If you're starting your own law practice, one of the most common pieces of advice you'll receive is to get a mentor.
Good mentors are invaluable as you can bounce ideas off them and they can give you tips on how to overcome some common pitfalls a young attorney is sure to face.
But if you're just starting out, you may be wondering just how you're supposed to find a legal mentor. After all, legal mentors do not grow on trees. Here are three tips to find a mentor, as suggested by Attorney at Work:
- Check in with your law school and former classmates. At no point in your life will you be surrounded by as many people involved in the legal field than when you were at law school. Check in with classmates who may have started a law practice, especially those who were a year or two above you. Also, you can ask law professors and the school's career services office for suggestions. Alumni are often willing to work with other alumni.
- Contact your local bar association. Many bar associations have a section devoted to junior attorneys, and they may pair up juniors with more senior members. These sections are often split among practice areas, so you may be able to find a mentor directly in the area you work in.
- Approach someone you admire. At some point, you may read an article about a lawyer you aspired to be like. You should try calling or emailing that attorney. Everyone loves flattery, and even the busiest of attorneys may take some time out of their day to talk to their biggest fan. It doesn't hurt to try, and the worst that can happen is that the person you approach says "no" or ignores you.
If these tips don't work, just look around you. There are viable legal mentors everywhere. You just have to take the initiative to find one.
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- New Attorneys Will Benefit From a Mentor (Lawyerist)
- How to Be a Rainmaker: 5 Spots to Meet Business Contacts (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Should New Law Grads Get Networking Cards for Their Job Search? (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)