Mentor Spotlight: Joseph Goldhammer
Joe Goldhammer (University of California Berkeley School of Law, JD’73), adjunct professor at the Sturm College of Law teaching sports and labor law, and labor and workers' compensation law attorney with the firm of Rosenblatt & Gosch, has been mentoring Denver Law’s sports and entertainment law students since 2016.
Goldhammer has been teaching sports law at Denver Law every fall for the past five years, where he focuses on not only teaching but also developing lasting relationships with his students. In fact, it is not uncommon for his students to stay in touch with Goldhammer on a regular basis as they move on in law school and into their career.
So, when one of his students suggested he get involved with the Professional Mentoring Program (PMP), Goldhammer felt it was a natural extension of his responsibility as a lawyer.
“There is a culture of helping younger people. It’s part of what being a lawyer is and part of being a faculty member. More than just teaching them the content of the specific course or how to get through law school, we help them understand what they should be doing as lawyers, as well as support them throughout the early portions of their career, if they need help.” he said.
Goldhammer offers his mentees a holistic approach to the mentoring process. He not only guides students on the path to their legal careers but also believes in providing a support system and sense of community to those who reach out to him.
“The personal relationships that you nurture and cultivate are part of our education. I want to make sure that students feel at home not only with me but also with my family and know to call on us whenever needed,” Goldhammer said.
He also makes a point to instill the philosophy of balance in students he works with. Mentee Han DePorter, 1L, said that Goldhammer has provided valuable guidance through his experience in education and labor law. But, importantly, their work together has yielded much more.
“We talked about our shared love for hiking, so he invited me for a day in Rocky Mountain National Park. I don’t think we talked about anything law related that entire trip. There are so many things that make up an individual’s identity besides being a lawyer, so I think it is important to see that as well,” said DePorter.
Goldhammer takes pride in knowing that volunteering in the PMP has helped form the lawyers of tomorrow, as well as spurred his mentees to do the same.
“There’s a style to practicing law, and we as members of the bar and members of the society have an ethical obligation that goes beyond mere ethics…it goes to how to treat human beings,” he said. “I try to instill that culture of helping others in my students when they graduate, and I am proud to say that many of them have taken up the mantle and returned to mentor in the PMP themselves.”