As you begin your practice, you will hear about the importance of mentorship. A mentor is touted as a resource, a network, and a platform for valuable wisdom and advice. The guidance to find those auspicious people, however, may be scarce. While not a one-size-fits-all approach, the few tips below may be helpful in finding a mentor and maintaining the mentoring relationship.
Join a mentorship program.
Many legal organizations offer mentorship programs that connect aspiring mentors and mentees. Your local bar association may have sections or divisions that reference mentorship programs, especially the sections for younger lawyers (e.g., young lawyer bar association). These programs facilitate mentor-mentee connection and help develop relationships by organizing amusing events.
Generally, you must take a first step whether you join a formal mentorship program or reach out to a potential mentor on your own. While seasoned attorneys or mentors genuinely enjoy guiding and building a professional relationship with newer attorneys, often, they have busy schedules. It is easier for a mentor to agree to show up to an event that you’ve already planned, than it is for him or her to take the laboring oar of making the plans themselves. To facilitate a mentor’s life, send friendly reminders or calendar invitations for upcoming meetings. Ask your mentor for the time and place that fit best in their schedules. And if your mentor prefers that you choose a time and a place, find a convenient time and select a venue that would not burden your mentor’s commute. The easier it is for a mentor to attend the event, the more likely he or she is to consistently show up.