1 A Presentation for the American Constitution Society by Donya Khalili
2 A wise and trusted teacher or counselor. Someone who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors. Someone who gives a younger person a helping hand up, through sharing information, giving advice, and making introductions. Mentoring is an ongoing relationship of learning and dialogue.
3 Someone who is going to chase after you waving opportunities. A trainer, coach or teacher those are about smaller goals. Mentoring is an ongoing relationship that can become a friendship. A therapist. A business advisory service. Assigned to you by HR (at least not necessarily).
4 Professional Mentors For advice and social capital about your career, not just your job. Job mentors For help within your working environment and in-office professional development. Personal Mentors For support as well as honest truth-tellers. Peer Mentor For sounding boards.
5 Value the mentee as a person. Develop mutual trust and respect. Listen both to what is said and how it is being said. Maintain confidentiality. Help the mentee solve her own problem, rather than giving direction. Focus on the mentee s development rather than producing a clone of the mentor s career. Give full, unbiased answers to questions.
6 Be on time. Be respectful of their time. If you re going to be late, call immediately. Ask active questions, do not expect a mentor to just spout useful advice. Be available; their time is likely more difficult to schedule. Keep in touch. Be the one to take initiative. When meeting, stay focused to make good use of your mentor s time. Keep confidentiality. They are trusting you with truth; be worthy of that trust. Follow up on your mentor s suggestions. Share your successes with your mentor, not just your problems.
7 What do you need from a mentor? Professional advice? School advice? Skill advice? What are your goals from the mentoring relationship? What are your expectations from a mentor? What are you willing to commit to a mentoring relationship?
8 ACS chapter leaders Professors Former bosses and co-workers Family friends People you would like to meet People slightly ahead of you at your office or department or law school Members of professional organizations to which you belong Previous law clerks
9 Networking See Sonja Ralston s presentation. Informational interviews See Dino Pollock s presentation. Talk to your professors after class, informally if possible, but office hours are also good options. Talk to partners in your firm, leaders in your department, leaders in your organizations, and ask them to lunch. Go to the ACS Convention, introduce yourself to speakers and attendees, and follow up. Don t forget horizontal peer networking with others at your professional level.
10 Potential mentors likely have many mentees, even other law students and young attorneys. It is your job to ensure that they want to help you as a person, rather than as another anonymous wonderful law student or attorney. Connect interesting details from your background to important parts of theirs. Listen to their stories. Be respectful and ask engaged questions. Be humble and acknowledge what you need to learn while demonstrating that you are a hard worker and good student.
11 Yes, some mentoring relationships evolve organically. In those cases, you have lucked your way into a valuable mentor relationship. All other rules apply. Invite your potential mentor to lunch or coffee and make a formal request for her to be your mentor. She will ask what you expect have clear answers! Be clear about why you selected her, how you see your relationship unfolding, and emphasize that you will be respectful of her time and relationships. She may say no. That s ok. You have a list. Say thank you, enjoy your lunch, and let her know that you look forward to your next class/meeting/convention/etc.
12 Be on time. Quite frankly, be early. Have questions and problems prepared. You may wish to let your mentor know your general questions in advance. I m looking forward to our meeting tomorrow at X time at Y place. I ve been thinking about Z and would really appreciate your counsel and advice. Use the least time-intensive mode of communication possible while staying professional. Be open to constructive criticism. You asked for advice; be prepared to take it. Take notes. Answer questions openly and honestly, but remember, this is not therapy. Whenever possible, take the advice immediately. End on time.
13 If your mentor has suggested that you do something, do it immediately. If it doesn t work (someone doesn t return your call, says no, etc.), contact your mentor right away to let her know about status and ask about next steps. Be in touch with real information regularly. If you have set up a formal schedule, then follow it rigorously. If informal, be in touch at least 5 times a year. It can be a meeting, an congratulating your mentor on her successes or telling her about yours, a holiday card, whatever feels organic. Promote your mentor professionally in your other circles.
14 Every Mentee can be a Mentor. It is your obligation to share the social capital and professional advice that has been offered to you to those coming up behind you (without violating confidentiality). Be available to younger and less experienced people and help them to develop their social and professional skills to allow them to succeed as you have. Never be afraid of the people coming up behind you; mentors benefit when their mentees succeed.
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