Professional Mentoring Program




Q:  What are each of the different mentoring programs within the Professional Mentoring Program?

A:  The Professional Mentoring Program (the “Program”) is composed of various sub-programs that cater to different groups of students and recent graduates.  The core program pairs practicing attorneys or judges with students in the Juris Doctorate program.  Approximately 325 mentors mentor some 450 law students through this program.

In addition, recent graduates of the Juris Doctorate curriculum can participate in the Transition Program – a mentoring program that matches and facilitates mentoring for attorneys in their first and second years of practice.

The Program also coordinates with each of the law school’s graduate programs to arrange for mentors for graduate students.  These graduate student programs play a vital role in helping graduate students make connections within the local legal community. 

Finally, there is the Summer Program.  The Summer Program pairs law students with a mentor for a brief, three-month mentoring relationship during the summer break.  The Summer Program is specifically designed to match students spending their summer outside of the Denver Metropolitan Area with a mentor in their local market. 

Q: How does matching work? 

A: The Program attempts to match mentors and mentees in several ways, including practice area, practice setting, and other characteristics that attorneys, judges, and students state on their registration forms is of particular interest to them.  That said, the Program is limited to matching students with those mentors who have volunteered, so we cannot guarantee a perfect match by practice area, for example.  What is most important, however, is that each student is matched with an attorney or judge who actively endeavors to cultivate the next group of legal professionals and who the student will have access to throughout their law school career and beyond as a first point of contact for learning to network within and navigate through the local legal community.

Q: Are there diversity mentors?

A: Yes. Any mentee may request a mentor from an underrepresented group. If a mentee does not specifically request a diversity mentor, the mentee will be assigned a mentor based on the stated practice area interests of the mentee. The Program works with all of the diversity bar associations in the Denver metro area. A mentee should indicate any diversity preferences on the Student Application.

Q: Who initiates the first contact?

A: The Program asks mentors to initiate contact with mentees at least for the first semester. After the mentor-mentee relationship has begun to develop, either mentor or mentee may contact the other.

Q: Are mentors and mentees required to discuss the suggested topics during their meetings?

A: No.  Mentors and mentees are encouraged to discuss the suggested topics, but are free to discuss any appropriate topics upon which they mutually agree. The Discussion Topics are merely prompts and include more practical aspects of a mentee’s prospective career path, class selection, networking, professionalism and comparable topics.

Q: May mentors and mentees meet more or less frequently than the suggested schedule?

A: Yes. Mentors and mentees may meet as often as they mutually agree. Meetings also don’t have to have a specific topic.  For example, a mentee and mentor might attend a bar association section meeting, an Inn of Court, or a meeting at the mentor’s office.

Q: Does the Professional Mentoring Program continue throughout law school?

A: Yes.  The Professional Mentoring Program is designed so that a mentee will have a mentor throughout his or her law school career.  Mentors are even more important as a mentee nears the end of a law school career and networking opportunities become more critical.  Developing a strong relationship takes time and effort from both parties, so the longer the relationship the better.

Q: Do I have the same mentor or mentee during the mentee’s law school career?

A: The Program hopes mentees and mentors will remain matched throughout the mentee’s law school career.  However, if for some reason the relationship doesn’t work out, either a mentee or a mentor may request a new assignment either during the first year; at the end of the first year; or during the second year of law school. Sometimes the mentee’s interest area will change which could precipitate the need for a different mentor.  To request a change of assignment, please fill out the Migration Form.

Q: What happens if I don’t hear from my mentor or my mentee?

A: Sometimes communications between mentors and mentees break down. If so, try contacting your mentor or your mentee again. If there is still no response, please email . The Program will try to resolve any problem.

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208