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Miami; the Mid-Atlantic; Midwest; Mountain States; New York City; Northern California; the Pacific Northwest; Southern California; Texas; and Washington, DC. Read More >

Six Tips for First-Year Associates

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 26, 2018

Your bar trip is in the rearview, and the billable hour harkens-it's time to start your new career as a law firm associate. From wrapping your mind around complex legal issues to being always "on call," law firm life is like nothing you've experienced, which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. Don't let nerves get the best of you-start your legal career on the right foot with the following tips.Maximize ResourcesYou're the new kid, and it's okay that you don't know everything about... Read More >

Vault's 2019 Top Law Firms by Practice Area

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 24, 2018

We asked associates to vote for the strongest firms in their specific practice area (aside from their own). These responses yielded Vault's Top Law Firms by Practice Area, which ranks the top firms across 26 practice areas. Read More >

Working from Home Boosts Productivity and Satisfaction, Survey Indicates

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 19, 2018

Working from home may make you more satisfied and boost your productivity according to a new study by Porch. The survey included responses from 1,001 people who either work in an office, work remotely, or split their time between an office and home ("split workers") and explored such topics as job satisfaction, work-location benefits, productivity and distractions, and downsides of remote working.Interestingly, employees who work from home are more satisfied with their jobs overall than... Read More >

New Study Reveals Insights into Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Among Attorneys in Private Practice

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 17, 2018

Lurking in the shadows of the offices of many successful law firms is a weight dragging down many of their attorneys: behavioral health issues and substance abuse disorders. And one of the biggest problems is that these issues should not be in the shadows. The American Bar Association recently launched a campaign through the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession to dedicate more awareness and resources to these concerns. Specificall Read More >

Fun Facts about the Top 100 Law Firms

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 12, 2018

Selecting a law firm is a big decision because-let's face it-you're basically going to be living inside those four walls, cozying up to the billable hour. Researching key aspects of the firm-including the assigning system, training and mentoring, partner relations, transparency, etc.-is important for ensuring the best fit. After a while, though, the statistics and marketing materials may start to blur. When that happens, I recommend digging into each firm's personality. That may mean... Read More >

Maximizing Your 3L Year of Law School

by Mary Kate Sheridan  |  September 07, 2018

Law school classes are officially under way. And for 3Ls, the countdown to the end of their law school careers has begun. Oftentimes, 3L year is best described with one word: coast. Many want a more laid-back schedule after two grueling years of Socratic Method. And while two-year law school programs have yet to become a reality, many have floated the idea of limiting law school to just 1L and 2L years.But as of now, law students are locked into three years Read More >

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