Paying it Forward: Approaching Mentorship as a New Lawyer

Lauren Nuffort, Rachel Holthaus, Paul Shapiro and Peter Stiteler drafted an article for the Winter 2015 edition of Minnesota Defense, “Paying it Forward: Approaching Mentorship as a New Lawyer.”

 

Article summary:
Whenever established lawyers — whether private practitioners, academics or judges — are asked about their formative experiences as young lawyers, many of them mention a mentor who helped them at the outset of their careers.  These experiences are especially important in private practice, where both the new lawyer and the firm as a whole benefit from such internal relationships.  This article, written by new lawyers, discusses the various approaches firms take to foster these relationships, the advantages and disadvantages of those approaches, and how new lawyers can get the most out of their firms’ mentorship programs.

  • A brief history of mentorships within the legal profession.
  • Different approaches to mentoring.
  • Our experiences and recommendations: how to get the most out of your firm’s mentorship program.
    • Be aware: a little effort can go a long way.
    • Venture outside your practice group.
    • Be the master of your domain.
    • Quality is more important than quantity — but don’t avoid quantity.
    • Case-specific realities can determine the extent of mentoring.