Success in any field can often be accelerated by mentorship, and the legal profession is no different. Associates looking to make partner at their law firm in Mississauga stand to benefit greatly from a legal mentor. Whether you are a law student, or a young professional starting out in your career, having a mentor can help you grow and learn faster than you would on your own.
That being said though, there are some specific steps you should take in a mentor-mentee relationship.
What is a legal mentor?
A legal mentor is a more experienced lawyer who can help you learn new skills, increase your knowledge and advance your career in the legal field. Your mentor should be someone who is willing to work one on one with you in person or virtually and convey their wisdom.
Where can you find a legal mentor?
Legal mentors can be found in a variety of places depending on what you are looking for. Law students for example may find their mentors within the law school faculty, through internships, or through student clubs.
Practicing lawyers may find mentors within the legal community or through the bar association or at corporate law firms in Mississauga.
Structuring your mentor-mentee relationship
Once you have found your mentor, it is time to structure the relationship. You need to decide what your goals are and how best to accomplish them with your mentor. This will help to you maximize the value you get from your mentor while still respecting their time.
Instead of asking questions that you could easily find the answer to by reading your mentor’s bio online, think of more interesting questions that could help you with your own career journey. These questions could be to get the advice, opinions, or lived experience from your mentor. Some questions to consider are:
- Are there any books or legal podcasts that you recommend?
- What associations do you recommend that I join? Can you tell be about your experiences with these associations?
- What additional training or courses can you recommend to help me advance in my career?
Set a goal
You will have a better experience with your mentor if you have a clear goal in mind about what you hope to achieve with the relationship. Having a goal will also help you to structure your time with your mentor in the most productive way.
Here are a few questions you should answer before your first meeting with your mentor?
- What do you hope to get out the relationship?
- What professional goals would you like your mentor to help you achieve?
- What personal goals would you like to achieve?
If you have a legal mentor that is taking time out of their day to help you, it is very important to respect their time and energy. Here are a few tips:
- Respect their time – Ensure that you are reasonable with your requests for meetings and help. If they are looking over a document or resume for you, be sure to give them sufficient time to reply.
- Do your research – Before you meet with your mentor for the first time, do some research on their career, cases etc. This will provide you with topics of discussion and lead to possible questions that you might want to ask.
- Take the lead – be prepared to be responsible for making the relationship work in terms of scheduling. Since the mentor is giving you their time, work to make the process as easy as possible for them by taking the lead.