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Student Spotlight: Margot Sheridan

Health Law Student Scholar Margot Sheridan on the Benefits of Experiential Learning Opportunities

Margot Sheridan
Margot Sheridan ('23) exemplifies DePaul Law's commitment to providing a robust health law curriculum and variety of co-curricular opportunities. Currently the director of programming for the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI) Student Board, Sheridan interned at Sinai Chicago after her 1L year and was a summer associate with Kirkland & Ellis after her 2L year. JHLI Executive Director Alice Setrini finds Margot to be “a thoughtful and dedicated leader within the Jaharis Health Law Institute. Since her 1L year, her interest and commitment to learning about the myriad aspects of health law has been remarkable, and her leadership on the JHLI Student Board is invaluable. She also is a terrific student whose keen intellect, coupled with her enthusiasm and empathy, will surely set her up as an outstanding future advocate."

Sheridan decided to attend law school while an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, where she studied political science and marketing. She was particularly impressed with the Introduction to Constitutional Law course, where class discussions centered around U.S. Supreme Court cases, politics and the implications of the law. However, before applying to law school, Sheridan sought real world experience, and she joined a health care consulting firm, The Advisory Board, in Washington, DC. During her time there, the firm was acquired by Optum, and Sheridan transitioned from a research-based role to an associate with the Analytics Case Performance Team. As a liaison between the sales reps and product teams, she remembers, “This role made me very interested in intellectual property and technology law and how they connect to the health care industry, and once I started at DePaul Law, that's what I wanted to pursue." 

After starting law school, Sheridan became heavily involved with JHLI, eventually becoming a JHLI Scholar and director of programming for its student board. The events she organizes range from coffee chats and networking sessions to lunchtime talks and educational symposia.  This October, JHLI hosted a program on the use of psychedelic medicine for mental health treatment, and the JHLI symposium in March 2023 will focus heavily on reproductive rights, which Sheridan recognizes as one of the hottest topics in health care today. Sheridan considers data privacy and the concerns that arise with the increase in artificial intelligence and smart tech in health care to be another crucial issue that will increasingly be part of the discussion surrounding health law. Beyond JLHI, Sheridan also serves on the DePaul Law Review, is training for the Chicago Bar Association's Moot Court Competition in November and participates in the Business Law Clinic to further hone her skills in client communication and teamwork. 

Outside of law school courses, Sheridan has gained significant practical legal experience. As a JHLI Scholar, she interned at Sinai Chicago in North Lawndale. The following year, she was a summer associate with Kirkland & Ellis as part of its Technology & IP Transactions Practice Group, which provided her with exposure to many types of projects. As she explains, “I learned about intellectual property issues in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical and medical device deals, which I enjoyed doing." She will be returning to Kirkland after completing her third year where she plans to “maintain a broad horizon and get as much experience as I can." 

Sheridan considers getting involved in extracurricular activities and time management to be the two most important keys to her success as a law student.  While she acknowledges the value of grades, she realizes that “the real learning happens through externships and [other] experiential learning opportunities. DePaul Law does a really good job of allowing students to obtain real world experience, which allows me to test my skills and practice before graduating." She also advises law students to figure out time management early on so that “you can find ways to make learning interesting and get a handle on doing everything you want to do." Great advice for law students and lawyers alike.