Franchise Legal Player Awards | Q&A with Kate McComiskey
Franchise Legal Player Awards | Q&A with Kate McComiskey

1851 Interviews the Highest Profile Attorneys in Franchising


About Sylvan Learning: With more than 35 years of experience and more than 750 locations throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE—STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep —college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. For more information, visit or



1851: How did you fall into franchising?

McComiskey: Sylvan Learning is an incredible company focused on helping students in need and improving local communities. I was originally drawn to Sylvan not because of my interest in franchising, but because I felt a deep admiration for the company’s mission and core values. I wanted to join a team that was enthusiastic about issues in education and motivated to enable students’ successes. Once I joined the Sylvan team, I dove into franchise law and all of the issues that often surround franchisors and franchisees. I learned the ropes as quickly as I could, and I am still learning new things every day.

1851: What do you love most about franchising?

McComiskey: I love to watch Sylvan change and grow with new programs and business initiatives, and to be involved from the planning through the implementation stages. Even more, I enjoy engaging with the franchisees and hearing about all of the great things they are doing to grow their businesses in their local communities.

1851: What makes a great client?

McComiskey: As in-house counsel, my client is my company and its stakeholders. I love Sylvan every day, but I love it most when the team seeks legal counsel proactively and responds to our direction in a meaningful way, sensitive to the risks presented and the pros and cons of every potential scenario.

1851: What makes a great franchise attorney?

McComiskey: A great franchise attorney is someone who values the business, and the perspectives of the decision-makers present at the table. It is not always about the legal upsides or downsides, but instead about the overarching goals of the company and finding the best path to achieve them.