Tips and Suggestions for Mentors
Thank you for your interest in being a mentor! This program's goals are to strengthen the law school network and to assist the graduates of tomorrow in becoming successful, fulfilled professionals. Your investment of time and effort plays a vital role in our continuing efforts to spread the reputation of the law school for its outstanding educational offerings and personalized student support.
Your participation in the Widener Law Alumni Mentoring Program is valued and appreciated. Advances in technology and the increasingly competitive and complex nature of legal practice today affords law students fewer opportunities to establish mentoring relationships, yet mentoring relationships remain very important. They help students feel more connected to and in control of, their professional futures. Law students are very eager for the advice and guidance that you have offered to provide.
You may have previous mentoring experience or this role may be new to you.
To help get you started, we offer the following topics for suggested discussions with your new mentee:
- Course selection for later years of law school
- Effective studying and exam taking habits
- "Nuts and bolts" of law practice (i.e., different types of practice, how to run a law practice, and the role of good management and organizational skills)
- Importance of civility and professionalism
- Customs of law practice in your geographic region
- Steps to take during law school to assist in success on the bar exam
- Importance of passing the bar exam on the first attempt
- Career advice, including marketing for a certain type of practice or legal setting, job search tips and strategies, effect of school activities and course selection on career opportunities, resume, cover letter and interviewing advice, and establishing career goals
- Balancing professional and personal life demands
- Importance of using existing resources, including the Career Development Office
You may want to consider engaging in a number of informative activities with your mentee, such as the following:
- Meeting in your office or over breakfast or lunch
- Observation of court proceedings
- Taking your mentee to bar functions and meetings
- Introducing your mentee to others who may be able to offer advice or insight into the practice of law
- Conducting mock interviews or resume critiques
Remember, your mentee is a law student. Some students will have had exposure to the legal profession before law school, but most will know little of the legal world. Most likely, at the outset of a law career, they will be unfamiliar with, and possibly intimidated by, customs and language of the profession. Virtually any advice or insight into this new world is more than likely to be welcome and valuable. Please remember that the student may be shy about making contact with you. If you sense this about your mentee, please encourage him/her to participate fully and make special efforts to establish a comfortable relationship.
In order to facilitate the initial contact and the ongoing mentoring relationship, you may find it helpful to inform your office personnel of the identity of your mentee and to emphasize the high importance you place on the relationship.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the Career Development Office, 717-541-3958.
Thank you once again for your participation in the mentoring program.