More than any other factor, your career satisfaction and success will be driven by your ability to develop strong, long-lasting, authentic professional relationships. In today’s economy, intelligence, knowledge and skills are not enough. Students who thrive post-graduation are those who develop strong interpersonal and professionalism skills. And like the knowledge you learn and the skills you cultivate during school, relationship-building requires learning and development. The Professional Mentoring Program is here to support your efforts to establish and grow your professional relationships.
Once enrolled in the Program, you will have the opportunity to be matched with a practicing or recently retired attorney or judge. You and your mentor will meet monthly at times and places of your mutual choosing where you will engage in a series of practice- and law school-related discussions. These discussions can follow the suggested Discussion Topics provided by the Program, which include topics like career paths, professionalism, ethics, networking, and practical career tips, among other topics. Alternatively, you and your mentor can discuss other topics of your choosing, such as work-life balance, coursework, or substantive law.
We hope that you will use your mentor, and any opportunities you may have to speak with other mentors in the Program and other lawyers and judges with whom your mentor works, to create strong relationships within the legal profession. These relationships will likely become important, either in the immediate future or sometime further down the road. We also hope your discussions with your mentor will help you: (1) absorb the culture of the legal profession; (2) gain perspective about what lawyers do; and, (3) see how the substantive law you learn in class is applied in the “real-world.” Finally, we hope that the Program will help you develop strong networking skills. These skills do not come easily, but they will come with effort and practice.