Incoming Harvard Law School student Mary Catherine Cook is the recipient of The Kryder Law Group, LLC Community Leadership Scholarship. Cook is an outstanding example of leadership and dedication to both her local and national communities. In her winning essay, Cook detailed her thoughts on the most important aspects of a true leader.
Mary Catherine Cook’s experiences have taught her that leaders should demonstrate “a service-driven heart, humble intelligence, and integrity,” she wrote. Through her schooling at Vanderbilt University, her extensive volunteer work during Alternative Spring Break and helping neighbors through COVID-19, and internships, she has achieved all those qualities.
The Many Hats of Mary Catherine Cook
Cook’s winning essay highlighted the ways that her experiences have shaped her view of leadership. Her father’s pro bono work as a lawyer, she said, demonstrates a service-driven heart and is something she wishes to emulate in her own future law career.
After using Alternative Spring Break to learn about and serve healthcare disparities in rural Appalachian communities, Cook also demonstrated service leadership by working on the Senate HELP committee. Her work there included “shortening the FAFSA (application for federal student aid) to… a little over 30 questions,” she said in our interview.
Cook has also interned with Northern District of Alabama Judge David Proctor. During her time working with him, she gleaned much about the importance of integrity when representing the justice system. “He is careful to not even jaywalk,” she wrote.
Her dedication to integrity was also bolstered by her work on the Vanderbilt University Honor Council. This student body is tasked with analyzing potential ethical violations, such as plagiarism, and handing out sanctions. “In that position,” Cook said, “I did a lot of reflecting.” She realized that these were real sanctions that affected people’s lives, and they had to be handled with care.
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Mary Catherine Cook’s Future
Cook will be attending Harvard Law School this year. Afterward, she plans to work as an attorney, perform pro bono work like her father, and continue to serve communities in as many ways as she can.
She said it best in her winning essay: “As I prepare for my legal studies and career, I hope to follow in the footsteps of the many role models I have learned from, serving and shaping my community for the better.”
About The Kryder Law Group
The Kryder Law Group, LLC is a personal injury firm located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by attorney Andrew S. Kryder, it has won tens of millions of dollars for its many clients. The law firm instituted the Kryder Law Group, LLC Community Leadership Scholarship to reward applicants who demonstrate a level of service and dedication to local communities above and beyond the norm.