The prior two mentoring posts, which you can read here and here, detail out the if/why, and how of finding a mentor. Today, we get very practical and talk about steps you can and should take right now if you have decided you would like a mentor, and know who (or what type) of mentor you want.
- Offer to work for the person you’d like to be your mentor. Many times we tend to divide the people we look up to into two groups: employers and mentors. We want the mentors to help us get to the employers. But I think you should reverse that. Work for someone (i.e. intern, extern, summer) who you might like to mentor you, and when that temporary working relationship ends, ask if they would consider continuing the relationship by mentoring you. Unless you were a terror to work with, my guess is many will say yes.
- Search for any local bar or undergraduate alumni/mentoring programs available in your geographic/practice area of interest. For example, The Austin Bar Association has a mentoring program for young lawyers. Texas A&M provides networking and mentoring opportunities for their undergraduates who have gone on to law school (though this might change some now that they have their own law school!). The point is, there are mentorship opportunities that exist specifically in your niche, which you should evaluate and possibly pursue.
- Take advantage of the various opportunities we at the law school are rolling out. You may or may not be aware of these, but be sure to take note and sign up to participate when these apply to you.
- Practice Court Mentorship Program – We pair you up with a Baylor Lawyer who has been through the PC grind, and they are there to encourage and support you throughout your two quarters. We’ll come talk to you about this at PC Orientation.
- The Mentor Network – We have 125 (one hundred and twenty five!) alumni, employers and others who have signed up to be part of our mentor network. You can find their name, employer and email address inside the Symplicity document library, and they are available to field your question or discuss an issue any time.
- OCI Mentorship – This is brand new for the fall of 2017, and we’re still working out the details. But the idea is you’d have a mentor from approximately mid-July through call back interviews in late August/September. Stay tuned for more!
As with anything, recognize that you’ll get out of these relationships what you put in. So if you sign up but don’t respond to your mentor or don’t go to them with questions, you’re not likely to get much out of it (neither is the mentor by the way), and you’ll feel like it wasn’t a helpful experience. But those of you who take full advantage of these opportunities will almost always find the experience rewarding and beneficial, and will develop life-long friendships with positive ramifications you can’t even imagine yet.