Mentor/Mentee Relationships

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Anonymous User
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Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:39 am

How important are they in a networking context? I am a no offered 2L, but a partner at a big firm offered to "mentor" me over coffee last week.

Good/Bad? Something that I should rely on?

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JustE
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby JustE » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:How important are they in a networking context? I am a no offered 2L, but a partner at a big firm offered to "mentor" me over coffee last week.

Good/Bad? Something that I should rely on?


Something to "rely on", maybe not. A great thing to have in your cornet? Hell yes.

Do it. I don't see any down side.

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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:47 am

I think because he offered, you should make a strong effort to maintain a relationship with him. However, I participated in a mentoring program through my school and it was worthless. I was assigned to my mentor. We went out for lunch. Things were looking good. Every time after lunch I emailed him to ask a question or inform him of an accomplishment(or anything), he never responded. After 3-4 unanswered emails, I quit trying to communicate with him (that was 7 months ago). Never heard anything since.

Attempt to communicate with him a few times. If you get a good vibe, work to keep a strong relationship.

Anonymous User
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think because he offered, you should make a strong effort to maintain a relationship with him. However, I participated in a mentoring program through my school and it was worthless. I was assigned to my mentor. We went out for lunch. Things were looking good. Every time after lunch I emailed him to ask a question or inform him of an accomplishment(or anything), he never responded. After 3-4 unanswered emails, I quit trying to communicate with him (that was 7 months ago). Never heard anything since.

Attempt to communicate with him a few times. If you get a good vibe, work to keep a strong relationship.


This was not through school. It was a networking context. I met this partner at a bar association meeting. We discussed 3L hiring at the firm. This partner is on the hiring committee. Does that change anything?

I don't want to get my hopes up.

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JustE
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby JustE » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think because he offered, you should make a strong effort to maintain a relationship with him. However, I participated in a mentoring program through my school and it was worthless. I was assigned to my mentor. We went out for lunch. Things were looking good. Every time after lunch I emailed him to ask a question or inform him of an accomplishment(or anything), he never responded. After 3-4 unanswered emails, I quit trying to communicate with him (that was 7 months ago). Never heard anything since.

Attempt to communicate with him a few times. If you get a good vibe, work to keep a strong relationship.


This was not through school. It was a networking context. I met this partner at a bar association meeting. We discussed 3L hiring at the firm. This partner is on the hiring committee. Does that change anything?

I don't want to get my hopes up.


I wouldn't get your hopes up, but this is still a no brainer. Even if his/her firm can't hire you, they can easily refer you to friends at a firm who can. Do it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:00 pm

JustE wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think because he offered, you should make a strong effort to maintain a relationship with him. However, I participated in a mentoring program through my school and it was worthless. I was assigned to my mentor. We went out for lunch. Things were looking good. Every time after lunch I emailed him to ask a question or inform him of an accomplishment(or anything), he never responded. After 3-4 unanswered emails, I quit trying to communicate with him (that was 7 months ago). Never heard anything since.

Attempt to communicate with him a few times. If you get a good vibe, work to keep a strong relationship.


This was not through school. It was a networking context. I met this partner at a bar association meeting. We discussed 3L hiring at the firm. This partner is on the hiring committee. Does that change anything?

I don't want to get my hopes up.


I wouldn't get your hopes up, but this is still a no brainer. Even if his/her firm can't hire you, they can easily refer you to friends at a firm who can. Do it.


Thanks for the advice :)

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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:06 pm

Mentor relationships were extremely important for me. There are two different kinds of mentors; personal and professional.

1. My personal mentors gave me advice that was completely unique to me. They took me out to lunch, discussed the kind of law I wanted I to practice, what firms I should bid on in certain regions and even made some calls on my behalf. The best kind of personal mentors are ones that are not assigned to you; they are the ones that you pursue after getting that business card. The ones that you send emails requesting some time with them, either face to face or over the phone. Be persistent, but always be respectful and humble; partners are busy and you may have to send several emails before you even get one reply. Still, people love it when they see enthusiastic law students eager to learn. You don't network to simply build a superficial relationship in order to get a job; you network so that you're giving them to opportunity to know exactly who you are, to display your strengths and attributes, and have them advocate on your behalf when you are not in the room.

2. My professional mentor is the managing partner at my firm. I suggest you always have a professional mentor who has some kind of political power. I regularly contact my professional mentor in order to navigate the bureaucracy in the firm. A few months after securing my 2L SA, I followed up with a request to work at an international office that is not part of a formal rotation. He made calls to other partners in other offices and recommended that I take certain steps in order to make it happen. Not only did I follow through in a timely manner, but he was so impressed with my work that he independently sponsored my application to another office. In the end, I secured a rotation at an Asian office. Our professional relationship is now strong enough that I ask his opinion on paper topics, and study abroad opportunities.

Mentor/mentee relationships are what you make of them. You're the one who needs to be proactive and pursue them. Be persistent and set yourself up for the future.

Jhuen_the_bird
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Jhuen_the_bird » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:59 pm

Why is this even a question? OF COURSE YOU SHOULD DO IT. Never ever turn away from someone with connections in your career taking an interest in you. No brainer, for sure. If nothing else, he will be a valuable resource or a good friend/colleague. You can't turn him down without looking like an asshole, either.

mrloblaw
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby mrloblaw » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:05 pm

I think you should totally turn down huge networking opportunities that you obtained through an event that you obviously attended solely to obtain networking opportunities. HTH.

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Lincoln
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Lincoln » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:15 pm

Anecdotal, but I received a CB w/o a screener through a similar opportunity.

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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:13 pm

Jhuen_the_bird wrote:Why is this even a question? OF COURSE YOU SHOULD DO IT. Never ever turn away from someone with connections in your career taking an interest in you. No brainer, for sure. If nothing else, he will be a valuable resource or a good friend/colleague. You can't turn him down without looking like an asshole, either.


No, I was not turning him down as an asshole. That would be stupid. I just did not want to feel disappointed if something does not come out from it. I guess it does not matter at this point b/c I need to focus on the long side of things.

Jhuen_the_bird
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Re: Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Postby Jhuen_the_bird » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Jhuen_the_bird wrote:Why is this even a question? OF COURSE YOU SHOULD DO IT. Never ever turn away from someone with connections in your career taking an interest in you. No brainer, for sure. If nothing else, he will be a valuable resource or a good friend/colleague. You can't turn him down without looking like an asshole, either.


No, I was not turning him down as an asshole. That would be stupid. I just did not want to feel disappointed if something does not come out from it. I guess it does not matter at this point b/c I need to focus on the long side of things.


Oh, I see. Well, there is no "bad" side - it's not going to be a huge time committment or anything since he's presumably busy. True, nothing substantial may amount from it (i.e. job offer), but it certainly can't hurt.




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