Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do you need a mentor?

We are trying to find out the extent mentoring had an impact, or is having an impact on your careers. In thinking of ways to promote professionalism, ethical behavior and a sense of community among attorneys, we are of the opinion that the profession could use more mentoring.

Even though many large firms have formal mentoring programs, have they worked for you? And if you are a young attorney in a small or mid-sized firm are you getting mentored at all? If you work outside of private practice, in government or public interest, are you given any mentoring?

Wouldn't it be great to have a system where you can turn to someone that is not directly affiliate with your job to talk? (knowing full well that you can't talk to your mentor directly - in most cases - if he or she is the one you have a professionalism gripe about) Or do you think that all is well in the land of lawyers and the last thing you would want is to talk to another one?

And of course, if your career was assisted somehow by a mentor we would like to hear about that too.

Looking forward to your comments!

Just click the comment button below to add your views. To make this work we want to know what you think!

Thanks and regards,


Anonymous said...

There isn't enough mentoring of young associates going on at least at the large firm level. A forum to talk about more than billing would make me feel like more of an attorney.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, a formally assigned mentor provided honest insight and advice about how to navigate the political landscape of our office in a professional manner. I found the formal mentoring program very beneficial.

I think that seeking out an "informal" mentor requires some serious initiative from the mentee. You have to ask yourself what qualities you want or need in a mentor, which requires that you go through the daunting exercise of asking yourself what you want or need out of your profession. Then, you have to look around and find out who in your office/work environment exhibits those qualities. Depending on where you work, you may need to look elsewhere to find that person, which can be disappointing and frustrating.

Anonymous said...

mentoring is important however my experience is that it is not properly monitored to ensure that mentors and mentees have regular contact. Mentees do not reach out to mentors with issues because the mentees do not want to "bother" mentors and mentors are too busy to remember that they have mentees to touch base with them. Thus, a monitor/facilator is needed to make sure on going contact happen between the two parties.

Anonymous said...

I'd appreciate thoughts on how bar associations like NYCLA might help on the mentoring front. Would senior lawyers, including retired and semi-retired lawyers, be willing to participate? Is there a way that at least some CLE credit could be offered to both mentors and mentees for a well-structured program?