One of the most repeated phrases in our profession is “find a good mentor.” But what exactly does that mean? Anyone have specific examples of how they have used a mentor? How did you find one, and how did you work with them?

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

Organically... did several years of work for one partner starting as a baby associate and earned his trust and he earned mine. When I was ready to leave our law firm he helped me find my next gig. We still work together on occasion and I still call and ask for career advice/substantive questions etc. And it goes both ways. It’s in his interest to maintain a good relationship with me because I’m now a semi-senior person active in our niche practice that can send him work and can sing his praises. In the short run, I may be getting more of it than he is. But in the long run I’m a good relationship for him to have too.

There isn’t really any secret to it - do good work, go above and beyond, get substantively really good, prove yourself. If you’re really good, your seniors will feel comfortable telling others you’re good and being your sponsor (i.e., selling you) within your firm/outside your firm.

Of course I worked with many other partners over the years and tried to always build good relationships and keep a good reputation. But your working style is not going to click with everyone and that is okay. When you find someone where you feel like they’re a good manager, good person, good teacher, invested in your improvement, ready to tell you the harsh truth when you need it - cling to that, try and work more with them, try and build a personal relationship as well.

I would prefer him over other partners - not that I wouldn’t do their work, but I’d slip his work up in the queue, or take on extra work to help him occasionally even when I was too busy for it. When I had capacity, I’d volunteer to do work for him before telling anyone else I had capacity. Because I knew he really had my back and I wanted to have his as well.

like

Definitely the first one, that’s what I was referring to. But all of those. Not that I was sitting him down and we’d have class for an hour - this was all during the course of regular work, so just a learning on the job by doing/actively participating to improve my own learning.

like

“Mentor up” is a helpful motto. Expect your desired mentors to be busier than you. So you have to do the leg work setting up meetings, crafting intelligent questions, etc.

like

Found mine by renting an office from other lawyers I found on Craigslist, all solos

Found mine by identifying a Partner whose career I wanted to emulate and asking her to lunch.

Related Posts

Anyone who joined after March’22 who got the VPB letter?

startup Gig Alert: I am looking for a brand designer to join our startup team at Lifelines (truly a startup and we’re not in stores yet). We’re a product company set for revolutionizing how people approach sensorial wellness and I’m looking for someone with holistic experience in branding / art direction with a clear, bold visual style. Around 5 years of experience preferred. But work and personality trump years in experience. Always remote+unlimited PTO. Send me books / portfolios.

like

Best self-help books on the market? I've been consistently unhappy lately. Something needs to change.

like

I've been working in the NHS as an orthopaedic surgeon for over 10 years. I have recently made the transition over to industry working for a pharmcovigilance and certification body TUV SUD. Early signs are great. I know several clinicians who are currently advocating the overworked underpaid mantra and would like a referral. Let me know if you are keen to hear more.

like

Hi Fishies,

I hold two offers, one from Capgemini (14F+1 Joining Bonus) and UST (12 F + 1 Variable). Which organization should I choose? Which is better from career perspective. If I ask for Counter offer from UST will they match Capgemini's offer?

like
like

Hey sharks,

What's the salary IBM offers for 8+ years of Mainframe experience resource with the band 7B.
Thanks in advance. :)

like

If I switch firms after one year what's the likelihood of promotion after the first year at new firm ?

like

Is vanguard sharia compliant?

Hi guys, I am due to start working at EY soon within audit.

I will be commuting to the office by train when in the Birmingham office. This will be from Leicester.

Usually if a commute is about 1.5 hours+, Mazars authorises hotels. Is there a similar policy at EY?

When not in the office I would prefer to drive to clients, not sure if me being in Leicester affects whether they will tell me to suck up an extended commute? Would a mileage claim be from the office to the client?

Thanks!

like

How is average annual hike Morgan Stanley.

like

Which is better Nagarro or IBM for senior mgmt roles?

like

Book recommendations for Experimentation (for a noob)

like

Any one please share UST global salary band for 6 year of experience? Tech - Java spring boot UST Global UST

like

Can we discuss how awful these NBA foul calls have been?

like

What do you think about the LSAT requirements being optional/dropped? Do you think you would have gotten into a better law school without the LSAT? Or vice versa, did your scores help you get into a better school?

like

My CD and ECD keep bringing in white or Brazilian male talent. Are there any black female copywriters out there? Drop your links! 👇🏾

like

Can anyone refer me in Wipro , Hcl

like

I had completed two technical rounds with Mindtree and my HR round was scheduled but I didn't get any call from them. The status is showing as shortlisted in the Mindtree portal. Has Mindtree ghosted me ?

like

Where can we find the year end ratings for cognizant employees ?

like

Additional Posts in Law

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

like

Anyone here do ADA/ service dog plaintiff stuff? Was just refused service at a fed ex because i didn’t have “government registration” for my dog, ( which literally doesn’t exist). Could probably prove $500 in damages which obviously isn’t worth the hassle of even@calling a lawyer to consult but are there any exemplary damages built in?

likefunny

Just got an "opportunity" email from Lawyer Monthly Magazine for a feature interview... For like $800. Even if this weren't a scam, wouldn't you just be embarrassed to pay to do a magazine feature on yourself? I'm genuinely curious.

like

Dems lost the impeachment debate the day GOP leaders looked at the Access Hollywood tape and decided, "you know what, I can live with this"

like

Anyone in house for American Transit or has input about working at Baker McEvoy?

like

Advice on switching from Tax to M&A? Tax to Funds?

like

I get why associates in transactional practice have gripes. Unpredictable hours, demanding clients, artificial deadlines, drafting lengthy and mind numbing documents, etc. but what burns out litigators? I understand trials require long hours and are stressful but don’t you know when those tough periods are headed your way so that you can mentally prepare?

likefunny

Managing partner calls me (30 y/o female) “kiddo”. I know he doesn’t mean anything negative by it, but I’m not a child. Thoughts on how to address this? Similar experiences?

like

Thought my lateral interview yesterday went great. Sent a thank you email last evening to each participant. Haven’t received one reply. I find that strange. I guess I blew it?

like

If my employer has reduced my salary, would it be frowned upon to take on another part time legal position? I need the money..

like

What’s the expected salary/bonus structure for very small law only in a remote region? We’re talking maybe a 2 attorney shop that does mostly family law and non-criminal civil like bankruptcy and probate. I checked Glassdoor and my state bar for survey data but I’d like more input.

like

I’m currently at a small litigation boutique (3 partners/4 associates) and am looking to move on. I have an opportunity to go in house as a litigation attorney with a financial services company. Anyone have advice for the transition? What should I expect?

like

I just realized that MS word counts each dot in a bluebook format ellipsis as a separate word. Help! I’m trying to get an accurate word count on my brief and I find it hard to believe this is what a court would consider “three words.”

likehelpful

For those still able to work remotely, have you moved around and spent a few weeks in different cities? If so, has this caused any issues? My biggest concern is not having a monitor (lol) but I really want to float around and get an Airbnb in a few cities across the country while still able to take advantage of the remote setup. Curious to hear experiences!

like

Are there any attorneys here who teach college - not law school? And if yes, what subject do you teach?

like

How do you motivate yourself to keep doing your best when you’re interviewing to leave your firm AND specialty?

like

Anyone have any tips about Ward & Smith, specifically their Corporate M&A group? Billable hours, general culture, etc. Anything appreciated!

likefunny

The partners at my firm still see me as a law clerk even though I’m licensed now. Will i be a glorified clerk forever? (I was a law clerk at firm for 2 years 😬)

like

Just heard of the story of a senior who was fired because she was interviewing at a new firm, and this new firm called her current firm for references. Obviously they (cont’d)...

like

Partner called today to “flag” that I left the office yesterday at 5:40 after he gave me an assignment, and that he would expect me to be there until 8:00pm. I responded that I was told when I was hired that I would have the flexibility to make my own hours, and that seems to be contrary to that policy. If the policy is changing, then I requested my compensation be adjusted to reflect more time working, as the flexibility was part of why I agreed to join the firm. Too ballsy?

likeupliftingsmartfunnyhelpful

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the
Fishbowl app

See what’s happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

A phone with Fishbowl app

Send download link to your phone

OR

Scan your QR code to download
Fishbowl app on your mobile

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Messaging rates may apply

Download app

Sign up for free to view this conversation on Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Already have an account? Log in

Sign up for free to continue using Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use(New) and Privacy Policy(New)
Messaging rates may apply

Already have an account? Log in

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal